Man gets two weeks' jail for lying about address for daughter's Primary 1 registration

SINGAPORE - A self-employed man who lied about where he lived to get his daughter enrolled in a prestigious primary school was sentenced to two weeks' jail on Tuesday.

The nature of the offence is hard to detect and even a maximum fine would not be sufficient for deterrence, said District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan.

The 35-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his daughter's identity, is appealing against his sentence.

He pleaded guilty last month to giving false information to the school's principal on July 30, 2013.

A charge of lying to a police sergeant 10 days earlier to have the address on his identity card changed was taken into consideration.

The man indicated his address was within 1km to 2km of the school when he registered his daughter under Phase 2C of the Primary 1 registration exercise in 2013.

His identity card showed the address but the man actually lived in Balestier Road, which fell outside that radius.

The property at the address he provided belonged to his uncle's sister and had been rented out. His acts came to light when the Education Ministry visited the place.

The false information allowed his daughter to secure a place in the school. She was reportedly still enrolled there when he was charged on May 27 last year.

In his mitigation for a non-custodial sentence, defence lawyer Ramesh Tiwary said the man had a clean record and had never gotten into trouble with the law.

The man also intended to move into the address but was unable to do so because he was unable to contact the tenant, said Mr Tiwary.

For providing false information to a public servant, the man faced up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

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.

amirh@sph.com.sg