Tag Archive | "Nicole seah"

S’poreans react to news that Nicole Seah is not running for GE2015

S’poreans react to news that Nicole Seah is not running for GE2015

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Three thoughts that must have went past your mind at some point.

nicole-seah-rally.ge

Nicole Seah, 28, a candidate for the National Solidarity Party who ran in Marine Parade GRC in the General Election 2011, has confirmed she is not running for GE2015.

Her confirmation that she is sitting out this upcoming election has ended months of speculation if her entry into electoral politics will yet again cause PAP vote’s share to plunge.

Here are three thoughts Singaporeans have:

 

sian-half-auntie “Education Minister Heng Swee Keat must have been wondering why suddenly he heard his name called out loud as all his PAP serfs said ‘Heng ah!’ at the same time.”
Keo Teo Sai, 41-year-old durian picker

 

sian-half-uncle “This news would mean PAP would lose three GRCs this time instead of four.”
Hong Gan Leow, 63-year-old debt collector

 

happy-bird-girl “Without Nicole Seah’s presence, I am sure the PAP will still do a good job discrediting themselves.”
Bao Toh Kia, 18-year-old evangelist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 









Presidential results: PAP-endorsed candidates garnered 70% of votes

Presidential results: PAP-endorsed candidates garnered 70% of votes

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3 ways you can report the facts.

By Fang Shihan

White Tans - 3 ways

So quite obviously 65% of the population is not happy with the way things panned out for Dr Tan Cheng Bock and opposition-meister Tan Jee Say. To the extent that newly elected President Dr. Tony Tan had to assure voters that he would strive to win over the two thirds of the electorate who did not vote for him. Shades of Sitoh Yih Pin no?

The mainstream media has been surprisingly tepid on the win. Then again, with former PAP-MPs garnering 70% of the votes, of course there would be room to spare for some negativity, just to balance out the overwhelming victory by the establishment.

But just for the fun of it, New Nation has come up with at least 3 different ways you could possibly spin the news. Enjoy.

Headline: 70% of Singaporeans vote for former PAP MPs
Standfirst: Tony Tan wins with 35.2% of vote while Tan Cheng Bock garners 34.8%.

The ruling party received a resounding stamp of approval from the electorate as both former PAP MPs Tony Tan and Tan Cheng Bock were the top performers during the presidential elections. Opposition-endorsed Tan Jee Say trailed in third place with 25% of the vote or about 10% less than the runner up. Tan Kin Lian, who led the minibonds protests in 2008 lost his $48,000 deposit after getting only 4.9% of the votes.

Headline: Tony Tan wins by razor thin margin; poor showing for the PAP
Standfirst: PAP-endorsed Tony Tan is ushered into the presidential post, winning by a margin of 0.34% against runner up.

The ruling party was delivered a wakeup call as Dr. Tony Tan, widely endorsed by the PAP, unions and government-affiliated organizations, sat through a recount in the wee hours of the morning. Once considered a shoo-in, the performance of Dr. Tony Tan was considered by many analysts as a barometer of the ruling party’s popularity among the people. Despite having been deputy prime minister, and the executive director of sovereign wealth fund, GIC, Dr. Tony Tan nearly lost to previously little-known MP Dr. Tan Cheng Bock who runs a clinic in Jurong. The former was campaigning on a platform of reform and was widely considered as a non yes-man within the party. Combined with opposition-endorsed candidate Tan Jee Say, the non-PAP vote stood at 59.8%.

Read this better and more xia lan version.

Headline: PAP candidate Dr. Tony Tan wins via split opposition vote
Standfirst: Opposition is blamed for splitting the anti-PAP vote, and installing the PAP into the presidential seat.

Two thirds of the electorate did not want a PAP-endorsed candidate as President. Yet Dr Tony Tan had the keys of the Istana handed to him with only 7,269 more votes than his nearest rival. Netizens blamed Temasek Review, Nicole Seah and the NSP for fracturing the opposition vote by endorsing Tan Jee Say and inadvertently handing victory to the PAP on a platter.

Read Temasek Review — which was down at the time of publication — for a better blamefest.

