Candidates clarify their focus

'HOT' VOTES FOR NICOLE?

By Jecolia Tong

VOTERS are not looking for a pretty face, but for someone to give them hope, National Solidarity Party (NSP) candidate Nicole Seah said yesterday.

The 24-year-old, who is part of her party's five-member team contesting Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency, was responding to questions by reporters if being "hot" or "glamorous-looking" could potentially bring in votes.

She said: "They (voters) are not looking for a pretty face to lead the country.

"They are looking for someone who can give them hope, who can promise them change, and who can tell them that this is in your hands - you have the ownership of how you want to steer your country forward."

When the youngest candidate from the NSP was asked about her youth and relative lack of experience, she said: "Politics is not about a certain type of person. It's not about a certain breed of people. It's a representation of the different voices we have in society."

Ms Seah said she believes that she can stand up for and empathise with the issues of young Singaporeans.

OBJECTION OVERRULED

By Lei Jia Hui and Gwendolyn Ng

THE Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) caused a stir at Greenridge Secondary School yesterday, crying foul that an objection to the candidacy of Ms Sim Ann from the People's Action Party (PAP) was overruled.

SDP, which is contesting the four-member Holland-Bukit Timah GRC against the PAP, claimed that Ms Sim "is still serving out her notice of resignation, (meaning) she is technically still in the civil service, which disqualifies her as a candidate" in the General Election.

The 36-year-old stated that she was unemployed in her nomination papers. The Returning Officer at the nomination centre later overruled the objection.

Ms Sim later told reporters that she was unemployed with effect from April 4. She was last a senior director at the National Population and Talent Division.

In a statement to the media yesterday, the Elections Department said the Public Service Division confirmed that Ms Sim is no longer in the civil service.

Speaking on behalf of the SDP at a press conference, opposition candidate Michelle Lee, 35, said that her party is glad the matter has been clarified and that it wants to focus on campaigning.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE OOI SUPPORTERS GONE?

By Joy Fang

INDEPENDENT candidate Ooi Boon Ewe was left in tears yesterday after one of his assentors bailed on him and failed to turn up. A candidate needs a minimum of four and up to eight assentors - residents from the constituency who back the nomination.

The 70-year-old, who had intended to contest in the Sengkang West Single-Member Constituency, was seen milling about in a field where Workers' Party supporters had gathered.

Upset, he called for help. "Anybody living in Sengkang West? Who can save me? My people are supposed to come here but I don't know where they are. I can't find them, (at the) last minute!" Eyes reddening, he fought to get away from reporters.

"The show is over... Of course, I have to give up, they don't want to accept me. Lousy country," he said.

He charged out of the nomination centre in Deyi Secondary School to canvass strangers to be his assentor, but to no avail. He went back into the centre to collect his things and left dejectedly.

CANDIDACY IN SHREDS

By Ong Wee Jin

TURNING up at the Tao Nan School nomination centre, aspiring independent candidate Zeng Guo Yuan shocked reporters when he shredded his nomination forms and announced that he would not be contesting.

The retired acupuncturist had earlier said he wanted to run for the Mountbatten Single Member Constituency.

Mr Zeng, 57, said he feared he could lose his deposit should he be disqualified by the authorities for not fulfilling the criteria for candidacy.

The unconventional man, who recently spoke to the media with a parrot on his shoulder, wore a yellow baju kurung (a traditional Malay costume) and a songkok. Explaining his attire, he said he was a Muslim convert.

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