Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) today explained that former Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choo is not a returnee under the Returning Expert Programme (REP) as he does not qualify for the REP incentives.

TalentCorp chief executive officer Shareen Shariza Datuk Abdul Ghani said Dr Ting applied for the REP in May 2014 and was granted a conditional approval in September the same year, but he did not submit his Surat Akuan Tarikh Kembali (SATK) to prove that he had returned home and secured employment.

"In addition, he also failed to fulfil other conditions as specified by the REP Committee," she said in a statement here today.

Shareen said all REP applications from medical professionals were first tabled for consideration by the Joint Working Committee-Healthcare Talent (JWC-HT).

According to TalentCorp, the JWC-HT''s role was to review the academic qualifications and work experience of applicants to determine their eligibility under the REP before sending its recommendations to the REP Committee.

"In the case of Dr Ting, his 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 (MMC).

"Upon approval, all REP applicants have up to two years to return and secure employment in Malaysia before they are issued their SATK by TalentCorp in order to be deemed as REP returnees and to benefit from the incentives under the programme," she said.

She added at the point of application, Dr Ting held a valid Malaysian passport which qualified him to apply for the REP.

"Under the REP, PR holders are allowed to apply for the programme if they can show proof that they are still Malaysian citizens.

"Additionally, applicants need to meet strict criteria relating to academic qualifications, total work experience, income level and tenure abroad. They must also work in high-skill occupations identified in the Critical Occupations List as well as work and live abroad at the time of application," she said.

Last Friday, the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly disqualified Dr Ting as the DAP assemblyman for Pujut by citing his alleged Australian citizenship.