National Day giveaway! GE2011 commemorative book up for grabs

National Day giveaway! GE2011 commemorative book up for grabs

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Behind every picture is a story. So here’s one…

By Belmont Lay

The book cover. Click image to see page samples.

A picture paints a thousand words. Which is why you should get a copy of GE 11: We Were There.

It is filled with nothing but page after page of glorious pictures. Translated into words, it can outsize the Bible. Or Kishore Mahbubani’s post-White-Man-triumphalism thesis.

This commemorative magazine is shot and published by the finest talents to have come out of NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (yes, they have more talents besides cussing). It shall be destined to be a collectors’ item — in about 50 odd years’ time.

Which is why New Nation is putting one copy – valued at the original price of $11 – up for grabs.

(Details of contest at the end of this article. If you asked, politely, yes, it can be arranged. I can ask Nicole to sign it.)

However, in this day and age of 140-character prose, a thousand words is a tad long-winded.

So I’ve no choice but to narrate the following story using 150 words per picture.

Just to convince you how poignant images can be. And how there is in fact a story behind every picture.

—–

Check out this screen shot of Nicole Seah taken from this RazorTV video.

It is misleadingly titled “Nicole Seah downcast after election” because “downcast” should have been substituted with “willing to cut a Faustian bargain if she could sleep for just two hours more”.

This half-minute interview segment is shown from 1 min 02 sec to 1 min 36 sec.

Now check out this picture: This was the scene about 15 minutes before the press got a chance to speak with Nicole.

About seven reporters and their crew gathered at the lift landing of a rental block of flats in MacPherson estate, obviously looking not very pleased (except maybe one of them).

This was, after all, May 8, the day after polling results were out and the Opposition were victorious because they secured 39.9% of votes.

Elections were effectively over but the poor reporters could still get no rest.

They could have been home making love, nurturing their children or eating chips while watching TV half naked, but no, they had to be out and about to interview Nicole.

But before they could even do that, they had to deal with her two-bit election agent (that would be me, yours truly).

On a Sunday. Imagine that.

Anyway, the story was that the press were really desperate to speak with Nicole because they needed a quote and some footage so they could go back to the office and string it into something coherent enough to be published or uploaded.

And they were hell bent on getting it.

But my task was to stall them because Nicole had to speak privately with a resident and the press was intimidating.

So after I beat them to the sixth floor lift landing by using the stairs while they breezily took the lift up, I pretended I knew which way Nicole went as the corridor split two ways.

“I’m sorry, I cannot let you all through”, I said pointing to one corridor randomly, before continuing, “you all will have to wait here…”

So for 15 minutes everyone stood around whinging until a half-naked old man came out of his apartment wondering just what the hell was going on.

Which is why you see this creepy-looking half naked dude in the background of the RazorTV interview.

He was doing what the press probably wished they were doing: Spend Sunday at home half-naked, eating chips and watching TV…

And having obviously picked the wrong corridor to barricade using my skinny-assed frame, Nicole emerges from behind everyone after another five interminable minutes of waiting and at that moment I could sense at least seven people wanting to throw me off the building…

———-

Contest details: Tell us what’s the funniest thing that comes to mind when you think of Dr Tony Tan’s hair and mark your tweet with @newnationsg and #tonyhair. Deadline is August 13.

Best answer wins. You’ll be asked to email us your address so we can send the GE 11: We Were There to you.

Or, you can simply purchase a copy online at MixMedia.

And the top Singapore celebrity on Facebook is…

And the top Singapore celebrity on Facebook is…

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The answer is not something you would totally expect.

By Terence Lee

WOULD you believe me if I told you that Malay actor Aaron Aziz is the most popular Singapore celebrity on Facebook, and that the runner-up is not even close?

I couldn’t believe my eyes either, but numbers don’t lie.

According to Famecount — a UK-based website that tracks the social media popularity of celebrities, brands, and icons — Aaron Aziz is the undisputed winner in the online popularity contest, weighing in at a staggering 874,471 fans.

By comparison, cutesy Chinese pop duo By2 has 374,425 fans, while — I hate to say this — politician Nicole Seah, in third place, has “only” 105,159 fans.

