[Update on June 27, 9:30pm: The PAP has accepted Lim's decision to withdraw from GE2020.]
On the morning of June 24, the People's Action Party (PAP) unveiled four new candidates for the upcoming general election (GE).
42-year-old Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan was among them.
Here is his self-introduction:
1. Background info
Lim, who is married with four children, holds the position of general manager at Keppel Offshore and Marine.
He joined Keppel Shipyard after finishing his GCE ‘O’ Levels, and worked his way up to the current position.
In his introduction, the PAP candidate spoke at length about growing up in a Henderson rental flat, and how his family and circumstances have shaped his values.
Compassion and self-reliance were some of these values he named, which he felt the party was aligned with.
Lim wants to help people with special needs, disadvantaged elderly residents and children, as well as parents who have to strike a balance between work and family.
He would also like to focus on the digitalisation and transformation of businesses and workspaces.
2. Allegations surface among people who claim to know him
Shortly after his unveiling, however, a number of negative anecdotes about Lim surfaced.
They came from members of the public who claim to have been Lim's polytechnic schoolmates, or have served under him in the army, as well as colleagues from Keppel, and even neighbours.
The accusations mostly surround Lim's character and attitude towards his subordinates, which they said was "elitist" and "condescending".
The post that arguably sparked it all was from one Bryant Wong, a former acting battalion RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) who highlighted "elitist" behaviour from Lim.
Other accusations include "condescendingly" telling platoon and section commanders that they were not allowed into the tent when they were there for an exercise briefing, constant humble brags, and driving around camp in "expensive cars."
Another Singapore Polytechnic classmate commented that they would vote for two thirds of the class, but not Lim.
Yet another said that Keppel colleagues would have witnessed Lim's arrogance.
3. PAP ministers comment on controversy
As the accusations piled on, PAP vice-chair Masagos Zulkifli and PAP 1st Assistant Secretary-General Heng Swee Keat have stepped in to comment.
In response to media queries at a June 26 press conference, Minister Masagos said that it is not surprising that the candidate introductions would elicit such responses during a general election.
He added that it is important for the candidates who have been accused of poor form to prove themselves moving forward, and that the election is an opportunity for them to redeem themselves.
On the other hand, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Heng said at a June 27 doorstop that he would like to see Lim "coming out to clarify," so that both sides of the story are presented.
In addition, the DPM would like to reach out to those who had made those claims, in order to "understand better what exactly had happened".
Heng also also emphasised the importance of integrity and character in PAP candidates.
4. Lim breaks silence, via the PAP
Shortly after on June 27, Lim released a statement through the party about the allegations.
According to Lim, he had done so to avoid further distress on his family, especially his mother.
He addressed four specific points:
- Brazil bribery case
- Army incidents
- Keppel incidents
- Not smiling at a neighbour
Lim explicitly denied the first, saying that he was "not involved in any of the Brazilian projects," and explained the other three.
He also said that he would "stay the course" and serve, if elected.
You can read his full statement here: