GE2020: PAP’s Ivan Lim breaks silence on criticisms over character, says he will ‘stay the course’
SINGAPORE — People’s Action Party candidate Ivan Lim has broken his silence on the online criticisms about his character and integrity, following a call by the party’s first assistant secretary-general Heng Swee Keat to clarify the allegations on Saturday (June 27).
SINGAPORE — People’s Action Party candidate Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan has broken his silence on the online criticisms about his character and integrity, following a call by the party’s first assistant secretary-general Heng Swee Keat to clarify the allegations on Saturday (June 27).
Since his introduction on Wednesday, several claims have surfaced online on Mr Lim’s attitudes while in military service and in his career at Keppel Offshore and Marine. He was accused of displaying elitist behaviour during a military exercise and being arrogant, among others.
In a statement from PAP headquarters sent on behalf of Mr Lim, 42, he said of why he is reponding: “It is important for me to do so as my family is affected, in particular my mother."
Mr Lim also categorically denied the allegation that he was involved in the Brazil bribery case involving his company, calling it “completely baseless and untrue”.
“I was not involved in any of the Brazilian projects,” the general manager at Keppel Offshore and Marine said.
“As to the stories about the army incidents, people can have different perspectives of the same incident.”
One of the allegations had suggested that Mr Lim “was harsh for requiring the men to book in at 2200 hours when the norm was 2359 hours”.
Mr Lim said of the incident: “I should explain that on that occasion, the men had a move-out time early the next day at 5am. It was important to ensure, and the rules required, that the men get enough rest. As such, I asked them to come back at 2200 hours and not 2359 hours.
“As the story notes, I came back earlier myself as well. I set high standards for the unit as a CO (commanding officer). I believe in working together and I did not ask the men to do something I was not prepared to do myself.”
Then, addressing a post by an ex-colleague from Keppel, a scholarship holder who had broken his bond due to Mr Lim, the PAP debutant responded: “The shipyard industry is a tough and exacting one and we have always required high standards of Keppel colleagues to ensure that they can return home safely to their families.
“There are many colleagues who have been promoted and done well during my tenure as assistant general manager and general manager of Keppel.”
He added: “Regarding the post about not smiling at my neighbour, I do not recall a specific incident. However, like many others who live in apartments, I know some neighbours better than others and interact with some more than others.”
Mr Lim said that he expected it would be tough when he agreed to enter politics.
“This test has come sooner than I expected. I wish to say that I am determined to stay the course and to serve if I am elected,” he said.
“I accept that I can always do better and I am willing to learn. I will take this experience to heart and do my best to prove myself to voters and all Singaporeans.”
The allegations arose hours after Mr Lim was introduced by the ruling party in a virtual session on Wednesday.
Facebook user Bryant Wong Hai Chew, claiming to have served with Mr Lim as acting regimental sergeant major in a reservist unit sometime in 2013 or 2014, accused Mr Lim of being an “elitist”. Mr Lim was the commanding officer of the unit.
“He was never well-liked by the soldiers and commanders of the battalion due to his constant ‘humble brag’ and driving around camp in his expensive cars,” Mr Wong wrote.
“So now he is going to politics to represent the ordinary folk in Parliament. With his character and personality — will he?” Mr Wong wrote in the post, which has since been removed.
On Saturday, after Mr Heng said that he would like to reach out to the people who had made these claims “to understand better what exactly happened”, Mr Wong responded that he is willing to stand by his earlier statements on Mr Lim.
“Feel free to reach out anytime,” Mr Wong wrote on Facebook.
“I would ask for our conversation to be put on record and made available to fellow Singaporeans given that we both recognise the importance to verify the character of candidates.”
Other comments with similar allegations have also emerged, including from Facebook user Linus Chia, who claimed to be a former Keppel Shipyard scholar where Mr Lim had been the assistant general manager.
Mr Chia said he left the company and broke his bond due to Mr Lim’s “arrogance, lack of care for fellow colleagues, and brutal hand in dealing with shipyard workers”.