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Home Affairs Minister’s explanation on terrorist escape

Posted by theonlinecitizen on February 29, 2008

Latest from the Straits Times: Mas Selamat has fled to Indonesia: The Star. SINGAPORE‘S most wanted terror fugitive, Mas Selamat Kestari, who had worked with Malaysian Jemaah Islamiah members to carry out terrorist activities at one time, is believed to have fled for Indonesia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng on the escape by Mas Selamat Kastari.

Escaped JI militant seen running up slope to Malcolm Park

Straits Times


53 Responses to “Home Affairs Minister’s explanation on terrorist escape”

  1. Robert HO said

    1. Thought for the day: “Politicians are a lot more dangerous than terrorists.” LIE KY, for example, has tortured more people, some to death, like Mr CHAN Hock Hua [google] and jailed more people longer [up to 32 years] until old and sick before releasing them, than any terrorist.

    2. You are more likely to be wrongfully harmed by LIE KY than by Mr Mas Selamat Kastari. If a terrorist does you harm, at least, the whole world knows you have been wronged but if LIE KY, he can manipulate appearances until he appears positively benign, even angelic, and that you somehow ‘deserve it’. Demonisation is 1 of the prime exercises of power, as I have been demonised by the Satans.

    3. Terrorists can kill only very few people but politicians can actually wage war killing thousands of ‘enemies’ as well as their own kind.

    4. Thus, we should always watch politicians far more closely than we need watch terrorists. Which is why despots like LIE KY LHL PAP always subjugate the media first.

  2. Alan Wong said

    So is Mas Selamat a dangerous man or not? I am confused by our Minister’s explanation. If he is not a dangerous man, why do we need to detain him under ISA ? And if indeed he is a dangerous person, how can WKS be 100% sure that the terrorist does not pose an imminent danger to the public ?

    This can only be true if for example :

    – the terrorist had vanished like what happened to the Mongolian lady in Malaysia.
    – The terrorist had now turned secret informer and is now released to infiltrate the underground terrorists.

    The very minute that he had escaped already puts everybody at risk. But to say that the terrorist does not pose a immediate danger to the public is actually a very irresponsible statement for the Minister to make. What if the escape was planned well ahead and what if something big happen in the next few moments ?

    Can we hold our Minister responsible for saying that ?

  3. Alan,

    Our bumbling Minister Wong is trying hard to make a distinction with little difference.

    Mas Selamat is indeed a dangerous man, hence the need to detain him. The distinction he was making was that as he had only just escaped and was not believed to be armed, he posed no “imminent” danger to the public. I understand why you do not feel comforted by this assessment as it could easily have proved otherwise.

  4. Daniel said

    Unfortunately, the video doesn’t yet explain how the terrorist escape but just describe the event. Anyway, investigation still pending. Frankly, I wonder why it takes so long to come out the report ? Are they reporting the real thing or just thinking up creative script for a Hollywood movie ?

    How dangerous can a man be if he is detained and inchargeable for so many years, and even allow to see family ? Thus I don’t think he is as dangerous as describe by our 141th rank ShitTime. Think about that, given that the government is so adamant and paranoid about security and terrorism, and even dare boast about world-class security, the government will have have chain a device with GPS around the leg or body of a very dangerous terrorist 24 hours a day to track his movement everywhere. Isn’t America doing this way to hardcore terrorist ? It might seem inhumane but then since when our government is known for human rights ?

    Of course, unless the government chain the device in the limping side of the terrorist then I have nothing to say.

    Anyway, there is so many loopholes that there seem more than meet the eyes. It doesn’t seem to be a simple escape but a very well-planned coordinated insider job as everything is confined within the security-tight compound.
    Talking about foreign talent. A single limping local can run so fast than many foreign Gurkhas ? We better instated him into Guiness World of Record after his arrest because it is another world’s first.

    Whatever the explanation, the government better not give such ‘limp’ reason like terrorist flushing himself down the toilet drain, otherwise we better ask Minister Wong to demonstrate that himself and show the world in YouTube.

  5. noone said

    SO RH would you like your family to be killed by a terrorist?

