The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is investigating the matter of fake university qualifications held by work pass holders (MOM probes 15 for fake educational qualifications, Feb 18).
It was also reported that in the past five years, an average of 660 foreigners each year were permanently barred from working here for using fake educational qualifications; a few were convicted.
Clearly, the numbers are not insignificant, and the matter not inconsequential, given that these people are entrusted with functions such as the education of our next generation and the provision of services such as healthcare for our loved ones.
The matter of work pass holders with fake educational qualifications is not new.
There have been cases in the past of those who used fake educational qualifications in their job applications and were hired by statutory boards and polytechnics. When these incidents were exposed, the organisations stood by their hiring of those individuals.
MOM said "employers have the primary responsibility of ensuring the authenticity of academic qualifications of the foreigners they wish to hire". So, while those who submitted fake qualifications may be convicted and barred from working here, are there no penalties for employers who do not practise responsible hiring in weeding out such applicants?
Was any employer of the yearly average of 660 cases involving fake qualifications penalised?
Can Singapore afford to let its reputation, integrity, work values, future, be run down by this insidious practice?
Tan Soon Hock