Former law don Tey Tsun Hang now seeking court order for ICA to reinstate PR status

SINGAPORE - Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang wants the Government to reinstate the terminated permanent residency (PR) status of him and his daughter.

The 43-year-old, who now resides in Malaysia and is unemployed, last week filed a judicial review application against the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), claiming a "breach of natural justice" which had "violated" his right to a fair hearing. He added in court papers that the decision was made "arbitrarily and/or unreasonably".

Mr Tey, who has a Japanese wife, told The Straits Times on Friday morning: "The court must not encourage, nor should it endorse, such bureaucratic and Kafkaesque tactics to force a permanent resident out."

The application was filed one day after a separate case was brought before the High Court against his former employer - the National University of Singapore. He is asking the court to quash the university's decision and to be reinstated.

Mr Tey, who was granted permanent resident status in 1998, was first charged with corruption in July 2012 over allegations that he had 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 sentenced to five months' jail.

Despite his appeal, he chose to go to jail and as a result, had completed his sentence by the time the High Court acquitted him 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, said in his first public comments about the decision that he "had no choice" but to serve the jail term first before his appeal hearing.

He claimed that the ICA cancelled an application to renew his and his daughter's re-entry permit, which meant that their permanent residency status would be revoked if they left the country.

He also added that despite his Malaysian passport due to expire last December, he was "not allowed" to apply for a new one as a condition of his bail pending his appeal.

He said that if he had waited for the appeal to be heard, he would be traveling out of Singapore on an expired passport.

This would "incur serious criminal liability and a possible deprivation of a new passport from Malaysia", he said.

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