Nicole Seah: Ground is sweet, looking forward to competition

Posted on 24 April 2011

Enthusiastic crowd and international media greets National Solidarity Party Marine Parade GRC team at Aljunied and Serangoon walkabouts.

A New Nation exclusive.

Little Nonya shakes some hands at a hawker centre

The hottest thing in Singapore right now, besides the darn weather and Chen Show Mao (who is God-like), is Nicole Seah.

Nicole, an advertising executive, is going toe-to-toe with Goh Chok Tong (not Tin Pei Ling, mind you) as one of five candidates for the National Solidarity Party in Marine Parade GRC.

Who would have thought, right?

What began as an unassuming informal introduction on Tuesday to announce her candidacy, Nicole’s Public Figure profile page on Facebook has since turned into a socialsphere fiesta with 15,000-plus fans and counting. (In contrast, New Nation, has about 333 fans in five months. Nicole took like what? Fourteen minutes after her FB page went “live” to surpass that number?)

She is still trending on Google, trending on Twitter and she even has her own Wikipedia entry.

Best of all, she might just make one of our editors eat his own words for stating rather prematurely that “social media would have limited influence on this General Election“.

Here’s the Little Nyonya, as netizens have dubbed her, in her own words, after today’s Sunday morning walkabout at Aljunied market and Serangoon central where about 50 party members and volunteers turned up to show their, erm, solidarity.

By the way, Nicole (who is goddess-like), is only 24 years old. And she speaks better than Chan Chun Sing, an ex-SAF regular and PAP candidate to be potentially fielded in Tanjong Pagar GRC.

——————–

Question: There was a huge turnout at today’s walkabout at Aljunied market. What do you think about it?

Nicole: We expected a crowd as this walkabout had been publicised over Facebook. The response was really warm and encouraging. For the past 19 years, Marine Parade GRC residents did not get a chance to exercise their vote so we as the opposition don’t know how it would turn out and neither does the incumbent know what to expect. But I think the ground is sweet this time at Marine Parade.

How is the ground sweet?

I’m quite sure some of those who turned up found out about the walkabout online. They were really friendly and supportive and we chatted a bit. But there was a large number of those at the market who had no idea we were turning up. And they were happy to see us there.

And CNN turned up too, no?

Yes, there was a video interview but this is not something to be unexpected. Things are changing, the local media senses it, the people on the ground can sense it and the international media too. And if you saw what the people on the ground had to say, I mean, I’ll describe a lot of them to be “relieved”. Relieved that there is going to be some form of competition this time round.

So what is one issue you noticed in Marine Parade GRC that is of concern to you?

Even as you look at how developed the place is, there are clusters of lower income households and young people who are struggling. The policies that have been implemented in recent years have also affected the middle class to a large extent, with many factors such as rising property prices, rising goods and services taxes, and the depression of local wages due to competition from a liberal immigrant policy. You can see it for yourselves on the ground. If this country wants to focus on economic growth and success, I’m sure many people would not disagree. But what is the point of all these development when you can’t raise the base?

You will also notice that many of the issues specific to the constituents of Marine Parade GRC has expanded to a nationwide scale. What has happened is that the use of GDP growth as a KPI (Key Performance Index) has given many in the public sector, especially officeholders, fat bonuses, while the man in the street continues to feel the pinch from ever-rising costs and stagnant wages. The NSP is pushing for a national focus on wage growth and abolishing taxes on basic necessities such as food staples, so that no Singaporean is deprived of their basic necessities because of the lack of money.

What about your Serangoon walkabout? How did that go?

The funny thing was people in Serangoon didn’t even know which GRC or SMC they belong too. Some were confused that they fall under Marine Parade (GRC). And there was this lady who is well-travelled and calls herself a heartlander, she approached the NSP candidates, shook our hands and even went in front of the media cameras and spoke her heart about what ails her. She said she doesn’t understand what this country has come to. And she was just passing by on her way home.

What is one message you have for the young volunteers here today?

Always remember what you are doing this for. This is not for ourselves, but for our country, for the people who cannot speak up for themselves. We may not see the fruits of our labour in the immediate future, but let that not deter us from putting forward our best shot to make this a Singapore that we can truly call home.

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  • thechineseninja

    Hey guys

    can you get your hands on the video interviews mentioned above? Not just Nicole Seah, but the lady who was interviewed too.

    • Belmont Lay

      Hey there,

      There is a youtube video of the CNN interview in its raw form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMaA5OPUOTw&feature=player_embedded#at=16

      This is taken from someone’s iPhone, I presume. The real CNN piece will probably be out soon. Don’t know when though.

      With regards to the lady who gave an off-the-cuff impromptu interview, I can’t find any videoes uploaded.

  • Kei

    POLL: Singapore Election 2011

    This 2011 election is definitely a watershed. Who do you support this election?

    Cast your precious vote at this poll: http://bit.ly/sg2011election

    … Please help to spread this poll and Save the link to see the final result of this poll on 7th May before going to the ballot box.

  • Heng Chao

    hmm..no clashes of interest? seeing that one of the editors of newnation is dating nicole?

    • terence

      Heng Chao,

      yes, we understand your concern. in fact, i was discussing it with the team earlier. which was why we’ve come to the decision that from today till after GE, Shihan and myself will have ultimate oversight over all articles pertaining to politics and the General Election, including Belmont’s.

      • Belmont Lay

        So, in English, it means they can overwrite anything I write.

  • http://www.wilfredling.com Wilfred Ling

    I prefer some articles related to Nicole’s romantic life other than politics. One of the editor is fully qualified to write on that I guess… haha

    • terence

      brilliant suggestion. and that will get us 10,000 hits.

      • http://www.wilfredling.com Wilfred Ling

        Ur.. if you get 10,000 hits within an hour, your server account will be terminated/suspended. Make sure get a power pack server b4 uploading the romantic article…

        • Belmont Lay

          tsk tsk… i will not resort to that kind of journalism. especially when i’m not paid for it.

          • sh

            yet. :)

          • Something to consider

            Soon, y’all will.

            Anyway, I think Tin Pei Ling, for better or for worse, has survived the exposure test, for all her 28 years of youth and luck. Not so for the walkover new MIW MPs though, assuming the Ng Teck Siong alliance is a fluke.

  • Belmont

    argh!

  • Something to consider

    Well Ms Seah will have to work harder, especially when she’s not as lucky as the guy who can become an MP within 22 hours.

  • plslahor

    Nicole Nicole….

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