An Indian public relations (PR) firm has come forward to point out that it had bought the rights to the music and lyrics of local patriotic song ‘Count on Me Singapore’ from a man who claimed to own it.
This is in reference to the latest plagiarism fiasco surrounding the song, which has shown up in multiple videos online with the lyrics being almost word-for-word to the 1986 Singaporean version.
The Indian version, titled “We Can Achieve”, simply changes all mentions of “Singapore” to “India” or “Mother India”.
Multiple plagiarised versions of the song had been uploaded online sometime between July last year and January this year, but one version was uploaded on YouTube in August last year.
In the credits, the song was attributed to an individual named Joey Mendoza and the company that uploaded it is was named Pauline Communications.
“It has come to our notice that the Song ‘We can Achieve’ in CD (1999) ‘We can Achieve – Inspirational Songs for Children and All’ by Pauline Communications has some copyright issues with regards to the lyrics and music of the same.”
“It seems that it has been copied 99% from the Song ‘Count on Me Singapore’. Song and Lyrics by Hugh Harrison and sung by the Singaporean Clement Chow in a TV programme,” Pauline India said in the Facebook post.
It added, “We would like to inform you that we had produced this song with the help of Mr. Joey Mendoza who sold the copyright of the lyrics and music to us, claiming he owned it.”
The Indian company also said that this happened in 1999 when it bought out the CD “We Can Achieve”, adding that it was not aware that the song has been Singapore’s National Day Song since 1986.
“We had uploaded it on SoundCloud in 2012 in the album ‘We Stand United’ which was a collection of patriotic songs from our various CDs produced by Pauline Communications, India. Sorry for any inconvenience caused and sentiments hurt,” it stated.
‘Count on Me Singapore’ was composed by Hugh Harrison, arranged by Jeremy Monteiro and performed by Clement Chow in 1986 to be the city-state’s second official National Day song.
MCCY cancels investigation on plagiarised version for copyright infringement
After the plagiarised version of the song surfaced online, it garnered a strong reaction from netizens in Singapore.
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said in a Facebook post on Friday (12 Mar) that it is investigating the matter for “potential copyright infringement”.
“We are investigating the matter for potential copyright infringements. We thank Singaporeans for coming forward to express your sense of ownership and pride over this song,” it said in the post.
However, MCCY later edited the post on Sunday (14 Mar) stating that it is “happy” that it is liked by people of India and that “imitation is the best form of flattery”.
“This is one of our most beloved and recognised national songs, we are happy that it seems to have struck a chord with people in India as well. It seems to have been posted by teachers in India, featuring some students who seem to be enjoying the song.
“We thank Singaporeans for coming forward to express your sense of pride in our national song. It may be a copy of our song, but sometimes, imitation is the best form of flattery!” MCCY said.