Things happening in Singapore everyday, everywhere, everyone.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Which is which

Police have received a number of tip-offs and calls on sightings of the militant leader of the Singapore Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror network since his daring escape from Internal Security Department's custody at the Whitley Road Detention Centre on Wednesday at 4.05 pm.

The manager of a petrol station at Whitley Road was reported as having told two Chinese evening newspapers, Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily, on Friday that he saw a man resembling the escaped detainee Mas Selamat about one hour after he bolted from the nearby detention centre.

He said the man's upper body was bare and he was wearing brown pants with the letters 'WRC'. He was seen struggling and limping up a flight of steps on the hill slope which leads to the Bukit Brown Chinese cemetery.

Police said they had received similar information from his co-worker at the petrol station at about 5.15pm.


On why the public was informed of the escape only four hours after the escape, Mr Wong said the escape posed no 'imminent danger to the public' at the time.


Besides the standard attire of a beige T-shirt, brown draw-string pants and black rubber slippers which all detainees wear, he was also wearing a greenish grey baju kurung with long sleeves.


A 'SECURITY LAPSE' led to the escape of the leader of the Singapore's wing of the Islamic militant network, Jemaah Islamiah (JI), and drew an apology from Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng on Thursday.

Mr Wong Kan Seng, who is the Deputy Prime Minister, told Parliament that Mas Selamat Kastari, who walks with a limp, escaped from the toilet of the Whitley Road Detention Centre, near a wooded park on Wednesday afternoon.


Mr Wong, who is Deputy Prime Minister, said there was a 'physical breach' at the Whitley Road detention centre that led to the terrorist's breakout, and this had been dealt with. Security within the detention centre had also been beefed up.


The independent Committee of Inquiry will look into how Mas Selamat broke out of the detention centre and recommend changes to prevent similar break-outs.

It will be headed by Mr Goh Joon Seng, who served as a High Court judge for a decade before retiring in 2000. He is now a consultant with law firm Lee & Lee and is also a member of the Council of Presidential Advisers.

The second member of the panel, Mr Tee Tua Ba, retired as police commissioner in 1997. He was also director of prisons between 1987 and 1992, and previously director of CID and the Central Narcotics Bureau.

The third member is the Home Affairs Ministry's deputy secretary for security and corporate services, Dr Choong May Ling, who has held senior positions in various ministries such as Education and Finance.


So which is which?

1. The public was informed 4 hours later, but someone already aware and witness the escape one hour after it happened? Isn't it strange the petrol station workers are so free looking at the hill while working? They must have fantastic photographic memories to remember the features of so many strangers who passed by that area.

2. He was seen wearing nothing on his upper body as "seen" by the petrol station workers. Now the news say he is wearing long sleeves too!

3. Imagine the toilet is in a building which is inside a compound surrounded by barb wire fences, with 24 hours video cameras every corners, at the time when he is inside the toilet doing his business for say 20 minutes, and the guard is outside the toilet door. How does a limping man disappear from the cubicle without making any noise, say by climbing to the ceiling, bypassing the guard outside the toilet door, and then he have to go through various gates before reaching the compound where he has to dig beneath the fence or climb over the fence without being detected by the Gurkhas or the video cameras. And he have to do all this stunts within say 20 minutes and still has all the time to jog to the hill! This is so much tougher than doing the SOC (standard obstacle course) and unbelievable for a limping man to achieve such feat!

4. First they say it is caused by "security lapse", giving us the impression some guard is sleeping on the job, now they say it is caused by "physical breach", as though the Mission Impossible team has penetrated the multi layers of securities and picked him from the toilet.

5. They setup an "independent" Committee of Inquiry (COI) with someone from Home Affairs Ministry, shouldn't they get someone else without giving us the impression of "conflict of interests" (COI).

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