In a recent street survey conducted by Today [Source], 29 in 30 Punggol East residents are supportive of a by-election in the Single Member Constituency left voided by former PAP MP Michael Palmer who resigned when his extra-marital affair were exposed by an anonymous member of the public. 16 out of the 30 polled felt there is no rush when the by-election could be called while the rest wanted the by-election to be conducted within 3 months.
The sole decision maker of the by-election contest is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, whose ruling party is expected to lose the ward amidst a series of national problems that have worsened since the last election. Among the bugbears is the Public Transport, where the PAP government is passing operation costs to taxpayers through a $1.1 Billion drawdown from the National Reserves and a fare hike promoted by the Transport Minister himself. Most Singaporeans except for the hardcore party supporters are unsympathetic of the increased costs faced by the 2 Public Transport Operators(PTOs) because of their consistent yearly profit where up to 60% of the profits are distributed as dividends to private shareholders [Source].
According to reliable sources from the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council, both Michael Palmer and Laura Ong have left Singapore respectively on their own accord. In the meantime, Punggol East SMC is temporarily managed by Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Teo Ser Luck. There have been unconfirmed news that MP Teo Ser Luck was “over-intimate” with Laura Ong from the latest photos released by the media but the MP was quick to dismiss them as rumors.
Punggol East SMC is a quiet town in the East of Sengkang whose residents are largely middle class couples who bought the BTO flats in 2006. Most of them are laden with a 30 year housing debt and it is unlikely they will be supportive of any calls to lower housing prices. Unlike the General Election, a PAP loss in the by-election will not change the government of the day and it is very likely Punggol East SMC will fall upon the Opposition Workers’ Party as discontentment against the PAP government continue to compound following the worsening of the foreigner population and public transport issue.