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Reviewing Mas Selamat’s escape

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 11, 2008

By Benjamin Cheah

Mas Selamat has been on the run for twelve days and counting, as of the time of writing.

The initial outrage that greeted his escape has simmered, cooling into opinions cast in concrete. The media has moved on, covering other events.

But, if we as a nation are to move on, we must first re-examine past events and perspectives, and correct our mistakes.

In this post, I would examine three of the most contentious questions raised in the aftermath of the escape.

How did Mas Selamat escape?

The only way we are going to know how he escaped is by capturing him. We cannot pin down his escape on any one factor. It is reasonable to assume that, having undergone training in an Afghanistan terrorist camp, Mas Selamat has been trained in escape and evasion skills, as well as prisoner-of-war strategies.

He would therefore have the skills to probe for weaknesses inside a prison, manipulate whom he needs to manipulate, make the actual escape, and then evade the authorities. He may also have a network of supporters inside and outside Whitley Road Detention Centre to aid him.

Furthermore, the architects who designed the prison may have overlooked the possibility that a detainee might escape through the toilet, unwittingly implementing a design flaw. The guards themselves bear the heaviest burden, for letting Mas Selamat escape despite being one of the region’s most dangerous men. The Criminal Investigation Department is already looking into the matter, but I do not believe that we would be able to accurately retrace Selamat’s footsteps without drawing out his side of the story. After all, he was the one who made the great escape.

What we should do now is to focus our energies on locating and capturing Mas Selamat, and any supporters he might have. Speculating on what had happened, and what could have happened, is useless after the point where it could help lead the authorities to him. This is especially so since civilians usually have the least information regarding this aspect of the situation. We don’t know how Selamat escaped. To find out, we need to find him, and interrogate him.

Could critical information be released earlier?

One of the biggest contentions surrounding this event is the four-hour time lag between Mas Selamat’s escape and the notification of the media. Before we point fingers, we must first think through what could have happened.

The first step in this train of consequences is the discovery of Mas Selamat’s disappearance. At this point in time, the guards, and their commander, would only know that he has eluded the guards. The first step would be to sound the alarm, and lock down the facility. At the same time, neighbouring police posts, and the regional police headquarters, would be alerted. As the guards search the detention centre, the police would begin to set up a cordon around the area. This would require dozens of police officers, all of whom need to be diverted and directed to their positions by their superiors.

But before that can happen, they need to swiftly decide how and where to position their men, which takes time.

After the perimeter has been established, the police would have to wait for the guards to complete their search. Meanwhile, the police commanders need to inform their counterparts at the airport, Causeway, and other points of egress from the country, in case Selamat is on his way there. The national police headquarters would also be alerted as well. The Ministry of Home Affairs would be called up, and then a Cabinet meeting called. More policemen would probably be called up at this point, to reinforce the hasty cordon and to expand the perimeter. When Selamat is declared to have escaped, the dragnet must expand. But this means the police needs reinforcements.

A national call-up of police officers would ensue. The police commanders would have to call upon the Special Operations Command. The SOC would then mobilise the Police Tactical Unit and the Police National Service Key Installation Protection Unit. At the same time, the Gurkha Contingent was activated to aid in the search. Later, Guards and Army Developmental Force soldiers were called up to aid the search.

The train of information has now split into several branches, each carrying a massive amount of raw data and communications as everybody tries to coordinate with each other. A minimum of six organisations would have to work together, leading to a lot of friction owing to different operating procedures and mindsets.

Somewhere amidst this maelstrom of information, the police would judge that Mas Selamat has breached the cordon. News of this would have to travel up the line, possibly all the way to the Cabinet. Someone higher up would then decide to alert the media, and gather the essential information the media crews need. Once the media stations get that information, they would need to set up before going live. The media would not have been informed any earlier, in case Mas Selamat was found within the detention centre, in the area cordoned by the police, or some distance near the cordon — in which case, there would be no national bulletin to broadcast.

Could this system have been streamlined? Maybe. Until and unless an insider tells us what happened that day, we wouldn’t know who said what to whom, and how much information was being traded. I do believe, however, that the four-hour delay could have been cut short, to perhaps an hour or two, or three at most. It is better to send a false alarm than to risk an escape.

