The inception of CASE
It was 1969 - A passionate group of civic conscious consumers and the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) banded together to ignite a flame that sparked off a consumer movement in Singapore. Their call was direct and simple: Consumers' interests must be protected and promoted.

The timing was right. Consumers felt victimised by the increasing abuse of hire purchase practices, pork prices were escalating and there was the proposed increase in prices of bread. The public was outraged and in response to the outcry, CASE was conceived.
CASE’s contributions
Today, CASE's commitment to consumers is burning strong. Since our inception in 1971, CASE has been active and involved in standing up for consumers' rights and responsibilities.

Being the Association for consumers in Singapore, CASE works towards hearing consumers' concerns, informing them on relevant consumer issues, educating them on their rights and responsibilities and protecting consumers' interests. CASE is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation for the people.
  • 1970s

    The beginning

    1971

    Consumers Association of Singapore is formally constituted on 11 August 1971, with Dr Henry Ong Wah Kim as Pro-tem Chairperson and V Jayakody as Pro-tem Executive Secretary.

    1972

    CASE joins International Organisation of Consumers Unions (IOCU) as a corresponding member.

    1973

    CASE forms Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) to promote ethical advertisements and establishes a Product Testing Unit.

    CASE urges government to halt soaring prices and raps retailers for sugar price increases.

  • 1974

    CASE jointly hosts the first Asia-Pacific Seminar on "Community Education for Consumer Protection" and becomes an associate member with IOCU.

    1975

    CASE begins collaboration with Singapore Broadcasting Centre to start consumer radio shows and TV programmes.

    The Consumer Protection (Trade Description and Safety Requirements) Act is passed with CASE’s involvement in its drafting and implementation.

    1977

    CASE speaks against coffee shop price increases and conducts a joint test with Australian Consumers' Association on ballpoint pens.

    1978

    CASE hits out at cinema operators for price hikes.

  • 1979

    Bottlers and bakers taken to task.

    The Health Ministry labels medicines as a result of CASE’s lobbying since 1974.

    1980s

    A step forward for the consumer movement

    1980

    Two years of CASE lobbying results in The Environment Ministry mandating expiry date marking on certain perishable pre-packed foodstuffs.

    1981

    CASE calls for Energy Labelling Scheme.

    CASE voices concerns over rootless bean sprouts and exposes chain letter games.

  • 1982

    CASE forms Toy Safety Authority of Singapore (TSAS) and Milk for Children Advisory Council (MCAC).

    1983

    CASE holds the Second ASEAN Consumer Protection Seminar and begins organising seminars for the public to promote consumer awareness.

    CASE starts conducting quarterly household commodities price survey.

    1984

    PUB gazettes electrical extension cable reels after CASE’s push for action.

    1985

    Small Claims Tribunal Act is passed after CASE’s active lobbying.

    Installation of Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers (ELCBs) becomes mandatory for all homes and other buildings.

  • 1986

    CASE establishes the Renovation and Decoration Advisory Council (RADAC).

    The Copyright Act becomes law after CASE campaigning.

    1987

    CASE publishes booklet on "Facts about Singapore’s Copyright Act 1987"

    1988

    CASE and Singapore Tourism Promotion Board set up the Good Retailers Scheme (GRS).

    1989

    CASE’s recommendations lead to scope of Hire Purchase Act being widened.

  • 1990s

    Increasing profile in fighting for consumer rights

    1990

    CASE calls for a furniture traders' code.

    "Good Retailers of Singapore" publication is launched.

    1991

    CASE moves from its Shenton Way office to Bukit Merah Central.

    CASE holds forum on unleaded petrol.

    1993

    CASE voices concerns on the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

    CASE holds a forum on Consumer Protection and a seminar-cum-exhibition on Product Safety.

  • 1994

    CASE calls for ban of unsolicited pre-approved credit and charge cards. Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) responds by making it an offence.

    CASE works with ASAS to ban advertisements of recalcitrant furniture trader.

    1995

    CASE urges ASAS to review Singapore Code of Advertising Practice and presents it with draft Code to work on.

