Singapore GE2020: SDA chairman Desmond Lim to step down from position, says he is leading GE team for the last time

SINGAPORE – Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) chairman Desmond Lim Bak Chuan, 52, will be stepping down from his position after the general election, regardless of what happens on July 10.

He told The Straits Times that this will be the last election campaign that he leads, adding that he believes the party’s younger generation is ready to take over.

“After this election, I will hand over to my successor,” he said at a walkabout in Pasir Ris-Punggol on Saturday (June 27).

ST understands that the SDA’s chief media officer Harminder Pal Singh will step up to become party chairman.

Mr Lim said: “I have done my part… It’s time for a more talented, more capable person to take over, and I hope that the next generation of SDA leaders will bring the party to new heights.”

Mr Lim will remain as a party member after he steps down, and continue to share his skills and experience with younger party members.

And while he will no longer take a leading role, Mr Lim did not rule out the possibility of standing in another election.

Mr Lim made his electoral debut in the 2001 General Election and has contested every election since. He is known in opposition circles as an affable character who is always willing to try new ways of campaigning.

During the 2013 Punggol East by-election, Mr Lim put up a series of videos as part of what he had called an online rally. The videos were mocked because of his bad diction but Mr Lim said he should not be judged on his command of the language but more on how he can help others.

He was the former president of Singapore Justice Party, which became part of the SDA in 2001, along with the Singapore People’s Party (SPP), National Solidarity Party and the Singapore Malay National Organisation.

He was considered Mr Chiam See Tong’s protege at the SDA, which Mr Chiam set up, before a falling out in 2011 led the older politician to pull the SPP out of the alliance with him.

Mr Lim became SDA secretary-general in 2009 before taking over as party president in 2011. He said during the walkabout that he had honoured Mr Chiam’s legacy in his work at the SDA.

At the walkabout on Saturday, Mr Singh said that the SDA has been reaching out to Peoples Voice (PV) party to discuss if a three-way fight in Pasir Ris-Punggol can be avoided in the upcoming election.

PV chief Lim Tean said on Thursday that his party will be contesting Pasir Ris-Punggol as well as Jalan Besar, Pioneer, Mountbatten and Punggol West.

Mr Singh said that the SDA would not cede ground, given that the party contested in Pasir Ris-Punggol in the last two elections with a team that he led.

“We had very good support from residents… and to just leave them and desert them would be very unfair,” he added.

The People’s Action Party won Pasir Ris-Punggol in GE2015 with 72.89 per cent of the vote, up from 64.79 per cent in GE2011.

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