National Solidarity Party's Nicole Seah calls it quits

National Solidarity Party's Nicole Seah calls it quits
IMPACT: Political observers said while Ms Nicole Seah’s political presence will be missed, it will not have a significant impact on NSP.

She wowed as a young, outspoken and promising opposition politician when she campaigned in the Marine Parade constituency during the 2011 General Election.

But after spending three years in the National Solidarity Party (NSP), Ms Nicole Seah, 28, is calling it quits, at least for now.

On Monday, the senior account manager at an advertising firm resigned from her second assistant secretary-general post in NSP.

Ms Seah, now based in Thailand, said in a statement: "Leaving the NSP was an extremely difficult and painful decision to make, and there was nothing which might have happened to trigger this departure."

Adding that this is not a "complete departure from politics", she said: "I will just need to find a more suitable platform to contribute and give back."

She also dismissed speculation that she would join new political outfit Singaporeans First Party.

She did not respond to attempts by The New Paper to contact her.

Ms Seah's departure from NSP came without warning, said Mrs Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, NSP's secretary-general.

But she said that NSP is comforted after hearing it was not an overnight decision.

"She wrote us a nice e-mail and mentioned she had thought about it. She wished us well, and we also wished her well," Mrs Chong-Aruldoss said.

They first met as Reform Party members. Both left in February 2011 to join NSP.

Mrs Chong-Aruldoss spoke fondly of her working relationship with Ms Seah.

MOMENTOUS EVENTS

"Our past had intersected and coincided for a few periods of time. We had a good time and went through momentous events, like Nomination Day," said Mrs Chong-Aruldoss.

She declined to "evaluate the gain or loss" of Ms Seah's exit.

"I think the party is made up of more than one person. There are many other members, besides the few prominent ones, who are working hard," she said. Political observers said while Ms Seah's political presence will be missed, it will not have a significant impact on NSP.

Singapore Management University law professor Eugene Tan called her a "political sensation of sorts", whose involvement in politics declined after the elections.

Political commentator Mano Sabnani agreed: "At GE 2011, (Ms Seah) was an asset for various reasons. Now that she has left, it's like a football team - you lose a good player, but you can find other prominent ones.

"There is still time for things to change. She could come back. Alternatively, they could find other talents."

Both agreed that her resignation does not mean she is a fly-by-night candidate.

Said Prof Tan: "Even if that could be a fairly accurate reflection of how opposition parties conduct themselves in between elections, voters don't seem to be too bothered.

"I don't think they are going to use her departure as indicative of how the opposition parties conduct themselves in between elections.

"It seems like Nicole feels she needs to put her time and energy into other pursuits, and she is certainly entitled to decide how she would like to lead her life at this point in time," he said.

Mr Sabnani agreed, and said it was unfair to label her that way.

Prof Tan added: "In the political opposition landscape, politicians do come and go, and I think people - the electorate as well as parties - they have come to accept that."


This article was first published on August 30, 2014.
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