The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said that it has asked Indian composer, Joey Mendoza, to substantiate his claims that he wrote the song, "We Can Achieve".
MCCY revealed this in a Facebook post on Mar. 18 addressing the "Count On Me India" saga.
The ministry added they are "puzzled" by Mendoza's claim.
MCCY wrote: "Given that the two songs, and their lyrics, are practically identical, and that we hold the copyright to 'Count on Me, Singapore', we are puzzled by this claim."
The ministry also clarified that the Singapore government holds the copyright to the music and lyrics to "Count On Me Singapore".
"We are aware that a song titled “We Can Achieve” that bears striking similarity in tune and lyrics to our national song 'Count on Me, Singapore' has been circulating on the internet. The Government holds the copyright to the music and lyrics of 'Count on Me, Singapore'."
Previous claims by alleged composer
On Mar. 15, Mendoza asserted in a Facebook comment that "We Can Achieve" was written in 1983, three years before Singapore released "Count On Me Singapore" as its 1986 National Day song.
Pauline India, the publishing house for "We Can Achieve", also claimed that they had produced the song with Mendoza, and were not aware of the Singaporean version of it.
Mendoza subsequently doubled down on his claims in a media statement, and said that 250 orphans from an Mumbai orphanage had learnt the song when he was done writing it in 1983.
Accepted apology from Indian production house
Pauline India has since publicly acknowledged that “We Can Achieve” appears to have been substantially copied from “Count On Me Singapore”, MCCY wrote in its Facebook post.
Moreover, Pauline India had also reiterated that it was unaware of the existence of “Count On Me Singapore”, although "We Can Achieve" has now been removed from its Soundcloud where it was originally uploaded.
The production house has apologised as well, according to MCCY.
"We do not think any ill will was intended either by Pauline India or the school, and have accepted the apology," MCCY said in response, referencing a video showing teachers and students in a school in India performing the song.
MCCY initially said that it was investigating the case for potential intellectual property infringement, before changing their tune and saying "imitation is the best form of flattery".
At time of writing, both Pauline India and Joey Mendoza have not posted a response on their Facebook pages.
Top image via YouTube, Joey Mendoza's Facebook page