Tag Archive | Nicole Seah

Having a political background matters!

Yup, you read right. Say what you like, but don’t you think the only candidate without any real political shadow hanging over him did badly in the recent presidential election precisely because he didn’t and doesn’t any real political affiliation?

I’m referring to Mr Tan Kin Lian who lost his deposit because he didn’t get the 12.5% of the votes needed to retrieve his $48,000. Why, he didn’t even get 6.25%! He got under 5%, leading to jokes about “low 5”! And this despite the fact that he’s been visible for years since he quit NTUC Income — online and offline at Speakers Corner at Hong Lim Park.

What’s so different about him from the other three competitors?

IMHO, I think it’s political affiliation. Tan Kin Lian really had none, never mind the fact — which few people knew, really and truly — that he was a PAP assistant branch secretary at some time in his NTUC career.

By contrast, all the competition had overt political connections, never mind if everyone of them strenuously tried to distance himself from, if not entirely disown those connections.

Take Tan Jee Say. He was as recently as May a failed election candidate standing under the banners of the Singapore Democratic Party. He resigned from SDP, as he must, to contest the PE.

He and his running mates — who failed in their joint bid for the Holland-Buona Vista group representation constituency — were very much in evidence in his PE campaigning. The ever-delectable Nicole Seah was there as were other National Solidarity Party luminaries. OK, all in their personal capacity, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. But you get the picture. 😆

It was the same for Tan Cheng Bock. OK, he too said he was his own man. Independent. Above politics ad nauseam. But come lah, he was a PAP man for decades and successfully contested countless elections wearing the PAP badge.

Even all the evidence he proudly displayed to show his independence — speaking out against the Nominated MP scheme, getting free parking in HDB carparks on Sundays et al — were ironically achieved while he was a PAP MP, not because he was independent loner Tan Cheng Bock.

He spoke in parliament and was listened to because he was an important long-serving PAP backbencher who scored the highest percentage of votes in his final election — which incidentally he did not because he was just Tan Cheng Bock, independent but because he was a PAP candidate through and through, white on white.

Given the decades’ long association that he has had with the PAP, it would take decades, not months or a couple of years for the public to view him solely as indie Tan Cheng Bock without also seeing the PAP association in everything he does.

So, guess what? I think he was given a handsome outing because voters inherently associated him with the PAP and his success in garnering almost 35 per cent of the votes is due more to his PAP DNA than he was sweet Mr Independent.

Some observers say that Tan Cheng Bock attracted opposition support. I would like to suggest it’s not so much opposition support per se as voters who had voted against PAP in the general election, ands having taught the PAP “a lesson”, deciding they would rotate the support to a candidate with PAP cred.

As for Tony Tan, he got the solid PAP supporter vote all right. Although he too, in the mood of times, tried to move away from the PAP banyan, he was never vociferously anti or ungrateful about his PAP background. And he is to be respected for that.

And the lesson to be learnt from the recent pressie election? If you want to get anywhere in the next PE in 2017, you better have some political name recognition, overt or at arm’s length. Otherwise, be prepared to lose your deposit!


Not these threads for the Istana!

Ms Nicole Seah, the defeated candidate from the National Solidarity Party, is a hugely popular young icon in Singapore and what I’m about to write may not be good for my health 😛

But write it I must! Ms Seah may have many talents but she doesn’t quite hit the spot as a sartorial guru — at least not yet!

I’ve come to this conclusion on seeing Tan Jee Say — one of the four Ti-Tans eyeing for a shot at Singapore’s elected presidency — in the flesh today

Nicole Seah's choice

He came to the Lunch Party’s regular monthly get-together and proudly showed off one of two garments that he said was chosen for him by Nicole Seah. Bought at Bugis and costing $50 or $70, he wasn’t quite sure as there were two purchases.

He isn’t quite as tall as Mr Goh Chok Tong, the emeritius senior minister, so I think Jee Say should  have been advised to avoid horizontal stripes, especially when they are both wide and loud!

Now contrast this with what he used to wear before he decided to take the plunge for a fashion-makeover and tell me what suits him better?

seriously earnest

Bonanza's awaits behind

It may be my over-conservative eyes and I may be very superficial to focus on Jee Say’s clothes. But as he is the person with ambitions to be the most public face of Singapore, clothes should matter more than when the aim is to be a well-loved Ah Beng, n’est pas? 😀



Incidentally the pork ribs were one of the dishes we ate today. For the rest go here, as the menu was exactly the same as when Nicole Seah came to lunch with us last month. We are a bunch of aunties and uncles who like to stick to the tried and trusted. 🙄

we ribbed him too!