The trickle of information the media received following his escape, however, was disgustingly sparse. Drab by drab, day after day, the media released crucial information about Selamat’s description. It began with his name, inferred race, and height. Then came his limp — but a man has two legs. Only after that were we told to look out for someone who limps along on his left leg. Some time after that, the police revealed that this limp was only noticeable when he runs or walks briskly. By now, there have been hundreds of calls to the police, all of which have yielded nothing but wasted time and energy.

What should have been done was full disclosure. When the decision was made to announce Selamat’s escape, the media should have been given Selamat’s physical description. Every media organisation should have been given his name, height, weight, distinguishing features, and a description of the clothes he last wore. Television media and government agencies should have received his photograph to broadcast on air and on the Internet.

The following day, news agencies should have broadcast a notice to watch for suspicious activities and people, such as a neighbour suddenly buying more food than usual or curtains being drawn even at night, in case someone were to live near a possible Selamat confederate. Had this information been released earlier, Selamat could have been captured earlier.

Lest we forget, the blame is not entirely on the media. We must also consider that the media only broadcast what information it was given. In this case, we must also examine why our security agencies failed to release this information in a timely manner. Stinginess with information in this scenario would hinder Selamat’s successful capture, and could indeed aid his escape. In any event, our media and security agencies have lost their credibility in the eyes of the world.

Should Wong Kan Seng resign?

In the short term, no. Wong does not have a designated successor that the public can identify with, if he indeed has one. Should Wong step down, the Ministry of Home Affairs, among other things, would be shaken up. Wong’s subordinates would need to adjust to his replacement’s style in a very short period of time, while handling Selamat’s escape. Such a hasty transition could well hinder the flow of information crucial to capturing Selamat, and any sympathizers he may have.

What about in the long term, after this event has passed? Should Wong resign because of this affair, he would have effectively taken responsibility for the escape. But that, I believe, is not just. As far as I know, Wong did not have a hand in the security procedures of Whitley Road Detention Centre, nor was he involved in its design. Neither was he involved in ensuring that Selamat remains in custody, nor should he: as a minister, he has many things to worry about, the least being a terrorist whom everyone believes is safely detained.

The chain of responsibility should not extend to Wong because he is not involved in it; consequently, resignation over this does not serve the interests of justice. We cannot commit the fallacy of the spotlight, of believing that Wong is at fault simply because of his high profile.

People have argued that Wong should resign as a matter of honour. That, in the end, is up to Wong, and whether or not his definition of honour extends to something like this. It was not his job to take care of Selamat while in custody; then, he had to attend to domestic affairs like encouraging population growth. Wong’s current job, in addition to his existing duties, is to ensure that the security agencies do their job properly, and to reassure the public, to deal with the aftermath of the escape.

Should he fail at this job, then he should resign, for failing to fulfill his duty as a public servant. But taking the rap for something he was only vaguely associated with is a question of personal honour and ethics, one that cannot, and should not, be forced upon him.

The people who should resign, after appropriate punishment, are the people directly responsible for Selamat’s security. That would come after a trial to determine negligence — or treason. This would naturally mean the guards and the guard commander. Any other persons would be unearthed by a full investigation, and hopefully, the CID would conduct it fairly and professionally.

I do not believe that Wong Kan Seng should resign over this issue alone. Whether or not he should resign, in addition to other failings, is something else altogether.

Would have, could have, should have

Right now, I see discussion on this event as organized around three questions: what would have Selamat done, what could have been done, and what should have been done. Many people online are speculating on the escape, and how Selamat would have done to escape. They are also talking about what could have been done to capture him. People are also arguing that Wong Kan Seng should have resigned. In the face of this, I recall some advice I was given: we can worry about the woulda-coulda-shoulda, but they aren’t relevant right now.

Our main priority remains the capture of Mas Selamat. Should he be returned to custody, we would have the answers to the first question. The second one can be answered in the future, after a review of current procedures. The last can also be answered in the future, after the situation has stabilized. While these questions are important, worrying about these questions right now would only waste time and energy. We should instead devote our energies to capturing Selamat first, before tackling the other questions.

But we should never forget them, either.

Picture from Singapore Daily

Visit Benjamin’s personal blog here – The Lionheart.

