Question time for MHA

According to Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng, Mas Selamat Kastari swam across the Straits of Johor using an ‘improvised flotation device’ in his dash to freedom ‘soon after’ his escape from the Whitley Detention Centre on Feb 27 last year. Also, no local Jemaah Islamiah network was involved in aiding Mas Selamat’s dash. In other words, he escaped to Johor all on his own.

I presume the Minister got this information from the Malaysian police, who had interrogated the terrorist suspect after arresting him on April 1st.

A few questions for MHA:

1.  Mas Selamat was reported to have escaped at 4.05pm. Assuming he made a beeline to the northern coast of Singapore, he would have arrived at the coast before sunset. Does this mean that a man rowing himself across the Johor Strait on a self-made raft in broad daylight was not spotted by our Police Coast Guard (PCG)?

2.  Wasn’t there a lockdown and all the checkpoints alerted of Mas Selamat’s escape immediately after the escape? If so why was the PCG not able to detect him rowing across the Straits of Johor? Don’t they have sophisticated radar equipment?

3.  Was the PCG even alerted in the first place, or was there a communication lapse? Either way, is there going to be an inquiry into this second lapse?

4. The Malaysian Home Minister said Mas Selamat was arrested because he was “planning something”. What were these plans and how would it have affected Singapore?

5. Since the Minister knows how he got across to Johor, I presume he also knows how Mas Selamat actually got out of Whitley Detention Centre through the interrogations. Will he be able to share that information with Singaporeans, particularly if it differs from the Committee of Inquiry’s hypothesis?

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

7 thoughts on “Question time for MHA”

  1. Re 1). You can’t be serious. Topo-ing in the jungle from Whitley to Admiralty (assuming), even if one is following the BKE, would have taken a lot more than 2-3 hours. Mas Selamat cabbing to Woodlands? Possibly, but not likely.

  2. PCG didnt detect coz they were all deployed to the south.. all our gun point to the south. (MHA thought he going to escape to indonesia remember?) then the war was lost from the north… obviously we don’t learn from our history books…

  3. Actually, there was no mention that he swum across the same day he escaped.

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