The Singapore Government’s SEA Games Organizing Committee has stolen an art piece idea from Singaporean renowned artist and Cultural Medallion winner, Lee Wen. The rounded table tennis table was invented by Lee Wen from iPreciation Art Gallery, and the art gallery submitted this idea to the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the sport museum in 2014. MCCY was then headed by presently MSF Minister Lawrence Wong.

Photo from Martyn See
Photo from Martyn See

Lee Wen’s rounded table tennis table idea was first exhibited in Melbourne Central in 1998. He invented the art piece to bridge cultural differences. Lee Wen’s friend, award-winning film maker Tan Pin Pin, informed Lee Wen about his idea being displayed at the SEA Games Exhibition. Coincidentally, Tan Pin Pin awards-winning film, To Singapore With Love, was banned by the Singapore Government for being “politically insensitive”.

This idea however has been stolen by the SEA Games Organizing Committee, who pushed the blame to their vendor:

“This was an activity proposed by our vendor, and were unaware of the similarity. We did not intend to infringe on any rights.”

In other countries with Intellectual Property rights, the Singapore Government could be paying compensation in millions to Lee Wen for copyright infringement regardless whether they “intended” or not. However, the Singapore government-controlled mainstream media The Straits Times, approached two Singapore-based “intellectual property lawyers”,  and both said there is not copyright infringed at all.

Do you think it is moral of the Singapore Government to copy an idea just because they have the legal right to do so?