Topic: Fake Qualifications in Singapore: how widespread and what should be done?
The topic of FAKE QUALIFICATIONS arose because of the IDA case involving Nisha Padmanabhan.
SingFirst is of the view that incidents of fake qualifications, if not checked, would go against the principles of Fair Society and Esteemed Singaporeans.
Over 30 concerned Singaporeans attended the public dialogue on 19 May 2015 and expressed their views. A summary of the public views are as follow:
- The Government and specifically the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) have the social responsibility to ensure that government agencies (including Statutory Boards) hire people with genuine qualifications and experiences.
- In the IDA case, while it had been clarified that Nisha Padmanabhan was hired based on her first degree and not her higher degree that was found to be from a non-existent, unaccredited university, the question remained as to whether she gained an unfair advantage over other candidates who had only the bachelor qualification.
- The current Government position of disregarding the qualifications from “degree mills” is not correct. Qualifications from “degree mills” should be treated as forged certifications.
- There should be priority accorded to Singaporeans in employment.
- The government should take immediate steps to implement stringent checks on the qualifications of all work permit applicants.
- The MOM should carry out immediate checks on qualifications of existing staff in government agencies and government linked companies.
SingFirst calls on the government to restore the Public Trust, to:
- Ensure that there is no displacement of qualified Singaporeans to fake qualification holders
- Assure Singaporeans that the highest standards are applied in the recruitment of public officers especially the higher echelons.
- Ensure that there had not been any compromise in public safety and standards in the areas of border control, healthcare, telecom, transport (buses, trains, airport, marine) and even education services.
- Take all actions possible to retain “Our Singapore Brand” that Singaporeans had taken so many years to build and sustain.