NDP showstopper is a managing director of her own company

NDP showstopper is a managing director of her own company
PHOTO: The Straits Times

On Sunday, one woman stood out from the crowd at the National Day Parade (NDP) as the cameras lingered on her five times during the three-hour live telecast.

She looked every bit the patriotic Singaporean - dressed in red, waving a flag, singing along to Singapore national songs.

She also appeared to be aware of the camera's focus on her.

The mystery beauty turned out to be Miss Emma Lee, 29, a China national who is so bowled over by Singapore that she wants to apply for permanent residency and settle here.

The beauty has drive, too, working as a managing director for a company she set up.

She had watched the fireworks at Marina Bay in 2012 and 2013, but she was eager to go for the Jubilee NDP this year for a personal reason.

Miss Lee told The New Paper in Mandarin: "I wanted to attend because I knew that the NDP would be grander this year and it coincided with my lunar calendar birthday."

She put out the word six months ago and a friend surprised her with two tickets.

So Miss Lee flew her mother over from her home town in Chengdu, Sichuan, to join her for the long weekend.

She said: "This is the first time I have watched the parade live. Everyone was so united."

Excitedly, Miss Lee recounted how both of them were moved by the parade.

"I told my mother that in Singapore there is no race, we are all equal and we respect everyone regardless of race and religion," said Miss Lee.

SAFE

"My mother was so touched. She said that she trusted that I could stay in Singapore because it is safe."

Miss Lee had first come to Singapore in 2011 to do her Masters in Business at the Management Development Institute of Singapore.

After graduation, she set up a local firm, now called SinMetal, that supplies aluminium to companies, including handphone and boat manufacturers.

She said: "I started my company in Singapore because it is fair and transparent."

Miss Lee said she was unaware of her 15 seconds of fame at the parade. "I did not know the camera was on me."

But since then, she has been getting a lot of attention online.

Singapore humour site, SGAG, even tweeted a screengrab from the telecast with the lyrics, "This is where I won't be alone", from the National Day classic tune, Home.

Along with the post was a caption: "She DEFINITELY won't be alone after this. #NDP2015 #chiobu."

As of yesterday, Miss Lee has had up to 100 friend requests and private messages on Facebook and China microblogging website Weibo.

"The messages I received were not threatening or creepy, they were things like, 'I want to be your friend and I'm from China too.'" she said.

Still single, she hopes to stay in Singapore.

"Singapore is a harmonious country," she said. "I especially felt that at the parade when we did the Padang Wave together without any prior rehearsal. Everyone was like one big family."

In fact, Miss Lee likes Singapore so much, she hopes to find a Singaporean man. She said: "If there is an opportunity, I will marry someone from Singapore."

But she will let nature take its course.

"I will go where my other half will go."

aqing@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on August 12, 2015.
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