Joey Mendoza (Left) and Hugh Harrison (right) (Source: Mendoza’s Facebook page and Asiaone)

It was reported earlier that Indian public relation firm, Pauline Communications, came forward on Sunday (14 Mar) pointing out that it had bought the rights to the music and lyrics of Singapore’s national song ‘Count on Me Singapore’ from a man by the name of Joey Mendoza who claimed to have owned it.

The Indian version of the Singapore national song is titled differently under a new title “We Can Achieve”. In it, the lyrics were changed with all mentions of “Singapore” transcribed to “India” or “Mother India”. Multiple plagiarized versions of the song were found to have been uploaded online sometime between July last year and January this year.

Subsequently, Mendoza, responded claiming that he, in fact, is the composer of the song. He said that the original version ‘We Can Achieve’ was first written at Bal Bhavan institute in Mumbai in 1983. He even claimed that this song was publicly performed in India on 1 May, 1983 (‘SG national song plagiarism fiasco: Man says he wrote song in India while ex-PR exec says he wrote it for SG‘).

“Thereafter it has been used in different schools, colleges and B’Ed institutes (in India), in different variants and has been used widely and well. It’s a very popular song here and loved by all,” Mendoza claimed.

“In 1999 Pauline (India) decided to produce the original version since there were many variants going across. Singapore released its national song ‘Count on Me Singapore’ in 1986… With due honour to Singapore, I was not aware of this song until two days ago.”

He then added, “With no intention to hurt anyone’s feelings, I want to lay the fact clear that I’ve written the ‘We Can Achieve’ song.”

On Mendoza’s Facebook page, he wrote that he is a former composer and producer at Paisley Creative Studios and studied at Musicians Institute (MI) located at Hollywood, California.

PR agency commissioned by SG govt to write national songs

The song ‘Count on Me Singapore’ was, in fact, written by Hugh Harrison who was working for the McCann-Erickson advertising agency in the 80s. McCann-Erickson was commissioned by the then Ministry of Culture of Singapore to come up with a campaign for the 25th anniversary of self-governance of Singapore in 1984.

Mr Harrison told the media in 2013 that after he wrote the first song, ‘Stand Up For Singapore’, which was a hit among Singaporeans, he left for a job in Hong Kong. While there, he got word that the Singapore government wanted a new song “that was directed at the country’s youth”.

He said, “On the plane from Hong Kong to Singapore, I had a vision of young people standing together resolutely shouting to their leaders ‘You can count on us!’” And so ‘Count On Me Singapore’ was then written over a weekend, he recalled. He went on to write his third Singapore national song, ‘We Are Singapore’.

When Mendoza in India started claiming that he was the one who has written the song, netizens began to inform Mr Harrison about it on his YouTube channel.

Today (17 Mar), Mr Harrison informed everyone on his YouTube channel that he has written to both Mendoza and the executive of Pauline Communications in Mumbai requesting that “certain actions be taken to address Mr Mendoza’s false claims to be the original creator of this song”.

“I will let you know if and when I get a reply and how I intend to respond should corrective action not be forthcoming,” he told everyone. “Thank you all for your kind words and support.”

He deemed Mendoza has “illegally” repackaged the Singapore national song, “Count on me Singapore” as “We Can Achieve”.

Mr Harrison also added that Pauline Communications clearly has the right to sue Mendoza for “selling them a song to which he had no rights”.

“The fact that he is claiming now in 2021 that he is the original creator of the song implying I copied the song from him is a direct attack on my integrity and professionalism and for that he could be sued for slander and/or libel,” Mr Harrison noted.

“As it stands now, I have written him and given him the opportunity to rescind his claim and am awaiting his response.”

MCCY: “Imitation is the best form of flattery!”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY) under Minister Edwin Tong, who used to defend Kong Hee in the City Harvest trial before Tong became a minister, does not appear to want to do anything about the matter.

