About Singapore Electrical Trades Association

Message from President

Dear Members,

We have a website for many years; and unlike websites for business marketing and transactions, ours has been a platform where visitors only get information about SETA.

We need a change – we need a website that is able to communicate with visitors efficiently and most probably they would spend more time on our website because it is interesting. Not because they got lost in it.

To be interesting is not impossible. To begin with, our role is broadly divided into:

  • Dialogue and interact with government agencies and authorities of members’ concern
  • Upgrade and keeping abreast with changes and development of electrical trade
  • Serves on various government-related institutions to bring about the standards and practices
  • Promote mutual interests of members to advance practice of electrical engineering work through technical and social events

With these roles in mind, I am sure that our new website will have enough information and constantly updated. Visitors, including our members will be delighted to visit, communicate, and contribute to make the platform dynamic.

The opportunities to be better are abound and borderless. I urge members and guests making visits, to share with us how you want the SETA website to be. How can we uplift our level of networking and sharing?

Thank you.

Our Objectives

(a) To secure the complete organisation and unity of all persons doing and /or connected with the electrical trade and to promote industrial, social and intellectual interests of its members;

(b) Assist its members on matters concerning their work especially in their dealings with local authorities and clients;

(c) To promote and protect the mutual interests of members by encouraging their advancement in the practice of electrical engineering work through lectures and technical discussions; and /or

(d) To maintain and uphold a high standard of service to the community at large.


A Brief History

Situation of Electrical Industry in 1957

The Registrar of Registered Electrical Contractors of the Municipal Council 1957 shows that there were more than 600 electrical contractors engaged in government and other public and private construction projects at that time. The Electrical Department of Municipal Council did not have a complete criteria on wiring and the safe usage of electrical appliances then for people of the industry to follow. That was why there were differences of opinion on electrical installation and safe usage between electrical inspectors of the Municipal Council and the contractors, resulting in frequent controversies. Leading members of the industry then thought that it was time for electrical contractors to organise themselves.

Founding Objectives and Founding Members

First, the organisation could promote friendship and co-operation among members of the industry. Second, the organisation could hold dialogue with the authorities after having obtained a consensus of opinion among the members, with the aim of eliminating friction and promoting co-operation, so that members could carry out their installation work more efficiently. The eight founders of the Association were Messrs. Tan Choon Suan, Kowk Siak Hong, Choo Kok Jee, Choo Kay Tock, Koong Chuong, Tan Chee Keow, Wong Man Seng and Woo Ah Cheng. Its application for registration was approved in 1958 and it was formally known as Singapore Electrical Contractors Association, members of which were all electrical contractors.

First Association premises

After its formation, the Association began to carry out its activities and soon much progress was made. In such circumstance members felt that it was necessary to purchase premises of our own so that members would have a centre for gathering and a permanent place for various kinds of activities. With the joint effort of all the members, the Association was able to raise an amount of more than S$20,000 within two years after its formation. And accordingly, the Association’s premises at 365D Serangoon Road was purchased in 1960.

Change of name to SETA

Following the advance of the age, the popularisation of electrification and Government’s implementation industrialisation, the electrical industry made a rapid growth in the sixties. Moreover, PUB had formulated certain rulings on electrical materials, appliances and methods of installation to further ensure safety.People engaged in the industry – electrical appliance suppliers, electrical technicians, manufacturers and contractors – are required to have better co-ordination and higher specialised knowledge. Accordingly the Association underwent a re-organisation in 1968 by widening its limit of membership to include electrical product wholesalers and manufacturers. The Association then changed its English name to SINGAPORE ELECTRICAL TRADES ASSOCIATION while retaining its Chinese name which in fact includes every aspect of the electrical industry. The change of its name in English enables it to keep up more closely withts activities. In the same year the Association in response to the Patriotic Campaign urged members to donate to the Defence Fund and raised more than S$27,000. With this it had played its part in nation-building.

New 3 storey premises

The added activities of the Association rendered the existing premises inadequate and it was decided that he premises be sold and replaced by the three-storeyed, more spacious and cosy premises which the Association bought in 1970.

Upgrading of members professional standards

In keeping with the need brought about by the progress of society, the Association also made much contribution in helping members upgrade their professional standard and modernisation. At that time the Association has set up a Technical Advisory Sub-Committee comprised of two engineers from our members and three appointed consulting engineers from the profession. An Electrical Technician TrainingClass was held by the Sub-Committee at Pek Kio Community Centre to help train employees of members for obtaining N.T.C.3 Certificates with which they could register with PUB as electricians and technicians.In addition, it also helped those experienced wor kers in electrical installation who were low in education to gain registration as electricians.

Continued involvement with regulators & the community

The formation of the Sub-Committee was also intended to help recommend solution of technical problem to members in the course of work. Moreover, members of the Sub-Committee had been appointed on behalf of the Association to the various technical committees of PUB, SISIR, VITB etc. This has served as a bridge between our Association and the various related Government institutions. On the one hand , the representatives submit the views of our Association to the various committees and on the other hand, they also convey to the Association the back ground and reason on certain rulings and regulations made by the related departments. In this way, they help promote mutual understanding and co-ordinate the implementation of the rulings. This important work undertaken by them has served as a basis for the good relationship between our Association and the many Government institutions.

Launch of website

After forty two years of the founding of our Association, the Council Members decided that SETA should have a website in line with the government policy, with this SETA Website, we would be able to provide better services to our members as well as the public.

SETA Constitution

A copy of the Singapore Electrical Trades Association’s Constitution can be found here.