Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spin on Mas Selamat's Capture....

UPDATE: PM Lee in a statement[Link] on 9 May 2009 clarified that he knew of Mas Selamat's capture earlier from DPM Wong Kan Seng before he met Malaysian PM Najip in Pattaya. Many have posted comments to this post saying that Mas Selamat is detained without trial under the ISA and that he might not even be a terrorist since all the allegations against him have not been proven in court. I agreed in principle that detention without trial is wrong. This is a false compromise between security and principles as countries like UK faced deadlier terrorist threats without resorting to such legislation. However, our security agencies have build a homeland security strategy that depends on the ISA for expediency - a removal of ISA will be a step forward for our nation but it will have to be planned and new strategies to fight terrorism developed. Malaysia is reviewing their ISA [Link] by turning it into an "anti-terrorism act" so that it cannot be use for political detentions anymore. For a start, to prevent abuses, the ISA can perhaps be modified to shorten the detention period before the detainee has to be released or a trial has to take place. Those detained wrongfully should be allowed to sue for damages.
""Mas Selamat has been arrested by the Malaysian Special Branch (MSB) in a joint operation between the MSB and the Internal Security Department (ISD)."
- Minister Wong Kan Seng [Link].
Singapore had a "joint operation" with Malaysia to capture Mas Selamat so it is very strange that Malaysian paper The New Straits Times reported PM Lee was not aware of Mas Selamat's capture until Malaysian PM Najib told him about it in Pattaya.
He said the successful capture was relayed to his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong in Pattaya, Thailand early last month.“I’ve mentioned this to Singapore Prime Minister when we talked in Pattaya and he’s happy Malaysia had succeeded in apprehending Mat Selamat,” he said.[The New Straits Times]

The facts are plainly Indonesia caught Mas Selamat handed him over to Singapore, Singapore lost him and couldn't find him, and Malaysian authorities caught him in April in Johor. Yesterday's Straits Times had these headlines about "Singapore's role arrest" and "Lead came from Singapore" . It was as if Malaysian authorities were guided by Singapore to capture Mas Selamat. Strange isn't it....because our home affairs ministry seemed to believe that he had escaped to Indonesia[Link][Link].

“We believe he fled to Indonesia soon after he escaped from the detention centre amidst a major manhunt mounted to recapture him in the island state.” - A spokesman for Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs[Link].

WayangParty did an interesting comparison of Singapore and Malaysian reports on the capture[Link] and The Online Citizen also had an article on how Singapore authorities"congratulated itself" for the capture of Mas Selamat by Malaysian authorities[Link].

Singaporeans interviewed by the Straits Times have forgiven the govt for the escape and are appreciative of his arrest:

'I was so proud when I read that the Malaysian authorities caught him with help from Singapore intelligence. We may have made a mistake when he got away, but I think we've more than made up for it with this arrest', said Mr Mirza Khan [Link].
'His arrest will bring closure for those who were responsible for inadvertently letting him escape last year. I hope they will feel better, and not blame themselves so much now', said Ms Clara Loy[Link].
I think we should all be relieved that Mas Selamat has been captured. He is afterall our most dangerous terrorist. Many Singaporeans are genuinely happy with his capture - but to spin this whole episode into a success story that Singaporeans should be proud of is really hard to swallow.


Anonymous said...

WKS is desperate. MSM, like usual, is playing up the good tune.

Anonymous said...

Actually hor, I see another problem. Will Malaysia now use Mas as a bargaining chip? I see they will.

Meaning, they will hand over Mas to Singapore provided .....

So million dollar WKS, what you prefer? Mas or .....? Tell us how you will handle this if it happen. Be transparent, OK?

DanielXX said...

Nobody is swallowing this spin. I think our IQs are all above 50.

LuckySingaporean said...


Aiks...all those penny stocks are rocketing. If most investors have below 50 IQ, the sky is no limit!

Sad Singaporean said...

> I think we should all be relieved that Mas Selamat has been captured.

I, for one, am not relieved. I am saddened.

> He is afterall our most dangerous terrorist.

according to who? Did you get to see any concrete evidence against him? Did he get a change to defend himself in court?

Many people are quick to point out that "even" in USA, supposedly the country which champion human rights the most, "terrorists" were ship off to cuba to be tortured. They are wrong! These "terrorists" are foreigners; The United States government has never, and will never dare to do these detention-without-trial with their own American citizens, because their citizens have rights and any govt - republicans or democrats - which dare do this to American citizens will be voted out immediately.

