In a blogpost, Manpower minister Lim Swee Say said “Between 2012 and 2014, more than 5,000 foreigners were barred from working in Singapore for life, for submitting forged academic certificates to obtain work passes. “

The main point of the post was to explain how his ministry handles cases of treats forged degrees and those from “degree mills” in applications for Employment Pass and S-pass. The infographic inserted into the post has three classifications for qualifications: from “Accreditted”, “Degree Mills” and “Forged”. There seems to be a conflation between a degree mill and an unaccreditted university or college. The post defines as “Degree Mill” as “An unaccredited institution is one which is not recognised by the local educational authority”, but does not allow for all sorts of other reasons why an institution may not be accreditted, such as the possibility that the accreditation process is a closed shop in certain countries defending the privileges of only certain institutions, or a country may have no competent, functioning accreditation system.

That aside, he said that “Degree Mill” qualifications will be removed from consideration; instead the applicant will be assessed based on more stringent criteria in terms of experience and salary record.

Forging certificates however, is a criminal offence. Applicants found to have submitted forged qualifications may be fined up to $20,000 and/or imprisoned for up to two 2 years, and barred for life from working in Singapore.