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34 Responses to “Reviewing Mas Selamat’s escape”

  1. Ken said

    The question is not about whether or not Wong Kan Seng should resign. In my mind, the more important question is whether or not he should take responsibility for this embarassing security lapse. In my view, he – as Minister for Home Affairs, and as the representative of the government – should take responsibility for the incident. There is every reason for Wong to take responsibility for it because ISD – which runs the detention centre from which the terrorist escaped – comes under the purview of his ministry. Wong had neither done this, nor shown any contrition over the incident. Is it too much to ask for Wong to come out and say, “I am sorry FOR this security lapse; the Ministry takes fulls responsibility for this incident”? It is not about him stepping down, but about him – or someone in government – to own up for this mistake.

    Wong’s remarks in Parliament – “I am sorry that it happened” – was not an apology, but an expression of empathy.

  2. […] kidding me? – Sgpolitics.net: Poking fun at PM Lee’s “what to do” comment – theonlinecitizen: Reviewing Mas Selamat’s escape – To Fix a Mocking Peasant: Fantastic Conspiracy Theories about […]

  3. Dead Poet said

    Below is a article which quotes WKS talking about high standards from Today in April 2006

    “Speaking at a rally on Sunday, PAP’s First Assistant Secretary-General Wong Kan Seng asked if after this unfortunate incident, the WP still intends to uphold the high standards that it has set for itself and for politics in Singapore. He assumes that in a case involving honesty or credibility, Mr Low would immediately withdraw the candidate and publicly apologise.

    Mr Wong says: “That is why the PAP challenged them to tell Singaporeans the truth. It was only because the PAP pressed them that the Workers’ Party has now said something”

    Well the people are now challenging him to tell Singaporean the truth and to show the world what high standard he prescribes to.

  4. patriot said

    Speculations on how Mas Selamat escaped in this specific case appeared reasonable to me.
    First speculations arose because of the lack of informations released.

    I, for one speculated to myself up to this point in time, wondering whether THE TOILET THAT MAS SELAMAT WAS USING, WAS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE PERIMETER FENCING(FENCINGS/DOUBLE LAYERS?). If not, even if he has got through any opening(s) of the Toilet, he will still be within the fencing(s).

    Some people mentioned that tracker dogs are deployed at the Whitley Detention Centre, however, there were mention of them(dog/s) been used.

    Conspiracy theories are aplenty right from the moment the Escape was made public after four hours later. I believe amongst the Singaporeans, there are many Sherlock Holmes and Agartha Christie; people who are very good at solving crimes. Though I suspect that some are meant to jibe, satire, tease, sarcastic and plain grieve, some theories are plausible. The insistence by the AUTHORITY up to this point in time, 12 to 13 days after escape is very, very baffling, the Authority seems too sure to me. Layman logics in me say that escape was possible because he has eluded the Security Personnels assigned to his detention as well as everybody else, otherwise it could not be escape. Escape simply means that there was no detection or he ‘escaped’ detection. So failing to detect him for so many days and still insisting that Mas Selamat is in Singapore, a landmass of no more than 700 square kilometre with less than sparse vegetation, is UNBELIEVABLE.

    Now, I cannot help myself not to speculate, for I will never imagined that the TOILET IS LOCATED(LOCATING) OUTSIDE THE SECURITY FENCE(S). I am now telling myself that Mas Selamat had walked out of the Detention Centre wearing the ‘Uniform'(insignia) similar to those used by the Security Personnels of the Whitley Detention Centre.

    In any case, speculations and conspiracy theories have given us much perspectives into all possibilities, they are of much help no matter how we look at it.

  5. George said

    Hard to believe that there is no standing orders or instructions for the director of ISD himself to be informed the moment something significant has happened. To believe this is to be naive.

    The way I see it the immediate comm sequence ought to be something like this:

    guard->guard ic/commander->prison OC->Dir ISD office->MHA/DS Security->PMO/MMO/SMO

    All this within an hour at most. At each point essential actions/responses would be immediately activated.

  6. Robert HO said

    RH:
    1. Mr Benjamin CHEAH is far too kind to the LIEgime, almost to apologist. I have written several comments in TOC and cannot repeat them here. Read them if you want to follow my thoughts.

    2. I will briefly mention that Whitley Detention Centre is NOT a holiday bungalow. Indeed, even if it were a holiday bungalow, escaping from a toilet would still be very difficult given KASTARI’s age, lack of exercise and agility [prison does not allow you to exercise to the point of fitness, I assure you]. LIE KY tries his old lies that make KASTARI seem to be superhuman, as fit as an Olympic gymnast, able to escape given even a half-chance. Bullshit. No matter how friendly his custodians, no way would he have been allowed enough time to escape. How long do you take to pee, poo or bathe? [KASTARI obviously was only peeing or pooing, so cannot be gone more than 10 minutes]. Probably with a custodian watching and waiting outside impatiently. Something stinks here and it is not KASTARI’s pee or poo. It is the LIEgime’s story.

