Mas Selamat captured…all thanks to ISD!

“DEPUTY Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng commended the Internal Security Department (ISD) officers for going all out to track down the escaped terror leader Mas Selamat, who was eventually caught in Malaysia on April 1.”

– Straits Times, 8 May 2009

Firstly let me state that I am glad that Mas Selamat has been captured. I thank the Malaysian police for their excellent work in capturing the fugitive. Malaysian Home Minister Hishamuddin said that they arrested him under the ISD because he was plotting something, which means they not only caught the JI leader who escaped from under Singapore’s nose, but possibly managed to thwart a planned terrorist attack.

I am, however, appalled that the Singapore mainstream media and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng would go to the extent of congratulating themselves and taking credit for Mas Selamat’s arrest by the Malaysians. Instead of acting with a bit of humility and contrition, the Singapore Government has attempted to turn the tables on their “setback” and praise itself for the re-arrest of the alleged terrorist mastermind.

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A government out of order

The Public Order Act, which was just passed in Parliament on Monday, got me wondering just how far the PAP will go to thumb its nose at the Constitution to serve its narrow political interests.

Among some “highlights” of the law are:

  • A demonstration by a lone person is called an “assembly”.
  • Two persons walking together form for a common cause is a  “procession”.
  • Assemblies and processions both need permits from the Commissioner of Police.
  • Cause-related activities (i.e., political activities) require permits regardless of the number of persons involved. (I guess that means that zero-person activities can also be banned.)
  • An entry-level policeman has the power to order people to “move on” away from an area, even if they are not committing an offence. Those people have to comply, even if that policeman is in the wrong.
  • The police have the power to ban ordinary citizens from filming them as they work.

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