Thursday, March 06, 2008

The greatest jailbreak, or the boldest story ever told?

Two dummies Prime Ministers checking out durians in happier times.

Making great music

"If you already have a great orchestra, you can put a dummy there and you still got great music."
- Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew on good governance, CNA, March 5 2008

"How did it happen? We're not absolutely sure yet.. This was a lapse, what to do, it's happened.. As Minister Mentor says, we are not infallible."
- Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, ST, March 9 2008

If you haven't notice, both spoke as if the matter is already closed, with little regard that a terror suspect might still be on the loose. This blogger pretty much nailed it.

PM Lee also calls the 'escape' a "setback to our reputation" - exactly the same words I think MM had used in his 'conversation' with Wong Kan Seng before that public announcement at 8pm on 27th February. (Read below)

Random thoughts on the Mas Selamat mystery


Here is the key to unlock the mystery of the greatest "jailbreak" in Singapore's history - the family of Mas Selamat. What were they told when they arrived at Whitley Detention Centre on the 27th February? Was it the first time that they were told that Mas was unable to meet them? Did the family threaten to go public about his supposed disappearance before the Government finally decided to make public the "escape" story? How are we to believe that Mas decided to take off just before he could see a family whom he brought with him to Indonesia while on the run there? Why hasn't anyone, including the international wire agencies, managed to contact the family members for comments?

Update : A topic entitled 'Mas Selamat Anak AWOL' has been posted on this forum.


What transpired in the last 7 days is not typical behaviour of a Government that summarily shot dead four hijackers on a SIA plane, mobilsed a riot squad to take on four silent protesters, threatened to shoot misbehaving protesters and deployed paramilitary troops, including armoured vehicles and helicopters, to watch over the IMF-World Bank meetings. If this was a real escape by an alleged leader of a terror organisation, the entire nation would be on high security alert, helicopters would be buzzing over our heads, reservist personnel on standby duty, suspected safe houses broken into and increased police presence all around. It would be an opportune time, given a heightened sense of fear, for the Prime Minister to score massive political points by making stout assurances and rallying the nation behind him.

But alas, this is not a security crisis, but a costly cover-up for a ghastly blunder. There is no evidence of a getaway, absolutely no leads and Wong Kan Seng would still have us believe that Mas acted alone and that he is still in Singapore.

The facts are getting murkier by the day. Lee Hsien Loong does not want to get his hands dirty in a stinking pot that may boil over. It is better, therefore, to send out wild goose chases, involving Interpol and regional police force, than anger the World Muslim Community by announcing that a brother had died while under custody in Singapore. It is Lee Kuan Yew- style pragmatism in full swing here. Any wonder that at a time like this, the MM is in Saudi Arabia waxing lyrical about making music? And no one dared to ask him about the great "escape"? How convenient.


A probable conversation sometime between 4pm to 8pm on 27th February 2008.

Wong Kan Seng : Sir, detainee Mas Selamat bin Kastari has died. The family is here waiting to meet him. Shall I tell them?

Lee Kuan Yew : No, wait, we can't do that.

WKS : But sir, the wife is getting impatient, even threatening to go to town about not being able to see her husband.

LKY : I am going to Saudi Arabia. I am not going to announce to the Arabs that a Muslim detainee has died in my custody, on my watch. This is unacceptable.

(Long pause)

LKY : Alright, we'll announce that he escaped.

WKS : But how?

LKY : Come on Wong, think! An underground passage, a hole in the toilet, whatever! Just get it done for now.

WKS : But sir, this would be a major blow to our reputation.

LKY : Let's weigh the options. Do we suffer a setback in reputation, which given time we can repair, or do we permanently cast a lingering doubt on the minds of Muslims all over the world that a Muslim detainee has died in our custody?

WKS : But sir, we can say there is no foul play. We can call it malaria, heart attack, suicide or ...

LKY : Not everyone will believe us, Wong. All it takes is to plant the seeds of doubt in the minds of a few Jihadists and we are in trouble forever. I'm willing to sacrifice a setback in our reputation but not put our national security at permanent risk by announcing that Mas Selamat has died, in whatever circumstances, under my custody.

WKS : Alright, sir.

LKY : Look, make a short and terse statement tonight. Don't give anything away. I'm leaving for Saudi in two days. Meanwhile, tell the press to lay off questions about the hows and the whys. Tell Loong not to make any rash statements until I get back. And yes, appoint three of your most trusted men to investigate. Call it an "independent commission". Get the CID on it as well. Don't publicise any findings until I've fine combed through the report. The other ministers must not know. Let them think and act as if Mas has really escaped. We should keep a semblance of a manhunt but let's not waste too much resources on this. Try to minimise international involvement too.

WKS : Yes, sir.

LKY : Oh yes, by the way, have you buried him?

WKS : Yes, we did. Within 24 hours, on consecrated ground.

LKY : Very well. That's all.


A real manhunt or just photo opportunities?

