Added on 8 March 2008
It's been more than a week and seems like there's not a single trace of this man's whereabouts other than the lead provided by the petrol kiosk workers on the day his man escape. Is he still hiding in Singapore? Or has he left the country? Is he working with accomplice(s) or still hiding alone. There's still a lot of questions left unanswered. The first and foremost is "How did he escape?" We've been told that he escaped while he went to toilet break when his family came to visit him... hardly a satisfactory answer. Wasn't he escorted? Shouldn't the toilet/building/compound be secured? Well, I hope MHA can release the details... eventually, whether he is caught or not.
Next perplexing issue is that why is the information released to the public 4 hours later? On the previous case of the NSF who smuggled a rifle with live rounds out of the army camp, public was also made aware much later. The reason cited then was that they do not want to alarm the NSF, forcing him to panic and go on a shooting spree... or hide. That sounds reasonable, at least to me. But what about this case? Supposedly, he did not pose an immediate threat since he's not armed... and he will definitely go into hiding... much better than the NSF. Afterall, he's been trained overseas making him somewhat a "foreign-trained-talent". Will the public panic? I don't think so since the public did not panic when news of the NSK with a dangerous weapon came out. In fact, I think most Singaporeans are too complacent to panic. If they had alerted the public earlier, perhaps the petrol kiosk workers would have informed the police much earlier and maybe he could have been caught on that very night. Anyway, its just my wild speculations.
What made me perturbed is that the information to assist the public to identify this man is released in piecemeal. We have his face in the papers and news on that day. We were told he walks with a limp on the left leg the next day. Later, we were informed that his limp is not observable unless he is running or walking fast. And a couple of days later, the public was informed of the clothes he is likely to be wearing when he escaped... information that is no longer useful or relevant since after so many day, he could have changed or even left the country.
One other very puzzling thing is that Dr Teo Ho Pin, Law and Home Affairs Government Parliamentary Committee Chairman, posed questions to Mr Wong Kan Seng, Home Affairs Minister, in parliament about this security lapse (see link) !?!?! Pardon my ignorance, isn't the Law and Home Affairs Government Parliamentary Committee equally accountable or are they just an independent audit committee? Is there too much focus in creating too many committees that we have over-sighted on the REAL issues?
Of all the statements that came out from the politicians so far, I feel it is still these from MM Lee that make sense. Trust this old man to be rationale, precise and to the point... whether you like what he said or not.
I can only hope and do what little part I can to ensure that Mas Selamat is caught before any harm is done. Mas Selamat is not a threat just to Singapore. He is an allege terrorist. He is threat to the world.