Singapore Pawnbrokers' Association celebrates 100th anniversary, raises $537.5k for SUTD bursary

Singapore Pawnbrokers’ Association President Ivan Ho Khiam Seng, SUTD President Chong Tow Chong and Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam at a ceremony at the Gateway Theatre on Sept 18, 2021.
Singapore Pawnbrokers’ Association President Ivan Ho Khiam Seng, SUTD President Chong Tow Chong and Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam at a ceremony at the Gateway Theatre on Sept 18, 2021.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE -The Singapore Pawnbrokers' Association (SPA) has raised $537,500 to fund a bursary scheme for Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) students.

It was part of SPA's activities to commemorate its 100th anniversary, which was postponed from last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A symbolic cheque was presented by SPA president Ho Khiam Seng to SUTD president Chong Tow Chong during a ceremony on Saturday (Sept 18) at the Gateway Theatre in Bukit Merah.

Mr Ho said the Government will match the amount raised by 1½ times.

Established in 1920, the SPA currently represents the interests of about 200 pawnbrokers in Singapore - which is more than 90 per cent of industry members here.

The event also saw SPA unveil its new logo and launch its special commemorative book, titled Singapore Pawnbroking - From Centennial To Millennium, which showcases its major milestones.

Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam, who was the guest of honour, said in his speech that the SPA had played an important role during the pandemic.

This included waiving the one-month interest on eligible pledges during the circuit breaker last year, which helped to reduce the financial burden for those in need.

He said: "The pandemic has also... shown the importance of going digital. We have been working closely with SPA and pawnbrokers on this."

For example, pledges can now be renewed online with sufficient safeguards in place, he added.