Public Prosecutor v Md Shahjahan Khan

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeLow Wee Ping
Judgment Date02 July 2012
Neutral Citation[2012] SGDC 240
Citation[2012] SGDC 240
Docket NumberMAC 5821of 2011 and others, Magistrate’s Appeal No. 131/2012/01
Hearing Date31 May 2012
Published date13 July 2012
Plaintiff CounselMs. Zuraidah Mahat, Mr. Amias Lum and Ms. Regina, from the MOM,
Defendant CounselMr. S. K. Kumar
District Judge Low Wee Ping: Summary

The accused, Md Shahjahan Khan, was 48 years old. He was a Singapore Permanent Resident. When he committed the offences, he was operating the business of a company called Osem Namas Pte Ltd. The accused was also an undischarged bankrupt.

The accused pleaded guilty to the following 14 charges:- MAC 5821 to 5832 of 2011 - 12 charges (exhibits C1 to C12) for “intentionally aiding one Quek Thiam Huat to make a false statement to the Controller of Work Passes of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)” - under s 22(1)(d) of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Cap 91A) (EFMA); and MAC 5839 and 5841of 2011 - 2 charges (exhibits C19 and C21) for “making a false statement to an employment inspector of MOM” - under s 22(1)(d) of the EFMA.

I sentenced the accused to the following:- On MAC 5821 to 5832 of 2011 - 12 charges for “intentionally aiding one Quek Thiam Huat to make a false statement to the Controller of Work Passes of MOM” - under s 22(1)(d) of the EFMA - 2 months’ imprisonment on each charge; On MAC 5839 and 5841of 2011 - 2 charges for “making a false statement to an employment inspector of MOM” - under s 22(1)(d) of the EFMA - 2 weeks’ imprisonment on each charge; The sentences in MAC 5821 and 5839 were ordered to run consecutively; and The total sentence was, therefore - 2 months’ and 2 weeks’ imprisonment.

On 13 June 2012, the accused filed a notice of appealed against the above sentences imposed.

The primary issue raised by the accused at his mitigation was - that he was suffering from a heart illness and was “unfit to undergo a jail term”.

Defence counsel

The accused was represented by defence counsel, Mr. S. K. Kumar.

Prosecutors

The prosecutors were Ms. Zuraidah Mahat, Mr. Amias Lum and Ms. Regina, from the MOM.

7 charges taken into consideration

The accused also admitted to the following 7 charges, and agreed to the charges being considered for the purpose of sentencing:- 6 charges for “intentionally aiding one Quek Thiam Huat to make a false statement to the Controller of Work Passes of MOM” - under s 22(1)(d) of the EFMA; and 1 charge for “making a false statement to an employment inspector of MOM” - under s 22(1)(d) of the EFMA.

The facts

The accused also admitted to the following statement of facts (PS1):- The accused is one Md Shahjahan Khan (male/ 48 years old) (Date of Birth: 1 Jan 1964) (NRIC No: XXX) (Singapore PR) of Apt Blk 719 Woodlands Ave 6 #10-628 Singapore 730719. During the material period, he operated the daily business operations of one Osem Namas Pte. Ltd. (UEN No: 200905111K) with the registered address located at 1 Sophia Road #03-35 Peace Centre Singapore 228149 (“the company”). From 18 Aug 2009 to the present, the sole director of the company is one Quek Thiam Huat (Guo Tianfa) (NRIC No: XXX). During the material period, the accused was also an undischarged bankrupt. On 04 Jun 2010, Sivasamy Kesavan, an investigating officer of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), conducted investigations into possible infringement of the laws relating to the employment of foreign employees at the said company. Facts relating to MAC Nos. 5821 – 5832/ 2011 (1st to 12th charges) Investigations revealed that the accused had abetted by intentionally aiding the said Quek Thiam Huat (Guo Tianfa) to make statements to the Controller of Work Passes, which the accused knew was false in a material particular, in the Application for a Work Permit forms submitted to the Work Pass Division for the following foreign employees:-

……

The accused had instructed the said Quek Thiam Huat (Guo Tianfa) to sign on the said applications, which contained clause 8 stating that the Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts used by the company only included CPF contributions made to persons actively employed by the said company, when the accused knew this statement was false. The accused was aware that the company’s CPF accounts were used by the Controller to determine the company’s local workforce strength, and consequently, the company’s foreign workforce entitlement. The accused also knew that the declarations made were false in a material particular when the said Quek Thiam Huat (Guo Tianfa) signed and submitted the said forms to MOM. Subsequently, all the 12 applications for subjects B1 to B12 were approved by the Work Pass Division (WPD) of MOM. B1 to B12 then arrived in Singapore to commence employment with the company. The accused sent B1 to B12 to work on construction related projects secured by the accused for the company. Investigations further revealed that a total of 7 Singaporeans received CPF contributions from the company between August 2009 and March 2010. Out of the 7 Singaporeans who received CPF contributions, 6 of them were never employed by the company. The CPF contributions were made into their accounts with the aim of inflating the company’s foreign employee entitlement so as to obtain work passes for the said foreign employees, which the company might not otherwise have been entitled to. MOM determines the number of foreign employees that an employer is entitled to employ by the strength of his local workforce, which is reflected by the number of employees to whom the employer pays CPF contributions. The declaration in clause 8 is a material consideration in MOM’s decision to grant work permits pursuant to the submitted applications. WPD had confirmed that had they known, at the time the 12 applications were submitted to them, that not all the local employees receiving CPF contributions from the company were in fact actively employed by it, WPD would not have approved the applications. WPD also confirmed that all the 12 applications would have been rejected as the company did not have sufficient foreign employee entitlement at the time these applications were submitted to WPD. Accordingly, the false statements vis-à-vis clause 8 in all the 12 applications, were material in nature. Facts relating to MAC No. 5839/ 2011 (19th charge) Investigations also revealed that on 22 Dec 2010, at the Employment Inspectorate of MOM located at 120 Kim Seng Road Singapore 239436, the accused made a statement to an employment inspector, one Sivasamy Kesavan (NRIC No: S0029759C), which the accused knew was false in a material particular. The accused had falsely stated that he did not know anything...

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