  6. asoka said

    malcon park is not in bukit brown. these 2 places are opposite each other and separated by expressways.

  7. Chemgen said

    He might still be in Singapore so we should be vigilant still. After all, it is the ST reporting speculations.

  8. highly embarrassed said

    How embarrassing! To lose a 47 year old with a gamy leg for 4 days despite our cops and soldiers who do not want for high tech and sexy “toys”.

    Maybe now LKY and those who live in a different Singapore than the rest of us might begin to realise that there is more than meets their eyes.

    This is a blunder the news of which has circulated around the world, unlike trivial domestic stuff like losing the country’s money on our Ozzie investment (ABC), and scandals at Sembcorp, the brewery and SIA among others.

  9. lee harry said

    Finally, MIWs learn to :” I AM SORRY” but refuse to say ” PAY CORRECT SIN GAPOOREANS”


  10. watson said

    Daniel, most of the time reality is far less exciting than fantasy

    The latest from the Malaysians is that he has escaped to Indonesia… Super taichi man.

    I dun trust the Papies but i trust the malaysians alot less!

  11. renny said

    Clearly, there is no solid explanation up to date. Its rather amazing how this limping guy can escape in a twinkling of an eye. As a country being reputable for its world class security, this escape is too ridiculously obvious that it had been planned carefully not by only one person. Instead of having anxious citizens like us to guess and wonder how on earth he had managed to escape the tight security, why cant the details be revealed in media? I believe each and everyone of us reserves every right to obtain the truthful information.

  12. Well there are many possibilities here. He might have already escaped the country, he might still be here. He could also be having a not so great vacation over at Guantanamo Bay, who really knows? Fact is that one minister has too many fuck ups/ public doubts to answer to but all his answers and assuring words do not comfort us any more than confuse us/ make us angry. Are we being taken for fools here?

    As a very personal comment, I am not happy that my tax goes to WKS’s fat pay check.

    Sure, people makes mistakes but this is a mistake that poses too much of a possible security threat not only to us but probably to our neighbouring countries at large. Can such a mistake from a country that has always been boasting about her fine security/ law enforcement team be accepted?

    Ohh… maybe I am over reacting. The government always knows what they are doing, right? (Ha!)

  13. jl said

    Seriously, WKS is so out of point. Bloody just tell us how exactly he escape and not what terrorism is about, we can freaking google it! Our gahmen is always like that, you ask question A they answer B…

  14. Robert HO said

    1. By now, now that we all have more time to think, no one except the feeble minded would believe that Mr Mat Selamat bin KASTARI escaped on his own. Evading the carefully chosen and trained handpicked guards, guard dogs, numerous steel doors and gates, cctv cameras covering every square centimetre, double perimeter fencing, heavily cctv-ed and guarded single entry/exit points, etc.


    3. To waste some sentences in a necessary reply to NoOne, A TERRORIST IS DANGEROUS ONLY WHEN HE IS IN A GROUP AND UNEXPOSED, WHEN HE HAS THE MOST CHANCES TO CARRY OUT DANGEROUS ACTIVITIES. ONCE EXPOSED AND KNOWN, HE IS NO MORE DANGEROUS THAN MY 78 YEAR OLD ILLITERATE MOTHER IN LAW, JUST ADMITTED TO N.U.H FOR HEART DISEASE. This is true of all terrorists. They are dangerous when secret, anonymous and moving freely to carry out their plans. Once exposed and/or monitored, they are just very ordinary humans, this 1 so frail and limping, that it is mindboggling that so much hooha is made of this poor, lone, isolated, frightened human being who was probably innocent, like all the other ISD political prisoners, to start with, like the 22 Roman Catholics, lawyers and abused maids champions in 1987/8.

    4. Since Mr KASTARI has been cynically and deliberately allowed to escape, THE LIEGIME KNOWS WHERE HE IS EVERY SINGLE MOMENT, EVEN NOW, AND WHEN TIME COMES TO END THIS HUMONGOUS PUBLICITY STUNT AND CHARADE GAME, THEY WILL SHOOT HIM TO DEATH ON SOME PRETEXT TO PREVENT QUESTIONS AND TRUTHS BEING REVEALED. This is why nepot WONG Kan Seng, related to LIE Hsien Loong [LHL is WKS wife cousin] can declare in Parliament that Mr KASTARI is no threat. He is no threat because they know where he is and will murder him when time comes.