What about founding father Lee Kuan Yew, the modern architect of Singapore, without which the country would be a slum? A paltry 91,064 fans.

Looks like Aaron Aziz is a god in some quarters, although certainly not in my universe. In fact, he hardly registered in my mind at all, save for his starring role in local police drama Heartlanders.

My best guess is that his smokin’ good looks and acting chops must have won over many fans across the Causeway in Malaysia.

The adoration has even landed him a starring role in a Malaysian action film (aptly called KL Gangster) that makes the Singapore film industry look absolutely lame by comparison (see trailer):

Come to think of it, the notion of entertainers trumping all other personalities in Internet popularity isn’t new at all.

Lady Gaga (40 million fans) and Justin Bieber (32 million fans), for instance, totally put US President Barack Obama (22 million fans) to shame. Even if you add his wife Michelle, who has 6 million fans, the power duo would still not be able to withstand the wave of Bieber Fever infecting teenage minds everywhere.

That’s what a billion-dollar marketing campaign and a cool hairdo can do for you these days.

Global niches

Global niches

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Solely focusing on hyperlocal content, in some cases, is the sure way to journalism hell.

Terence Lee

When New Nation first began, we envisioned it as a hyperlocal website — much in the vein of established Singapore players like The Online Citizen, Temasek Review, and Yawning Bread.

Heck, Shihan and I graduated from TOC, which is pretty much the most recognised independent current affairs group blog around today. Belmont had online journalism experience too, serving in an online campus paper where he met the love of his life.

With such a crowded field (since then many others — Satay Club, VFC etc — have spawned), we needed to differentiate ourselves, so we decided to go with an off-beat, tongue-in-cheek, rude and raunchy style — current affairs for the not-so-interested, the apathetic, and restless. We decided also to feature more lifestyle and finance content.

Well, we got flamed for it — by the folks at TOC no less. But that’s not the important point. For us, it was a matter of necessity: Being a TOC clone was a sure way to hell. In a crowded pond, the surest way to draw attention is to be different.

Fast forward to today. Our readership is almost double now post General Election than pre, although growth is slow.

And something else dawned upon me: Hyperlocal no longer seemed to make sense.

Hyperlocal works if you are the first-mover, a pioneer in a community underserved (or, if you have shitloads of money, like Yahoo!). When TOC went online, it was a wide open field: All the other fish had died or were still eggs. Now, there are too many publications and too little time: People have only 24 hours to spare.

When Shihan gamely approached Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, for advice on whether New Nation will work, he said no.

Reason? Singapore is too small a market. Amen to that. Of course, he said other things too, but that is for us to know.

I think Sivers made a very good point. Before the Internet existed, publications were limited by geographical boundaries. To be trans-national, you had to be rich enough to pay for shipping to get magazine into newsstands worldwide.

Today, the cost of starting and distributing content is much cheaper: You can even do it at zero monetary cost.

While this creates the problem of a long tail of Internet content that varies in quality, it creates another opportunity: The ability to distribute content to previously untapped niche areas that are unbounded by geographical limits.

They are what I call ‘global niches’.

Think goth culture. Or cosplayers. Or Little Monsters. These subcultures transcend nationality, because what they represent are values, ideas, and personalities, things which are easily transferable from one country to another.

Globalisation creates two phenomena: Homogenisation, where cultures melt into one, and heterogenisation, where cultures absorb elements from other cultures to form new ones. Both are happening at the same time.

And I believe this presents an untapped potential for publishers and content producers like ourselves: It is possible for a Singaporean to write something with global appeal without losing his/her local audience.

I suggested this to my fellow editors. I think broadly speaking, we embrace the idea of going international. But ideas are free, what matters is how we execute it. There are many challenges: How many global niches should we aim for, without losing ourselves? How do we retain reader loyalty with such a diverse crowd? How do we ensure our content gets picked up by the people we want to reach?

As a baseline, we still hope to reach out to Singaporean readers. We have amazing content planned that will continue to appeal to them. But starring at our naval isn’t going to get us anywhere in terms of readership and ultimately revenue. We need to aim higher.

