SINGAPORE - A man was charged in court on Tuesday with providing false information to a school principal, so as to secure a place for his daughter in a primary school in the central area.
Henry Wong Yi Hao, 35, who is self-employed, also faces a second charge of giving false information to a police officer at Kampong Java Neighbourhood Police Centre, saying that he lived at a residential address which he knew to be false, causing the cop to change his address on his identity card on July 20 last year.
He is accused of giving false information to the school principal about him living at that address, knowing that it would cause the public servant to enrol his daughter into Phase 2C of the Primary 1 registration exercise.
Wong, who is not represented, indicated he would plead guilty and accept the prosecution's offer to proceed on the first charge, and the second charge to be taken into consideration. Deputy Public Prosecutor Lin Yinbing requested a three-week adjournment to prepare the papers. Wong will be back in court on June 18.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Education Ministry said it receives "a few complaints of alleged cases every year" and assesses before handing these cases over to the police.
"MOE takes a serious view of such alleged cases and any parent found to have provided false information during the Primary One Registration Exercise will be referred to the police for investigation," said a spokesman.
A child who is successfully registered in a school based on false information given will be transferred to another school with available vacancies after all eligible children have been registered, she said.
As for Tuesday's case, the Ministry "will decide on the course of action for the child pending the outcome of the case", she added.
The maximum penalty for providing false information to a public servant is one year's jail and a $5,000 fine. In 2007, a lawyer was given 11 months' jail for forging and lying about his residential address in order to get his daughter into a reputable school in Bukit Timah.