NSP member Kevryn Lim hits back at her critics
National Solidarity Party member Kevryn Lim hits out at critics, calling their comments...
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?"
Yesterday, the 26-year-old, who modelled in Hong Kong, Perth and Singapore, hit back at critics on Facebook in both English and Mandarin.
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.
She also cited former NSP member Nicole Seah as her political inspiration.
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."
Josephus Tan: 'Pure speculation' that I am PAP candidate
Lawyer Josephus Tan, 36, looks more like a metal rocker than a political candidate.
Yet social media has been abuzz with talk of him being a potential candidate for the ruling party.
But Mr Tan stressed that "it's pure speculation".
He told The New Paper that the buzz was triggered by his "participation in some of the grassroots activities at Choa Chu Kang".
"I was distributing the SG Funpacks with Mr Gan Kim Yong and also attended the chit-chat and 'makan' sessions," he said.
He has been taking part in the activities in Choa Chu Kang constituency over the last seven weeks, just as he did in Chong Pang constituency over the last 2½ years.
"I help out at the Meet-the-People Sessions, giving pro bono legal advice to residents," said Mr Tan, who was called to the Bar in May 2009.
He has clocked over 5,000 hours of pro bono work over six years.
The pro bono cases he takes up are often to help juvenile offenders - something that Mr Tan knows well.
He was a teen gangster, his bad drinking habits often landing him in trouble. His life-changing moment came when he was 22, after he flew into an alcoholic rage.
"I nearly threw my girlfriend off the balcony but my father wrestled me to the ground and slapped me twice," he said.
"That woke me up. It was my best of times, also my worst of times."
His father died of multiple cancers two years ago.
"I went to Phuket to grieve soon after he died," said Mr Tan."
That was where I tattooed two line from his favourite song, Nella Fantasia, on my forearms.
"'Io sogno d'anime che sono sempre libere' which is Italian for 'I dream of souls that are always free' and 'Pien' d'umanità in fondo all'anima' which means 'Full of humanity in the depths of the soul'."
For his help in Chong Pang, Mr Tan was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who is also a Member of Parliament for the ward.
And last month, Mr Tan received the Singapore Youth Award for his significant contributions to society.
Since moving to Choa Chu Kang, Mr Tan has been documenting his "adventures" on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
"I think, by doing so, it has also generated a lot of speculation that perhaps I might be a potential candidate for the ruling party," he said, adding that he is a member of the People's Action Party.
"But I would like to put on record that I have not been formally invited to run for the upcoming general election, so the news that I might be doing so is purely speculative."
The questions about his image, however, will always remain.
"People within and outside the legal industry thought: 'Who's this joker with long hair and tattoos?' and wondered if I was trying to make a statement," he said.
Mr Tan said his look has a "very deep symbolism for me".
"I feel very comfortable in this get-up, with this look. This is who I was and who I am. Even though I am now a lawyer, this serves as a reminder of my past," he said.
"I want to say that it's not about my look but what I do for the community that matters."
As for the girlfriend he almost killed, he said: "I married her."