GE2020: Ivan Lim withdraws as PAP candidate, PM Lee calls controversy ‘unfortunate’

Ivan Lim, 42, was unofficially unveiled as a PAP candidate on Wednesday, 25 June 2020. PHOTO: People's Action Party
Ivan Lim, 42, was unofficially unveiled as a PAP candidate on Wednesday, 25 June 2020. PHOTO: People's Action Party

SINGAPORE – Ivan Lim, a new candidate introduced by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) last Wednesday (24 June), has decided to withdraw from the 10 July General Election.

The party’s Central Executive Committee has accepted his decision.

Lim has been the subject of intense allegations about his past unsavoury behaviour in recent days. Multiple online posts, purportedly from former colleagues, people who have served under him in National Service, and acquaintances have accused him of being arrogant, elitist and lacking compassion.

Lim, 42, said earlier Saturday that he is “determined to stay the course and to serve if I am elected”.

But later in the day, in a letter addressed to PAP Secretary-General Lee Hsien Loong, Lim outlined his reason for his withdrawal as a candidate this GE.

“In recent days, there have been various allegations made about my conduct and behaviour. Following my clarifications this morning, further allegations have emerged against me. These new allegations are baseless.

“I appreciate the support the Party has given to me throughout this period. I have consulted and discussed the matter with the Party leadership. 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.

“The controversy has also caused intense pain and stress for my family. I cannot put my family through this,” Lim said.

Prime Minister Lee thanked Lim for his letter and accepted his withdrawal, saying that the controversy has been “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. The allegations spread like wildfire online, eclipsing the serious life and death issues we must grapple with.

“I regret that you and your 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.”

A petition calling for Lim to be removed as a GE candidate has gained more than 20,000 signatures in a day since it started.

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