In a Parliamentary response to Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Png Eng Huat’s question over whether the Singapore Government will consider setting up a centralized system to check foreign degrees for public service agencies, the Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean flatly shot down the idea. Workers’ Party MP Png Eng Huat has raised this question because of several high profile cases of fake degree holders appearing on the media.

DPM Teo said he believes that the public service agency responsible for hiring a candidate with foreign qualifications, is already in the best position to decide his relevance and suitability for the job.

However DPM Teo did not clarify if holders of fake degrees from degree mills, can be allowed to continue working in the public service agencies even when their fake qualifications are not taken into account during the hiring process.

Photo from Linkedin
Photo from Linkedin

A recent high profile case featured a former Indian National and present New Citizen, Nisha Padmanabhan, working as an Applications Consultant for the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) . However IDA has stood by their decision to hire Nisha, the new cititzen exposed to have a degree from a known degree mill. They justified the decision saying that she genuinely thought that SPU was a proper university and that her MBA was real.

Here is what IDA said:

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your patience in awaiting the outcome of our investigation into the case concerning Nisha Padmanabhan.

We have conducted a thorough investigation into the matter, taking into account the various concerns raised. We have assessed the facts and interviewed Nisha Padmanabhan, and are satisfied that she did not deceive or mislead IDA by citing the MBA in her CV when she applied to IDA for a job.

Nisha had enrolled for an MBA distance learning programme with Southern Pacific University in 2005 when she was residing in Malaysia. She had genuinely believed her MBA programme to be bona fide, and she had put in effort to obtain the qualification. In retrospect, Nisha acknowledges that she should have been more discerning in assessing the quality of the university which she had selected to pursue her distance learning programme.

While IDA did not take Nisha’s MBA into account when hiring her, as the job only required a Bachelor degree-holder, we did look at her relevant skillsets and past work experience as she was a mid-career hire.

There is a news report on this in Straits Times, and you may wish to read it here:…/employee-cleared-misleading-i…

Thank you.