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Student forged poly transcripts to apply to UniSIM and SUSS, fined S$5,500

SINGAPORE — Desperate to get into a university to satisfy his mother, Kieffer Tay Kai Xian altered his polytechnic transcript and submitted the forged documents on two occasions to Singapore Institute of Management University (UniSIM).

Student forged poly transcripts to apply to UniSIM and SUSS, fined S$5,500

The court heard that Kieffer Tay Kai Xian tried several times to use forged polytechnic transcripts to gain admission to university.

SINGAPORE — Desperate to get into a university to satisfy his mother, Kieffer Tay Kai Xian altered his polytechnic transcript and submitted the forged documents on two occasions to Singapore Institute of Management University (UniSIM).

When it was renamed the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) in 2017, as part of its restructure into the country’s sixth autonomous university, Tay applied once more with a doctored transcript.

His lawyer said that he was “under an immense level of stress” from his mother at the time, who allegedly kicked him out of their home for not getting into university.

Tay, now 24 years old, was ordered to pay a fine of S$5,500 in a district court on Thursday (Dec 19). He is now completing his bachelor’s degree at SIM Global Education in association with the University of Birmingham.

He pleaded guilty to one forgery charge, with three others taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that he submitted the forged polytechnic certificates from 2016 to 2017.

On one occasion, he changed his cumulative grade point average from 1.76 to 2.76 on his Temasek Polytechnic transcript.

He thought that this would increase his chances of getting into a finance course at UniSIM. After submitting the transcript, the university's management found that it was doctored and rejected his application. However, he persisted in applying there.

In March this year, a management executive at SUSS made a police report, stating that Tay had repeatedly submitted doctored polytechnic certificates in order to gain admission.

In mitigation on Thursday, Tay’s lawyer Jeffrey Soh asked for probation to be imposed.

Mr Soh described Tay, the only child in his family, as “constantly under his mother’s radar”.

“The mother’s intentions in his studies are both altruistic and… worldly at the same time. She must keep up appearances in every way, from the house they live in and the car they drive to the places that they go on holidays,” Mr Soh said.

The lawyer also claimed that she has verbally and physically abused Tay and his father for many years.

When Tay did poorly in his polytechnic studies, she continuously criticised him for his failures and demanded that he get good enough grades to get into a “respectable local university”, Mr Soh added.

Tay’s father submitted a statutory declaration to the court, where he said his wife was frequently violent towards them and she was a “very 'face-conscious' person” (someone who is conscious about reputation and prestige, and does not want to be disgraced).

“She wanted my son to get into a university partly for his future, but mostly for her to have 'face' in front of friends and relatives,” the elder Tay wrote.

In response to Mr Soh, Deputy Public Prosecutor R Arvindren said that Tay should not get probation because he had committed the offences after turning 21.

“The reason we had proceeded to charge him in court was due to his repeated forgery actions. This is also not a case where the prosecution is submitting for imprisonment, where the criminal sanctions are much more severe,” the prosecutor added.

District Judge Samuel Chua told the father, who was present in court without his wife, that he has arranged for a court counsellor to assist them in improving their relationships.

For forgery, Tay could have been jailed up to four years, fined, or both.

Related topics

court crime forgery certificate SUSS Temasek Polytechnic university parents relationship

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