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PM Lee speaking for the first time about JI escape

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 9, 2008

PM Lee speaking for the first time on JI leader’s escape after 11 days of silence.


PM Lee: “This was a lapse, what to do, it’s happened.”

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(See Straits Times report below)


From the Straits Times

March 9, 2008

‘Let’s close ranks’ to deal with Mas Selamat’s escape: PM Lee

By Melissa Kok

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday called on Singaporeans to ‘close ranks’ to deal with Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) leader Mas Selamat Kastari’s escape.

Speaking for the first time on the issue, PM Lee made these comments as he officiated the opening of Anchorvale Community Club on Sunday.

‘Let us close ranks to deal with this, and bounce back to move forward – stronger, chastened, more on our guard, more alert than before,’ he said.

Responding to questions from reporters on whether the incident has shed negative light on Singapore, PM Lee said: ‘It’s not done us good for our reputation, but I don’t think we are just like any other place where you can have television sets and handphones and other things in jail.’

‘I mean, we are different. This was a lapse, what to do, it’s happened.’

PM Lee said for now, we would have to wait for the Committee of Inquiry to release its findings as to what really happened that led to Mas Selamat’s escape.

‘The escape is undoubtedly a setback, and it should never have happened. As MM said, it’s the dangers of complacency, of thinking that everything is all right,’ he said.

He said:’ As Minister Mentor says, we are not infallible. If we are not careful we will make mistakes. And when we do, we better find out and put it right.’

PM Lee stressed that it was important to ensure that such a mistake will not repeat itself again, ‘because it is a continuing problem which we are dealing with’.

In the meantime, PM Lee said that the security agencies are working to take all the immediate remedial measures necessary to fix the problem.

‘I think the security agencies are taking it seriously, ISD certainly is, I think the police and the ghurka units and SAF forces which are now deployed on the operation to try and catch him, are taking their operation with a lot of resources and a lot of close cooperation.’

‘I’ve been talking to the ministers responsible and I think we have a pretty good chance of catching him provided he’s still in Singapore,’ he added.

Asked if he believed Mas Selamat is still in Singapore, he said:’We have no reason to think that he has left.’



26 Responses to “PM Lee speaking for the first time about JI escape”

  1. noone said

    But my Lord what to do?

    Kill them kill them immediately or suffer the consequences!

    From French and Sanders, the Phantom Millennium

  2. Dont buy it said

    I see this in my mind as he speaks ….

  3. yah yah yah said

    yah yah yah, this thing should not have happen & now it did, that minister of yrs should go fly kite. he should join yr gurkha troops and go search for mr selamat in the jungle.

  4. patriot said

    patriot Says:
    March 9, 2008 at 9:24 pm
    After reading the Public Statements made by DPM Wong Kan Seng, MM Lee Kuan Yew and PM Lee Hsien Loong, I am unable to discern any differences amongst them.

    Basically they all said the same thing; that it was unfortunate that something had gone wrong and though it was(is) serious, let us all chip in to make amend. There was no hint that someone or anyone should and shall be made answerable at least in a Disciplinary Inquiry, aside from the Commission of Inquiry. Those directly related to the Escape such as the Duty Personnels at the Remand Centre at the Time of Escape and their commanders supervising them, should be asked for the events immediately before the Escape and made public, minimum expectation of the people is a summary of the Incident.

    The people was expecting the Government to account for the Incident and make those involved, directly or indirectly, accountable. But so far, there were only expressions of regret and calls for closing rank. But what rank are there to close unless the Government sees and admits a division between itself and the people. There was a blunder in the Escape of a detainee, the Leaders should not allow a bigger blunder from the Incident.

  5. Daniel said

    Is this the best speech he can deliver after ten days of preparation ?

  6. Weijia said

    it’s a bit too late to come and say all this now.

    “…and i think it is good that, to see the way Singaporeans of all races have come together, come forward to help distribute posters to alert residences and maintain watch.”

    Where were you Mr. Lee(s)??

  7. gunddu said

    The efficiency of our corporate governance presents The 11 golden days Recap Report of the Repubic Wanted Man?

    maybe server down big run time error due to overwhelming responds.Hence , We are unable to upload the final report .

    Anyway a gd job atlest u ve addressed the public:)

  8. ionly got one word for him “Balek Kumpung!”

  9. patriot said

    If memory serves me right; I recalled PM Lee HLs’ father, MM Lee KY once said that Prison Staff were friendly with Chia Thye Poh because the latter was good at winning the formers’ sympathies. Now the MM is saying the same about Mas Selamat; I wonder whether the MM had ever ponder why Civil Servants are good to Opposition or Opposing Detainees?