That's americans' version of human rights: human rights for citizens, abuse for foreigners.

In Singapore, we have the opposite: human rights for foreigners (do you think the govt dare to detain a french citizen on accusation of "terrorism" for a few years without trial), abuse for citizens.

So no, I am NOT happy. I feel sorry for Mas Selamat - a man who is ACCCUSED of terrorism without proof.

> Many Singaporeans are genuinely happy with his capture

Many Singaporeans are idiots.

LuckySingaporean said...

Sad Singaporean,

Yes, evidence where is the evidence. Why do Singaporeans think he is a terrorist? Why do we think he had plans against Singapore?

Because the govt told us so. We assume that the govt can be trusted enough not to arrest an innocent person on weak evidence but if there is concrete evident why not put Mas Selamat on trial?

Anonymous said...

Mas Selamat is no big deal, after all he is just a terrorist suspect armed with a 'plan'. He was not even reported to be in possession of a dummy or empty bullet.


Anonymous said...

He escaped twice from the fucked-up Mr Wong Cunt Sing.

First, from the ISD prison.

Second, from the Singapore's border.

And remember, Mr Wong Cunt Sing mentioned in press that he had no clue where Mas Selemat was - either inside or outside Singapore was his remarkable answer.

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering. Is it possible that govt doesn't want to tell the media where they think Mas was, even if they have leads? So that they don't alert MAS unnecessarily.

On the other hand, of coz it's really possible that the govt has absolutely no clue

Anonymous said...

to anon 10:18

I dun think the govt knew but did not say. We know they prefer face over national interest.

If they knew, they would simply say non comment

DanielXX said...

I saw Mas Selamat's latest photo on Yahoo. Looks like he's gained weight from all the teh tarik and roti prata while holidaying in Johor this past year.

DanielXX said...

btw, on the issue of the recent market chionging, I'm really glad that the kateks who were wishing for swine flu to destroy the world so that they can make money have been well and truly buried. They are the ones who have deservedly been annihilated by swine flu.

LuckySingaporean said...


First the market annihilates those overly pessimistic enough to short...then it annihilates those too optimistic to get out.

So how are faithfuls of Graham Doddville doing? Amazing isn't it these past 6 months? The market can stay irrational longer than you can remain solvent so they say. All the investment skills can earn no money when the market is dead, and when the rocket fuel ignites it actually takes no skill to make money just courage.

I was thinking of doing a posting on the market...soon. said...

Mas Selamat is unusually cunning, some element of luck is necessary to capture him too.

RoughJustice said...

Odd and truly disappointing how almost everyone (including Lucky) seems to accept without alarm the ALLEGATIONS of criminal behaviour heaped upon Mas' head. Where has your sense of justice gone, people?

"The ALLEGED leader of an Islamic militant group accused of plotting to crash an airliner in Singapore",
"Mas Selamat IS SAID to be the head of the Singapore cell of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), an underground group linked to Al-Qaeda and blamed for the 2002 Bali bombing and other bloody attacks in Southeast Asia", blah, blah, blah.
The perfect bogeyman. Why not add, "baby-killer, rapist, animal abuser, pedophile..." to the list while they're at it?


The draconian ISA permits governments on both sides of the causeway to accuse absolutely anyone of any crime under the sun and to hold them without charge or trial - without ever having to produce them before a court of law to be publicly judged. The Malaysian Bar and Operation Lallang detainees will attest to that. A certain President Bush also tried the same tactic with Guantanamo Bay. If that is not a licence to abuse and torture with impunity I don't know what is.

Has everyone completely forgotten that the people accusing Mas Selamat of heinous deeds are the very same ones who accused and incarcerated Chia Thye Poh for 32 years, Ho Piao for 18 years, Said Zahari for 17 years, and a hundred more including Lim Chin Siong, all ALLEGEDLY for being communist sympathisers? Not a single shred of evidence was ever offered, the cell doors were slammed shut and they vanished from public view. Now the truth of this dark period has emerged and we know what a lovely tool the ISA has been and still is to eliminate one's political opponents. The litany of victims of the ISA stains the history of the last 50 years and its abusers are still plying their evil trade today.

"Innocent unless proven guilty" is the cornerstone of the rule of law. Mas may or may not be guilty, but if Mas is not allowed to defend himself in a free and fair manner in open court, there will forever be a question mark over the lawfulness of his detention.

And if you disagree, think hard. The next ISA victim could well be you or one of yours. What then?

Onlooker said...

