Nope, it’s not Manhunt International, the international male beauty pageant, for goodness sake! At a time of crisis like now, how can you be thinking about tall handsome men with hot bods and brilliant smiles??!! Oh, sorry, wait a minute. *wipes saliva*

*sigh* I never thought that something major like this would ever happen on our small island. On a scale of one to ten for earth-shaking news, this gotta be a grand TEN. Wow wow wow, there’s always a first. Although this ain’t something to be proud of haha. If it’s a prison break, that would have been totally unexpected and easily made headlines in Singapore. Now even though this isn’t an escape from a prison, it’s nevertheless an escape from our Internal Security Department’s Detention Centre (Whitley Road) where I won’t believe the security is any less tight. So how on earth can anyone run away from there so easily?   

A scene we thought we would never get to see

To make it even more ironic, it’s not any ordinary criminal who has escaped. This is Mas Selamat Kastari, Singapore’s most wanted fugitive and the leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror group here, whom we are talking about! A highly dangerous criminal whom we took great pain to capture after he fled Singapore in December 2001 following an Internal Security Department operation against the JI network here. He was arrested in Bintan by the Indonesian authorities in 2003 and deported to Singapore two years ago. Shouldn’t this kind of criminal be at least handcuffed or tagged electronically and under the constant vigilance of the guards??

Ok, we know that he found the chance to run away as he requested to go to the toilet. Now, now, now, doesn’t this sound like a oh-so-cliched scene from TV whenever a suspect tried to escape from the police? We always joke about how the bad people on TV always manage to escape from the toilet, but now it’s official: You can run away from the toilet even if you’re under close watch! 做戏果然是真的!  

Maybe our policemen have no time to watch TV so they won’t know that detained criminals will always try to escape either while at the toilet or in the hospital or on the road (when they’ve outside help who will bomb the police cars in front and behind the car carrying the criminal, and then shoot all the policemen before taking away the criminal who’s usually their 老大).

Now here comes the most ironic part: Mas Selamat has a limp! How on the freaking earth did we manage to let a 47-year-old uncle with a limp run away under all those eyes??!!! Unbelievable!!

Well, I think it’s not the time to blame anyone right now. It’s more important to find the fellow first. After Mas Selamat gave his guards the slip at 4:05pm on 27th Feb (Wednesday), it has been more than 43 hours and there’s no news as yet. I actually thought we could find him in 24 hours but looks like I underestimated the head of the Singapore JI terrorist network. (-.-) I understand that we are keeping a very close watch at the Malaysian checkpoints (my mum’s Malaysian colleagues all complained of the huge jam at the checkpoints that resulted) as well as the Indonesian borders, so hopefully we can either force him to stay on our island which is so bloody small, meaning that he would be caught sooner than later. Either that or we could catch him as he tries to cross the border, which is actually a wiser thing for him to do cause as long as he escapes to Malaysia or Indonesia, our chances of capturing him are greatly diminished.

A typical jam at the checkpoints

43 hours is a long time. For all we know, he could be already sitting on a beach chair and sipping ice tea on a beach at Malaysia, enjoying his new-found freedom.

I know that the police has been searching the nearby woods for Mas Selamat but I think he took a cab once he managed to get out from the detention centre. At that time, the taxi uncle wouldn’t even recognise that Selamat’s a wanted fugitive and probably happily drove away with him. My sis said that he got no money so it’s not possible for him to get away with a cab. I was like, dear, when you are a terrorist, you think you have to have money first in order to take a cab? You can just board first and then get away later without paying using some lie. In fact, a lot of people do this to the poor taxi uncle and they aren’t even terrorists. (-.-) 

I think Home Affairs Minister, Mr Wong Kan Seng (whom I really like) is lucky that he’s a political figure in Singapore and not elsewhere, because a careless mistake like this, even though never his fault, would have made him lose his seat in the Parliament if he’s in other countries. With great power comes great responsibilities, right? Hence even though he didn’t cause the national panic, he would have to take responsibility. Especially when no detailed explanation was given except for a “security lapse”. In other countries, the people would have gone onto the streets on a riot and forced him to step down.

