Less than 24 hours after Madam Halimah resigned as Speaker and MP of Marsiling Yew Tee GRC, the SDP is lobbying hard for a by-election to be held.
(Loosely translated: By Election Time!!! The time is now)
SDP sec gen, Chee Soon Juan even did a walkabout in Marsiling-Yew Tee areas to wish the residents there Happy National Day over the weekend.
A by-election is required only if all the MPs in a GRC vacate their Parliamentary seats.
Under the GRC system, A by-election need not be held to fill a vacancy in any GRC triggered by the death or resignation of an MP, even if there are no other minority candidates in that GRC, or any other reason.
The GRC system has been in place since 1988, and requires each team to include at least one member of a minority race to ensure that there are enough minority members in the House.
Over the years, the number of GRCs has dwindled as there are more minority representations in the House.
There are currently 25 minority MPs out of 89, more than what you’d expect proportionately from adding up the percentage of Malays, Indians and other minorities.
Even if we have one less, that is 24 out of 89, which is 27 per cent of Parliament.(Source)
Getting into Parliament has always been the aim of Dr Chee Soon Juan
The party had three Members of Parliament (MPs) at the time Chee took over as Secretary-General (1993), but was reduced to no MPs at the 1997 general election and has not had any of its members elected to Parliament since Chiam See Tong.
Since then, Dr Chee has been been opportunistically contesting in different areas which he thinks gives him the best chance to be elected.
It was Holland Bukit Timah GRC in 2015 (General Elections) and Bukit Batok SMC in 2016 (By-elections).
This time around, he has set his eyes on the Marsiling -Yew Tee GRC.