By Shahanaaz Habib
Ask 24-year-old Nicole Seah (pic) if she thinks her good looks would win her votes in the general election and she bristles.
"Looks are just something on the surface. I think the electorate is more discerning than that. They want to know your stand on policies.
"I think that is what the electorate is looking for. They 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 this is your hands' and you have the ownership of how you want to steer the country forward'," said Seah, who is the youngest candidate to stand in the May 7 election and currently Singapore's second most popular politician on Facebook.
Within a week since she announced her candidacy, she has chalked up over 27,000 likes on her Facebook page.
Seah is in a team of five National Solidarity Party (NSP) candidates contesting the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC) against PAP (People's Action Party) which has won the seat uncontested for 19 years.
In Singapore, there are two types of electoral constituencies, one of which is the single member constituency (SMC).
The other is the GRC where a group, which has to include a candidate from an ethnic minority group, must stand. When a party wins the GRC, it wins all seats in that constituency.
Marine Parade is a five-MP GRC.
The PAP team is led by senior minister and former prime minister Goh Chok Tong.
Seah said she was not intimidated by Goh's team.
"Bear in mind that we have an objective here. This constituency has not been contested in 19 years and we want to push for and usher in a new era of transparency, accountability and citizen engagement.
"We could have chosen to go into another area that might have been an easier pick or we could have chosen to go into a single ward constituency (SMC).
"At this point, strategising to be where would garner us the highest votes is not an issue because it is secondary to what we are fighting for," she said at the nomination centre after her candidacy was confirmed.
She acknowledged that it was rare for a 24-year-old to say "yes, I want to be the one to make a change", but quickly added that "politics is not about a certain type or breed of people".
"It is a representation of the different voices we have in society. This might not be restricted to older folk. Even younger people have issues and areas of concern.