Nicole Seah is truly popular :-D

One already suspects it but I think the stats for my post on Nicole Seah being hosted to lunch by the Lunch Party which appeared on July 7 prove it beyond a doubt.

While the average visits for my posts is in the range of about 100 per day — my best day attracted close to 1000 visits — the reports about the Lunch Party’s monthly lunch get-togethers when I write about them, usually gets fewer than average number of visits, indicating cyber “who cares”!

myapplemenu's blurb

I don’t blame that sort of response when more often than not, even the lunch participants don’t bother to read and those who do, only react by criticising the pictures taken 🙄

Yet when I wrote about Nicole Seah doing something as mundane as having lunch with people who are easily her parents’ age, the visitors kept arriving, so that that post alone garnered close to 500 visits, helped no doubt by the fact that MyApplemenu, my fav net curator, blurbed about it!

And the verdict of our arranged encounter with Ms Seah? Let me quote the “Uncle” who religiously organises the monthly lunch’s apres lunch round-up which he sends out to members. He says:

Well, Jee Say did invite Nicole Seah to our last lunch after all. She had to reschedule her photo shoot to accommodate us. I gladly volunteered to be Sir Galahad in  my champagne colored chariot to fetch her to lunch.

In my private conversation with Nicole, she struck me as someone who is unassuming, honest, intelligent and with an incredibly gentle spirit. Because of her EQ, she relates well with the young as well as older folks (well, like me).

Leads me to ask the question – why can’t the PAP attract young people like her! My conclusion is that they are looking at the wrong places, and focusing too much on academic qualifications.

I say “amen” to that and hope that Nicole won’t be spoilt by success or the attention which Sgporeans continue to pour on her, even though she didn’t win enough votes to get an NCMP seat.

But wait. There’s still another path that this impressive young woman can enter Parliament and begin cutting her teeth on the cut and thrust of the real business of the running a country. Who will gainsay a Nominated MP’s post for her in our next Parliament? I certainly won’t!

Having Nicole Seah for lunch

fresh viet rolls

The Lunch Party had Nicole Seah for lunch on July 7. Or to put it unambiguously, the pre-eminent Opposition candidate whose team stood in Marine Parade GRC against then Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong came for lunch with the “uncles’ and “aunties” of the Lunch Party at our monthly gathering.

An “uncle” was despatched to fetch her while another “uncle” volunteered to send her back to office after lunch. The “uncle” (a Lunch Party member) who conveyed our invite was none other than Tan Jee Say who contested against the PAP at the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC under the Singapore Democratic Party banner.

All of us was impressed by Nicole’s maturity and her earnestness, although I wish she won’t keep saying somewhat apologetically “I know it’s cheesy” every time she uttered something patriotic or goody two shoes, like wanting to do something for Singapore, the people, etc.

centre of attention

Dear earnest child, it’s fine to be idealistic, caring, polite, somewhat shy. At your age, there’s no need to be strident, cynical, reckless, rebellious, rowdy, all hallmarks of the typical cyber thugs who relentlessly hit out at the PAP Government’s underbelly. What you should worry a little more about is what serving Singapore could do to your looks! Remember what happens to PAP swai ger, Charles Chong. Ditto Chiam See Tong, and so on. 😦

Already, at 24, you look far older than your age, after the gruelling pre-general election campaign and the continuing call on your time by older Sgporeans who wish to fete you and find out what makes you tick!

Don’t live your life like a candle in the wind, your fire burning out long before you get into Parliament.

Meanwhile, below are more samplings of what we ate when Nicole graced our lunch.

spinach n 3 types of egg


brocoli and fried tofu "pillows"

honey pork ribs

prawn rolls

Opposition goes for lousy odds

we doing right?

taking on George Yeo

Call it their death wish? Or the way irrational eternal optimists do things?

I’m shocked but not surprised entirely that Mr Low Thia Khiang has upped from Hougang and gone to head a “dream team” to compete in Aljunied Group Representation Constituency.

Yet going by the look on Workers Party chairman Sylvia Lim’s face at the apres Nomination Day press conf, I don’t think she’s entirely pleased by this strategic move.

