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PM Lee accepts PAP candidate Ivan Lim’s withdrawal; says thorough probe not possible amid campaign

SINGAPORE — Less than half a day after People's Action Party (PAP) new candidate Ivan Lim said he was “determined to stay the course” amid online criticisms of his character, the ruling party on Saturday (June 27) night announced that he has withdrawn from contesting in the July 10 General Election.

Mr Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan (pictured) said that he is not going to contest in the upcoming election even though his "conscience is clear".

Mr Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan (pictured) said that he is not going to contest in the upcoming election even though his "conscience is clear".

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SINGAPORE — Less than half a day after People's Action Party (PAP) new candidate Ivan Lim said he was “determined to stay the course” amid online criticisms of his character, the ruling party on Saturday (June 27) night announced that he has withdrawn from contesting in the July 10 General Election. 

The announcement came via a press statement issued by PAP at around 10pm, along with an exchange of letters between Mr Lim and PAP secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong.  

In accepting Mr Lim’s withdrawal, Mr Lee said that the controversy over his candidature was unfortunate.

“Ideally, there would have been a fair and deliberate consideration of these allegations. Unfortunately, the nature of the campaign is such that we do not have time for a thorough investigation,” Mr Lee said in his reply to Mr Lim.

“The allegations spread like wildfire online, eclipsing the serious life and death issues we must grapple with,” Mr Lee, who is also the prime minister, added.

In his withdrawal letter, Mr Lim, 42, a general manager at Keppel Offshore and Marine, said that there had been various allegations made about his conduct and behaviour in recent days.  

“I recognise that the controversy over my candidacy has eclipsed the core issues of what this election should be about — Singapore’s future and the difficult steps we have to take to recover from Covid-19,” Mr Lim wrote.

“The controversy has also caused intense pain and stress for my family. I cannot put my family through this,” he added. “I thank the party for giving me this opportunity to serve.”

Since his introduction by PAP 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.

PAP first assistant secretary-general Heng Swee Keat had on Saturday morning called for Mr Lim to come out to address the criticisms.

Around 1pm, Mr Lim broke his silence on the matter for the first time, refuting some of the allegations and saying that he was “determined to stay the course and to serve if I am elected”.

But less than nine hours later, PAP confirmed his withdrawal.  

In his letter to Mr Lee, Mr Lim also denied new allegations that had emerged after his statement earlier on Saturday. 

“These new allegations are baseless,” he wrote, without specifying what those claims were.

Mr Lee said he regrets that Mr Lim and his family have had to “bear such stress” during this period.

“I hope Singaporeans will give you and your family the peace and privacy to recover, and welcome your continued contribution to our society.”

TODAY has reached out to Mr Lim for comment.

Related topics

Ivan Lim PAP PAP candidates Singapore General Election SGVotes2020

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