The Search Goes On… With A New Twist

March 9, 2008

As the Mas Selamat Kastari manhunt goes into the tenth day (which means the ripple effect is still ongoing – bitter NSFs aplenty are being activated on standby while resentful commuters are being put through stringent checks and nasty traffic conditions along the causeway in a bid to boost security levels), there does not seem to be much headway made in the investigations on the biggest manhunt in Singapore’s history.

Meanwhile, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has finally stepped up to address Singaporeans on the issue of the fugitive’s escape, following his week-long visit to three Gulf nations, with what I think is the most logical reasoning made on the escape that I have read in the papers so far.

There were no airs of pretence as he blasted the authorities for their complacency in dealing with Singapore’s security, and for not bearing in mind that they were dealing with a convict who has had several successful escapes in the past.

Also, he placed the key emphasis on deducing what are Mas Selamat’s options, it being “a game of tracing possibilites” and following up on these possibilites instead of focusing strongly on a manhunt on the grassroots level, which certainly makes more sense than what the authorities have put forth. 

Through this incident, I have gotten the inkling that the authorities of Singapore are, really, rather disoriented. Here’s some instances where the logic does not really quite add up for me:- 

1. News was made public only 4 hours after the prison break, thereby effectively giving him a four-hour headstart against the watchful eyes of the public who could have seen him pass by during that duration of time but yet were oblivious to who he was at that instant. As MissyBitchy claims in her comment in the prior post – this was very likely a cover-up attempt gone awry.

2. Will the lag of four hours in releasing the news to the public actually result in a difference in the reaction of the public? They claim that they did not want the public to be too panicked or shocked or scared or worried. However, with the lag, wouldn’t those reactions be magnified multiple times? I mean, even after those four hours, he could not get caught?

3. Whatever happened to the security cameras at the Whitley Road Detention Centre?

4. Ditto to the fences surrounding the centre? The guards on patrol?

5. It was initially claimed that Selamat limps on his left leg and asked the public to keep a lookout for any suspicious looking characters with a limp on the left leg. A few days later, they retract that statement and claim that the limp is only visible when the fugitive briskwalks or runs.

6. Details of what Selamat was wearing during his escape was only made known to the public about seven days after his escape. Prior to that, the police were asking people to keep a lookout for suspicious characters wearing clothes which do not fit, disguises etc. Somehow I get the feeling that they’ve been watching too many police drama serials.

Oh well, we’ll just have to keep an eye on how things go over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the latest report is that the entire saga has taken a sudden twist, with a 50-year-old bus driver to be charged for deliberately providing false information with regard to the Mas Selamat manhunt, hence sending the police on the wrong trial. I seriously cannot believe how incredibly shallow some people are. While the authorities have some flaws in logic to work on, they are seriously not that dumb to be unable to link two-and-two together, or to follow up on leads.

Imagine the bus driver trying to vent his anger on another motorcyclist who got involved in a road rage incident with him by sabotage – he actually provided the motorcyclist’s license plate number to the police and claimed that Mas Selamat was riding pillion!

The bus driver really needs some serious psychiatrist treatment.

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