NSP to contest Marine Parade GRC
By Andrea Ong
The Marine Parade GRC battle will feature this election's youngest candidates - NSP's Ms Seah (above), 24, and PAP's Ms Tin, 27.
VOTERS in Marine Parade GRC will go to the polls for the first time in 19 years, as the National Solidarity Party (NSP) confirmed last night that it will field a team there.
The NSP will square off against the five-member People's Action Party (PAP) team led by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, with the battle also pitting this election's youngest candidates against each other.
Advertising executive Nicole Seah, 24, is on the NSP ticket while business consultant Tin Pei Ling, 27, is in the PAP team.
Ms Seah's team includes former one-term MP Cheo Chai Chen. The 60-year-old has contested five elections. He won the single-seat Nee Soon Central ward on the Singapore Democratic Party ticket in 1991, but lost it in 1997.
NSP organising secretary Ivan Yeo, 63, a managing director; Mr Spencer Ng, 31, a project director; and Mr Abdul Salim Harun, 29, a warehouse assistant, make up the rest of the team.
NSP president Sebastian Teo said the party decided to stand in Marine Parade GRC so that residents there will get a chance to vote. 'We believe that keen competition will help improve the incumbents' services to the residents and the community,' he said.
The GRC's last election battle took place in 1992, when three opposition teams fought the PAP in a by-election. The PAP swept up 72.9 per cent of votes.
Besides SM Goh and Ms Tin, the PAP is expected to field incumbent MPs Seah Kian Peng, 49, and Fatimah Lateef, 45; and first-timer Tan Chuan-Jin, 42, a former army general.
Mr Teo said the NSP team will be formally introduced at a press conference today and the party will unveil its election manifesto at the same time.
He stressed that Ms Tin's candidacy did not influence the party's decision to contest the GRC. Ms Tin, who works at Ernst & Young, has been criticised for appearing immature in a video where she is the emcee at a PAP event.
Netizens have questioned whether she is suitable for politics.
Yesterday, Mr Teo said he was 'impressed' by Ms Seah's maturity and passion to serve after observing her interactions with residents on walkabouts.
He said: 'It's not for us to say whether Nicole or Tin Pei Ling is better. We'll leave it to the voters. Let people do the comparisons if they want. Nicole should be able to handle it well.'
When contacted, Ms Seah declined to compare herself to Ms Tin. She said: 'There are more important issues in this election, and I would rather focus on them than on issues of trivial importance.'
She added: 'I don't see youth or gender as an issue when it comes to politics. You need representation from people who can speak up for different demographics.'
Her pet issue, she said, would be to highlight the plight of middle-class citizens who do not qualify for social assistance but are grappling with rising costs.
Ms Seah said the NSP has been going on house-to-house visits at least three times a week in recent weeks, and would ramp these up in the run-up to the polls.