    CASE provides suggestions on the jurisdiction of Small Claims Tribunal; wider powers are introduced for the Small Claims Tribunals.

    1996

    PM Goh Chok Tong announces one-for-one dollar matching grant up to $5 million for CASE Endowment Fund at the National Day Rally.

    CASE goes online. The Consumer magazine upgrades to full-colour.

    1997

    CASE forms a proposed Fair Trading Legislation Committee and holds a "Fair Trading Legislation" seminar.

  • 1998

    CASE calls for cut in fuel tax - tax reduced on 24 November 1998.

    CASE urges the government to introduce a Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.

    1999

    CASE starts work with industry on a code of practice for the cold chain distribution system of dairy products.

    CASE welcomes the proposed amendments to the Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Selling (Prohibition) Act. Act is amended in May 2000.

    CaseTrust accreditation scheme is launched.

    2000 and beyond

    A new chapter

    2000

    CASE moves to current premises in Ghim Moh and also starts free legal counselling service.

    A record $1.1 million is recovered for CASE members.

  • 2001

    National Trust Council appoints CaseTrust as the first Authorised Code Owner to award TrustSg seal.

    CASE launches CaseTrust Gold Award.

    CASE goes on air with CASE Talk to answer questions from consumers on NewsRadio 93.8.

    Talk on SMU campus inspires the birth of student-run SMU Consumer Action Network.

    2002

    CASE collaborates with the Ministry of Health for more transparent hospital billings.

    CASE supports stricter regulations on Chinese Proprietary Medicine.

    2003

    CASE re-joins Consumer International as an affiliated member

    CASE revises Singapore Code of Advertising Practices to ensure honest advertisements.

    CASE Talk extends to Capital Radio 95.8FM to reach out to our Chinese listeners.

    CASE incumbent President Mr Yeo Guat Kwang proposes Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Bill to the Parliament.

  • 2004

    Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act takes effect as of 1 March 2004, after years of CASE’s lobbying.

    CASE sets up a Contact Centre to handle complaints and enquiries via phone calls.

    Consumers can also lodge complaints online.

    CaseTrust is launched for Renovation Businesses.

    CaseTrust is rebranded with a new logo.

    CASE starts island-wide food expiry-date survey. Subsequent surveys show big drop in retailers selling expired goods.

    ASAS adds three new clauses to the Singapore Advertising Code of Practice.

    CASE signs 21 MOUs with business associations and partners to promote Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act and CASE mediation service

  • 2005

    CaseTrust and Singapore Retailers Association launch Joint Accreditation for Retailers.

    CASE creates a world first by signing an International Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) of India and a second International MOU with the Chinese Consumers' Association (CCA).

    CASE becomes a member of International Consumer Research Testing (ICRT) to strengthen its research& product testing activities.

    2006

    CASE organises public consultation to give views and feedback on proposed amendments to the CPFTA.

    CASE and National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) launch the Joint Accreditation Scheme for the travel industry.

    CASE implements the Model Agreements and Transparent Advertisements from Accredited Employment Agencies.

  • 2007

    CASE holds first nationwide "Walk with CASE" event to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day.

    CASE holds first nationwide "Walk with CASE" event to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day.

    CASE signs MOUs with SETSCO Services Pte Ltd and Singapore Test Services Pte Ltd to expand the scope of testing for consumer products.

    CASE revamps its website and launched CaseTrust's website at www.casetrust.org.sg.

    2008

    CASE obtains injunctions against Global Europ (Asia) Pte Ltd and Naughty By Nature Pte Ltd to stop them from their unfair business practices.

    The first CASE Gold Fineness Survey highlights errant vendors selling gold jewellery with less than the claimed fineness.

  • 2009

    The amendments to the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act are passed. CASE holds a Fair Trading and You Carnival at Plaza Singapura to introduce the new legislation to the consumers.

    10th anniversary of CASE Mediation Centre and CaseTrust.

    The CaseTrust-SVTA (Singapore Vehicle Traders Association) Joint Accreditation Scheme for motorcar dealers is launched. It protects consumers’ fees and deposits.

