Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

GE2020: Nicole Seah 'doesn't need celebrity effect' which could be short-lived, says WP East Coast GRC teammate

SINGAPORE — While Ms Nicole Seah’s candidacy in the General Election (GE) has drawn much public interest, her teammate in the Workers’ Party’s (WP) slate for East Coast Group Representation Constituency (GRC) said that the celebrity effect could be short-lived.

GE2020: Nicole Seah 'doesn't need celebrity effect' which could be short-lived, says WP East Coast GRC teammate

The Workers' Party's Ms Nicole Seah meeting residents in Bedok North during a walkabout with the party’s East Coast GRC team on July 1, 2020.

  • WP chief Pritam Singh stresses collective contributions of East Coast team
  • Ms Seah’s teammate says Ms Seah is focused on serving residents
  • Party says July 10 polls will be tougher than any other GE

SINGAPORE — While Ms Nicole Seah’s candidacy in the General Election (GE) has drawn much public interest, her teammate in the Workers’ Party’s (WP) slate for East Coast Group Representation Constituency (GRC) said that the celebrity effect could be short-lived.

Mr Kenneth Foo, 42, stressed that WP could achieve more as a team in the hotly contested GRC, where it is up against a People’s Action Party (PAP) team led by Mr Heng Swee Keat.

Speaking on Wednesday (July 1) at a doorstop interview on the sidelines of his team’s outreach activities in New Upper Changi Road, Mr Foo said: “Nicole is very focused on interacting with our residents. She very much wants to understand our residents’ needs. She does not need the celebrity effect.

“We have much to accomplish. If the five of us come together, with our varied experiences and backgrounds, we can do more for Singaporeans,” he said in Mandarin.

Since announcing her political comeback last week, Ms Seah, 33, who gained prominence in the 2011 polls, has touched off chatter in Singapore’s political scene.

Speculation on where she would contest was put to rest on Tuesday, when she was confirmed to be on WP’s East Coast team.

Aside from Ms Seah and Mr Foo, the other members of the WP’s East Coast team are lawyer Terence Tan, 48; former researcher Abdul Shariff Aboo Kassim, 54; and wealth advisory firm director Dylan Ng, 45.

On Wednesday, the team distributed flyers to residents and stallholders at the Block 85 Market and Food Centre in Bedok North as well as at the 58 New Upper Changi Road Market and Food Centre.

WP chief Pritam Singh, who was there as well, was asked if Ms Seah’s star power would help the party win votes in East Coast.

He was quick to emphasise the strengths of the team as a whole.

“Well, I think I will be more reliant on the Terence Tan star power and the Kenneth Foo star power and Mr Abdul Shariff,” he said.

“There are a lot of individuals on this team who will bring something for Singapore and Singaporeans in Parliament.”

The Workers’ Party team contesting East Coast GRC taking a break during a walkabout at a hawker centre in Bedok North on July 1, 2020. Photo: Raj Nadarajan/TODAY

Ms Seah has largely steered clear of the media glare so far, save an appearance at a press conference last week to announce her candidacy.

She did not speak to reporters on Wednesday either, as WP offered doorstop interviews only with Mr Singh, Mr Foo and Mr Tan.

Ms Seah shot to fame in the 2011 GE, where she was the youngest candidate and was part of a team contesting Marine Parade GRC on the National Solidarity Party’s ticket.

Mr Tan said that beyond her charisma, Ms Seah was a capable politician with much to bring to the table. “We are a broad church and have a diversity of views,” he said of the East Coast team.

At a separate outreach activity at the Kovan Market and Food Centre on Thursday, Mr Singh was asked if the party was making a conscious effort not to allow a single person to overshadow other members of the group.

Mr Singh told TODAY: “We want... every member to contribute and contribute effectively. So everybody has to do (his or her) fair share.”

PUTTING UP THE BEST FIGHT

At the doorstop interview on Wednesday, Mr Singh, Mr Foo and Mr Tan were also asked about being pitted against Mr Heng, a political heavyweight widely expected to become prime minister if PAP prevails at the polls, in East Coast.

In a closely guarded move that unravelled only after his candidacy was confirmed on Tuesday, Mr Heng left his Tampines stronghold of nine years to contest in East Coast.

Mr Singh said that while the move carried an “element of a strategic surprise”, he reiterated that his party would put up the best fight in the constituency with its slate of candidates.

“It wasn’t as if, if it were someone else (apart from Mr Heng), we would be fighting any less harder,” he said.

He declined to reveal the party’s strategy in the GRC, saying that “surprise is one of those tools” in a small party’s toolbox.

In the last election in 2015, PAP won East Coast GRC with 60.73 per cent of the vote, with WP drawing 39.27 per cent. But in 2011, WP put up a strong showing in the constituency, garnering 45.17 per cent of the vote.

Mr Foo said that the team would stay focused on its work in the constituency.

“Although we are a new team here, the work has consistently been done,” he said.

Mr Tan said that his team welcomed the challenge by the PAP.

“The most important thing is that East Coast residents are well served by whoever they elect,” he told TODAY.

Mr Singh said the July 10 polls would be more difficult than any other GE.

There is a “real flight-to-safety instinct” as the country confronts the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That is why we have pitched our message to voters accordingly and you have to make your vote count,” he said.

“You cannot rely on somebody else to cast a vote for the opposition.”

Related topics

Nicole Seah East Coast GRC Workers' Party Singapore General Election Kenneth Foo SGVotes2020

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa