Bye Ivan, Hello Yao Quan: PAP replaces Jurong GRC candidate after backlash

Former PAP candidate Ivan Lim, at left, was replaced by Xie Yao Quan, at right. Photos: PAP, Xie Yao Quan/ Facebook
Former PAP candidate Ivan Lim, at left, was replaced by Xie Yao Quan, at right. Photos: PAP, Xie Yao Quan/ Facebook

The ruling People’s Action Party today unveiled a new face to replace candidate Ivan Lim after he withdrew from the race following criticism of his past behavior. 

Xie Yao Quan, 35, who works in the health care sector, was introduced by Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at PAP’s Bukit Batok East branch today after Lim was accused of a range of bad behavior over the years. 

“It was a very easy decision to bring into Jurong, because Yao Quan has been here working very hard for the last five years,” he told reporters. 

Tharman is expected to lead the party’s team contesting the Jurong group constituency next month. Other party members in the team are Rahayu Mahzam, Tan Wu Meng, and Shawn Huang. Xie heads healthcare redesign at Alexandra Hospital. 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong accepted Lim’s withdrawal from the party over the weekend, days after he came in for criticism online, including accusations of “elitist” behavior during national service roughly six years ago. 

Facebook user Bryant Wong Hai Chiew alleged that Lim acted arrogantly toward soldiers of lower rank who had entered a command tent at the time.  

“Ivan Lim did not like it and using a condescending voice, he reminded all that they are just platoon and section commanders and they were not supposed to set foot into the Battalion HQ tentage,” Wong’s post read. 

It was followed by a series of other accusations against Lim over alleged incidents during his time at Keppel Offshore and Marine, and when he studied at Singapore Polytechnic. His accusers attempted to associate Lim to Keppel projects in Brazil that were linked to a corruption scandal. People who claimed to be his poly schoolmates also wrote about his purported poor behavior. 

Lim has denied his involvement with the Brazilian project and called the accusations “baseless.” 

In accepting his withdrawal, the prime minister said the controversy about his candidate was “unfortunate.”

“Ideally, there would have been a fair and deliberate consideration of these allegations. Unfortunately, the nature of the campaign is such that we do not have time for a thorough investigation,” Lee wrote.

Singapore goes to the polls July 10. Political parties will officially nominate their candidates tomorrow. 

Other stories to check out:

Singapore’s transport minister retires from politics
Lee Hsien Yang not listed among opposition candidates contesting in elections
Former F-16 pilot now with Temasek Holdings among PAP’s new slate of candidates

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CITY: SINGAPORECATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: POLITICS

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