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Jointly organised by SNCF and Seacare Co-operative, Service Sector Night 2018 was a night full of fun and laughter while keeping affiliates updated with the latest happenings as well as fostering and strengthening relationships.

Forty members from 16 co-operatives comprising Campus, Credit and Service sectors attended the event at [email protected] located at the Seacare Building on 24 October.

Shena Foo Seacare Group CeoThe evening started with a welcome address by Ms Shena Foo, Chair of Service Sector, SNCF and Deputy Group CEO of Seacare Co-operative, who touched on the importance of co-operation and collaboration. She cited the affiliates’ collaborative directory as an example where affiliates can look for potential partnership.

The participants then observed a 1-minute silence to remember late Ms Helen Lim from the Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative. Mr Alec Chew, a member of Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative, shared how Helen started the co-operative and her passion to serve the silver community.

Dr Leong Choon Kit, Chairman of newly-formed co-operative, GP+ Co-operative provided an introduction of GP+ Co-operative and how his co-operative can collaborate with other co-operatives like giving health talks and offering screening packages for co-operators.

Participants were kept engaged and entertained with local delights served at six food kiosks and entertainment and music from a local live band.

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 service sector night group photo 2  service sector night live band

The night ended with representatives from SNCF sharing about the recent Digital Business Challenge event and updates on the CCF Grant.

2018 ICU EN Logo HighRes BlackThe International Credit Union (ICU) Day® celebrates the spirit of the global credit union movement. The day is recognised to reflect upon the credit union movement's history, promote its achievements, recognise the hard work and share member experiences.

The ultimate goal of ICU Day® is to raise awareness about the tremendous work that credit unions and other financial co-operatives are doing around the world and give members the opportunity to get more engaged. The day of festivities for credit unions/co-operatives and financial co-operatives globally include fundraising, open houses, contests, picnics, volunteering and parades.

Credit Co-operatives in Singapore

The history of credit co-operatives in Singapore goes way back to 1925, with the formation of the first co-operative. Today, our credit co-operatives have in total 139,000 members and have given out $209 million loans to members.

Here are some fun facts about credit co-operatives in Singapore:

credit Full Infographics webFigures from Annual Report on Co-operative Societies in Singapore for the financial year ended 31 March 2017, Registry of Co-operative Societies, MCCY

ICU Day Celebration

What better way to celebrate ICU Day® than with co-operatives working together to do good for another co-operative?

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SNCF, together with some of the affiliates from the credit sector, namely, The Singapore Statutory Boards Employees’ Co-operative Thrift and Loan Society, and The Singapore Teachers’ Co-operative Society, celebrated ICU Day by volunteering at NTUC Health Nursing Home (Geylang East).

The fun-filled afternoon spent with seniors from the nursing home was a wonderful opportunity for co-operators to know one another better through a meaningful activity.

The volunteers interacted with the seniors through activities such as art and craft, puzzle solving and karaoke. They also learnt some best practices on interacting with seniors, from staff at NTUC Health Nursing Home.

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This is the first time that Mr Willy Kang, from The Singapore Teachers’ Co-operative Society, volunteered as a co-operative member and feels that volunteering at nursing homes could help teachers understand the seniors better, which will in turn help them in teaching their students the values of such activities.

Credit Co-operatives Doing Good

It is not just this one day where credit co-operatives do good. In fact, co-operatives have been doing good for the community regularly.

For example, credit co-operatives such as the The Singapore Government Staff Credit Co-operative and The Singapore Teachers’ Co-operative Society through their “Common Good Funds” provide members with benefits like loyalty membership benefits, retirement benefits, funeral grants etc. In addition, The Singapore Government Staff Credit Co-operative also offers educational awards for members’ children, hospitalisation and loyalty membership benefits. Such benefits align well with their members’ needs.

We also have credit co-ops giving back to the society in their own ways. For instance, The Singapore Statutory Boards Employees’ Co-operative Thrift and Loan Society (SSBEC) had recently kicked off their first ever community outreach initiative, “Giving Back to the Society” with the residents at the Ren Ci Hospital at Bukit Batok on 23 September 2018. The day was filled with fun and laughter with lots of games, singing oldie songs and making crafts and above all they had a birthday celebration for the residents. They intend to organise such activities at least thrice a year as part of SSBEC’s social mission.

ssbec giving back to the society

“SSBEC has withered through tough times as it gave us an opportunity to go within and seek for strength and solace. We have risen to the occasion and now it is our time to make a difference and give back to the society so that the less fortunate and weak will not be left behind. SSBEC will continue to operate based on the core co-operative principle of taking care of members’ needs and also to play a role by taking small steps with the aim of creating big impact,” Mr Shanmugathaasan Balasingam, General Manager at SSBEC, shared.