    5. That is, if he is not already dead, as Dr CHEE Soon Juan asks. Probably incinerated alive so no body will ever be found.

    6. Mark my words. All this is just 1987/8 ‘marxist conspiracy’ all over again. For political gains, as always. ALWAYS FOR POLITICAL GAINS. THE MOST POLITICAL LIEGIME IN HISTORY.

  15. numbskull Wong said

    Wong KS, don’t be so thick skin lay, resign lah.. you think singaporean stupid is it? a primary 3 student can give a better excuse for the escape by Mr Selamat.So much for us trusting these leader who are good at asking more money but cannot perform yet give stupid excuse. go fly kite in marine parade lah !!!

  16. noone said

    RH, please then write to the POTUS to launch an invasion of you know which country to free you just like they did for Iraq. Or perhaps you should call the UN to request an emergency session to sanction a certain island for failing politically? Or at least wire CNN your thoughts? It’ll make headlines for sure

  17. wah lau said

    with this standard of security operations, we still send our soldiers to Afganistan is it? Sure die already lah. After the Japan fiasco with church missionaries killed, singapore Govt still want to send our sons to Afghanistan? Jeeeze…..Can’t wait to see how much more of tomorrow’s parliament debate will be side tracked by this senseless news. Wag the dog all the way!

  18. sit said

    Sources, both reliable and unreliable, say the man has already fled to Indonesia, but I doubt that to be a real possibility.

    If you know anything about fugitives (and I hesitate to use the word, because in this case I think the man’s some kind of a ‘detainee’ in the island still), it’s that he’s more likely to make a real break for it when, well, the coast is clear.

    It really isn’t like a certain tv drama, you know, the Break happening in the span of a season.

  19. […] since been angry calls for someone at the top to resign for reasons of poor command and control. Minister Wong Kan Seng, the Police Commissioner and Head Internal Security Department, among others, were those called to […]

  20. angst said

    eh, isn’t The Star known for its unreliable news sources?

    given the escalation of the escape i.e. old Wong apologizing with a half fuck smile (embarrass or wat), telecommunications companies sending MMSes to everyone, the limping man who got a way does show the world how clever he is and how the Singapore security system should endorse the Guantanamo guidelines.

    i propose orange jumpsuits and chains to the ankles for all the detainees. let detainees go pee and crap in their own cells.

  21. at82 said

    I got only 2 words for our most esteemed Minister of Home Affairs Mr WKS.

    下台。(step down)

  22. Kevin said

    Let’s all remember that he is not yet a terrorist as he had not committed any major acts of terrorism. All we can say is that he is potentially dangerous due to his background and his influences.

    One thing I know for sure when WKS said “..does not pose an imminent danger to the public”, he was speculating. The minister told the public not to speculate, yet he himself made such a speculating statement.

    As for the reported escape. Did any one noticed that there was no mention of which leg is limping. The police also did not bother to mention what clothing he was wearing.

    Yes, he could have change (if he had outside help), there is no point in telling people what he wore after 24 hrs, but during the first announcement or first few hours the color of his clothing is important don’t you think so?

    Another question. The guy was about to meet his family. If he planned the escape, he’ll know that he won’t see his family for a looooong time. Maybe never. Don’t you think he would want to meet his family for the one last time before going for his long toilet break?

    Doesn’t make sense does it? I had a strange feeling that he was already dead.

  23. Hoping said

    From today’s ST:

    A belief based on another belief. Very Dilbert-ish. Must be a scholar aka expert exam-taker.

  24. Hoping said

    From today’s ST:

    [ Said Police Assistant Commissioner Wong Hong Kuan at a media briefing on Sunday at the Special Operations Command’s (SOC) Queensway Base: ‘When he escaped on Wednesday, we believe he was unaided, and therefore he does not have access to money, vehicles, modes of transport.’

