SINGAPORE: The People's Action Party's (PAP) prospective new candidate Ivan Lim said on Saturday (Jun 27) that he was "determined to stay the course" and to serve if elected, in response to online comments made about him.
"When I agreed to enter politics I expected that it would be tough," said Mr Lim in a press release issued by PAP.
"This test has come sooner than I expected. I wish to say that I am determined to stay the course and to serve if I am elected," he added.
READ: GE2020: Prospective PAP candidate Ivan Lim should clarify comments on his conduct, says Heng Swee Keat
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 accused him of lacking compassion, and being arrogant and elitist.
"I accept that I can always do better and I am willing to learn. I will take this experience to heart and do my best to prove myself to voters and all Singaporeans," the statement read.
Mr Lim said that it was important for him to "state his position" regarding recent Facebook posts about him as his family was affected, in particular, his mother.
Referring to stories about incidents during National Service, Mr Lim said that "people can have different perspectives of the same incident".
"For example, it has been suggested in one of the posts that I was harsh for requiring the men to book-in at 10pm when the norm was 11.59pm," he said.
Mr Lim said that on that occasion, the men had a 5am move-out time the next morning.
"It was important to ensure, and the rules required, that the men get enough rest," he said.
"As such, I asked them to come back at 10pm and not 11.59pm. As the story notes, I came back earlier myself as well.
"I set high standards for the unit as a CO. I believe in working together and I did not ask the men to do something I was not prepared to do myself," he added.
Addressing a post by a former colleague, Mr Lim pointed out that "the shipyard industry is a tough and exacting one".
"We have always required high standards of Keppel colleagues to ensure that they can return home safely to their families," Mr Lim said, adding that there were many colleagues who were promoted and did well during his tenure as AGM and GM of Keppel.
Mr Lim also said that an allegation he was involved in a bribery case in Brazil was "completely baseless and untrue".
Referring to a post about him not smiling at his neighbour, Mr Lim said he did "not recall a specific incident".
"However, like many others who live in apartments, I know some neighbours better than others and interact with some more than others," he said.
Earlier on Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said Mr Lim should come out to clarify comments made about his conduct during his time in National Service.
“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 during a walkabout at Teban Marketplace in West Coast GRC.
“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 added.