You probably could side step it but it does change the flavour of the choi poh. Frankly, the sugar syrup soak is not going to end up adding that much sugar to the preserves. Also note that you do not use huge quantities of choi poh in a dish. So my recommendation is to just follow the recipe as it's not going to make that much difference to your sugar intake. You would probably achieve much greater impact on your sugar intake by cutting out the obvious villains like soft drinks, sweets, added sugar into your coffee or tea, etc. Also, read food labels very carefully: you'll be astonished at how much sugar there is in apparently "healthy" foods like low-fat yoghurt!