Ex-private school directors charged

Pek (left) and Tang allegedly failed to refund course fees, totalling about $174,000, among other charges. Kings International Business School had its registration cancelled on May 5 last year.
Pek (above) and Tang allegedly failed to refund course fees, totalling about $174,000, among other charges. Kings International Business School had its registration cancelled on May 5 last year.ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW
Pek (left) and Tang allegedly failed to refund course fees, totalling about $174,000, among other charges. Kings International Business School had its registration cancelled on May 5 last year.
Pek and Tang (above) allegedly failed to refund course fees, totalling about $174,000, among other charges. Kings International Business School had its registration cancelled on May 5 last year.ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW

Duo face charges under Private Education Act and of abetment in obstruction of justice

Two directors of a private school, which was ordered to be shut down a year ago, were hauled to court yesterday to face charges under the Private Education Act and of abetment to intentionally obstruct the course of justice.

Kings International Business School (KIBS) in Bukit Merah Central had its registration cancelled on May 5 last year.

Investigations had shown that the school had offered and awarded some students with diplomas in maritime studies without requiring class attendance or assessment.

Pek Siew Gek, 39, and Tang Yudong, 27, a Singapore permanent resident, face 14 and two charges respectively. They were managers and directors of KIBS.

The duo are alleged to have failed to refund course fees, totalling about $174,000, received from 34 students by July 3 last year despite a written directive to do so by the Council for Private Education.

The amounts to be refunded ranged from $717 to $6,923 each. Most were pursuing a diploma course in maritime studies.

Pek is accused of furnishing 10 false examination scripts of students to the council on Nov 7, 2014, and two counts of furnishing three attendance lists which were false, on Nov 7 and 14 that year.

She and Tang allegedly committed abetment by intentionally obstructing the course of justice by asking a female employee to admit that she was the one who produced the false documents to the council during an inspection on Nov 11, 2014.

The duo's lawyer, Mr Patrick Fernandez, told District Judge Christopher Goh that he had just been briefed, and asked for four weeks to take instructions and possibly, to make representations.

The maximum punishment for failing to refund course fees is a $10,000 fine and 12 months' jail.

If convicted of furnishing documents which are false in a material particular, they face a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a jail term of up to six months. The Penal Code offence is punishable with up to a quarter of the maximum of seven years' jail and fine. The case will be mentioned on June 29.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2016, with the headline 'Ex-private school directors charged'. Print Edition | Subscribe