Days after a tussle over who owns the copyright to the lyrics and music of Count On Me, Singapore, Joey Mendoza has withdrawn his claim over the song.
The Indian composer earlier claimed that he wrote We Can Achieve in 1983 — three years before the tune became Singapore's National Day song — when videos of students in India singing it recently surfaced on social media.
The two songs are virtually identical except for instances of "Singapore" being swopped for "India" or "Mother India" in the lyrics.
Mendoza sold the copyright of We Can Achieve to Pauline India in 1999 which recorded the song and distributed it. The book and record store has since apologised and said it was not aware that the song had been substantially copied from Count On Me, Singapore.
In a Facebook post on Sunday (March 21), the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said that checks conducted in India found no evidence or records of Mendoza having any rights to We Can Achieve from 1983 or later.
The ministry then pressed him to substantiate his claims, as it is "a direct affront to Singapore's ownership and interest in Count On Me, Singapore".
"If he is not able to provide any basis, then he should refrain from infringing on our rights to the song," MCCY said.
Mendoza has since changed his position and confirmed that he does not have any evidence to support his claim that he had written We Can Achieve.
He has also accepted that the Singapore Government holds the copyright to the music and lyrics to Count On Me, Singapore, and he has withdrawn any claim to We Can Achieve.
The Indian composer has informed all of his associates and networks of the above points, and has instructed all social media platforms to remove We Can Achieve.
Mendoza apologised for the "confusion caused", adding that he has no intention of attacking the integrity or professionalism of Hugh Harrison who composed Count On Me, Singapore, for the 1986 National Day celebrations.
"It is important that our rights to the song are protected and that there remains no doubt as to our origination and ownership of the song," MCCY added.
"MCCY accepts Mr Mendoza's apology on the terms set out above, and will treat the matter as closed, on this basis."
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