Racy pictures of Ms Kevryn Lim have dominated Internet forums since Monday after the National Solidarity Party (NSP) member emerged as a potential candidate during horse-trading talks among opposition parties.
The pictures, taken when she was a part-time model, showed the political hopeful dressed in lingerie and skimpy attire.
Amid the buzz among netizens, many commented about her fashion choice - a short, tight-fitting, white dress - at the Monday talks. They also questioned her credibility as a politician.
One wrote an open letter to sociopolitical site TR Emeritus: "Did she think she was going to Zouk to party or attending a serious opposition conference to decide on the outcome of Singapore?"
This is what Ms Lim, a project director at an events management and digital marketing firm, wrote: "The moment I decided to embark on this journey as a politician, I have thus mentally prepared myself to be up against such unavoidable situation.
"Nonetheless, the outbreak of such scandal and harsh critics allowed me to feel deeply that my existence has create uneasiness in you... It is indeed a real disappointment to know that we have such a group of people in Singapore, and it has given me more reason to have to stand out and change this phenomenon."
She added that she hoped people would focus on her capabilities and what she can contribute to society.
"Since you guys only know and can only take such an ignorant and shallow or apparent angle to belittle me, I guess I can only dismiss with a smile then," she said.
NSP's acting secretary-general, Ms Hazel Poa, told The New Paper that Ms Lim will not be accepting interviews.
Ms Lim moved to Hong Kong to study fashion design after her O levels. She earned a Masters in Professional Communication from Curtin University of Technology in Perth.
She returned to Singapore and set up an events management and digital marketing company.
Since joining the party in March, Ms Lim has wiped her model profiles on Modelmayhem.com and Perthmodel.
University friends described Ms Lim as "knowledgeable about politics" and "into volunteering for charity".
Photographers who have worked with her said that she is a pleasant and friendly person, and did not seem like the "bimbo that others make her out to be".
But critics say that is not enough.
Political scientist Derek da Cunha said: "NSP seems to have run out of ideas if it has to contemplate the prospect of fielding Kevryn Lim.
"She is clearly not generating the same kind of buzz or excitement as when NSP unveiled Nicole Seah for the 2011 election.
"Kevryn Lim is not in the same league as Nicole Seah, certainly not at the intellectual level."
National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser said: "There is nothing wrong with fielding people who look good.
"But the person must come across as equal to the job of an MP: Have a solid understanding of issues, offer practical solutions, articulate their ideas clearly and convince voters that they are sincere, honest, caring, competent, friendly, approachable and can be taken seriously."
On what the public thinks of her, Associate Professor Tan added: "My sense is that they would follow the news on her out of curiosity but wouldn't take her seriously."
This article was first published on August 7, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.