In a mind-boggling turn of events, one of Singapore’s most wanted men has somehow managed to escape and is presently at large. Mas Selamat Kastari, the leader of Singapore’s Jemaah Islamiyah network, a group which has links with Al Qaeda, is allegedly the man behind the plot to hijack a plane and crash it into Changi International Airport.

Quite apart from the vexing question of just how he was able to escape in the first place (I mean, good heavens this is Singapore and the ISD we’re talking about, and it turns out he limps!) the ongoing manhunt has turned parts of Singapore into a military stronghold. There have been reports of some parents not letting their kids go to school, and among people I’ve spoken to, a general sense of disquiet.

For all our sakes, I hope he is found soon.

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9 responses to “Escaped!

  1. For a high security prisoner he should have been cuffed with a mobile sensor that could have tracked down in double quick time if he should escape as he has now done.

  2. The whole saga looks stupid and nonsensical. But a wise man once told me there’s always some sense in nonsense if you look deeper.

    So, in this escape nonsense, consider this: what if Mas Selamat is already dead? And his death was caused by some over-zealous prison officer/officers. Think Abu Gharib type of embarrassment.

    Now, if they announced this accidental (or otherwise) killing of Mas, then the latter will beome a martyr and hero overnight and the repercussions will disastrous for Singapore.

    So, it took the authorities a few hours to decide that a better alternative is to say that Mas Selamat has escaped and hopefully after a while everybody will forget about him.

    This theory easily explains the weird events that unfolded in the last 48 hours:

    1) Why the authorities took so long to make a public announcement?

    2)Why the minister was grinning and not taking it seriously as he should have.

    3)Why minister said Mas Selamat is not a threat to the public.

    4)Why it is so easy to limp out of the hgh security prison by visiting the toilet.

    Well, it is all because Mas Selamat is already dead. If Mas Selamat had really escaped, you can bet that the kiasu Singaporean government would have been much more aggresive in trying to recapture him. As of now, the Singaporean authorities is probably just putting on a show and praying that people will forget about Mas Selamat soon.

  3. Apex suggests that this is a charade in order to cover up Mas Selamat’s death in prison. Very imaginative, but can this be possible? It would have meant a collusion that would involve a lot more people, hence, bound to leak out. Secondly, would a government known for its integrity allow its record to be tarnished its on account of just one convict who is a menace and poses a serious threat to the peace of the country and the region ?

  4. Apex, that is quite some theory you got there!!!

  5. To John Tan, Mas Selamat is a detainee under Internal Security Act. He has not being convicted of any crime, therefore he is not a criminal or a prisoner.

    He is detained to prevent him from becoming a terrorist. He is not yet a terrorist. However, he was the leader of a terrorist network, just like Minister Wong Kang Seng is the leader of the Singapore Police Force and the ISD.

    Should a leader be cuffed for wrong doing committed by people under his command? Are you suggesting that Minister Wong be cuffed too for the escape?

  6. Danny Tan, you said that “he was the leader of a terrorist network” and yet “he is not a criminal or a prisoner”. The two statements are inherently contradictory. By definition it would appear that he is defacto a prisoner.Whether he was tried in this case is not the issue as his detention appears to have come under the Internal Security Act which has its own restricted definition for cases like this when the security of a tiny country like Singapore stands in serious jeopardy. I recall the riots and civil unrest of the fifties and sixties which almost brought the country to its knees and one can appreciate the need for the ISA. Prevention better than cure as they say. The terrorist carnage of the World Trade Center gives us an upfront brutal reality of the fanatics we are faced with – people who live under a shroud of eerie apocalyptic surrealism which gives no regard whatsoever to the sacredness of human lives. Permissivess to such ideology has allowed countries like Britain to suffer its consequences. Singaporeans should thank their government for being aware and alert in the face of this intrinsic evil that threatens the very fabric of society and law and order.

  7. Hi Danny Tan,
    Just happened to see all the points made here.
    Yours caught my imm attention. Here’s what I think. We are all living in an imperfect world. No two countries is ever alike, let alone 200, each with their own laws and justice system. In Saudi Arabia they actually stone women to death for adultery. 1st robbery…one hand gets chopped off. 2nd time…the other hand gets the chop. In China, for fraud or embezzlement or corruption…you may get executed.
    What is the punishment for adultery in S’pore?
    Stoning to death? Or no punishment at all ?
    The point I’m making is as I’ve stated…we are an imperfect world. We cannot simply use or foolishly follow the ways of those Human Rights Group, or plain Altruism etc. to solve or prevent disasters especially by self -proclaimed terrorists hell-bent on killing or blowing us up.
    Your premise is we can’t do anything to him as he has not perhaps committed murder yet or blown up our Parliament yet…with all our ministers inside.
    So let’s assume our forces managed to apprehend them with evidence of wanting to massacre a whole Christian school with 2000 kids and teachers…BEFORE they did it. Following your argument…they are no criminals yet as they have done nothing criminal?
    So…we either release them or detain them temporarily until they escape and this TIME they do not FAIL. They kill and blow up the school. They may also blow themselves up…suicide bombers, so common today. Far-fetched? Here in S’pore? No where on earth is safe if you are not 3 steps AHEAD OF THE TERRORIST. And that should include passing MANDATORY DEATH SENTENCE in Parliament for avowed,sworn, terrorist based on their track record and file. We respect human life and all civilisation. They are the opposite. They simply want to kill to chalk up “heavenly” points in their demented schemes.
    If this is a perfect world….then GOD is i/c. Leave it to GOD.
    But, for now we have to do all in our power….TO PROTECT OUR INNOCENT PEOPLE, OUR CITIZENS, OUR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN.
    Do we wait patiently by the sideline until AFTER they have brutally killed our 2000 school kids …then check our law books and proclaim happily,” Now we can arrest them for
    the evidence is there!!! “. Who will answer to the eternal cries of the 2000 and their loved ones??
    I think we need to wake up to living in a dangerous and evil time, in a real world. We need to be STRONG and not weaklings.

  8. I must say I’m quite disturbed to see “respect human life” and “mandatory death sentence” as part of the same argument.

    Pilgrim Mum: Would love to hear your response to all this. 🙂

  9. Aie Evelyn, I was trying to stay under the radar on this one! But since you ask….

    I can’t remember where I read this little piece of wisdom – that the opposite of a truth is sometimes another truth. On your specific point, I don’t think that “respect for human life” and “mandatory death sentence” is contradictory. It could be argued that those who show no respect for life lose their own right to life. The “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” principle (lex talionis, if you want to get technical!) was the basis of justice in the early days of civilisation. Our laws today have softened greatly, in deference to human rights and fallibility (both of the criminal and of the judge and judicial system). Perhaps they also take a leaf from the New Testament exhortation to forgive and show mercy.

    Should the law be deterrent and punitive? Or should it be rehabilitative? I am not a lawyer, just a citizen-mother of three. I think it is the state’s role to mete out justice, but the individual’s prerogative to demonstrate forgiveness.

    Does that suffice for an answer? 🙂

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