MCCY said last Fri (12 Mar), “We have noticed that a remixed version of our national song ‘Count on Me, Singapore’ has been made it into several videos. 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 added.

“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!”



Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

The 'Big Media' of Singapore

~by: Hong Weilun~ Appearing in the news unabatedly since allegations relating to…

Breaking News: Superintendent of detention centre sacked over Mas Selamat’s escape (Video)

Eight officers disciplined over jail break.


前政治拘留者、维权律师张素兰 若任何人轻视在新加坡发生的个人逮捕事件,那他并不了解在新加坡过活的实况。 我一直都处在家门被敲响的恐惧。这是我无法克服的现实,相信一些国人和外籍人士也有同感。因为琐事被控上庭的案例,我们看得够多了。但在其他国家,这些琐事根本不值一提。 就在本月2日,本地政治人物林鼎律师,被警员从他的办公处带走。当时,他还在和他的客户、时评人梁实轩,正为总理李显龙的诽谤诉讼做准备。 他的被捕令全岛震惊。从短片可见,尽管林鼎表示抗议,仍被戴上手铐。那是警方的绝对权力。遗憾的是,这不合理的举动却被拍下并传到世界各地,令新加坡蒙羞。 警方也很快告知本地媒体《慈母舰》,解释警方早已通知林鼎出席警方约谈,但后者拒绝。为此警方较后才逮捕林鼎。 但这完全是胡话。是否有逮捕的迫切需要?可见一些有权有势者,都未曾经受林鼎此般的羞辱。再者,林已回函通知警方,在结束梁实轩的诉讼后便会出席警方约谈,那么又有何必要逮捕林鼎呢? 林鼎被拘留近九小时,拒绝回答提问,他被囚禁在一间小室,全程戴着手铐。警方应以他们的行为感耻辱。 据林鼎所言,他选择无视警方,也算是有骨气的人。林鼎不为此感到不安,坚信这次逮捕是有政治动机的,使他的客户梁实轩,在面对来临6日的总理诉讼审讯,处在不利情况。 在获得保释后,林鼎便作直播解释在警局的待遇,也声称自己拒绝回答警方任何提问(这是他的权利),也相信自己因为如此而被刻意“惩罚”,被丢到一个连桌椅都没有的简陋小室,只有个蹲式马桶。 似乎不满他的无礼行为,林鼎再被传召审问,但林是坚定的,半小时后警方又把他送回那间只有蹲式马桶的简陋小室。 大约7时,警方别无选择释放了林鼎。他约在审讯室呆了近两小时,再小室内约7小时有余,且全程上手铐。…

塔式吊车倒塌事故中身亡 印籍建筑工人妻已有孕在身

本周一(4日),诺维娜一带发生工地高架塔式吊车倒塌事故,吊车支架扭曲变形,据了解事故现场导致一死一伤,伤者被紧急送往陈笃生医院抢救。 目前人力部和警方仍在调查该起事故。据了解,28岁的死者是分包商是LKT Contractors公司旗下员工,名为穆泰延(Muthaiyan Velmurugan)。相信当时塔架倒塌时他被重物击中而身亡不治。 穆泰延在上月才得知新婚妻子已有身孕的喜讯,还曾打算近两月内回到淡米尔纳德邦的乡下陪妻子,岂知造化弄人,一场灾祸让死者和妻小从此天人永隔,令人不胜唏嘘。 而外籍劳工中心(Migrant Workers’ Centre)前日在脸书表示,已经与涉及事故中工友的雇主和工地总承包商(鹿岛海外亚洲(新加坡),Kajima Overseas Asia),他们承诺承担伤者医疗费和准备必要的索赔和伤患报告,同时也为不幸身亡的工友打理丧事。据了解死者家属也要求把遗体运返家乡。 事故当天,民防部队在约8时50分接获投报,赶往位于陈笃生路的一处工地。 根据新加坡工地安全粉丝专页Safety…