SINGAPORE: The People's Action Party's (PAP) prospective new candidate Ivan Lim should come out to clarify comments made about his conduct during his time in National Service, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Saturday (Jun 27).
He was responding to questions by reporters after the PAP's morning walkabout at Teban Marketplace in West Coast GRC, where he spent over an hour speaking to residents.
READ: GE2020: Candidates introduced will ‘elicit responses’, important to ‘prove themselves’, says Masagos
He was accompanied by Ms Foo Mee Har and Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran, who were part of the PAP 2015 team in West Coast GRC.
“I have emphasised that character and integrity are important in our candidates, and if there are any complaints, it should be properly verified,” said Mr Heng.
“I would like to see Ivan himself coming out to clarify these comments so that we can hear both sides of the story.”
Mr Heng also said that he wanted to reach out to those people who have made comments and who have identified themselves to get a “better understanding” of the situation.
“It’s very important for us to address this clearly, because we expect all our candidates to be able to stand up and to be able to address any concerns that may be raised about them,” he said.
“The key is whether the individual has the heart to serve all Singaporeans.”
Mr Lim, a 42-year-old general manager with Keppel Offshore and Marine, has been in the spotlight after comments were made on social media criticising his behaviour as an officer during National Service.
They have accused him of lacking compassion and being arrogant and elitist.
PAP vice-chairman Masagos Zulkifli had previously addressed the accusations against Mr Lim, saying that prospective candidates introduced during a General Election will elicit responses “which are not surprising sometimes”.
"I think it is important for the candidates who may have been alleged to be something or other, to also prove themselves.
“And I think it is not a moment in their career, or their time with people that define them, but as a person throughout their life, and also an opportunity for them if, they have done something in the past, to redeem themselves.
“Because we have seen qualities in all our candidates that make them, what we think, good leaders that will serve our people well,” said Mr Masagos.
Mr Lim was unveiled as a prospective People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate on Wednesday.
“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," he said.
"I'm concerned about elderly residents and children who require social assistance, especially those with special needs,” he said during his introduction.