June 27 update:
People's Action Party candidate Ivan Lim has announced he will not contest the general election. Read full story here
SINGAPORE - People's Action Party (PAP) candidate Ivan Lim on Saturday (June 27) addressed the criticisms levelled at him online, saying he is "determined to stay the course and to serve" if elected at the general election.
In a statement issued through the party, Mr Lim said: "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."
Criticisms from different quarters had surfaced online after the PAP introduced Mr Lim as one of its 27 new candidates to contest the July 10 general election 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 of being arrogant, among other things.
In the statement, Mr Lim, 42, said it was important for him to state his position, as his family - in particular, his mother - was affected.
The general manager (specialised vessels) at Keppel Offshore & Marine said an allegation that he was involved in the company's bribery case in Brazil was "completely baseless and untrue", as he was not involved in any of Keppel's Brazilian projects.
As for the stories about the army incidents, people can have different perspectives of the same incident, he said.
"For example, it has been suggested in one of the posts that I was harsh for requiring the men to book-in at 2200 hours when the norm was 2359 hours," he noted.
"I should explain that on that occasion, the men had a move-out time early the next morning at 5am. It was important to ensure, and the rules required, that the men get enough rest. As such, I asked them to come back at 2200 hours and not 2359 hours," he added, noting that he came back earlier himself as well.
Mr Lim said he sets high standards for his military unit as a commanding officer, and believes in working together. He added that he did not ask the soldiers to do something he was not prepared to do himself.
On criticisms from a former colleague, he said: "The shipyard industry is a tough and exacting one and we have always required high standards of Keppel colleagues to ensure that they can return home safely to their families. There are many colleagues who have been promoted and done well during my tenure as AGM and GM of Keppel."
As for another post on how he did not smile at a neighbour in a lift, he 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 added.
Mr Lim's statement came shortly after Deputy Prime Minister and PAP first assistant secretary-general Heng Swee Keat said on Saturday morning that he should clarify the online criticisms he has received.
Said Mr Lim: "When I agreed to enter politics I expected that it would be tough. 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."