So, we know from Mr K Shanmugam’s first ministerial statement today in Parliament as our newly minted Minister for Home Affairs that escaped and recaptured wannabe terrorist Mas Selamat
- Escaped from the Whitley Road Detention Centre on Feb 27, 2008 and
- Was harboured by his brother, sister-in-law and niece from Feb 29 to Mar 1, 2008.
Singaporeans also learned that the brother and his family were interviewed on Mar 3, 2008 by “the authorities”, whoever they might be.
Mr Shanmugam also said inter alia that ” Singaporeans will be understandably disappointed that Asmom (the brother) and his family had helped Mas Selamat in his escape. Their actions are not a reflection on the wider Malay-Muslim community who had disapproved of Mas Selamat’s deeds, and participated in the manhunt for him in 2008.
“We should therefore not allow this episode to affect the trust and goodwill that has been built up over the years between our different communities. Instead, this episode should reinforce how important it is for every Singaporean to unite together and assist the security agencies to overcome the threat of terrorism from a small number of persons in our society.”
In my view, Mr Shanmugam, it isn’t so much what Asmon and family did as what “the authorities” didn’t do till Mar 3, 2008 that’s a real disappointment!
Why take six days to get round to interviewing the family? They live in Tampines, not Timbkutu for heavens’ sake!
But then this Mas Selamat saga has many loose ends, like how come whoever circulated to all and sundry over the Internet the photoshopped picture of Mas Selamat wearing a tudung could have been so prescient?
The ministerial statement revealed that it was precisely disguised as a woman wearing a tudung that Mas Selamat left Singapore!
Co-incidence or just a happy, educated guess? You tell me!