SINGAPORE: Not long after being released from prison and "desperate" to secure a decent job, 30-year-old Loh Wei Ming decided to use a forged Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) transcript, which stated he was a trained paramedic, to land a job at ambulance services company Royal Ambulance Services (RAS).
For that, he was on Tuesday (Jun 20) jailed for six months after pleading guilty to one charge of using a forged document. Another two charges were taken into consideration.
When Loh applied for a job at RAS in June 2014, he told the company he was an SCDF-trained paramedic and produced three forged transcripts to support his claim. He was hired as a paramedic and because he had a driver’s licence, he was also asked to be an ambulance driver.
Loh was fired in October 2014 for “not following instructions”, Assistant Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran said. Days later, the director of RAS noticed that Loh’s transcripts looked different from the ones submitted by another SCDF-trained paramedic.
He decided to check with SCDF which confirmed that Loh’s transcripts were forged. They told the shocked employer that Loh had been a clerk and not medically trained, as he claimed. The RAS lodged a police report.
Loh’s lawyer Mr Amolat Singh said his client had been “desperate … to get a decent job” after his release from prison in December 2013.
Mr Singh stressed that Loh’s main role at RAS was that of an ambulance driver. “At all times, he had a properly trained nurse with him in the ambulance who attended to the patients”, the lawyer said, adding Loh’s forged transcripts “did (not) lead to any loss to anyone”, and that he was “never (called upon to) carry out any paramedic duties or procedures”.
Loh, who now earns a living as an Uber driver, “regrets very much submitting the forged transcripts”, Mr Singh said. He knew that as an ex-convict, it would be difficult to secure a good job, and “(gave) in to the fear that he would not be able to land a proper, decent job”, the lawyer said, urging the court to give Loh another chance.
For intentionally using a forged document, Loh could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.