Dad jailed for lying about address for child's P1 registration

Dad jailed for lying about address for child's P1 registration

A FATHER who lied about where he lived to get his daughter into a top primary school has been sentenced to two weeks in jail.

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said a maximum fine of $5,000 was not enough to send a deterrent message, pointing out that the crime is one that is "hard to detect".

The 35-year-old self-employed 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 change the address on his identity card was taken into consideration.

The man had indicated his address as being within 1km to 2km of the brand-name school, when he registered his daughter under Phase 2C of the Primary 1 registration exercise in 2013. This allowed his daughter to secure a place.

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

The address he provided belonged to his uncle's sister, and had been rented out.

His subterfuge came to light when the Education Ministry visited the place.

Asking for his client not to be sent to jail, defence lawyer Ramesh Tiwary said the man did what he did for his daughter's sake.

He had also intended to move into the address he named but was unable to do so because he was unable to contact the tenant, added the lawyer.

But Deputy Public Prosecutor Lin Yinbing pointed out that the man contacted the tenant only in February last year, after his ruse was discovered.

His daughter was reportedly still enrolled in the school when he was charged on May 27 last year.

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 in 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


This article was first published on March 04, 2015.
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