by Wan Dan Liao, Straight Times

The recent uproar over an IDA consultant’s academic qualifications has made the public wonder if the recent pay hike in civil service justified, ST has learned.

Nisha Padmanabhan, a new Singaporean of India origin has a Masters degree conferred by Southern Pacific University, a known degree mill. This issue was discovered by a sharp-eyed Singaporean who subsequently posted his discovery on popular Singapore social media websites. Nisha was later placed under investigation by IDA but cleared her of any wrongdoings as she genuinely believed her Master degree was real.

IDA’s response has caused discomfort among civil servants, especially among ground officers within Immigration & Checkpoint Authority (ICA) which is known by the public to be the first line of defence against dubious characters who wish to relocate and work in Singapore.

A Singaporean, Jia Wen Ping told ST, “The home team recently got a pay rise but they are not able to detect a fake degree, why should they deserve more pay?”

The Ministry of Home Affairs announced a pay rise between 7% to 12% for Home Team officers in August 2014.

“Home Affairs Ministry bluff people one lah”, a former Army regular Jiak Liao Bee added, “how they even approve Nisha’s Singapore citizenship when she has a fake degree? ICA think we Singaporeans are stupid? Home Team officers all jiak liao bee one. Waste time”.

“ICA will confirm make one low-ranked officer hentak-taki but the superscale pay-grade deputy directors still get their annual 5 months performance bonuses”, Mr Jiak mused.

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