    ‘That underpins our belief that he is still in the country. ]

    A belief based on another belief. Very Dilbert-ish. Must be a scholar aka expert exam-taker.

  25. so said


    No one thinks you’re mad, so don’t be.

  26. sit said

    Speculators, reliable and unreliable, say he’s already fled to Indonesia, but I don’t think that’s a real possibility.

    If you know anything about fugitives (and I hesitate to use the word, because I think the man’s some kind of a ‘detainee’ still, within the borders of the island), it’s that they’re more likely to make a break for it when, well, the coast is clear.

    It really isn’t like a certain TV drama, you know, the Break happening in the span of a season.

  27. Daniel said

    Kevin , I share the same sentiment. Consider the lack of information surrounding the circumstances of Selamat’s escape and dubious reasons given so far that not in the usual standard of our world-class ministers and security, quite possibly that Selamat is dead somehow and they has to do some hollywood act to cover up because his family is going to visit him, and they can’t show a dead body. Notice that no one from Selamat’s inmates and family are questioned and most importantly, the whole thing is suddenly blown out by the media that is never done before in full force in emphasizing how dangerous and destructive the man even though the man so far has yet to done anything to warrant involvement in any terrorism act. If he is really as dangerous, he is probably be charged and put to death, and save the potential trouble for any future.

    Notice too the deafening silence from PM, MM, President, SM, the high level most expensive gahmen in the world. Did they know something that we don’t ? Has it been in other country, all the important top government important figures will appease the public, but only in Singapore, they seem nonchalant about the issue. Are this how million dollars employees of Singapore Inc should behave ? Has it been private sector, all these employees will have ‘kicked out of the job’. If anything happen, the CEO will be asked to resign while in Singapore Inc, they will be given stronger mandate and salary !

    Notice too the ShitTime even speculate he might already fled to other countries. Now isn’t that shooting itself into foot ? How credible is the mainstream media if it can even speculate ? Isn’t it irresponsible to push searching of Selamat to other country ? This possibly the most easy way out because by pushing to other country it can excuse itself by saying that it impossible to find Selamat in such a big country and then no effort and resource is needed to search for the terrorist locally, but then the media will then put up a good show that say the public will help to report the terrorist. And they couldn’t find a dead man and so everything is moved on again.

    Now think about it, don’t you sense something fishy going on with the whole debacle. It looks like a great movie trying to seem real like Blair Witch Project but the acting sucks and give away too many loopholes. From the start, the movie is already doom to flop.

  28. security guard said

    A JI Leader without followers? What leader then?
    How can anyone be so sure that Mas Selamat is still in Singapore, he is all alone without kins/friends and supporters?

    After so may days with thousands of Armed Uniformed Personnels/Dogs hunting futilely, the Afore-mentioned Statements by the Authority is very, very baffling indeed. Now, I am beginning to believe the Drama(Wayang) and Conspiracy Theorists, those people who smell rats! ‘Lao su kuo jie, ren ren han ta’, meaning when a rat appears, everyone will go after it, to exterminate it of course!

  29. Solo Bear said

    This is all crap to me. All wayang show. They give us bits and pieces of info here and there and we are none the wiser.

    The latest “late information” is that he only limps when he walks fast. What a screw up.

    So we have been looking for a limping man for the last 3 days and he may have walked right out of Singapore without us knowing!

    So was this latest screw up in giving late info actually to give Selamat to buy enough time to escape detection?

  30. Haha said

    [ So we have been looking for a limping man for the last 3 days and he may have walked right out of Singapore without us knowing! ]

    Maybe we gave him to the CIA but have to wayang that he escaped. Many planes flew in for the airshow. Maybe one flew out with him in it.

  31. sb said

    I don’t get you. He does walk and run with a limp, noticeably and not; but more interestingly, there are others who limp a little who don’t know they do.

  32. Daniel said

    Solo Bear, the gahmen really nothing new. The next important news may just be
    he walks only when he limps
    he shits only when he needs to

    I expect that government will increase their salary again and enter into security business and hype Singapore as a Security Hub. Selamat is just a front show to introduce Singapore to greater being. We all know how gahmen work, don’t we ?

