It was reported on Fri (1 Feb) that Mikhy Brochez, the foreigner at the centre of the Singapore's HIV Registry leak, had in fact used forged university degrees to get jobs at Temasek Polytechnic (TP) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) when he was working in Singapore.
When TP was asked by the media how Brochez was able to be recruited by the school with forged degrees, a TP spokesman said, "Based on the documents that Brochez submitted in his job application in 2008, he met the job requirements."
It was the police which was investigating Brochez on drug possession that he was found out to be using forged degrees to work in Singapore. The police then informed the 2 schools.
Brochez, a "talented" foreigner
Brochez started working in Singapore in 2008.
In fact, he managed to impress TP so much that the institute even allowed him to set up a Child Psychology Clinic within the polytechnic, for him to provide consultancy and assessment services when he was with TP.
In an interview he gave to a local media in 2010, Brochez even boasted that he was a "genius child prodigy" with the ability to read, write and speak fluently in Hebrew, Spanish and English by the age of three.
"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.
And by 13, he was said to have enrolled in Princeton University.
UK newspaper investigates Brochez
Eventually, Brochez's incredible life story reached the UK mainstream media, The Independent, and it decided to investigate Brochez's story further. The UK Independent first tried to locate his mother, "Dr Teresa King". However, it 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."
It also could not find any psychologist, anywhere in the world, with the name given by Brochez, who is supposed to specialize in child and adolescent psychology, child neurology, or gifted science and mathematics education. The UK newspaper sarcastically wrote that if Brochez’s mother is a "renowned professor", she may be a very elusive "renowned professor".
One would expect that if "Dr Teresa King" was such a renowned professor in the world, the lecturers in TP'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 the UK Independent did?
Instead, the people in TP were so "impressed" by Brochez's lies that it even allowed him to set up the Child Psychology Clinic within the school for him to run.
With regard to TP and NP hiring Brochez despite his qualifications being forged, Mr Alvin Ang, MD of Quantum Leap Career Consultants, call the oversight by TP and NP "a serious breach of professional ethics". He said, "You are hiring him as a lecturer. The academic aspect of his degree is the most important part, so how could you miss that out?"
It just goes to show that a lot of the people working for the government these days are pretty contended to let things run on auto-pilot.