Singapore

Melvin Yong was elected president of CASE, succeeding Lim Biow Chuan

SINGAPORE: Member of Parliament (MP) Melvin Yong has been elected chairman of the Singapore Consumers Association (CASE), the association said on Friday (June 11).

Yong, who is a deputy in Radin Mas’ one-man constituency, succeeds Mr Lim Biow Chuan, who had run CASE since 2012.

In a statement, CASE executive director Lee Siow Hwee said Yong was elected Friday at the 48th annual general meeting, where the new central committee was also elected or appointed.

Yong, 49, is deputy general secretary of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) and executive secretary of the National Transportation Workers Union (NTWU).

He was first elected to the CASE Central Committee in June 2018 and was named Vice President in November 2019.

As president of the Consumer Empowerment Taskforce, he oversaw two projects that “allow consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.”

According to CASE, one of the projects, the Price Kaki app, allows consumers to easily access retail prices at the store and promotions of common household items, groceries and street food. Since its release in September 2019, it has been downloaded more than 72,000 times.

The other project is Fuel Khaki, a website that allows consumers to access timely information about pump prices and promotions for an effective comparison, CASE said. Since its launch in January 2020, there have been an average of 25,000 monthly visitors to the website.

READ: Authorities will monitor and take action if there is evidence of “anti-competitive activity” among fuel retailers (MTIs)

READ: The travel industry leads consumer complaints in 2020 amid restrictions COVID-19: CAS

The outgoing president, Mr. Lim, was first elected president of CASE on June 23, 2012. He served as vice president from 2006 to 2012.

“Under Lim’s leadership, CASE took firm and decisive action to protect consumers by advertising and branding errant businesses and unfair practices to warn and alert consumers,” the association said.

Since 2012, it has issued several warnings against companies in the beauty, automotive, home renovation and furniture industries, “where consumers tend to buy high-end items.”

CASE also went after “recalcitrant” companies and signed voluntary compliance agreements with 22 companies that pledged to stop their unfair practices and compensate affected consumers, he added.

During Lim’s tenure, CASE said it obtained legal action against companies engaging in unfair practices and worked closely with the Singapore Competition and Consumer Commission to protect consumers.

Lim led CASE’s efforts to promote fair trade and ethical business practices among businesses and industries to increase consumer confidence, the association added. Through its CaseTrust arm, CASE has launched joint accreditation schemes with industry associations, with 771 accredited entities as of May 31st.

Lim also collaborated with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to advocate for the enactment of the provisions of the Lemon Act under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trade) Act before it came into force in September 2012, with CASE holding outreach events to educate consumers and businesses about Law.

Yong thanked Lim and the members of the central committee for their contributions.

He said: “As CASE commemorates its 50th anniversary this year, it is timely that we take stock of our achievements and consider how we can continue to be relevant and respond to consumer needs.

“I will work closely with the new central committee, management and staff to examine how we can better protect and empower consumers in this new digital age.”

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