With the withdrawal by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) from the by-election of Punggol East SMC, the by-election will now be a four-way contest. Dr Koh Poh Koon from the People's Action Party (PAP), Lee Li Lian from the Workers' Party (WP), Desmond Lim from the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) and Kenneth Jeyaretnam from the Reform Party will all contest in Punggol East by-election after successfully filing their nominations this morning.
Frankly, I can't see anyone winning except for the PAP so the pullout from the race by the SDP is not going to effect the results but what the pullout did proof is the growing political maturity of SDP chief Chee Soon Juan. When he first burst onto the political stage, the man was a firebrand but just like last year when he did a deft job organizing the SDP General Election campaign, Dr. Chee has again prove to be a good administrator with a good handling of the news of the pullout.
By stating that the SDP is pulling out after heeding the people's voice that they do not want a multi-corner fight in Punggol East, Dr. Chee had cleverly placed the SDP in a win-win situation. If the PAP wins (as expected), the SDP can say that they are not the cause of a spilt in the opposition vote. If an opposition party wins (miracles do happens), the SDP can say it is only possible because the SDP sacrificed themselves for the greater good.
The PAP may win the seat next week, but there will be two other winners in this by-election. That is the SDP and Dr. Chee Soon Juan.