People's Action Party (PAP) vice-chairman Masagos Zulkifli yesterday responded to online criticism of the party's new face Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan, saying it is important for candidates who face allegations to prove themselves.
However, he also said that candidates should not be defined by a single moment in time or in their career, but judged instead by their growth throughout their lives.
A number of negative online comments have surfaced since Mr Lim was introduced as a PAP candidate on Wednesday, from people who claimed to have known him during national service or in polytechnic.
He was accused of elitist behaviour during a military exercise and being arrogant, among other criticisms.
Others who say they know him have also spoken up for him.
Responding to a question on Mr Lim at a virtual press conference, Mr Masagos said the general election will elicit responses about potential candidates, which is not surprising.
"But also, I think it is important for the candidates who may have been alleged to be something or other to also prove themselves," he said.
"(This is) 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 are good leaders who will serve our people well."
Mr Lim, 42, is a general manager (specialised vessels) at Keppel Offshore & Marine. He started working at Keppel Shipyard at the age of 16, after his O levels.
He was awarded a scholarship by Keppel to study for a diploma at Singapore Polytechnic, after which he pursued a degree in marine engineering at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Married with four children, he is expected to be fielded in Jurong GRC.
The Straits Times has contacted Mr Lim for comment.