    3. Also, given the normal common-sense security already built-in in every building, even if KASTARI were being held in a holiday bungalow in Pasir Ris or Changi Beach, HE STILL COULD NOT HAVE ESCAPED THROUGH THE WINDOW OR TOILET. You can check this out by trying it yourself. No building with windows or toilet windows open to the outside can allow ingress or egress. This sort of precaution is built into every building especially on the lower floors. Common sense architecture. If you can climb out the toilet or any other window, that is only because there are other physical constraints like perimeter fencing and walls to prevent further ingress or egress. So, KASTARI could not have escaped. QED.

    4. The entire BEHAVIOUR of the LIEgime’s top men, LIE KY LHL WKS, defy common sense. Mr CHEAH has kindly given them every benefit of the doubt by suggesting how much time it would have taken for every stage of the process but he ignores that KASTARI allegedly escaped at 4.05pm, that is, working hours, so every minister would be at work, and their cronies all down the line to the ISD Director and his lackeys. Only LIE KY would be sleeping as usual, in 1 of his numerous catnaps due to a dying body and almost-dead mind. With everybody at their desk, you mean it takes so much time to pass information up and down the lines? No landlines and handphones for direct reachability? Something stinks, I tell you.

    5. Even if KASTARI escaped at midnight, with such miracles like handphones, EVERYBODY would be on the job within minutes. Everybody has everybody else’s handphone number and there is such a thing as Emergency Telephone Lists for just such as this. There are also Duty Officers and probably even Ministers on Watch Duty for emergencies 24/7. There are also protocol lists so if the top men cannot be reached, the calls then route to the next and so on. Something stinks, I tell you.

    6. The entire BEHAVIOUR of the Liegime is fishy. Defying common sense or intelligence. We know they are stupid, but even the stupidest people know instinctively what to do in a case like this. THEY HAVE DONE EVERY SINGLE THING WRONG, which is 1 reason why Mr CHEAH’s article is so long, having so much to ‘explain’ and rationalise. It is unbelievable such stupid series of actions and non-actions can happen in just 1 simple Prisoner Escape event. Mindboggling. Stinks.

    7. KASTARI never escaped. He is probably dead. Thus, no cctv footage to this day because all such footage is Date and Time Stamped and there are no recent footage to show us because KASTARI died quite some time ago. That is the only explanation that makes sense — as Martyn SEE wrote. There are only 6 KASTARI surnames in our online phone books, probably all of them related to Mas Selamat. Anyone care to phone them to ask about the escape or whether they have suddenly come into great wealth as compensation and to keep quiet?

    8. And as for WKS resigning, ha, ha, ha. He is the cousin-in-law to LHL and Assistant Sec-Gen of the PAP therefore, meaning he is just after LHL. Blood is thicker than blunders. Besides, in a dictatorship, nothing changes, everything is stasis. The entire system, once power-consolidated, is cast in concrete, with only the minutest tinkering possible. Everything is BUSINESS AS USUAL, no matter what the scale of the seismic event. Nothing shakes a dictatorship’s foundations, nor allowed to. That is why dictatorships abhor change of any kind. As long as everything IS, the Kleptocracy can continue to rob the people blind to enrich themselves upon the people’s pain. Everything is cosy wozy. Iron rice bowls. Not only for themselves but the entire crony food chain down. That is why NOTHING CHANGES IN A DICTATORSHIP. And even this KASTARI event is just another day, another few thousand dollars richer for each of the LIEgime. Business as usual.

  7. resign said

    do unto others what you want others do unto you. If LKY snd Lee Hsien Loong and all the PAP MPs expect Gomez to perform at a high level of integrity regarding the missing forms, the least we can expect of the PAP is a contrite apology and some resignations. A word mentioning that performance bonus of DPM Wong will be with held would also be useful. Definitely not a statement that say – shit happens – what to do??? Dumb dumb.

  8. noone said

    Robert HO We love conspiracy theories. You are full of them. Please send such news to CNN or BBC. Then there could be a revolution and you can be the future minister of ??? Information? Defence? Foreign Affairs?

