By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
Last week, PRC and former grassroots member Yang Yin was sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment for misappropriating $1.1 million from 89-year-old Madam Chung Khin Chun. In addition, he was also sentenced to 26 months’ jail term for falsifying documents so as to gain an Employment Pass as well as permanent residency in Singapore (https://theindependent.sg.sg/
In 2009, Yang came to Singapore living with Mdm Chung. He was granted an Employment Pass by MOM to “work” in the music school he had set up using Mdm Chung’s address. It was later found that the business was a sham.
ST also reported that, Linda Tan, a neighbour living several units away from Mdm Chung’s bungalow knew about Yang as early as 2009. An old friend of Mdm Chung had told Ms Tan about her suspicions about Yang. “There was little that I could do at that time,” Ms Tan said.
Later, Ms Tan herself tried to visit Mdm Chung several times but was barred from entering the house by the maid while acting on Yang’s instructions. Before Yang came, she could easily visit Mdm Chung.
In Nov 2012, Ms Tan spotted Yang at a grassroots leaders’ event. Surprised that Yang had already obtained permanent residency when she knew that he was essentially unemployed, she wrote to alert ICA about Yang but to no avail.
Yang’s fake degree
When news of Yang case first came to the media attentions in 2014, it was found out that Yang has stated in his EP/PR application that he has a Bachelor’s degree from the “University of Financial and Trade” in Beijing:
Later, the media and online netizens were even able to ascertain that there is no such university in Beijing. The following was an “acceptance letter” supposedly from the non-existent “University of Financial and Trade” (北京财经贸易学院) to show that Yang was accepted by the university to study for a bachelor’s degree in 2006:
To obtain an Employment Pass to work in Singapore, MOM’s own website said that one requirement is that the foreign applicant need to “have acceptable qualifications, usually a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialist skills”.
Yet, with an annual budget of nearly $2 billion a year, MOM wasn’t able to detect Yang’s fake degree and was, in fact, willing to accept it as an “acceptable qualification” and go ahead to approve Yang’s EP application.
In the case of ICA, despite Ms Tan’s warning in 2012 asking ICA to review Yang’s PR, it did nothing.
Authorities blame Yang for deceiving them instead
Instead of admitting mistakes and apologising to the public for their negligence, the Authorities blame Yang for defrauding them.
During Yang’s trial, the Deputy Public Prosecutorsaid, “Throughout his entire stay in Singapore, both before and after obtaining SPR (Singapore PR) status, the accused (Yang) determinedly did no work whatsoever, made no significant economic contributions to Singapore.”
“Instead, he has directed his considerable energies towards committing offences involving dishonesty and fraud on government agencies and individuals,” DPP added.
Indeed, given the lackadaisical performance by MOM and ICA as shown in Yang case, it’s not known if there are more “Yang Yins” living and working among us with fake degrees or with undeserved permanent residency.