Jail parents who lie about their address

It is not difficult to see why parents would take a chance and lie about where they live to get their child into a prestigious school (Couple fined for giving false address in Pri 1 registration; Jan 30).

First, anecdotal evidence suggests that this is a rampant practice among kiasu parents and is very difficult to detect - it is virtually impossible to uncover a fake rental agreement.

Second, the parents who are discovered to have done this are prosecuted - but only fined.

However, these parents are usually rich enough to employ lawyers and pay the fine.

Such a practice deprives children who truly live nearby of a chance to study in a good school.

It is also sending a message to children that they should do whatever they have to, to get into a prestigious school, including cheat.

I urge the Government to impose a mandatory jail term for parents who lie about their address.

The child should also be expelled from the school and enrolled in a school near his home.

With such measures, I do not think parents will take the risk any more.

Chua Boon Hou

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2018, with the headline 'Jail parents who lie about their address'. Print Edition | Subscribe