SINGAPORE - In an astonishing public confession, opposition politician Nicole Seah has revealed that, this year, she dated and was "played out" by two or three men who were interested only in her public profile, received rape and death threats, suffered professionally and was hospitalised with dengue fever.
On Saturday, Ms Seah bared her soul on her Facebook page.
In a status update titled "Ground Zero", the National Solidarity Party member was candid about her life and political missteps that she regretted.
She wrote: "I just had to say this - I'm all of 27 years old, but can safely say that 2013 has been the worst year of my life thus far."
Ms Seah first shot to fame when she was part of the team that contested in Marine Parade GRC during the 2011 General Election.
But life after that, it seems, was not very kind.
"Post-General Election 2011, life took a sharp detour," she wrote.
Her jagged path included blacking out after finding out about her grandmother's cancer diagnosis, the exhaustion of balancing a day job with house visits and walkabouts, and feeling self-conscious about the need to appear a certain way so that people would not feel "cheated".
She was also brutally honest about her feelings.
"I felt like a fraud being invited to speak at conferences everywhere. I mean, I do have an opinion on some things, but I'm not an expert on everything or anything as of yet."
She told MyPaper yesterday that she wrote what she did because she wanted to let people know that they do not need to be ashamed of their failures and weaknesses.
"A lot of people have the impression that politicians have to be perfect. We are heralded as role models.
"But whether politicians or not, we are all humans who go through struggles from time to time. I believe people need to recognise that."
In her post, she spoke of wrong political moves, including lobbying for presidential hopeful Tan Jee Say.
"I was naive, arm-twisted into making some pretty bad decisions (Yup, the Presidential Election was one of them. Terrible, irreversible mistake)."
She said she did not report the rape and death threats to police as those issuing them were minors, and she did not want them to have any "black marks".
Ms Seah, who is working temporarily as a senior accounts manager, said that she did not think about whether what she posted would be "political suicide".
"The larger objective is to give people hope and empathise with their struggles, and I believe that there are many ways to do that. Politics is one way."
Although it is not known whether she will contest the 2016 General Election, political observer Alan Chong said: "Given the ongoing grouses about the cost of living, the stresses of living here, she may garner more sympathy than revulsion."
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