    I like to see what will be the defence and foreign policy once you gain your post. I’m sure your PM will be someone who spews such credible news as you.

  9. noone said

    Say someone finds the truth which RObert Ho suggests, I love to see what Interpol would say.

    And Malaysia….

    And Indonesia….

  10. noone said

    Or say the dead terrorists sufaces near Robert HO.

  11. On the point about the 4 hour gap, it has been argued back and forth to death and Benjamin does raise some valid points.

    There is no Golden Cut Off Time. Period. For the cynics – put your hand on your heart and say that if the lame government issued a public warning like 2 hours, after Mas Selamat went O Brother, Where Art Thou, the public won’t complain and say that the klaxons should have sounded at Prison Break + 1 hour. People would still howl that the government should have raised the alarm earlier. Public alert is the last part of the SOP assuming that the SOP is similar to SAF mobz, from what little we know of mobz.

    What we should hammer away is why the government could not give proper information at the right time e.g. limping, then not limping unless Mas Selamat did a run (is he Verbal Kint or what????) Why the government can give stupid statements like he is not dangerous (then why is he locked away)? Why did the lame government put a MHA rep in the COI (great move at protecting MHA interests tho!).

  12. Contingency Plan said

    1)Based on the below statement, what would happen if one of our elites decided to meet the creator? would time stop for Singapore and it’s people ?

    Is there such a thing as a contingency plan?

    In the short term, no. Wong does not have a designated successor that the public can identify with, if he indeed has one. Should Wong step down, the Ministry of Home Affairs, among other things, would be shaken up.

  13. Frankly, This is my take said

    If he is not responsible than who is ?

    Its like saying the CEO is not responsible for the losses in a bank

    Its like saying the manager is not accountable for his staffs action.

    The chain of responsibility should not extend to Wong because he is not involved in it; consequently, resignation over this does not serve the interests of justice. We cannot commit the fallacy of the spotlight, of believing that Wong is at fault simply because of his high profile.

  14. patriot said

    Hi;
    kindly allow me to make a correction to my post above(listed at No. 4).
    ‘however, there were mention of them(dog/s) been used’, should read as ‘however, there were no mention of them (dog/s) been used.

    My apology; patriot.

  15. Full of Crap from Ben said

    Wah Lau. Another crap defensive article about WKS. Should he resign? Such a stupid question to bring up. In my opinion he should get the fuck out of MHA. Go join mental hospital maybe he will let the loonnies out. Mass SMS to general public of missing mentals. He should assume the post of director for MPH. (Mad People Hospital).

    Well said RH!

  16. WKS said

    Because the unknowns of this issue are so extreme. We don’t know who stands to gain from this fiasco. The PAP? The Opposition? Terrorists? The Singapore Government? Is Mas dead and the law has been broken? Has there been human rights abuses?

    The point here is that ALOT is at stake. More than MAS, More than the Police Commissioner’s job, even more than the Minister’s job.

    Thus when we look for the appropriate measure to rectify this, we should find the appropriate levels of response.

    The outcomes still look very bad no matter how we sugar coat this.

  17. Ken,

    I think the actual question is: Who should take responsibility? Is it Wong Kan Seng? Or is it somebody down the line? Obviously and ideally, the guards and the guard commander would have to take responsibility. Unfortunately, everybody would pin the blame on someone in power, because that someone, in this case Wong, is better-known, and because of the perception that someone up ther usually has the answers — which isn’t the case. From a justice-centric perspective, the guards are responsible, as well as whomever aided Selamat’s escape through negligence. But from a political perspective, someone higher up must take responsibility because of this perception because the people on the ground would not be satisfied so easily. Where the people are concerned, only someone of ministerial level would do — largely because they know whom to target.

    Ken, you said that the ISD runs the detention centre. So why shouldn’t the Director of the ISD come out to take responsibility instead? Or at least in tandem with Wong?

    George,

    I suppose you’re right. I should have included the Director of the ISD in some way or form. But the essentials remain the same: news that Mas Selamat has escaped must travel from the guard who discovered his escape all the way to the media proper, passing through a long sequence of events, almost all of which requires consideration and/or delay before this news can be passed on. Any questions on whether or not the media could have, or should have, been informed earlier must be framed in this context.