While I’ve never been enamoured of George Yeo, the incumbent lead at Aljunied GRC, it’s hard to imagine that Mr Low and Ms Lim, together with corporate legal big wig Chen Show Mao (who incidentally looks and speaks uncannily like corporate big wig Ho Kwon Ping) and two others, could actually unseat Mr Yeo and his team.

Ditto for Mr Chiam See Tong and his team tilting to represent Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC. Ditto ditto for his wife, Lina Chiam, to whom he’s “bequeathed” his long held ward of Potong Pasir.

Of course Mr Chiam is much respected by many Sgaporeans and Mrs Chiam is much-loved by the people of Potong Pasir.

But would the people of Bishan-Toa Payoh want to swap two ministers — unpopular tho both might be among some Sgaporeans — for a leader who is visibly unwell and newcomers like Benjamin Pwee, though he might be a government scholar and articulate?

People may out of sympathy want to wish Mr Chiam and his team well but vote for them? That may be another story.

And it’s the same story from West Coast to Marine Parade. Some may prefer Nicole Seah to Tin Pei Ling but would you swap Chokie for what else besides Nicole on the other side?

Like Mr Low said, possibly prophetically, at today’s WP press conf: “This is a watershed election. We may end up with no elected opposition MP!”

He probably meant that for the WP but it could well apply across the board.

I hope I am wrong. I want to be wrong. But unless voting Sgaporeans are willing to make a leap of faith into the unknown, the outcome will be — alas — completely predictable!

Natural selection, attraction or just 4 laughs?

One friend lamented to me her disappointment that Dr Vincent Wijeyasingha joined the Singapore Democratic Party instead of the Workers Party.

I also have the same lament, except that in my case it’s over why Tan Jee Say is contesting under the SDP banner instead of becoming a WP candidate.

Mulling over this, it dawned on me that there appears to have been a rather even spread of “new” talent across all the Opposition parties, and no concentration in any one party.

The WP has snared corporate legal big wig, Chen Show Mao, while the National Solidarity Party has two former government adminis and scholars, Tony Tan and Hazel Poa. Besides, there is Nicole Seah who is more youth and raw enthusiasm than talent, as such.

Meanwhile, Mr Chiam See Tong of the Singapore People’s Party has attracted his own former garmen admini and scholar, Benjamin Pwee.

In addition, the SDP has a much interviewed psychiatrist Dr Ang Yong Guan on board as well as James Gomez and Teo Soh Lung both of whom aren’t so much new talent as yesterday’s personalities. Also, Alex Tok, who was once the Reform Party’s talent.

Alas, the RF is now left with the heir of its founder, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, and its only apparent talent, old or new.

The unravelling of the RF may hold the key to why no single Opposition party has managed to attract most, if not all, the new talent of calibre in one fell swoop.

And that is, as one Chinese proverb says: One mountain can’t house two tigers.

Or perhaps some of the new catch are simply having fun and games, to jazz up the atmospherics be4 the Real Thing?

One would know for sure only by noon on Wednesday which is when nominations close.

If any of the hot cakes donning Opposition colours are in its just for laughs, then surely they won’t want waving good-bye to  $16K to be part of the game!

Tan Jee Say rocks!

we enjoy ribbing u!

see the similarity?

That was what a dear friend text me yesterday after TJS’s intention to stand as a Singapore Democratic Party candidate became public.

My friend has since added further endorsements.

TJS’s “sound bite last nite on gratitude vs servitude was really good” and “his voice is rather nice too”.

When I asked said friend whether friend would agree with my observation that the SDP candidate-designate looks like Cai Xin Yeh, friend replied “he’s got an earnest face and a nice smile”.

seriously earnest
And that’s the striking difference between the Opposition candidates and some of the long serving PAP candidates.
Look at Mr Chen Show Mao and Ms Nicole Seah. OK, these are political newbies and haven’t become battle worn yet. But then what about Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Low Thia Khiang? Their faces are all aglow in recent months, despite taking five years’ worth of brow-beating in Parliament!
Perhaps the answers to this mystery are a) when you aren’t running the country, life is easier, because you don’t have the stress of controlling 5 million+ (peeps not $) and b) when you are not all alone running an Opposition Party because you can’t attract or keep followers!
Let’s hope politics won’t take too heavy a toll on Jee Say’s generally sunny disposition! 
Meanwhile, Jee Say, jiayu! The Lunch Party supports your aspirations and wishes you all the best!
Trust the last meal we had at China Box on April 1 won’t be the last time we break bread — scramble for the last pork rib or fried bean curd  — together for too long!