KUCHING: Sacked Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon (pic) did not return to Malaysia from Australia under Talent Corporation Malaysia’s Returning Expert Programme (REP), says TalentCorp chief executive Shareen Shariza Abdul Ghani.
In a statement yesterday, she said the agency’s records showed that Dr Ting was not a returnee under the REP and he does not qualify for REP incentives.
Although Dr Ting had applied for the REP in May 2014 and was granted a conditional approval four months later, he did not show proof that he had returned home and secured employment in order to be issued a document called Surat Akuan Tarikh Kembali (SATK), she added.
“Dr Ting’s conditional approval required him to provide a letter of employment as a medical officer in rural areas and also his registration with the Malaysian Medical Council,” she said yesterday.
She added that upon approval, all REP applicants have up to two years to return and secure employment in Malaysia before being issued with the SATK by TalentCorp in order to be considered REP returnees and benefit from the programme’s incentives.
Dr Ting, 51, was stripped of his elected assemblyman’s post last Friday over allegations that he held an Australian citizenship.
He later said that he had renounced his Australian citizenship after being headhunted by TalentCorp to return to Malaysia.
When contacted yesterday, Dr Ting admitted that he did not return home under the TalentCorp programme although he had applied for it and was given conditional approval.
He said he did not inform TalentCorp of his return as he was busy as a politician in Sarawak.
“I did not make an appearance at TalentCorp to let them know that I had returned.
“Due to my personal circumstances, I did not take the final step, so I didn’t actually come back under TalentCorp,” he said, and claimed that this was a “minor issue” which had nothing to do with his citizenship.
On Friday, Dr Ting was removed as assemblyman over allegations that he held an Australian citizenship.
The state DAP is planning to go to court to challenge Dr Ting’s disqualification.
Yesterday, a DAP motion to seek the withdrawal of bankruptcy allegations against Dr Ting was dismissed by Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, who declared that the original motion to disqualify Dr Ting was over his Australian citizenship, not his financial status.
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