By Elias Tan
As expected, Nicole Seah’s online outpouring of how her entry into politics has emotionally scarred her got her the vote of netizens with many sympathising with her. One, Belmont Lay of Mothership, even went to the extent of saying the government’s action to weed out trolling was unnecessary because netizens know how to show love, too.
There are three other points that need to be made.
One, Nicole, 27, has shown that politicians need not be mean machines tying to trip up opponents using every trick in the book. They can be sincere, open and humane. The assistant secretary general of the National Solidarity Party is the refreshing face of politics that Singapore has lacked. If she lasts the long haul, then it can have a lasting impact on how politics is practised here.
Two, Nicole does not make a breeze. Politics, glamour and fame will always attract unsavoury characters. You still need a thick skin to fight not just your direct opponents but all kinds of people who will, as clearly shown in her Facebook confession, take advantage of your personality and popularity for their own ends. The world is full of such people and they have a way of smiling and saying all the good things in front of you, but hiding a dagger behind their backs.
The radio ad, Hear Only The Good Things, should be instructive.
Three, her point about how she felt she was “arm-twisted into making some pretty bad decisions” during the Presidential Elections, uring which she lobbied for then presidential candidate Tan Jee Say, raises a lot of questions than answers. “Terrible, irreversible mistake, completely underestimated what my lobbying could do,” she said.
That is a departure from the clarity and openness she displayed in talking about the upheaval in her personal and professional lives. Who arm-twisted her? Her party or Tan? What was the terrible, irreversible mistake she made? That Tan Cheng Bock could have made history and become the President if she had not supported Tan Jee Say? For the sake of her party and the people who stood by her, it is time for Nicole to write a second confession.