The intelligence sure take a long time to work.

But finally caught MSK.

DanielXX said...

Pls do. It's depressing to read about Lky-related stuff all the time when one cannot have a choice about it except once every 5 years (if you're lucky).

Anonymous said...

Mas Selamat is definitely a terrorist as much as CSJ is a psychopath ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hope Mas can be brought back to tell us all how he actually escaped, first from the toilet and second from the shore of Singapore. I thought all the shores of Singapore, just a little red dot, are under high tech surveillance at all times!

I couldn't wait to hear his story. I hope WKS allow Mas to tell his story, maybe live on TV to prove its authenticity.
By the way, WKS, I am not interested in your story or the MSM stories.

Anonymous said...

>>I hope WKS allow Mas to tell his story, maybe live on TV to prove its authenticity

And ruin his 8 mths bonus?...fat hope :)

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,
you have to stop been cynical. You have to give credit to our minister when due.

Do you know how important is the lead information given to Malaysia and actually been hinted by PM Lee and WKS before ?

Don't you think the following lead is very important to capture Mas Selamat ?
"he is either in Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia." and "He is either in Singapore or not in Singapore"
Sound familar now to you ?s

Anonymous said...

Guess what will be in their resume ?

- Important roles (but cannot be revealed what role just like secret recipe of investment loss) in capturing Mas Selamat

what's not in their resume
- They are the one that soley responsible for escape of Mas Selamat in the first place.

Anonymous said...

The mainstream put another major spin to say that Mas Selamat is about to attack singapore ? Wondering what he is been doing for past 1 year in Malaysia ? Finding the perfect toilet paper ? This is how low our mainstream media has gone. If he is as dangerous as he sound, all he need to create of terrorism, no need for big plan and action. And yet Selamat is so dangerous to do nothing for 1 year. How stupid can the mainstream be ?

Anonymous said...

If Mas Selamat wants to attack S'pore, he would have remained in S'pore to plot after his escape from the ISD prison.
Instead, Wong Cunt Sing let him cross the border to Johor, where he's found.
Whose at fault of higher treachery? Naturally, it's shortie Mr Wong Cunt Sing. Time to bring him down. Maybe by a 5.56mm if necessary.

Anonymous said...

SPH new logo has hidden agenda due to its overlapping letters. If you de-construct the logo the letter 'h' could be seen as letter 'i' and letter 'n'. As a result you will get s.p.i.n. Just for fun.

Anonymous said...

"If Mas Selamat wants to attack S'pore, he would have remained in S'pore to plot after his escape from the ISD prison."

Come on, don't be so silly to think that attack cannot be mounted remotely.

Anonymous said...

A member of a terrorist group is captured. While in captivity, he is, while drugged, darted with a microchip. His escape is staged and his whereabouts, meetings, rendezvous, etc. are monitored. His associates are "picked-off" one by one. When he is no longer of any use, he is suddenly "captured".

A member of a terrorist group is captured. He watches a Charlie Chaplin movie and escapes.

Your choice.

Onlooker said...

.... But I digress, PAPer where got intelligence.

They can only regurgitate textbook example.

And Selamat is caught by MudLand Mata. What to do? Mudland mata caught Selamat. (Sigh of relief from Wrong Can't Sin) Let move on(Your HA see lang tao).

Anonymous said...

The detention of Mas Selamat brings to mind the many cases of political detainees imprisoned under ISA.

Upon their release, people like Chia Thye Poh and many so-called "marxist-leninists" denied the govt's allegations.

Until Mas Selamat is charged in an open court, let us not be quick to believe he is a terrorist. There should in fact be a campaign to release all JI members including Mas Selamat, whose rights are being violated by the continuous detention without due legal process.

Anonymous said...

They set the laws. They set the ISA. They can do anything they want.

Because they have 98% seats in Parliament from the 66% mandate from you folks and 50% walkover from the "half dead" opposition.

So you folks give them the mandate to do what they want. And of course they will do what they want.

Alexis de Tocqueville said...

The straits times ought to be ashamed of spreading such propaganda. And they have the courage to call themselves journalists?
Singaporeans are not stupid. The governement should come clean and apologise!

Anonymous said...

its been confirmed by pm lee that wong kan seng is a lier.

he lied bare face to his own isd officers.

so much for integrity of pap ministers.

Anonymous said...

PM Lee confirmed WKS as liar?

So? Will WKS dare sue PM Lee? Or WKS resign becos he is indeed confirmed liar?

