On the heels of the massive data leak of HIV positive statuses of 14,200 individuals living in Singapore, people are wondering who the central figures are in the whole fiasco. While Mikhy K. Farrera Brochez may be the man who leaked the information, he gained access to patient records and HIV test results through his husband, Dr. Ler Teck Siang.
Who is Ler Teck Siang?
The 36-year-old Singaporean doctor is facing court cases in relation to mishandling information and fraudulent test results. He has been sentenced to 28 months in jail on one case which pertains to faking blood tests so that Brochez may work in Singapore. Another case that pertains to mishandling of MOH information is still underway.
He and Brochez got married in New York City in 2014, and had moved back to Singapore to settle. But this was only the beginning of their dishonest and dishonourable ways.
Brochez would not be able to work in Singapore, as he was HIV positive. So how did the doctor’s partner get a job teaching early childhood education in Temasek Polytechnic?
According to reports, Ler was the locum at My Family Clinic on Commonwealth Drive when he used his position to help Brochez get a positive result on his HIV test to work in Singapore.
The report said that Ler submitted his own blood in a test tube but labeled it as Brochez’s when the latter took the HIV test. Since the result had come up negative (using Ler’s blood), Brochez was able to land a job even with his fake credentials.
Their fraudulent and illegal activities did not stop there, especially as Ler was eventually promoted as the head of the Ministry of Health’s National Public Health Unit in March 2012 to May 2013.
It was during this stint as a public official that Ler had gained access to sensitive information such as HIV tests results of tens of thousands of people since the system was set up.
How are Ler Teck Siang and Brochez now?
The two have been physically separated thanks to Ler’s detainment as well as Brochez’s deportation months ago. Their relationship also had problems even when they were together, and it was Brochez who brought the fact that Ler was taking copies of the HIV positive status database to the police’s notice.
It was only when the two were separated that Brochez leaked the information, which he still had a copy of. He has sent the database to email addressed of Singaporean residents and have made them available to download on the internet.
Why is Ler Teck Siang still a doctor?
According to reports, Ler is still a doctor and his name still appears on the list of Registered Medical Practitioners. His license to practice medicine, though, has not been renewed, which means he cannot operate as a doctor in Singapore until this is cleared.
When the MOH was asked why Ler’s name was still on the list, they said that the council has to follow due process with this case.
Header image from Shutterstock from The New Paper.