Dear editor

I am very disappointed with IDA and Ministry of Manpower’s lack of updates in the recent spate of fake degree cases.

Firstly, it looks like there are public servants in statutory boards who possess fake educational qualifications. Unless IDA can come out with a statement to refute this, Singaporeans will continue to assume that IDA allows foreigners with dubious characters to represent the organisation.

Secondly, Singaporeans need to question public organisations on their hiring policy. It is clear to Singaporeans that IDA allows foreigners with dubious tertiary educational qualifications to work in the organisation. Are these foreign educational institutions any better than Singapore’s very own? In fact, it is well-known that Singapore public service generally do not welcome private school graduates. For instance, graduates from private institutions such as SIM are usually placed in the diploma scheme of service which translate to lower career prospects and lower remunerations. But as many Singaporeans can see now, foreigners with fake degrees are given the title of “Consultant” with $60,000 or more annual pay package.

Thirdly, although Singaporeans are concerned about foreigners with fake qualifications accessing sensitive government documents, I wish to highlight that Singaporeans must be more wary of human resource personnel in public organisations who may knowingly assist these foreigners with fake certifications to gain employment in the public sector! Singaporeans must not forget it is the duty of the human resource officers to vet the applicants and ensure their suitability for employment. If lay Singaporeans are able to detect fake degrees, why can’t HR officers in public sector able to do the same? I question the integrity of these HR officers.

According to section 6(1) of the Singapore Official Secrets Act:

“Unauthorised use of uniforms, falsification of reports, forgery, personation and false documents
6.—(1) If any person gains or assists any other person to gain admission to a prohibited place otherwise than by an authorised point of entry or, for the purpose of gaining admission, or of assisting any other person to gain admission, to a prohibited place, or for any other purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of Singapore within the meaning of this Act”

(a) uses or wears, without lawful authority, any naval, military, air force, police or other official uniform, or any uniform so nearly resembling the same as to be calculated to deceive, or falsely represents himself to be a person who is or has been entitled to use or wear any such uniform;
(b) makes use of any disguise or false name, or knowingly conceals his identity or nationality;
(c) orally, or in writing in any declaration or application, or in any document signed by him or on his behalf, knowingly makes or connives at the making of any false statement or any omission;
(d) forges, alters or tampers with any passport or any naval, military, air force, police or official pass, permit, certificate, licence or other document of a similar character (referred to in this section as an official document), or uses or has in his possession any such forged, altered or irregular official document;
(e) personates, or falsely represents himself to be, a person holding or in the employment of a person holding office under the Government, or personates, or falsely represents himself to be or not to be, a person to whom an official document or secret official code word, countersign or password has been duly issued or communicated; or
(f) uses, or has in his possession or under his control, without the authority of the Government department or any specified organisation or the authority concerned, any key, badge, device, die, seal or stamp of or belonging to, or used, made or provided by any Government department or any specified organisation, or by any diplomatic, naval, military or air force authority appointed by or acting under the authority of the Government or that specified organisation, or any key, badge, device, die, seal or stamp so nearly resembling any such articles as aforesaid as to be calculated to deceive, or counterfeits any such articles as aforesaid, or uses, or has in his possession, or under his control, any such counterfeited articles as aforesaid,

Clearly, if public officers are found to use fake degrees to gain employment successfully, the human resource officers invoved in the hiring must be investigated under OSA to ensure they did not wilfully use their position to assist dubious foreigners to gain access to sensitive information.

Is it just me or I am beginning to feel that our Singapore government is a joke these days. True blue Singaporeans are not given priority in jobs in the public service while foreigners with dubious qualifications can easily gain employment with salary paid for by taxpayers.

I hope Lee Hsien Loong’s son Li Hongyi who is currently working in IDA as consultant can one day barge into his father’s office to demand an investigation into the perceived phenomenon of foreigners holding fake degree holders working in public organisations. For once, kinship helps.

A.S.S. Reader

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