SINGAPORE - Opposition politician and lawyer Lim Tean, who owes US$150,000 (S$203,000) to a Shanghai businessman, sent in two cheques to settle the debt on Wednesday (Jan 16), ahead of a bankruptcy hearing on Thursday.
The bankruptcy hearing has now been adjourned for two weeks and if the cheques clear, Mr Lim will avoid bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy could cast doubts on whether Mr Lim is able to contest in the next general election, due by April 2021. Undischarged bankrupts are not eligible to stand for election.
The proceedings arise from a civil suit that Chinese national Huang Min filed against Mr Lim over a disputed unpaid loan of US$150,000.
Mr Huang produced a copy of the loan agreement, signed by both men in September 2013, in which he was identified as "lender" and Mr Lim as "borrower".
He also produced an e-mail from Mr Lim in February 2017, in which the defendant assured Mr Huang that "your loan will be repaid".
Mr Lim, in his defence, argued that the loan agreement was a sham, and that the sum was actually a down payment for the sale of iron ore to Mr Huang's company in Hong Kong.
Mr Huang, who is represented by Providence Law Asia's Lim Mingguan, won a summary judgment before a deputy registrar in the State Courts.
The decision was affirmed by a district judge, who ordered Mr Lim to repay the loan.
Mr Huang filed a bankruptcy application against Mr Lim when the sum remained unpaid even after a statutory demand had been issued.
Mr Lim appealed to the High Court against the lower court's decision, but he withdrew the appeal on Tuesday.
He was secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party (NSP) between 2015 and 2017 before founding People's Voice, which is Singapore's 11th political party.