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Lim Tean pays US$150,000 debt to Chinese businessman, can now contest in next GE




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Having recently paid off the US$150,000 (approximately S$204,000) that he owed a Chinese businessman, opposition politician Lim Tean’s road to the next general election seems to have cleared.

Shanghai-based Huang Min, the businessman to whom the head of the People’s Voice party owed money, has withdrawn the bankruptcy application he filed against Lim in December of last year, as the cheques that Lim had written to repay Huang on January 16 cleared earlier this week.

There will be a hearing on Monday, February 18, for the withdrawal of the application for bankruptcy filed against Lim, confirmed Providence Law Asia’s Lim Mingguan, the lawyer of Huang, to Today.

This is positive news for Lim, as it paves the way for him to contest in the next General Election, which must be held before the first part of 2021, and may even be called earlier. Talks abound that the GE may even be scheduled for this year.

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Under the law, as an undischarged bankrupt, Lim would not have been allowed to run in the election.

Lim’s legal issues with Huang began in September 2013. Huang loaned Lim US$150,000 for the business of operating a Central Sulawesi iron ore mine. The men signed an agreement that the amount would be paid back on November 30, 2013.

Huang, however, did not receive payment from Lim by the agreed-upon date, and later began legal proceedings against him.

Lim called the matter between himself and Huang “a private dispute.” He alleged that Huang had intended to buy iron ore from the mine, with the disputed amount to be used as a down payment on the purchase, and saying that Huang had asked for the payment to be termed as a loan merely “for his own internal purposes.”

However, the States Court registrar ordered Lim to pay Huang back in August of last year.

Later on, after Lim appealed this, District Judge Tan May Tee said that an email Lim had written showed a clear admission that Huang the money exchanged between Huang and Lim had indeed been a loan, not a down payment.

Lim then made another appeal to the High Court, which he withdrew on January 15, and by January 16, issued checks to repay Huang.

Lim had been secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party from 2015 to 2017, and last year founded the People’s Voice party.

Read related: Opposition leader Lim Tean calls bankruptcy application against him ‘a private dispute’ meant to distract from ‘pressing issues’ facing Singapore


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