    Patriot,

    Please read carefully. I said that speculation is useless beyond the point it helps us find him. This means, we should not wonder about conspiracy theories or unfounded nonsense, but instead look at the facts, and extrapolate from there.

    Robert Ho,

    I’d kindly advise you to think through what you’re really saying before typing up conspiracy theories and unrealistic speculations.

    Frankly, This Is My Take,

    The Director of the ISD. After the guards, guard commander, and whoever that could have prevented the escape have been charged. Wong Kan Seng is too far removed from the prison for me to comfortably say that he should be responsible. The best analogy to describe this situation, really, is to demand an apology and resignation from a general after a private has committed a crime, when the general was too far away from the event to have made a meaningful impact. Frankly, this is my take: The buck stops at the Director of the ISD. You need to prove to me that the chain of responsibility extends beyond him.

  18. Pondering said

    This period of time of the year happened to be the performance apprasial time and time where the company annouced the variable pay bonus (if any). I’ve work in a non-government organisation in the last 11 years.
    We, as employee will be appraised based on our job done for the last 12 months. We will be given a grade of whether it’s a (let’s use a common term here)Bad, Average, Good or Excellent.
    Say my company annouced that we will be given 4 to 8 weeks of variable pay based on performance. If my grade is Good, I might be getting 6 weeks of variable pay. For any colleague who performance is Excellent, he/she gets 8 weeks. For anyone who’s performance is Bad, you don’t get any variable pay.
    Same concept applies for our increment amount.

    So…..this trigger me to ponder. Our ministers are all of CEO quality hence the recent pay increase. We have to award them duely so that they will continue to be motivated to stay on and help run the country. That I fully agree.

    I also agree on the fact that, now, if I fail a $200,000 project that I am doing, I can forget about my increment and my variable pay this year.
    Since our ministers salary are benchmark against those in the private sector, shouldn’t their performance apprasial and their bonus scheme be the same?

    I would like to use the over used term of ….you can’t have your cake and eat it…though everyone of us would like to.

  19. Rocket Science said

    A man missing after a toilet break in a detention facility, and we need a to setup a community to study how this could have happened ??

    It’s plain simple, the folks inside have the information, but its the public presentation that needs addressing.

    The Emperors new clothes ?

  20. its your future said

    What happened after the police warned Singaporeans to be vigilant of their vehicles…

  21. blind faith said

    ever wondered what the inside of a detention toilet looks like ?

    a small room with 3 walls and a door.
    A small vent with bars across it to prevent escape.

    This is what I think the inside looks like. What do you think?

    How about you ?

    POP Quiz time!

    Who would you hold accountable if your money in the bank went missing ?

    1)CEO of the bank
    2)Manager
    3)Staff

    If you were a share holder of the bank and the bank went into losses.Who would you hold accountable ?

    1)CEO
    2)Portfolio Manager
    3)Staff


  22. Thanks for highlighting my post on Ah Wong’s working holiday to Laos on your fine blog (see ‘From The Blogs’ section). The online citizen is always welcome to contact me should I be of assistance…

    Just FYI, the title of the blog is ‘Wake Up Your Idea’ and the author is referred to as Thought Provoker.

  23. kinokuniya said

    The only one who makes any sense is that darkness character.

  24. […] crashing, terrorist escaping, and the first extensive and prolonged manhunt all over Singapore. Has anybody not seen the […]

  25. I feel that this is a classical case of Complacency which lead to people making mistakes. Another good example is the numerous medical errors by professional like Med Doctors. Also Professional like Lawyers misappropriated with with Clientele’s money.

  26. peach tea said

    You can bet the internal investigations of pointing fingers at who was responsible. Conspiracy theories abound on insider job. ISA could be evoked but the public won’t know the details. Why didn’t anyone esp authorities think Selamat could have left the island?

  27. Jonathan said

    I saw Mas Selamat at Ang Mo Kio on 30th March, 2320hrs nearby my place. I did as adviced by the media, informed the police and 15 minutes later, he disappeared, probably suspicious of my constant, suspicious glances at him.

    I have never thought that I will ever see him in real life with my very own eyes, only then have I felt that the danger and threat of a terrorist attack in Singapore is still very real.

    I urge everyone to stay vigilant and keep a look-out for him. If you see him, PLEASE, DO NOT WALK AWAY TO CALL THE POLICE. Approach him on the spot or even manhandle him, so that passerbys can help out should a comotion breaks out.