Well, personally, are you kidding me? It’s probably just an honest carelessness and lack of vigilance at the wrong time. No need to sack anyone, maybe except for the guards who let the fellow escape. I think our people are sensible enough to understand that too. Perhaps we have been too complacent with our security system. After all we managed to catch all these JI members before they could even strike at that time. This is indeed a good lesson to be learnt for us. Terrorism is never too far away from us. It’s not just a matter of concern for the US, UK, Indonesia or Middle East. Whether we like it or not, terrorists are just at our door steps, if not already on our island.

So have you seen this man?

My sis said we’ve to call the police if we spot any Malay man with a limp because he would have disguised himself right? Maybe wear a cap/shave his face clean/wear glasses, but no matter how he changes his looks, his limp will still be there. My family is upset that while the news repeatedly mentioned that Mas Selamat has a limp, how come never say which leg? Left or right?? For example, if it’s the left leg, that would have put every Malay uncle with a right limp at rest. No one is going to scrutinize at him when he goes out onto the streets.

Eh, you do know that I’m kidding when I said to call the police if we spot any Malay man with a limp? Please don’t. The police will arrest me first cause they get so many unhelpful calls wasting their time. (-.-) Just remember Mas Selamat’s face. Etch his face in your memory. There’s a very low chance that you will suay suay bump into him, so don’t worry. I hope that I won’t be the one to spot him because I would never know for sure if it’s really him or simply someone who looks like him, and would hesitate to inform the police. 😛  

Diz is worried that she would bump into him and he would have a chopper which he would use to threaten her to let him into her home. Diz’s probably been watching too much TV as well, but hey, remember the new lesson which we’ve learnt from this incident: 做戏果然是真的!Anyway according to the news, sSome believe that Mas Selamat has four options: hide and wait until there is a lull in the manhunt; make a dash for it and try to escape to a neightbouring country; or if he feels cornered, he might resort to taking a hostage or even a reckless act of terror. So Diz’s worries are not unneccesary haha.

For my family who have total faith in our gahmen and are proud of our tight security system, while we are excited by the big hoo-ha and a bit worried at Mas Selamat’s escape and being out at large (not very worried because we trust that the police will catch him soon), we are quite puzzled at how something laughable like this can happen to us. We also watch a lot of TV so we think that there must be a secret plan by the police who couldn’t (no way!!) have let him escape.

The police believes that Mas Selamat still has allies, other members of the JI terrorist network, here in Singapore that have been lucky enough not to get caught yet. They tagged him electronically – the best way is to drug him unconscious and then insert a microchip under his skin at the back of his neck where he won’t notice (hmm sounds like HEROES). Then they “accidentally” had a “security lapse”, giving the fellow a chance to run away. But all this time, they can actually keep track of his movements via the satellite! Next, they released news all over the world that Mas Selamat has escaped so that JI members would contact Selamat. When the JI cell meets up to discuss their plans to re-attempt to bomb our Changi Airport/army bases/Istana/whatever, the police, complete with the STAR team, armed forces (aiyah I think we will moblise everyone!) will swat the entire local terrorist group out at one go!!! We call that 一网打尽 in Chinese haha.   

Hmm, you think I watch too much TV? Where got? Doesn’t my secret plan sound better and more flattering for our local police too?

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UPDATED:

News Links

  1. Manhunt Continues (TODAYonline, 28th Feb 2008, Thursday)
  2. Where is Mas Selamat? (TODAYonline, 29th Feb 2008, Friday)
  3. Singapore tightens land, sea, air checkpoints after escape (INQUIRER.net, 28th Feb 2008, Thursday) 
  4. Singapore Apologizes for Terror Escape (The Associated Press, 29th Feb 2008, Friday)
  5. Escaped JI Leader may head to Indonesia: experts (Reuters, 28th Feb 2008, Thursday)
  6. Singapore: Terror suspect fled toilet (CNN.com, 28th Feb 2008, Thursday)
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