Will the name New Nation continue to be relevant? When we began, I took the word ‘nation’ in its 20th Century meaning, that of a ‘nation-state’. We took the name from an old Singapore newspaper that no longer existed. That newspaper went defunct before the age of the Internet.

But perhaps our usage of the word has to evolve as well.

Does race, language, geographical distance, still matter today?

Yes, certainly. But their significance is diminishing.

Perhaps ‘New Nation’ can be a rallying call, a vision of an ideal future governed less by the colour of one’s skin than by the beliefs one holds.

In a connected world, that is certainly possible.

How politicians can get started on new media

How politicians can get started on new media

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With these 5Cs, politicians can more effectively master social media as an engagement tool, says Ryan Lim, business director of social media consultancy firm Blugrapes.

Avoid ending up like Tin Pei Ling. Photo: SPH

POLITICIANS should approach social media like a courtship. Start slowly, first wooing your voters and attracting them to you. Once you have established trust, engage your followers and get to know each other better. Finally, make a long-term commitment with them and ask them to put their faith with you.

For politicians who have not yet gotten on the social media bandwagon, here are some guidelines on how to start:

Content – Planning content is the most important thing when entering any social media platform. Know what you want to share with your voters. They wish to understand your views on key political issues, as well as your personal and party manifesto. Top scores will go to politicians who allow their personality to shine through, revealing a human side to politics, rather than a faceless party.

Community – Leverage upon the social media platform that the majority of your targeted voters are on. Platforms such as Facebook and Foursquare have targeting tools, which can be used to your advantage. You can also benefit by localising your messages and organizing events. Not all voters are equal, and you may wish to focus your limited resources on winning a few key voters over, who can then have a positive multiplier effect on the masses.

Benefits of using social media

Technology-savvy politicians can leverage upon social media to complement their engagement efforts. The main benefits of using social media for politics include:

Cost – Online rally platforms are faster to create and cheaper to operate. This levels the playing fields amongst all parties, as the more established politicians with deeper pockets no longer hold an advantage.

Constraints – Unlike the number of rally sites in Singapore, real estate in social media is virtually unlimited. The public can see opinions and discussions, allowing them to understand about new candidates and what they believe in. With viral marketing, they can also see what their trusted networks are following.

Communication – Social media allows candidates to engage directly with their voters, building up personal relations in an easy and safe manner. Voters can virtually follow candidates, through updates on platforms like Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter.

Conversation – Talk to your voters; not down at them. Social media is about being social, so interesting conversations are important. Welcome anyone who has taken the time to connect with you. There is no better endorsement than unsolicited praise from your supporters, so do remember to thank them! With social media, everyone will be able to see good and bad comments. There will always be instances when people will not support you. However, never abuse or attack them. Take it in your stride and respond graciously, remembering to accept and learn from their views.

Care – Show that you care for the welfare of your voters. Respond to their needs and concerns. While it may be tempting to use social media as a broadcast platform, vague and general responses will show a lack of sincerity. So be prepared to spend time engaging with voters on a one-to-one basis.

Commitment – Any social media effort requires long-term commitment to sustain what was started, and should never be used for immediate and temporary gains. Do not launch a Facebook page just to garner votes, only to let it become a ghost town once you’ve been elected. Sustain the community that has been built up over the duration of your tenure. This is a community that is interested in you, and can be used as an effective forum for governance and as a feedback channel on policies and engagement.

Exciting times ahead

The 2011 General Election in Singapore was an exciting event. It was the first time that Singaporeans voted during the social media era. Social media became the platform to showcase and disseminate information for public consumption. Those parties that were able to do this well were able to galvanize their supporters, engage the public and win their votes.

The emergence of “citizen reporters”, the viral spreading of messages over social media platforms and the ability for parties to really engage with the people resulted in the rapid and effective dissemination of information. Overall, the rise of social media in Singapore resulted in a more balanced coverage of political issues.

This article is contributed by Ryan Lim, Business Director of Blugrapes, a leading social media consultancy firm based in Singapore. The company has a track record of launching and maintaining social media solutions for organisations including Fortune 500 consumer brands across 15 industries. In Singapore alone, over 1 in 20 Singaporeans would have engaged in any one of Blugrapes’ social media solutions.

