The SME Achievers Award, which claimed that it had the support of Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) previously, has now withdrawn that claim as the ministry apparently had not authorised it. (From left to right): SMEAA CEO Raymond Png with his brother, SMEAA's chief operating officer Desmond Png.
By Felda Chay
SINGAPORE - There are fresh ripples in the glitzy world of tuxedos and trophies. An award to recognise small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) came with the declaration that it had the support of a ministry and a statutory board. This claim is now being withdrawn as the ministry apparently had not authorised it.
In an e-mail sent to 50 SMEs, the SMEAA Group had said that the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) was "co-supporting" its SME Achievers Award. It has since told the ministry that it will remove all mention of support from MCYS. It will also send an e-mail to the SMEs that have come on board to clarify that it is not supported by the MCYS.
Said SMEAA's chief operating officer Desmond Png in an e-mail to MCYS, which was seen by BT: "I have instructed all necessary memo that all MCYS related will be taken away immediately effectively. Rest assured and truly appreciated."
When contacted by BT, Mr Png said that SMEAA had made the claim after it approached MCYS for help with its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.
He claimed that MCYS then linked SMEAA with voluntary welfare organisations such as the Salvation Army. This led the group to believe that MCYS was supporting its activities, even though the Salvation Army turned down SMEAA's offer to be a beneficiary of a charity golf tournament that SMEAA said it would organise.
Said a Salvation Army spokesperson: "We have never worked with SMEAA before. They approached us recently to be a beneficiary of a charity golf tournament that they are organising . . . but we declined the offer. Why the Salvation Army met them was because they claimed MCYS referred us to them."
Mr Png said that SMEAA has already cleared up the misunderstanding with MCYS.
"I really hope this incident does not derail my project," said Mr Png. "We are sincere about doing this."