Singapore: Parents fined for lying about home address to get child admitted into prestigious school


A couple was fined S$9,000 on Monday for giving a false address to enroll their child in a prestigious school in Bishan area in Singapore. The parents of the primary school student, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of their child, lied about their address during Phase 2C of the 2015 Primary 1 registration exercise.

The child's mother, 36, was fined the maximum amount of S$5,000 for lying about the family's address to the vice-principal of the school. Meanwhile, her 38-year-old husband was fined S$4,000 for duping a registration officer at Serangoon Gardens Neighbourhood Police Post and changing the couple's official residential addresses on their identity cards.

According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Shahla Iqbal, the couple visited their neighborhood police post to change their registered address from Serangoon Gardens to one in Bishan area in 2014. The request for address change was then proceeded by the officer to one in Bishan, while they were still living in a bungalow in Serangoon Gardens.

In 2015, the child's mother registered for Primary 1 at a school in Bishan using the identity cards with the false residential address. As the Bishan address was within 1km of the school, the child was easily given priority for admission under Phase 2C of the registration exercise.

But, school's vice-principal realized that the mother had lied about her home address in January 2016, the month the child started Primary 1. A police report was lodged following the incident.

Under the National Registration Act, the accused woman could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to $5,000. On the other hand, the maximum punishment for her husband's offense is a $5,000 fine and five years' jail.

In August 2015, a 35-year-old man was given a $5,000 fine for lying to a school principal about where he lived to get his daughter admitted to a prestigious primary school. Initially, he was given two-weeks jail but his punishment was changed after he appealed against the court's decision.

In this latest case, the prosecution had earlier asked for a jail sentence for the man. But, he did not oppose the man's appeal for a fine.

Meanwhile, the child who was successfully registered in a school based on false information will be transferred to another school with available vacancies, according to Singapore's Ministry of Education rules.

This article was first published on January 29, 2018