Vote responsibly, say ‘No’ to arrogance

Vote responsibly, say ‘No’ to arrogance

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I am 27 years old and I am voting for the second time in my life. What do I want out of my vote?

By Belmont Lay

Lee Kuan Yew

Young peepur..I dare you to vote opposition...go...vote...vote...see what happen..

THE PAP mantra is to be everything and anything to Singaporeans, even when it amounts to nothing logical.

They are determined to give you both the ruling and opposition voice; a Swiss standard of living even though your hard earned cash is locked up in your HDB flat; plus, carrots and sticks to treat and beat you over your head with once every GE. 

They’re so good they give you all the problems and solutions so you will never run out of either.

Not only that, I also realised the PAP can give you the question and answer – all in the same day – if you happen to read the local papers.

In Today on April 30, there is an article where Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam asked: Dear opposition, come up with concrete examples where PAP have been arrogant or else what you’re saying is hot air.

Shanmugam’s assertion is that there are no such instances (because you see, rather ironically, PAP is very humble in making such a strong assertion in the first place) and the opposition are just mudslinging, especially during the rallies.

By a stroke of luck, in the same day’s copy of The Straits Times, I found that concrete example.

Lee Kuan Yew said: “If they (the Aljunied constituents) choose the opposition, then I say, good luck to them. They have five years to ruminate and to regret what they did. And I have no doubts they will regret it.”

Paraphrasing, Lee basically said: “Young peepur… You vote lah… vote…I dare you to vote…go…go….later you regret don’t say I never tell you..go…”

Solid? His Leeness’ point is that property prices in Aljunied GRC will go tits up simply because… well, I really don’t understand how but he insists it will because he thinks he is god (which is stupid because everyone knows Chen Show Mao is God and the property market has many interlinkages that will not be easily affected due to the imposition of some piss-headed artificial boundary scheme called the GRC.)

There you go, Shanmugam, your concrete example that PAP is arrogant.

His Leeness’ statement is reeking with so much overbearing hao lian-ness and hubris that I guarantee you, many young folks like myself are going to vote Workers’ Party in, or rather, vote George Yeo and company out, if given the chance.

Why am I so sure?

Because His Leeness has the cheek to say that property prices will go down if Low Thia Khiang and gang make it into parliament. Then you hire Mah Bow Tan to cool property prices for what? For fun?

While we’re at it, might as well ask voters to vote in more opposition to tame the property market as a whole. Firing Mah will save taxpayers some and he won’t be around to make a hash out of everything anymore.

But that’s not what’s getting my goat today.

What is really getting my goat is this talk about talent and how the PAP possesses every damn device to locate them.

You hear a lot about this PAP machinery churning out talent like nobody’s business. Going toe-to-toe with all else out there, they have what it takes to form the next leadership.

Right? Well, right my ass.

As far as I’m concerned, the only semi-proper account of how this talent-scouting works is given in His Leeness’ memoirs in which he talks about countless tea sessions doubled up as opportunities for character assessment and clinical psychological testing like those used to spot astronauts.

Okay. First major rebuttal: After countless rounds of tea and some testing, the PAP throws up a 27-year-old jackass?

What kind of herbal tea have they been drinking?

And second point of rebuttal: Hello? Nicole is in the National Solidarity Party… Oh wait. Even better still. Workers’ Party opened their doors and hearts one fine day and in walked God Himself.

So, here’s the point of today’s missive: I want more out of my vote. I want it to be a humbling experience.

And here’s another driver-vehicle analogy: I refuse to barrel down the street blind-folded in a school bus with my future children inside when the PAP is at the driver’s helm. It’s bad enough that Mah’s sitting in there with me; the PAP has to keep telling me it’s all nice and cosy (supposedly like a HDB flat Mah built) when I know I might turn turtle.

Look, I’m not going to trust anything you say simply because you think you have our mandate to say it.

And if you honestly think that you really do have the mandate, you are just being arrogant.

Again.

Caveat: Author is the election agent and boyfriend of Nicole Seah. Read with discretion.

Nicole Seah: Ground is sweet, looking forward to competition

Nicole Seah: Ground is sweet, looking forward to competition

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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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