    The Motor Insurance Taskforce is formed with the joint efforts of CASE, the Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS), General Insurance Association (GIA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Land Transport Authority (LTA). The taskforce submits a list of recommendations to address the problem of high motor insurance premiums.

    Launch of CASE Facebook and Twitter.

    2010

    CASE launches the CaseTrust accreditation for Spa and Wellness businesses. The accreditation scheme provides more protection for consumers using these services.

    CASE launches free SMS alert for consumers to notify them of CASE news and events.

    CASE conducts a toy survey and test to ascertain the safety of toys sold locally; finds 46% of toys had exceedingly high levels of plasticisers and/or lead.

    CASE urges the government to implement a consumer product safety legislation to protect consumers from unsafe consumer products.

    CASE launches the "Knowledge is Protection" education campaign to increase outreach to the elderly and youth.

    CASE revised its Vision and Mission.

  • 2011

    Following CASE’s advocacy for safer consumer goods, the Consumer Protection (Consumer Goods Safety Requirements) Regulations (CGSR) is implemented. SPRING Singapore is appointed the Safety Authority in charge of ensuring the safety of an additional 15,000 consumer products not already regulated as controlled goods.

    CASE conducts a 2nd toy survey and test to ascertain the safety of toys sold.

    SPRING, CASE and other industry associations join hands to form a joint working group to look into ways to further improve toy safety in Singapore.

    Mandatory insurance scheme for CaseTrust accredited spas is introduced, providing better assurance for consumers of such services.

    CASE collaborates with Singapore Tourism Board to handle tourist complaints.

    Stansfield College's claims against CASE are dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

    CASE celebrates its 40th anniversary with a gala dinner.

  • 2012

    CASE has a new President, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, taking over from Mr Yeo Guat Kwang who stepped down after 10 years at the helm.

    Launch of CASE application on Android's Google Play Store and Apple's App Store.

  • 2013

    CASE holds "Walk with CASE" event to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day.

    CASE conducts tests on energy saving light bulbs and air purifiers to ascertain performance claims.

    CASE conducts a survey on prices of hawker food and finds out that prices are still reasonable and affordable for consumers.

    CASE signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Direct Selling Association of Singapore to develop a joint accreditation scheme for the Direct Selling Industry.

    CASE signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with four new associations - Singapore Clock & Watch Trade Association, The Chiropractic Association (Singapore), Moneylender's Association of SIngapore and Restaurant Association of Singapore

  • 2014

    CASE celebrated World Consumer Rights Day 2014 with a Carnival at Safra Toa Payoh.

    CASE revamped the CASE, CaseTrust and ASAS website with a new look.

    CASE conducted our fifth round of gold fineness test and all 20 jewellery pieces passed the fineness requirement.

    CASE also conducted three more tests on air purifiers, paper napkins and vitamin C supplements.

    CASE conducted three surveys on prices of beer, hawker food and N95 face masks.

    CASE signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Suppliers Association (RCMA) to develop a joint accreditation scheme for the renovation industry.

  • 2015

    CASE launches a joint accreditation scheme with the Direct Selling Association of Singapore (DSAS) for the direct selling industry.

    CASE celebrates World Consumer Rights Day 2015 with a Walk and Food Fair at the F1 Pit Building.

    CASE signs a Memorandum of Understanding and launches a joint accreditation scheme with the Singapore Jewellers Association (SJA) for the jewellery industry.

    CASE launches the TRUST programme together with EZ-Link and the Spa and Wellness Association of Singapore (SWAS) for the protection of consumers’ prepayments for spa and wellness packages.

    CASE tests nail care products in Singapore for toxic chemicals and finds them safe for use.

    CASE successfully takes out an injunction against Mr. Chiok Wee Juo, sole proprietor of Olena, Bez Gallery and The Exquisite Promenade furniture businesses.

    CASE signs a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) with BreadTalk over mis-labelled soya bean milk bottles.

    CASE signs a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop a joint accreditation scheme with the Singapore School Transport Association (SSTA) for the school bus transport industry.

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