    The whole affair look so fake and predictable now or did we watch too much Hollywood movie before ? Maybe our expectation of movie is higher now and gahmen disconnected with that. 1 star out of Ten stars for originality and acting. 10 stars for Wayangness.

    Ask the gahmen to move on and now focusing on our surplus now.

  33. Wyl said

    I can’t seem to access the poll on the right to vote or view the results on whether Wong Kan Seng should resign for the escape. The funny thing is, my friend in Taiwan is able to. *ponder*

  34. Chronicler posting for Darkness said

    Darkness Says:
    3 March 2008 at 7:15 pm

    I feel there MUST be a season and reason for everything – what we have here is a terrorist who has just broken loose – this is not a joke!

    This is a first class bad ass mother – crashing aeroplane into building etc. You all need to really think! Your mothers, sisters and sweethearts could be on that aeroplane! We should all unite together and help our boys to get the job done first. Have any of you dumb fucks every considered what would a 18 yr old NS man be thinking, if he logs in the reads all this BS? Have you ever considered how it can affect his moral and fighting spirit? I think not!

    You see the logic is very simple for me, there are main and side dishes here, if the house is burning down, no one with half a brain is going to ask who started it? Who the fuck cares how the fast the news came out? Or whether this is the time to invest in the credibility of the press? Or whether Wong KS should or should not resign?

    The primary concern should be to save lives, property and put out the fire. This is the time to use a net as a big psychological warfare instrument and send out the message; YOU CAN HIDE BUT YOU CANNOT RUN. WE WILL HUNT YOU DOWN! As it is what saddens me is Osama and his gang are probably logging into blogosphere and laughing their heads off.

    Once the last cinders has been put out and he is back in a cage, then and only do we go for the who, why and how, but NOT bfr –those responsible will be sent to the Russian front! This is Singapore, this will happen! In life you don’t put the horse bfr the cart, that is just incredibly dumb – Darkness 2008

  35. Every report, every statement and every apology have been issued out for the sake of entertaining us, the ‘naive’ citizens, don’t you think?

    WKS discouraged us from speculating, but the papers have been reporting about the belief that he escaped unaided blah blah blah… now is that not speculating?

    This all smells a tad too fishy. Yea he is dead, I tell ya. They might find him if they start to dig the ground instead! 😛

    Then again, this is all wild speculation on my part. Hahaa

  36. Harah Kiri said

    Sure way to catch Selamat

    Offer a modest reward….the salaries of all the ministers plus the PAP MPs for the rest of their lives. After all, they have been telling us nothing is free.

  37. Harro! said

    Kevin, you got some sound thinking there. 🙂 The gov should hire you to be their spin doctor. 🙂

  38. SS Lee said

    I fail to see how the Inquiry will take 1 mth. Plus their promise to tell only what they want to tell? Cover up right?
    Also I cannot understand why they are so adamant that he is still in Singapore – if we don’t catch him here, it will be a another PR Blunder and reaks of desparation! Cos Mas Selamat would have called our bluff or did the forces just Wayang us to believe they are doing all they can for their failure to keep a lame person in detention?
    WKS should do the honourable thing and Resign if they dont catch him soon. Then again this is here… I should wake up.

  39. sarek_home said

    So long they are busy searching, they have an excuse to stall and not answering those tough questions of how the escape happened in the first place.

  40. Gary Teoh said

    KS Wong from which GRC? Show him the colour when GE 2011 comes.

  41. Daniel said

    If government doesn’t want the citizen to ridicule or make a joke of them, they should not take citizen for a ride and give limping reasons and non-disclosure attitudes about the whole Boo-Boo. Too much cover-ups have been done in the past, but what did the gahmen really learn ? Really Nothing. The only thing they learn is that they can get away with their honest mistake everytime.

  42. Seeking Salvation said

    We should put the bumbling idiot of wong kan seng in mas selamat cell until we find the limping terrorist- so wong can ponder and find out how the security was breach. Since the overpaid minister is talking rubbish and does not know what is happening. Such honest mistake should come with a jail sentence, big fine and of course sack the sob.

