Kevryn Lim: Is this NSP's face to net the voters?

A day after NSP's Ms Kevryn Lim was seen talking to the media, Google trends show searches for her name peaking.
A day after NSP's Ms Kevryn Lim was seen talking to the media, Google trends show searches for her name peaking.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Videos and photographs of National Solidarity Party (NSP) member Kevryn Lim, 26, clad in an all-white tight-fitting dress and speaking to reporters, made the rounds on the Internet last week.

Ms Lim, a former part-time model and now project director at events management and digital marketing firm EM.DM, was fielding questions from the media after a meeting of opposition parties at NSP's headquarters last Monday.

Google trends show that searches for her name peaked the very next day.

Soon, racy images of the aspiring candidate in skimpy attire began to flood online forums, sparking a host of unkind remarks about her and whether she was fit to stand for election.

Others have come to her defence, attacking these detractors for being superficial.

Though the NSP has yet to confirm her as a candidate for the next general election, netizens are already drawing comparisons between Ms Lim and Ms Nicole Seah, who caught the public's eye during GE2011 as a fresh-faced candidate for the same party.

Having an eye-catching member will boost awareness of the NSP - but winning the election is a different proposition altogether.

Mr Michael Netzley, academic director at Singapore Management University, tells Insight: "What it is going to do is very quickly increase awareness because you have got the right sort of material that will spread through a network very easily. But awareness is still a long way away from conversion and action."

So far, more than 2,400 netizens have "liked" Ms Lim's Facebook page, where she says she is "committed towards the building of a more open, dynamic, vibrant and inclusive society".

Beyond raising awareness, Ms Lim, or any would-be candidate, will have to be able to build trust with the online community as well.

To gain traction with voters, Mr Netzley suggests three important factors: the ability to raise issues that resonate with the people, building good relationships with the online community and having common ground on values.

Ms Lim responded to her critics - and fans - on her Facebook page last Thursday, saying: "The moment I decided to embark on this journey as a politician, I... mentally prepared myself to be up against such unavoidable situation."

"A wise person will put his focus on my ability, capability and what I can contribute to the society," she added.

"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 stand out and change this phenomenon," she said.

Wong Siew Ying

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 09, 2015, with the headline 'Is this NSP's face to net the voters?'. Print Edition | Subscribe