But none of this will happen. This means WKS is not a liar. Or he told an honest lie. We have honest mistakes, so we must also have honest lies, for the PAP elites only.

Confusing isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I am all for the use of the ISA to deal with terrorism. I am surprised you are against it. Has your anti-govt stance clouded your judgement, Lucky??
Or would you prefer we let the terrorist succeed in killing people first, before moving in to make arrests?

The US is in a legal loophole over detaining terrorists. You could lob a grenade at the US marines in Afganistan, get arrested red-handed, and still can't be charged formally in court.

That is because the US has tied itself up hand-and-foot. It has no idea on how to classify you the Grenade-Thrower; terrorist, militant, or whatever.

Its existing laws are not designed for fighting against foreign militants, and there are many American lawyers more than willing to make use of these legal loopholes to spring you loose, so that you can go back to your job of killing more American soldiers.

I agree with many things you wrote about the PAP government. But it doesn't mean it makes me by default, the ally of anyone who wants to wreck havoc on society.

Maybe if your own family got killed by JI, it might change your mind to terrorism inspired by religious fundamentalism. Till then, it appears you are on their side, for the simple reason that the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

Anonymous said...

so it is an undisputable fact that either WKS LIED to his ISD officers OR
PM LEE LIED about when he found out mas was recaptured.

pse don’t let this go away easily again.

PAP always talk about integrity but do they walk the talk?

Anonymous said...

If the ISA is used solely for safeguarding Singapore's security, nobody would have any problem with it. However, it has been used on others without valid reason, namely opponents of the PAP. Lim Chin Siong is the best example. LKY used it to take out his most vocal opponent based on the allegations that he was a communist. HECK he was a socialist and archival evidence relased by the British backed this. LKY and the British knew he wasn't a commie but they still detained him under the ISA. The rest, as we know, is history.

Terrorist attacks succeed due to intelligence failure and not because countries lack arbitary laws that allow them to jail political opponents.

Anonymous said...

It's so sad to see these shameless people claiming credit when the capture by Msian authorities. When he escaped, no one wanted to take the blame. Now they want the glory. Even our chicken-pox infected SM also need to jump on the bandwagon to comment on it from the hospital!

If Singapore's role was so crucial in the arrest, Msia will release him to us immediately. With Mas back in Singapore, Msia can still do their investigations what?! I wonder when Msia will finally release him to us?

Also, I imagine Mas's life will be damn chiak-lat when he returns to his "home" in Whitley. I can imagine the "red-carpet" waiting for him! Sure kena nicely!

Chee Wai Lee said...

Anonymous 3:42pm -

I do not see why due process cannot be employed even under those circumstances.

If you managed to detect a group of terrorists plotting action against the citizenry, you can monitor their actions, gather evidence of their intent to execute murder on a grand scale and then foil their plot when enough evidence is gathered for an indictment.

ISA is a tool of "legal convenience" just as much as Guantanamo is. It allows security forces to arrest and hold someone indefinitely without hard evidence. It is a regime subject to easy abuse (as have Guantanamo).

So what if you fail to indict the individual? You can still continue to monitor the individual or plain make it hard for him to ever plot again (if he were, in fact, guilty). Why deny anyone the chance for a fair trial? Is confidence so poor in the judicial system that one cannot expect it to deal with terrorists as criminals?

The legal loophole the USA is in (given your example) is because the action in Afghanistan is NOT a conventional war (and they are loathe to treat it as one because of the Geneva Conventions). Frankly, I don't think the US should be so afraid of treating captured terrorists as Prisoners of War, even though there's no country to repatriate them to at the end of the conflict.

Finally, if the existing laws are not designed for terrorism (whatever that means - if you can, give some hard examples) ... then go ahead, consider the context and design the necessary laws! Are lawmakers so daft in the modern world that they have to constantly rely on the past (377A *groan*) and be so unwilling to design something new and to fine-tune it until it can stand the test of time?

Anonymous said...

You know what? I've always known Mas Selamat was hiding in Malaysia.

Every time i cross the causeway, i see a huge sign saying...

"Selamat Datang ke Malaysia."

bada bing!! i thank you, i thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think the main problem with giving MSK a "fair" trial is that it won't be truly fair either. Given how the judges are in the PAPpies pockets, giving MSK a trial would only cement his "terrorism" status right? Look at CSJ and co and how they got bankrupted. The judges could even slap on additional charges like causing swine flu or whatever nonsense they like on MSK.

Anonymous said...

See how to refute the refute now?

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