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Temasek poly fails to check “fake” talent’s tale of non-existent renowned prof said to be his mother

In a media report on Wed (13 Nov), a Singaporean male doctor, Ler Teck Siang, who submitted his own blood sample in place of his HIV-positive boyfriend's, to help the American get an employment pass here, has been sentenced to two years' jail.

Ler was jailed for abetment of cheating and for giving a false statement to a public servant. His American boyfriend, Farrera-Brochez, was already sentenced to 28 months' jail last year for offences including cheating, lying to a public servant, possessing drugs and using forged educational certificates.

Farrera-Brochez started working in Singapore in 2008 and managed to fool MOM and Temasek Polytechnic, his employer, for some 8 years before he was found out to be a "fake talent" using forged educational certificates, after he was caught with possession of drugs in 2016.

In fact, he managed to "impress" Temasek Polytechnic so well that the institute even allowed him to set up the Child Psychology Clinic within the polytechnic for him to provide consultancy and assessment services when he was with Temasek Polytechnic.

"Fake talent" boasted he is a "genius child prodigy"

In an interview he gave to a local media in 2010, Farrera-Brochez was to be a "genius child prodigy" with the ability to read, write and speak fluently in Hebrew, Spanish and English by the age of 3.

"I didn't know I was a gifted child initially. I also didn't know I was speaking in three different languages then," he told the reporter.

He said he was a successful "laboratory rat" of his mother, Dr Teresa King, a renowned professor of child and adolescent psychology, child neurology and gifted science and mathematics education in the UK. He told the media that his mother tried out "many of her theories on gifted education" on him when he was young.

"My mother is a really big influence in my life. I would not have made it without all her help and guidance," he said.

And by 13, he was enrolled in Princeton University.

Non-existent "Dr Teresa King"

After news of his court case in Singapore reached UK mainstream media, The Independent, it decided to investigate further and publish Farrera-Brochez's story in March last year.

Specifically, UK Independent tried to locate his mother, "Dr Teresa King". The UK newspaper did not find such a person who was supposed to be a "renowned professor of child and adolescent psychology, child neurology and gifted science and mathematics education" in UK.

UK Independent reported:

Attempts to trace the “renowned professor of child and adolescent psychology” drew a blank, with the British Psychological Society telling The Independent that its register contained no psychologists affiliated to any academic institution under the mother’s name given by Mr Farrera-Brochez.

The bewildered husband of the one UK-registered psychologist who qualified under the name given by Mr Farrera-Brochez confirmed to The Independent that the man convicted in Singapore was not her son, and that she did not specialise in any of the relevant areas.

If Mr Farrera-Brochez’s mother is a “renowned professor”, she may be a very elusive “renowned professor”. The Independent could not immediately find any psychologist, anywhere in the world, with the name given by Mr Farrera-Brochez who specialised in child and adolescent psychology, child neurology, or gifted science and mathematics education.

Did Temasek Polytechnic bother to check?

After Farrera-Brochez publicly told everyone about his non-existent "renowned academic mother - Dr Teresa King" in 2010, it is strange that nobody in Temasek Polytechnic reacted to the news.

Under Temasek Polytechnic, it has a School of Humanities & Social Sciences which offers three diploma courses:

  • Diploma in Early Childhood Development & Education
  • Diploma in Gerontological Management Studies
  • Diploma in Psychology Studies

The Director of the school is Ben Lim.

One would expect that if "Dr Teresa King" was such a renowned professor in psychology, neurology and education in the world, the lecturers in Temasek Polytechnic's School of Humanities & Social Sciences would have heard about her. And if they haven't heard about her before, wouldn't it pique their curiosity to investigate further like what UK Independent did?

Instead, the people in Temasek Polytechnic were so "impressed" by Temasek Polytechnic that the institute even allowed him to set up the Child Psychology Clinic within the polytechnic for him to provide consultancy and assessment services.