Tin Pei Ling ready for 3-way fight
Quoting Taylor Swift, MP Tin Pei Ling, who will stand in MacPherson SMC, speaks about how she deals with critics
She was dismissed as a girly girl in the 2011 General Election.
A video of her giggling went viral as did a picture of her in a cute pose with a Kate Spade box.
Ms Tin Pei Ling was 27, the youngest candidate for the People's Action Party (PAP), and she judged by her critics - and there were many - for being too young and inexperienced.
"In the beginning, it was actually very, very trying. I would say that it was probably one of the darkest moments in my life. It was certainly overwhelming," she said, adding that her loved ones and grassroots team helped her pull through.
Yesterday, Ms Tin - four years older and more politically astute - announced her candidacy for MacPherson, a single member constitutency (SMC).
Ms Tin is likely to face a three-way fight for her seat as the Workers' Party and the National Solidarity Party have expressed interest in contesting the seat.
She said: "Our mission to serve is the motivation, it's what drives us here. This has been the same for the past years and this will continue to (be) the same.
"So for us, whoever comes to MacPherson, no matter how many of them come to MacPherson, we will just prepare accordingly."
In 2013, she quit her job to put her energy into being a Member of Parliament.
The new mother is also a lot more "garang" (Malay for fierce).
"Even if I were asked (to compete in another constituency), I would say no.
"Because this is where I started and this is where I've come to know a lot of very warm and friendly residents," she said, adding that many had sent her well wishes during her pregnancy.
Ms Tin said she has deep respect for all mothers and took a stand on the single mothers issue.
She wants this group to be entitled to equal maternity leave. "The principle remains the same: My focus is on the child. He's a child of Singapore."
While married mothers get 16-week paid maternity leave, single mothers get 12 weeks.
"We should continue to emphasise family values, but I can empathise with the mum and I think we should be fair to them," Ms Tin said.
Singapore Management University law don Eugene Tan said: "It's important the party is confident she can hold her own in an SMC."
In 2011, she was a member of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong's five-member Marine Parade GRC team.
Political observer Mano Sabnani said: "I don't think she will be easy meat, she might surprise everyone.
"She has been walking the ground and from what we hear, she's a familiar face and has been working very hard."
Assoc Prof Tan said Ms Tin is the only female incumbent PAP MP who is not a political office holder being fielded in an SMC.
"If she wins, it would be a wonderful opportunity for her to prove her critics wrong," Assoc Prof Tan added.
And what of her critics then?
She has grown a thicker hide and then, quoting US singer Taylor Swift, she said she has to "shake it off".
After all, as another line in Swift's song goes, haters gonna hate.
SPOTLIGHT ON... MACPHERSON SMC
PAP: Ms Tin Pei Ling
Was part of Marine Parade GRC, where PAP had 56.6 per cent of the valid vote, compared to NSP's 43.4 per cent.
Valid votes: 19,251
PAP: Mr Matthias Yao Chih (68.5%)
SDA: Mr Sin Kek Tong (31.5%)