KCC Ventures has apologised for the last minute cancellation of the venue booking by Singapore’s Democratic Party (SDP) who had wanted to hold their election campaign launch at the SLV Hub events space.
Just a day before their event on Saturday, SDP was informed by KCCV that their booking for the venue had been cancelled due to a ‘last minute unforeseen JTC inspection’ and that SDP would be refunded. JTC is the landlord of the building where the event space is located.
When that happened, SDP posted on Facebook saying that a manager from SLV Hub later told them that the building management would not allow event of a political nature to be held on the premises even though the nature of the event had be clear from the very beginning.
SDP was left having to scramble to find an alternate venue, eventually deciding on Mandarin Orchard Hotel.
Following SDP’s social media post, JTC came out with a post of their own to say that they had no prior knowledge of the event and that they had informed the venue owner of the inspection that would take place on 28th February, not 23rd as KCCV had claimed in their email to SDP.
JTC also said, “It is totally irresponsible to conflate this issue with the ongoing investigations, and allege political motives on the part of JTC”.
Responding to JTC, SDP said they should take the matter up with KCCV and clarify whether there even is such a policy of barring political events on the premises.
Later, KCCV spoke to Straits Times to claim responsibility for the misunderstanding regarding the booking cancellation. They said in a statement that “the fault lies solely with KCCV” and offered it’s apologies to both JTC and SDP.
In their statement, KCCV said that its staff had negotiated with SDP on the use of its even space which was eventually agreed upon and paid for by SDP.
While KCCV was aware of the nature of the event from the beginning, they had not obtained prior approval from the building landlord and KCCV board who had only learned of the arrangement on Friday. KCCV also took responsibility for their company employee who wrongly cited the JTC inspection for the reason of the cancellation.
A KCCV spokesman said, “The event was not in the regular course of KCCV’s business, as typical events that are hosted at the venue would include video and audio recordings, panel interviews, music and vocal training, and post-production work, among others.”
He also noted that the building landlord and KCCV’s board of directors are meant to be informed of any events which do not line up with KCCV’s regular business.
Following this mishap, KCCV stated that they now have guidelines and controls in place to prevent the same thing from happening again. They also said they have apologised to the SDP and will be refunding their full payment and even offered to pay the difference in rental fees SDP had to pay to secure the alternative venue.
SDP has confirmed on their website that they have received KCCV’s compensation, accepted the apology and considered the matter closed.
However, SDP did say that the issue with JTC “who had wrongly accused SDP of being ‘totally irresponsible to conflate this issue with the on-going investigations’ of the KCCV’s premises” remains outstanding. They highlighted that KCCV had drawn JTC into the matter, not SDP.
They said, “The organisation [KCCV] has done the right and decent thing and apologised for its error. We expect the JTC to also do the right and decent thing and await its apology.”
Now, while it was commendable of KCCV to accept responsibility for the misunderstanding, it’s surprising that the staff on the ground are unaware of the building’s policy of not hosting events of a political nature. And it’s also curious that it took so long for KCCV management to inform their board and the building owners of the event.
Also, the building in question is actually owned by businessman Chaw Chong Foo and JTC merely provides management services. So when KCCV said it was the building landlord and KCCV board’s policy to not allow political events, who disallowed the event from being carried out. A puzzling question indeed as it is unbecoming of a landlord nor a church entity to behave in such a manner, given that one is bound to know that the party would have to either cancel or scamble to find a new venue for its event.