The People’s Action Party (PAP) announced that lawyer K Muralidharan Pillai will be its candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election today.

The 48-year-old Mr Murali was part of the PAP “suicide squad” challenging the Workers’ Party (WP) team for Aljunied GRC in the recent General Elections held last year. The WP emerged victorious with 50.95% of the vote.

Mr Murali serves as the head of commercial litigation at Rajah and Tann. Prior to that, he was Assistant Superintendent in the Singapore Police Force. He is also the son of PK Pillai, a unionist detained under Operation Coldstore in 1963.

Mr Murali is the chairman of the PAP’s Paya Lebar branch, but worked as the Branch Secretary of PAP Bukit Batok until 2008.

Following announcements from the WP, People’s Power Party and Democratic Progressive Party, who stated that they would not contest in the Bukit Batok by-election, this paves the way for a likely straight one-on-one fight between Dr Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and the PAP candidate.

At a walkabout with party members on Sunday (Mar 20), Dr Chee told the media that if elected, he will put in place local elections for town council leaders, as well as hold quarterly townhall meetings.

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