During the livestream of People's Action Party's (PAP) thanksgiving after their comprehensive victory in Jurong GRC against Red Dot United, there was an unwanted visitor. The man, Ivan Lim, who appeared in the Facebook Live video stream, surprised many residents of Jurong and other Singaporeans.
While he had to withdraw his candidacy following massive backlash on social media, Lim, a prospective candidate from Jurong in the General Election 2020, took the opportunity to thank the residents as he too "worked very hard on the ground". Former Deputy Prime Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for Social Policies, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who was also the anchor minister from Jurong explained Lim's appearance on his Facebook page.
"Some have asked why Ivan Lim was in the PAP Jurong GRC team's FacebookLive session after the election results were announced. Allow me to explain. As a prospective candidate until he stepped aside shortly before Nomination Day, he had worked very hard on the ground - as I mentioned in my opening speech," Shanmugaratnam said.
He further explained that although Lim was not part of the team of MPs, his contribution must be acknowledged. "I wanted to acknowledge the contribution he had made and have him add his own thanks to residents in addition to those of the five MPs. I felt it was right, and hope you understand my approach on such matters," he added.
How Ivan Lim Saga Unfolded
Lim was announced as a PAP candidate for GE2020 on June 24. But he faced massive backlash for his past 'elitist' behaviour from netizens besides alleging that he was involved in the Keppel Offshore's $50 million bribery scandal in Brazil. There was even an online petition on Change.org to remove him from candidacy. While he did clarify his comments and denied any involvement in the scandal saying that he never handled any project in Brazil, the criticism intensified. Within 12 hours of issuing a clarification, he withdrew his candidacy on June 27 — three days before the nomination.
PAP, although, initially backed him and Prime Minister Lee called the backlash a 'trial by internet', the ruling party said it would look into the matter after the election. But following his withdrawal, it promptly replaced him with Xie Yao Quan, who contested alongside Shanmugaratnam from Jurong.
After the election, he alongside MP-elects — Rahayu Mahzam, Tan Wu Meng, Shawn Huang, Xie Yeo Quan besides Shanmugaratnam, thanked Jurong residents. "We will continue, and always continue to learn and be humble to serve, always be ready to serve," he said.
However, despite Shanmugaratnam's explanation, not many were happy to see him again. One of the Twitter user said he could still be a candidate in the next General Election.
"I thought Ivan Lim was banished forever....seems like they're gonna introduce him into Jurong again next GE," the user said.