  28. shadow ranger said

    in my opinion i think that his escape has affected usboth globally and economically

  29. All Dollars & Non-Cents said

    The PM’s defence is wrong. If the cost of the fiasco is considered, WKS would like any private sector CEO, have to tender his resignation. After mobilising so much of the country’s resources over 2 failed months of searching, the Director of the Whitley Center should already have been sacked but yet he was let off with a simple apology!! The Director was grossly oversighted (no grills/bars in a prison?! sawed off window handle??!!!) and WKS failed to set up the appropriate policies for checks/balances in all security institutions believing that all is well! Get out of your complacancy and maybe employ ‘ethical prison-breakers’ to test out those prisons who are touted as super secure.

  30. small fly said

    Small fly,small fly don’t cry.
    The small fish already got fried.
    In this unjust world, there is no just trial.
    Could someone tell me that Justice is still alive.
    If there is no balance of security and stablity(quote from MM Lee)
    who will die—-all the small fries.
    You voted for it, so don’t cry.

  31. Fool said

    A fool will believe the story, family visitation will end at 1pm. According to source no visitation is allowed after 3pm in detention center.

    Don’t be silly that any big shot will be resigned or sacked. Its a drama, stage someone.

    Being a layman, looking at this drama. Let me ask whether he should resigned: How much impact to our economy? Custom at woodland is jam, orders and deliveries not fulfilled. Should he resigned, what is the quantum of the lost? You decide.

    Paying so much for someone can’t responsible for the office, does he worth paying?

    Should we pay someone so much holding the office only know how to give excuses?

    Paying half of his salary to people on the street can certainly do a better job.

  32. Looking at how Mas Selamat escaped through a big window in a toilet, I cannot help but wonder if there was an audit conducted on the facility. And I think it does not take someone paid top dollars to recognise the risk. Frankly, any Tom Dick Harry can see the risk, seriously. Of cos, I dont expect WKS to inpect but is there even a procedure to have some1 inspect/audit the facility? A leader does not have to do everything himself but he has to ensure. ENSURE is the word. I think the fundamental physical security was totally inexistent! Is that what we paid top dollars for? Although the top earners may say that they have not personally or directly caused the escape but being paid top dollars, shouldn’t they be responsible for ensuring that such things do not happen?

    In the NKF scam, the entire board resigned and that is what top earners in the private sector do… take responsibility for their mistake or oversight. It seems that the parliament is granted full immunity. Well, of course, to err is human but if you are claim to deserve top dollars, please justify that claim.

    I feel that what you earn should be proportional to the magnitude of the scope of responsibility. Singapore is such a small country and our leaders earn much more than most leaders of countries more than 10 times bigger. Is this justified?

  33. Shit said

    Shit Happens… now what? Everyone wants to earn top dollars and be granted full immunity… the singaporean dream

  34. CTS said

    I personally agree with Robert that there is no way Mas Selamat could have escaped on his own and a strong indication of a cover-up here.
    However, I don’t think that Mas Selamat is dead because I am sure the Government can cover-up that easily. I strongly believe that Jemaah Islamiah (JI) had infiltrated into the Police Force and they literally open the gates for him, that is why until today no one can accurately retrace his escape path. Could it be possible that there are no marks on the fence because he walk out form the front gates?
    Just think about it, why would the Government take so long to disclose “a report” which only speculate how Mas Selamat “could have” escaped. Surely by climbing over the 2nd fence with barb-wire on it with just your bare hands would leave some blood stains or marks indicating his escape path, wouldn’t it?
    If it was just a simple escape, we would have known the details of the escape in the News Papers by the following day, wouldn’t we? But if Mas Selamat was “literally let out” by person or persons within the ISD, this calls for some very serious investigation and probably calls for a media black-out as what we are seeing now. The Government is still not releasing any more details of the escape stating “security reasons”. Just think for a moment, WKS first news conference mentioned that Mas Selamat acted alone, without help and he is still saying that now. If that is true, Mas Selamat would have been caught by now.
    We are paying Ministers more then 3 Million dollars a year who does not take responsibility for the blunders from their own ministry. Whenever something major happens, just like the Nicole Highway collapse, who got blamed? If all the department head are to be blamed, why do we need a Minister, we could have saved the 3 Million dollars and spend it on something else.

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