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The collaborative economy links individuals as buyers and sellers, improving the lives of consumers as it makes things more convenient. Examples of digital platforms include the house-sharing platform Airbnb which rents out people’s home for vacations and car-sharing platform Uber/Grab which gives people rides across the cities/countries as taxis.

The collaborative economy also sees the rise of platform co-operatives. A platform co-operative (co-op) is a co-operatively owned, democratically governed business that establishes a computing platform, and uses a protocol, website or mobile app to facilitate the sale of goods and services.

Unlike corporate “sharing” platforms, a platform co-op upholds the International Co-operative Alliance’s co-operative principles as it distributes ownership and management of the enterprise to its participants with a mission to improve the common good, job security and benefits. Below are some success stories.

  • Stocksy is an artist-owned co-op that sells stockphotography and video footages. The co-op, which is based in Victoria, British Columbia, is built on the idea that the artists who contribute photos/videos to the site should receive fair pay and have sustainable careers. Artist-members license their photos/images to Stocksy and will receive 50 percent of a Standard License Purchase and 75% of an Extended License Purchase as well as a share in the company.
  • Modo is a Vancouver-based carsharing co-operative. Member-owners are shareholding members of the co-op, which means they make decisions collectively through voting. It was incorporated in 1997 with just two cars and 16 members. Today, it has more than 16,000 members and a fleet of over 500 sports cars, sedans, trucks, SUVs, vans, and hybrids — all of which are available at $4/hour through their mobile app and website. Modo is the first carshare co-op in North America.
  • Fairmondo is a co-op owned online marketplace with a focus on fair commerce. Originated from Germany and has expanded to the UK, it is owned by local users and provides an alternative to eBay and Amazon.


Platform Co-ops in Singapore?

Singapore’s push towards better living through technology has seen some corporates embarking on digitalisation journey. Below are few examples:

  1. CCRManager Pte Ltd, founded by a group of seasoned banking and technology professionals in 2017, invests and operates technology platforms and financial solutions for the global trade and working capital industry such as enabling financial institutions to list the assets for distribution, firm up deals and exchange the necessary documentation through a secured platform.
  2. KPMG in Singapore launched “Digital Village,” an online platform aimed at stimulating collaboration between corporates and the start-up community.
  3. Singapore-based start-up DEX and PwC Singapore jointly developed a blockchain-based platform for data owners and buyers to transact and share data.

Singaporeans can come together to form platform co-ops or existing co-ops can ride on this digital wave to create platforms where collaboration can happen to address the needs of society. Some potential business opportunities are car-sharing service (similar to Modo), caregiver service etc.



  1. What is a Platform Co-op,
  2. Platform Co-operatives Creating A Real Sharing Economy,
  3. Owning is The New Sharing,
  4. Platform Cooperativism Taking Back Internet, The News Coop
  5. What Are Open Co-ops and Platform Co-ops,


Touching Lives Called to Comfort

While many may think it’s just a matter of whisking together milk, flour and eggs, CK swears that no one does pancakes better than her dad! He is fondly remembered as someone who not only cooks well, but who is great with children. He was a loving and dedicated family man.

When Mr Koh breathed his last breath at age 89 years at his home on 18 February this year, the family mourned his passing. “We did not have the “to do list” to prepare for his passing at home, though dad was home bound and frail for the past few years,” CK said. “Perhaps we just didn’t want to face up to it.”

CK, however, remembered one important piece of information - Hosanna Bereavement Services (HBS) set up by the Methodist Co-operative Society Ltd. CK had heard good things about the bereavement services from her Methodist pastors and having attended a few Christian funeral services.

Upon making the first contact, HBS provided clear step-by-step instructions on the whole process - from getting a Certificate of Cause of Death to making a police report; from booking of the wake venue, catering and transport to cremation and arranging for sea burial. Every detail was looked into with a deep sense of care and respect.

“The bereavement team was very accommodating. My dad passed on just after midnight and the team waited patiently for quite some time while we tried to locate one of our siblings,” recalled CK. “We were given enough space and time to bid farewell before dad was taken away to be embalmed.”

“The team went the extra mile in more ways than one to ensure that my family did not have to take on any additional stress of worrying about the wake and funeral process.”

One of the objectives of HBS is to help bereaved families make prudent decisions with regards to expenditure on bereavement services.

“This is so important especially in a time of grief, it can be difficult to make even the smallest decision.”

“Not only did their professionalism, compassion and dignified handling of my father’s funeral arrangements made this difficult time a little easier to bear, it brought a measure of comfort to my family,” said CK.

“So for now, it’s hasta la vista, Dad!”

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Singapore National Co-operative Federation
510 Thomson Road #12-02
SLF Building, Singapore 298135
Email: [email protected]
Tel (65) 6602 0747, Fax (65) 6259 9577

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