The Manhunt Is On

March 4, 2008

It has been more than 120 hours since Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari made his successful prison break (or as most online spoofs go, “Toilet Break”) from the Whitley Road Detention Centre.

He is Singapore’s most wanted man, believed to pose a threat to the public considering how the fugitive had once planned to crash a hijacked plane into our very own Changi Airport in 2002.

All visitors to this blog are strongly encouraged to be vigilant and to keep your eyes peeled open for this man, and to notify the police immediately upon any possible sight of him.

Seriously, with his face currently plastered all around the island, and with the three telecommunication companies (M1, StarHub and SingTel) mass MMS-ing his photograph to all their subscribers in an unprecedented move, his face is literally everywhere. Or as Mr Miyagi snidely puts it, a free terrorist wallpaer.

What amazes me is the minimal amount of credit the authorities are willing to give him, considering quotes from the press releases and interviews which have been released in the papers so far.

Yes, the authorities claim not to want to cause unnecessary public panic, but on the downside, all these cover-up measures may lead to the public being caught unawares should anything bad happen.

We see Police Assistant Commissioner Wong Hong Kuan explaining that “When he escaped, we believe he was unaided, and therefore he does not have access to money, vehicles, modes of transport.”

Some food for thought here – Mas Selamat Kastari held a day job as a mechanic. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if he manages to hotwire a vehicle! In addition, as locals would probably know, the recent brouhaha over CashCard thefts.. … If he’s lucky enough to hotwire a vehicle with a CashCard in its CashCard slot, there you have it – he has access to money, vehicles, and modes of transport.

And in a bid to conceal his identity while on the run, he will supposedly match the following description to look out for – “Any person wearing ill-fitting clothes, avoiding eye contact, or trying to conceal his appearance by wearing a cap, sunglasses or coat” What I cannot fathom is how indelibly stupid the authorities assume him to be, while putting themselves in pole position. He had experience in escaping confinement before, he will probably know what to do and what not to do.

All this don’t quite seem to add up to me.

In addition, I came to the realisation that if the authorities did not adopt the initial wait-and-see approach, resulting in the four hour lapse time between his escape and the time when the news was broken to the public, Mas Selamat Kastari will not have gotten that four-hour headstart over the whole of Singapore.

It was revealed that about an hour after the escape, the manager of a petrol kiosk on Whitley Road said he saw a man resembling Mas Selamat limping up a flight of steps on a hill slope near Malcom Park. There you have it – if he saw the man and if he knew the man was a wanted terrorist by then, the police could have been alerted by then and he wouldn’t have had the least bit of opportunity to escape or go into hiding.

By the way, what’s with the sudden relevation that his limp is not pronounced while walking but only visible when running or brisk walking? Seems like the information being leaked is rather misleading!

But in the meantime, Singapore can relish in Nation Bonding #2, following how the grassroots bonded to pull off the successful Youth Olympics Games bid. mrbrown offers an interesting write-up on how Singaporean ministers are pretty much a positive-thinking lot, with them enthusing on how the nation has united strongly together in its will to detain and bring down the fugitive.

Oh well, the Catch 22 (no pun intended) is that, despite all the above illogicalities put forth and the grievances against said party, Mas Selamat Kastari still must be caught.

As such, I appeal to one and all yet again to be vigilant and keep your eyes open for the above man. (Picture taken from blog “Alvinology“, which took the picture from CNA)

PS: On a lighter note, does it seem to anyone else that the picture of the shaved Mas Selamat Kastari (without his moustache and goatee) is actually a Photoshopped version of the original picture?

One Response to “The Manhunt Is On”

  1. Missybitchy Says:

    all in all, I’m rather disappointed with the authorities. It’s obvious the four-hour lapse time was meant for them to 1]”search”, 2]”found”, 3]”cover-up”. And I couldn’t comprehend how they didn’t manage with that.

    anyways you’re not alone. I thought it was a photoshopped version too. haha. too much staring from that face. nightmares soon enough.

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