In early 2018, there were two cases involving the same claimant and two different defending companies – Khoo Kim Loang v Shock Media Studio Sdn. Bhd.  and Khoo Kim Loang v. Kim Siah Electric Co. Sdn. Bhd .
The facts of the case are similar in nature where the claimant handed in a resume (CV) to the companies containing false information regarding his work history. The companies which he had listed as his previous work experience were non-existent. Upon discovering the fraud, the companies terminated him.
Though the claimant had withdrawn his claim in the case with Shock Media, it was still published in the Industrial Law Reports. The court took this rare step in order to send a message to HR Practitioners in the future with “the hope that companies intending to hire or employ new employees will thoroughly check their qualifications before hiring them or do some background screening before accepting the qualifications stated”.
The relationship between an employee and an employer is a fiduciary one. Submitting a fake resume or even false educational qualification amounts to a misrepresentation. It is a serious misconduct which warrants immediate dismissal. Cases such as these can cause hardship and undue costs to the company. It may even cause disruption to the smooth running of the business.
In order to protect the interests of the Company, the hiring personnel i.e. the HR Department, needs to be vigilant. Job applicants can lie about the timeline of their employment, their qualifications, the nature of them leaving their previous jobs and more. Some even put down fake references such as getting previous co-workers or their friends.
Beyond just having a clause detailing the companies’ non-tolerance of false information, pre-emptive steps can be taken. Most of the time a simple background check done in-house via the internet, can reveal falsehoods.
Other tools and tricks companies can use are:-
- Using the Social Media to corroborate employment history
- Checking the existence of companies via an SSM search
- Checking the phone numbers for references against Companies’ websites and calling them up
- Calling up universities to check the authenticity of degrees
- Hiring an independent firm to carry out background searches
In Malaysia, submitting false certificates can be classified as a criminal offence under S.463 of the Penal Code where it provides that “Whoever makes any false document or part of a document with intent to cause damage or injury to the public or to any person, or to support any claim or title, or to cause any person to part with property, or to enter into any express or implied contract, or with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed, commits forgery.”
The fact is, applicants these days are still bold enough to misrepresent themselves. Nevertheless, they will have to face the harsh reality that if their lie is ever discovered, even years later, they will immediately lose their jobs. They will also lose their integrity and standing in their respective professions. So, this is something to remember.