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Friday, May 08, 2009

Mas Selamat bin Kastari Re-Captured and Arrested in Malaysia

I must first clarify my position. I am neither a PAP supporter nor a supporter of any opposition party.

Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) detainee Mas Selamat bin Kastari escaped from the Whitley Road Detention Centre at 4:05 pm on 27 Feb 2008. Mas Selamat was the leader of the Singapore JI network.

Today, The Straits Times, later further confirmed by the Singapore government, announced that Mas Selamat is captured. MSK was found in Johor and is currently under detention by the Malaysian authorities in Johor Bahru (JB). We should give credit to all, directly or indirectly, involved in the re-capture operation.

When someone of such a high profile escaped from a detention centre, he must already had had an escape plan. In fact, Mas Selamat used an improvised flotation device to escape from the north shore of S’pore to Johor. The efforts by the Singapore government to re-capture the fugitive can be seen by more stringent checks along the Singapore borders. I do not believe in 100% no-failure guard against his escape.

The fact that Mas Selamat is re-captured by the Malaysians does not mean that Singaporeans are incompetent. Once a fugitive is in a foreign land, to re-capture him by the local authorities will be harder. It is analogous to like one is harder to get found out if he is not hiding in your house.

DPM Wong Kan Seng speech in ISD Service Promotion Ceremony on April 15 clearly shows DPM Wong was unaware of Mas Selamat capture. The Johorians silence on the capture is understandable. Mas Selamat is a key JI leader and is important to the Malaysians themselves for their intelligence gathering.

We, as Singaporeans, should rejoice for Mas Selamat re-capture and not pointing fingers on whose heads must roll. I feel many articles and forum replies on the internet are biased against the PAP. Changi Detention Centre security lapses, which led to Mas Selamat's earlier escape, were identified. Nine prison guards and ISD officials, including the commander of the Whitley Road Detention Centre and his superior, were either sacked or demoted. The Singapore government had admitted the mistake. Let's be objective in dealing this matter and give credit when credit is due.

Singapore’s Mas Selamat captured in Johor (More Info) [via]

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