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Walter Sim
Monday, Jun 16, 2014

Singapore

Ex-law don takes action against Govt to restore PR status

The Straits Times | Walter Sim | Monday, Jun 16, 2014

Mr Tey claimed that the ICA cancelled an application to renew his and his daughter's re-entry permits.

Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang is taking legal action against the Government in a bid to get his permanent residency status reinstated, along with that of his teenage daughter.

The 43-year-old, who was acquitted of corruption in February after the "sex-for-grades" trial, revealed yesterday that he filed a judicial review application against the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) last week.

Mr Tey now resides in Malaysia and is unemployed. He claimed in an e-mail to The Straits Times that his PR status was revoked by the ICA in a "breach of natural justice" which had "violated" his right to a fair hearing. He added the decision was made "arbitrarily and/or unreasonably".

Mr Tey, who is Malaysian and has a Japanese wife, wrote: "The court must not encourage, nor should it endorse, such bureaucratic and Kafka-esque tactics to force a permanent resident out."

The application was filed a day after he launched a separate High Court case against his former employer, the National University of Singapore, in a bid to quash its move to fire him and to get his job back.

The ICA said that it is aware of the Originating Summons (OS) that was served on the Attorney-General's Chambers on June 12. It said: "The claims in the OS are false and without basis.

"ICA stands ready to defend our position in court."

Mr Tey, who was granted PR status in 1998, was charged with corruption in July 2012 over allegations that he accepted gifts and sex from a former student in exchange for better grades.

He was convicted in a district court in May last year and was jailed for five months.

Despite launching an appeal, he chose to go to jail and as a result, had completed his sentence by the time the High Court acquitted him of corruption in February this year.

Justice Woo Bih Li had ruled that what Mr Tey did was not legally wrong, but was "morally reprehensible".

Mr Tey, who is represented by lawyer M. Ravi for both judicial review applications, yesterday commented publicly for the first time about his decision to serve the jail term before the appeal hearing, saying he "had no choice".

He claimed that the ICA cancelled an application to renew his and his daughter's re-entry permits, which meant that their PR status would have been revoked if they left Singapore. He added that his Malaysian passport expired last December and he was "not allowed" to apply for a new one as a condition of his bail, pending the appeal.

Had he waited for the appeal to be heard, he would have had to travel out of Singapore on an expired passport, he said, which would "incur serious criminal liability and a possible deprivation of a new passport from Malaysia".

A pre-trial conference for both cases has been set for June 25.


This article was first published on June 14, 2014.
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