Created on Wednesday, 04 May 2011 03:57
Written by Diane Leow
Nicole Seah has many labels attached to her. For one, in this elections, the young candidate is often singled out the adversary to Ms Tin Pei Ling; the voice of the youth of Singapore; the face of the National Solidarity Party.
For those who have been following the General Election news, you will also know that Nicole is currently in the media spotlight as the youngest candidate running in Marine Parade GRC as part of the opposition.
She has been compared to Sylvia Lim, the chair of the Worker’s Party, who is widely known for her opinion on ministerial salaries. Nicole, predictably, has too given her answer to the media’s current favourite question among young female candidates – what is your greatest regret in life? – one which she has fared well compared to Ms Tin.
At 24, Ms Seah is true-blue Singaporean, having gone through the education system, studied in a local university, and having worked in the advertising department of a MNC. She lives in a HDB flat with her family, takes the public transport, eats at a coffeeshop, and gets annoyed at congested traffic (she admitted to lashing out on her twitter page).
The Victoria Junior College student experiences almost everything a typical Singaporean young adult does, but does that make her a voice for our youth? And if so, how far would that bring her in this General Elections?
As a young Singaporean adult living overseas, I am in two minds about this. On one hand, I applaud her courage to speak out on issues that may have long been overlooked. Her conviction to implement policies for the poor is admirable.
According to her interviews with the media, she has been involved with the community since her secondary school days. While many students saw community involvement as a chore, Nicole made use of the opportunity to see for herself the plight of Singaporeans from various walks of life.
The youth of Singapore has long been described as apathetic and selfish, and Nicole Seah is the antithesis of that – in a positive way. She represents a generation willing to step out of their comfort zone for the greater good.
On another hand, I am not sure if Nicole Seah’s opinions will stand in Parliament.
A recent video of her at her first NSP rally showed her asking: “PM Lee, who is paying your salary? Who is funding your Grow and Share package?” Her courage and passion is evident in the video, as she stands firm on what she believes her and her party can bring.
However, prior to this election, I have not heard of the National Solidarity Party or their good deeds – perhaps due to the fact that I live overseas. Yet some say that this is not about a party, nor is it about Ms Seah’s opinions.
So, in the end, who or what does Ms Seah represent, and how far would that bring her?
It is agreed by many that the way Ms Seah has appeared in the media thus far shows maturity beyond her years, and people beyond her years have showed admiration for her too. But otherwise, will she be able to identify with the issues of the older generation? If she was just to represent the youth of Singapore, it might be limiting her abilities. Besides, winning just the vote of the youths will not be sufficient.
Then, what are the chances that the NSP led by Ms Seah will emerge victorious?
Perhaps Ms Seah herself has answered the question. The one point in her first RazorTV video interview that surprised me was when she highlighted that this election is not about Ms Tin Pei Ling
vs Ms Nicole Seah.
I agree with her. For too long, the media has focused on these two candidates as they have broken the mould of the last few elections. They are young, female, and have interesting opinions. That makes them newsworthy, but the people of Singapore need to be careful not to make their choice based on candidate – which is sometimes inevitable – but on the policies the team is pushing for as well as the general picture.
Ms Seah has been excellent in sharing her dreams with the people. The above videos show her willingness to make her vision come true. But before telling us your dreams, I hope Ms Seah will show, rather than tell.
The countdown to the General Election is less than a week away. I hope that all Singaporeans, regardless of age, gender, race, religious affiliation, and even sexual orientation will ultimately vote for the voice that they feel represents them the most and would be a best fit for the country.