    MM Lees’ remarks reinforced my belief that many Law Enforcers are working for a living and they are sensible to rights and wrongs; an independent feeling not tagged to duty but conscience. ‘Kung tao ze cai ren sing, ren ren tung tze li’, roughly translated to mean ‘righteousness resides in every human being naturally and everyone naturally has the consciousness of fairness’.

    The way DPM Wong KS, MM Lee KY and PM Lee HL made their Public Statements, they sounded liked a familial conversations.

  10. noone said

    “I just don’t know what to do with myself” maybe this was the song sung

  11. blackshirt said

    And our esteemed national newspaper kindly did their national service. As mentioned by TOC earlier, our PM had said:

    “It was a laspe, what to do, it’s happened.”

    But, our ST did not include the “what to do, it’s happened” part in their news report (ST, 10 Mar 2008, H3).

    Nothing new here, but just like to have a mention.

  12. patriot said

    ‘What to do, it has happened’ itself sounds and indicates complacency!

    ‘What to do?’ constitutes what? Means what?

  13. mrtoastbox said

    PM had actually been preparing a “we got him” speech but suay suay still have not caught him and he saw how the BN lost their 2/3 majority yesterday.

    Notice how alot of official remarks are made at such insignificant events.

  14. Haha said

    Just a lapse. folks. No worse than the $388m honest mistake. Let’s move on. Yeah, right!

  15. Blackteeshirt said

    ha! as expected. he speaks after papa has spoken.
    from the sound of it, he probably has spent the last 10 days wringing the neck of Wong.

  16. meesiam maihum said

    Now that the Kastari’s escape has exposed the blatant incompetence of LHL’s PAP government, he wants all S’poreans to ‘close ranks’ behind him. Did LHL and his ministers ‘close rank’ with all S’poreans when they were voicing out their disapproval of the increase in ministers’ pay and other issues?

  17. Dont Buy It said

    Here’s one after reading page 2 of Today’s article : “It is a form of dangerous thinking”

  18. Daniel said

    “It was a laspe, what to do, it’s happened.”
    But, our ST did not include the “what to do, it’s happened” part in their news report”

    This joker never fail to make me laugh. This is a fake leader who dare to act and make remark without conscience and accountability.

    Look at how PM respond, will it surprise anyone if he say this in election
    “We fixed the opposition party, and buy the supporter’s vote, what to do, it’s happened”

  19. what2do said

    “It was a lapse, what to do, it’s happened.”

    How can a Prime Minister say such a thing?
    What to do? Is he paid millions of dollar to say such a thing? Aren’t Singaporean worried when something really serious happen in the future and the Prime Minister shrugs his shoulder and say, “It was a lapse, what to do, it’s happened.”

  20. George said

    Apparently, the PM imply that measures like cctvs are not installed at the Whitley prisons. That’s shocking considering that they ar even considering putting up cctvs in public places to monitor crime.

  21. joshua kums said

    Can you imagine how much less he would speak if he is paid more then the present $3 million.

  22. I went “HUH?” for abit when I heard him end with “What to do, it has happened.” You mean this is what all our taxes goes to? My goodness. No wonder people are giving up their citizenship (ok, not that I don’t know that already hahaa).

  23. Next, they may tell me that Mr Mas Selamat Kastari is actually Mr David Copperfield also known as Criss Angel aka David Blaine aka Phey Yew Kok! Yes, the COI may just tell us so.

    While the wayang continues, does anyone give a thought to the family members of Mr Mas Selamat Kastari?

    If I were a child of Mas, I would ask The ISD, “You took my father away. As he’s under your detention, are you not responsible for his safety? How can you be so careless as to let him escape or be kidnapped or disappear? Can you please bring him back?”

    Similarly, how would your feel if you were the wife of Tang Liang Hong or even the young children of Chee Soon Juan who keeps getting locked up in Queenstown Prison.

    Well, some would say they deserve the punishment and incarceration. But do they?

    Yes, I have a warped mind.

    Yes, maybe our minds have been brainwashed and warped for more than 40 years by propaganda dished out by the main stream media that when we start to think logically, we create suspicion within our own head.

  24. Ken said

    “Together with the population, we will overcome this setback.”
    “So let’s close ranks to deal with this incidence, and let’s bounce back from this, and move forward”.

    How dare you, PM, for implicating the citizenry in a humiliating security lapse committed by your government.

    There is nothing for the population to overcome, there is no need for the population to “bounce back” or “move forward”, because we have not done anything wrong.

  25. Steven said

    My boss would’ve killed me if I used that phrase

    what to do, it’s happened

    SHOULD NEVER EVER be used to explain mistakes.

  26. patriot said

    ‘What to do, it has happened’, was not casually spoken, it means the people have to accept the Incident like accepting the rain when it rains.

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