Police and Gurkha officers on high alert at Woodland ICA Checkpoint. -- BH PHOTO: JOHARI RAHMAT

A Gurkha clears undergrowth as he enters a forested area, searching for Mas Selamat. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Police road checks at Malcolm Road leading up to St. Joseph's Institution and Catholic Junior College. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YONG


Lilian is ... said...

Well, Im not surprise if the above is true... in fact this had been the other possibility besides from the having a mole in ISD.

Anonymous said...

It is strange that given the seriousness of the escape,PM being the leader of the country did not even utter a word.How do you expect us to vote for him again in the next election.His leadership quality is in question.

Alan Wong said...

It's can be quite funny when someone is joking on LKY, LHL & WKS.

mlj said...

Yes, gahmen-bashing is all the rage, but surely propagating the ridiculous notion of a cover-up conspiracy should be left to the taxi uncles with too much time on their hands?

Sigh. I seriously question the IQ of people who would believe such a theory.

feedmetothefish said...

Dear mlj,

Have some respect. Taxi uncles have too much time on their hands to propagate ridiculous notion of conspiracy? Please do not insult them.

What Martyn wrote may be funny but it may be true?

We won't know till we know!

Then again, we may never know at all.

With UNIQUELY Singapore, anything is possible. This super adjective describing the state makes what Martyn wrote very possible in Singapore.

If they had the hubris and audacity to do Chia Thye Poh, Said Zahari, Teo Soh Lung & Marxist Conspiracy & Co, what else can you not expect?

I'm an old fan who respect and appreciate all the ballsy good works that Martyn has done!

Thank you Martyn for putting them to silence. Putting them in their place and letting them know that not all Singaporeans are hopeless sychophantic eunuchs!

Thank you for helping Singapore and Singaporeans with your winds of change.

Please keep up the good work and I hope they will not mess you up again.

Majulah Singapura!

Anonymous said...

yea thats e whole story..Mas was killed! n e whole thing is a drama by goverment.

Anonymous said...

Satirical humor:

mlj said...

Dear feedmetothefish,

Let me assure you that I have the greatest respect for taxi uncles, because I would not be getting to work everyday without them. But it is a fact that many taxi drivers are having more free time now after the recent cab fare hike - if you do not believe me you can very well ask them yourself.

It is all well and good for them to let their minds wander if they have little else to do. Uncle, go ahead and regale passengers with your theories and anecdotes: everyone enjoys a dig taken at The Man/Big Brother/The Establishment.

But to propagate a theory using conjectures (I use the term very loosely) bred by memes repeated ad nauseum in the blogosphere, rather than logic - however simple - only serves to reduce the theory's ability to hold water. Of course I say all this not out of any disrepect, but rather with deference to Mr See, because we have all come to expect more from him than what we do from the average wet-beind-the-ears "disenchanted"-youth-behind-the-computer-screen.

Is it possible that MSK died in custody? Yes, why not - I would not rule that out; not until it can be conclusively disproven, anyway.

But while thoughts may run to MSK's family, surely we do not need to ask why they have not made any public announcement hitherto? Even discounting the persuasive nature of the ISA (that's another story for another time), it seems highly improbable that his family members would want to risk being identified in tiny SG - irony fully intended.

Further, what is the connection to the SQ 117 hijacking, protestors, or IMF meetings? I think we are all aware this escape was primarily a police matter in the first instance, and only when the initial search yielded no results was the army called in - and only for manhunt and security purposes, might I add. Logically, and taking command-chain mechanics and multi-branch operations into consideration, the escape of a single detainee does not warrant any involvement from the military in the preliminary period, regardless of his reputation or alleged connections.

There are other things I could pick up on, but far and away the worst reason used to support this conspiracy theory is that making it known to the 'World Muslim Community' that MSK died in custody would provoke a reaction so bad that it warrants sullying SG's international reputation as a secure and safe country.

Yes, let's just forget the impact this will have on the upcoming F1 and IR attractions that will mark SG's transition into a mature enconomy distinct from China's and India's. Let's also mock the Youth Olympic organisers for not choosing Russia instead. Rather let us try and preserve brownie points with the Muslim countries who are already wary of our allegiance with USA, and the terrorist cells who have already planned to attack us.

Sorry, I'd laugh, but I'm already out of humour for such a suggestion.

This is way too long than I intended, but the bottom line is: yes, please let us have more to discuss at the water cooler, but for goodness' sake try not to insult our collective intelligence while you're at it.

I have to put up with enough of this everyday on the taxi.

Mdm Ann AL said...

Couldn't agree more. Such conspiracy theories are harmful. It is incredulous to think that Wong Kan Seng would lie to the public on such a grave matter. Due to the escape, I have not let my children out to the reservoir park for the past week. I propose we put an end to all our anxieties and rally behind the ISD, police, gurkhas and SAF to catch Kastari and throw him back to Whitley.

PM Lee quoted in Straits Times March 9, 2008

'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.

Anonymous said...

I laughed my ass off when I read the quote below... It reminds me of days in National Service when your sergeant would tell you, "I THINK YOU THOUGHT, WHO CONFIRM??!!"

heheheehhh... Once a general always a general... ;)

PM Lee quoted in Straits Times March 9, 2008

'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.