Malaysia – A number of revisions have been announced regarding the Returning Expat Programme (REP) - a programmed aimed at helping Malaysian talent return from overseas.

YB Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, announced the following revisions:

1.      Tax exemption on cars to be revised from the current two locally manufactured Compete Knocked Down (CKD) cars, to one locally manufactured CKD, or fully imported Complere Built UP (CBU) car, per approved REP applicant.

2.      Refining eligibility requirements with a more holistic set of criteria to better align with the needs of economy.

All revisions will take effect from 15 April, 2014.

The provisions to buy a tax free car is a means to facilitate the transition of a returning Malaysian professional from overseas. The revision from two to one CKD locally manufactured vehicles is in line with increasingly targeting high value-added Malaysian professionals, “whereby the key facilitation should be more towards the transitional income tax rate,” a press release stated.

The refined REP eligibility will now not only take qualifications and work experience abroad into account, but also:

  • Work experience in Malaysia (prior to employment abroad)
  • Current salary abroad
  • Experience and expertise relevant to priority economic sector or area of critical skill gap.
These revisions aim to lift barriers facing Malaysian talent when relocating back to Malaysia.

“We must ensure the REP is optimised to facilitate the return of talented Malaysian professionals needed to drive the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP),” said said Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid, who is also a member of TalenCorp's Board of Trustees.

“In other words, we need the right REP incentives, to target the right talent.”

The REP was originally introduced in 2001 to address Malaysia’s growing talent needs by facilitating the return of experienced Malaysian professionals from abroad. The management of the programme was transferred to TalentCorp in January 2011.

Since 2011, more than 2,500 REP applications have been approved.

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