NSP donations in Nicole Seah’s personal account

From ‘回应设专属户头收取捐款 佘雪玲:我依法处理捐款’, 22 May 2011, article in omy.sg (LWZB)

全国大选已经尘埃落定,深受网民热捧,名气爆红的佘雪玲如今被人质疑她在网上呼吁支持者捐钱给她协助支付竞选费用,但使用的账号却是她名下的私人户头,似有不妥之处。

马林百列的林姓居民(29岁)告诉《新报》他不介意捐款作为佘雪玲的竞选经费,但捐款应该以国民团结党的名义来进行会比较透明。

佘雪玲在面簿上回复说,她设立专属银行户头来收取竞选捐款,是为了确保捐款来源没问题。

Translation: Questions have been raised by the public about why Nicole’s request for donations to defray NSP campaigning costs include directions to make payment into an account under her own name instead of NSP.

It’s reasonable to be suspicious of any form of fund soliciting and be on one’s guard against misappropriation if it’s done through social portals like Facebook. It involves money after all, though Singaporeans have donated to social media advocates for far more frivolous reasons than election campaigning, like blogger Qiu Qiu’s boob job for example.  Unlike the itemised bill for NSP expenses, a sponsored boob job pays off visual dividends and you would know directly if your money was well spent on such assets or not, but it’s such exploitative sympathy poaching for breast augmentation which makes serious business like Nicole’s impassioned online request sound less sincere and serious than it’s intended to be. Still, what to do if you have more than a 100,000 fans on Facebook. It’s a goldmine just waiting to be tapped, though Nicole is also taking a considerable risk exposing herself to cries of exploitation by fans and the watchful eye of circling media vultures. I’m surprised no one in NSP has yet thought of capitalising on her popularity and selling Nichole Seah merchandise ala Yam Ah Mee coffee mugs to ‘defray’ their costs.

Ultimately it’s a case of ‘caveat emptor’ here, and if the public is not comfortable or satisfied with how their money will be used in the NSP cause, then they have every right to reject the plea. The problem with using a personal account, other than exaggerated fears of funds being channeled into non-political gains (especially coming from a 24 year old Opposition candidate), is having to take extra precautions not to leak the slightest bit of extravagance online, whether it’s purchasing a new car, making posh wedding hotel reservations and especially flashing branded apparel, knowing how layman Singaporeans become brilliantly meticulous audit accountants only when it comes to how politicians spend money, whether it’s a cooking course in France or a Kate Spade bag (including those who didn’t donate a cent). Nicole may even be forced to live the rest of her political career as an ascetic like Gandhi in order to keep the inevitable scrutiny away, and probably wished that she had done busking at NSP rallies for a fee instead of broadcasting her personal bank account number online.

I wouldn’t donate to NSP myself without getting more information on what ‘Chope’ tissue packs are though (See excerpt from Nicole’s Facebook page below), but I hope for Nicole’s sake that she doesn’t suffer the same flaming and ultimately, fate, as another not so popular, but no less important, Opposition figure in the 80’s requesting donations for an entirely different reason altogether (See below ‘Jeya’s cash drive raises questions,’ 2 Dec 1985, ST Forum).

Hard to resist drawing parallels with the 1985 Jeyaretnam case, though like Nicole’s detailed breakdown of costs, it was clear in the ‘Hammer’ press release that the appeal was ‘personally for the Chairman and Secretary General of the Party’ to cover their legal expenses against criminal charges, though this raises the tantalising scenario of ‘What if JBJ had a Facebook page in 1985’? Also a tantalising opportunity for sweet revenge from a certain Tin Pei Ling since Nicole’s complaint against her Cooling off day flouting, and I can only hope both girls keep their composure, focus on their jobs and stave off the possibility of this overlong GE aftermath descending into a girl-on-girl mudslinging fight to the death.

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One Response

  1. Altho I couldn’t locate NS’ plea for donation in FB, I trust that there’s such a plea. Seems the poor kid’s leaving herself wide open to be accused and tempted. She needs gd advice. Hope her parents n grandma wld give her such, rather than let her find out the hard way.

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