Exactly a year has passed since Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told everyone that the People’s Action Party (PAP) will investigate the allegations against Ivan Lim after the General Election (GE) 2020, with no sound or movement seen from the party since.
Lim was slated to be PAP’s candidate for Jurong GRC, and his candidacy was announced on 26 June 2020.
He is a General Manager at Keppel Offshore & Marine. At the time, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat even praised Lim saying that he has had a very unusual journey in his education.
During the introduction, Lim told the media, “I chose to serve with PAP because the PAP values and attributes are close to my heart. In particular, being compassionate, and also being self-reliant on the ground.”
However, as the date of nomination drew close on 30 June last year, PAP suddenly announced on 27 June that Lim has withdrawn from contesting in GE2020.
This is likely due to the surfacing of Lim’s past stories, following news of his candidacy broke. (‘Online comments emerge that PAP new candidate Ivan Lim allegedly a “How Lian” character‘).
Two days later on 29 June, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the party will investigate the allegations against Lim after the GE.
“I don’t think that should be the end of the matter because we can’t let such serious things be said about somebody and have somebody live with the cloud permanently hanging over him (with) a question mark. I think it would be unfair to Ivan,” he said.
“It sets a very damaging precedent that you can condemn somebody and write him off on the basis of an internet campaign. We don’t have time to settle it now, but we can’t simply write off and destroy people like this.”
“So, after the elections, the party will investigate the veracity of allegations against Ivan and we will come to a view on the matter,” the prime minister added.
Still, PM Lee said he has confidence in the PAP’s recruitment process as well as his party’s candidates.
At GE2020, PAP’s percentage share of valid votes dropped considerably to 61.2% from the 69.9% secured in GE2015.
For the first time, the ruling PAP lost two group representation constituencies (GRCs), namely Aljunied and Sengkang, to the opposition.
If Lim had not withdrawn from GE2020, he would likely be an MP in Jurong GRC by now, since he was contesting together with popular PAP minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at Jurong GRC.
Past associates voiced disapproval of Lim’s character
A Facebook user, Bryant Wong, shared that Lim was allegedly the commanding officer of his battalion and would speak “using a condescending voice” to tell others not to step into the air-conditioned tentage that he was using.
“His action and speech were simply that of an elitist,” Mr Wong wrote.
“There were other instances during Battalion briefings where he would always [pepper] the briefings with his personal achievement (how he is a GM at shipyard, how many people reporting to him at work, etc).”
“He [Mr Lim] 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,” he further noted. “So now he is going into politics to represent the ordinary folks in Parliament. With his character and personality – will he?”
In a Facebook post on 27 June, Mr Wong addressed First Assistant Secretary-General of PAP Heng Swee Keat directly, saying, “Mr Heng – Feel free to reach out anytime. I am willing to standby my statement of encounter with Mr Ivan Lim which I’ve put up.”
After the post made the rounds on social media, Mr Heng stepped forth to say that Lim should come out to clarify those comments made about his conduct during his National Service (NS) days.
A shipyard worker who worked under Lim back in 2014, also shared how Lim, who had transferred one month prior in January 2014 to Pioneer Yard 1, endangered the lives of many workers with one of his directives.
Lim was said to have enforced a new rule disallowing the workers to enter the shipyard before 7.30am to rest or have their breakfast. As such, many of them resorted to sleeping along “busy streets with vehicles travelling at high speed”.
Other netizens commented that Lim’s alleged “bad character” can be found all over on Facebook with negative remarks supposedly coming from his poly classmates, colleagues at Keppel, as well as people serving with him during NS and reservist days. Some opined that he was a “shame” to the PAP.
Will the PAP keeps to its promise to investigate the veracity of allegations against Lim internally? So far, nothing has been heard publicly about any of such investigations by the ruling party.