  43. Daniel said

    Seeking Salvation, exactly. The ministers must eat their own dog just like Microsoft did to its products. Wong should enact the whole incident. He should be set free in detention centre and given generous 30 minutes grace, Ezlink card, CashOnLine card for escaping. Once up, all security measurement will be activated, country-wide MMS will be boardcast, dogs will be used (not underdog), gurkhas shoot on sight . And he will try to survive the ordeal and write report on that. That should teach the minister to be humbled and intelligent about security.
    And during the operation, he will be given the name Mudi. All the ministers so far can talkcock sing song without themselves experience the any social or security problems.

  44. supersub said

    The point that has yet to be blogged — bloggers pls note! – is this: If everyone assumes that it was right for this Mas Selamat to be held under ISD, how is it that ordinary politicians and activists such as Francis Seow, catholic social workers, Teoh Soh Lung etc were taken in?

    Isn’t that a blatant abuse of power?

  45. gpc said

    “I had a strange feeling that he was already dead.”

    There are persons who are biologically-dead (like the Unabomber) but their legacy of the destruction of life and property lives on to this day. I say they continue to hunt these persons down.

  46. im going to throw in my 2 cents…this case will be classified: Unsolved Mysteries In the meantime, the incumbent minister has lose the moral obligation to take charge…u know who u gracious…step down. He’s lucky, no one is asking him to perform a hara kiri!

  47. Gary Teoh said

    Francis Seow and Teo Soh Lung were not security threat to the nation but they are a threat to PAP.

  48. Robert HO said

    1. Martyn SEE may have something. He just SMSed me that it seems that KASTARI’s family was threatening to “go to town” about something just before this impossible ‘escape’.

    2. Is there any phone book that can give KASTARI’s family telephone number and maybe even address? KASTARI is a unique surname and probably no similars. So unlikely to mistake unless the almighty LIEgime deletes such data from its databases, which is always possible. [Once, when I was looking up online phone books for fax numbers of all the local law firms to fax them some Truths about LIE KY LHL PAP rigging the 1997 Cheng San GRC election, my online phone directory became unaccessible shortly after I started my searches. Then my fax machine was vandalised].

    3. The fact that KASTARI’s family HAS NOT BEEN CONTACTED FOR THEIR VIEWS AND NEWS IS VERY, VERY FISHY. Something stinks to high heavens about this.

    4. Also, you would have thought any idiot Minister would IMMEDIATELY INFORM THE PUBLIC, DESCRIBE HIS ATTIRE AND POSSIBLE WHEREABOUTS, POSSIBLE THREAT TO THE PUBLIC, AND SHOW VIDEOs FROM THE CCTV CAMERAS. Not wait till today to show his attire, which is clearly a doctored image with KASTARI’s head superimposed on another body wearing the alleged prison uniform, as in the Straits Times ‘photo’. Why not an original, undoctored cctv image? These are high resolution cameras.

    5. He will never be found. The whole incident stinks.

  49. Robert HO said

    RH: Here are 6 KASTARI surnames in Singapore, by roads and telephone numbers :

    *Comments edited by moderator.

    Dear Robert, I am sorry but posting personal telephone numbers of people is not allowed here. Please refrain from doing so. Thanks. – Andrew Loh

  50. john lim said

    it is cases like these that make a mockery of the pay-them-as-much-as-the-private-sector argument.

    i’m not saying that wks should resign but if they are paid as much as private sector bankers or CEOS who are paid such crazy salaries for the risks and consequences involved in the job, then based on that often-mentioned mentioned about how they deserve their pay, the repercussions should be the same too.

    if not, then stop patronising us with the lame excuse for their high pay, and the same for the scholar-civil servants. and pay those that really matter in the real world of people, like nurses and teachers.

  51. sure or not? said

  52. Someone should remind the Home Affairs minister that he himself once famously said:

    “The PAP Government has always thrived on its ability to anticipate problems.”

    Wong Kan Seng

  53. patriot said

    They can be reminded thousand and one times about what they have said, but they will have ten thousand reasons to tell you that they are above everything. With absolute power in their hands, they can even tell you nonsences!

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