It seems that the President, the Government and the mainstream media are all urging Singaporeans not to lay blame at the Malay-Muslim community for the escape of suspected terrorist, Mas Selamat Kastari.
An article in the TODAY newspaper yesterday (24 November 2010) claimed that "some netizens have resorted to lazy analysis and convenient stereotypes in explaining the actions of Mas Selamat's relatives, and of the Muslim community as being guilty by association."
Is this true? Are Singaporeans (particularly those online) blaming the Malay-Muslim community for the escape of the alleged terrorist?
It appears that this is not so. Instead, netizens are asking for the Government to accept responsibility for its failure to first keep Mas Selamat under detention and later to capture him after he gave the police the slip. Netizens are calling for the Government to step up and take responsibility and for Wong Kan Seng in particular to own up to his failures.
In all of the comments posted on this website and on our Facebook page, there has been none which pointed fingers at the Malay-Muslim community for Mas Selamat's escape.
We leave our readers to judge for themselves.
Here are some comments from our fans culled from The Online Citizen's Facebook page:
Muhammad Hafriz : yet again, the steering away of focus from the real issue of why they didnt search the family's home in the first place into a racially-motivated one.
Jayden Loh : It was NEVER about race or religion until the government make it to be the issue. Its a smokescreen to skirt the main culprit - WKS.
Lim Wee Siong : Actually we are pointing finger at the govt ...
Mark Wee : I don't think anyone is making this a race issue OTHER than the government.
ZiXun Lim : rather anecdotal but i don't seem to know anyone who's pointing fingers at the Malay-Muslim community except Shanmugam who specifically pointed it out in his Ministerial address. rather, most of the people I know are questioning why they couldn't conduct survellience on his immediate family. so hmmm.
Paul G de Silva : The only idiots who are highlighting the Malay Muslim community over the Mas Selamat affair by highlighting it has nothing to do with the Malay Muslim community are these million dollar morons. Every sensible thinking Singaporean knows it has nothing to do with the Malay Muslim community and that includes Singaporean Malay Muslims as well. So stop rubbing in what need not be rubbed in the first place. We all have more pressing things to worry about...like our mortgages, our jobs and dealing with the discomfort of having too may undesirable aliens in our midst.
Lim Meng Meng : ya i thnk the gahmen is the one pointing fingers at the Malay-Muslim community in order to distract us. It is a joke why the (go-)Home Team didn't search houses of MSK's relatives on the first day after he escaped!!
Mun-Kit Chew : would be more appropriate if the brief was: President S R Nathan has urged THE GOVERNMENT not to point a finger at the Malay-Muslim community over news... cos no one except them was doing that pointing.
Kelvin Ng : it wasnt a race issue to begin with until the govt made it so and now it becomes our fault coz the MSM is talking abt it. this is bullcrap at its highest degree
Sekaran Rengiah : Tis juz another way of diverting ppl's attention fr the core issue, which is 'Why the police didn't apprehend Mas Selamat earlier wen he was at his bro's hse & why wasn't the hse under surveillance ??' Instead they are talking abt race, religion, tolerance & the Malay-Muslim community !! Utter nonsense & rubbish !!!
KT Tan : only the garmen is harping on the religion issue. we on the other hand are wondering what kinda investigation they undertook upon his escape. brilliant smokescreen to divert our qns.
(1) They're trying to prove a point that race and religion is still an issue in their eyes as a stumbling block to nation building (in a way, we've been molly-coddled to be in this state today, and it's partially the falt of us citizens).
(2) Like everyone says, it's just a smoke screen - elections are up, they can't appear to be inept esp when it comes to security.
(3) While trying to appear secular and emplacing guidelines on religion and it's practices/traditions, they're actually using religion as a political tool. It's pretty obvious - Politics in Sg has had a secular focus all along. But politicians have been quite nifty in using religion to help stablize social ties within the Sg community when needed, while downplaying its role as a model guideline humanity should follow, in order for the govt's envisioned laws and policies to take precedence as a moral compass for Sgreans.
Bhavan Jaipragas : @toc: you are right, haven't actually seen anything online incriminating the family or the Malay community. Discourse has been focused on why the government chose to make it an ethnic/religious issue in the first place. I wonder which websites Eugene Tan was looking at...
Jayden Loh : it is a reverse psychology thing. the reporters basically have anti malay-muslim sentiments. the more these people keep on saying "not all malays/muslims are terrorist" to the point where it begins to annoy others, the more people will start to believe the opposite - and thats what they basically want.
Jayden Loh : And by bringing up the Malay/Muslim/Tudong issue and the stigma it might cause for private sector is nothing but a smokescreen. Well done, PAP. You've mastered the art of being politically incorrect and insensitive by being politically correct and sensitive.
Zulkarnain Shariff : Glad I'm not the only one totally pissed about this... @Siti .. I don't give 2 shit if it's his personal views or the view is coming from his friends/families... it's totally irrelevant with the subject matter... and we're questioning the objective...
Zulkarnain Hassan : @Siti, maybe unconsciously he realises that meritocracy and racial tolerance actually does not exist here. He thought by making such statement, he's trying to protect our community from discrimination. Well in fact, if there was racial harmony, that statement is totally unnecessary. It's not about the tudung, it never was.
Hydar Saharudin : oh my fucking god, they are framing the issue into a racial/religious one when it clearly isnt.
Andrew Toh : These people are not worth A single cent we are paying them. Total retards.
Tang Alexis Rudi : What has any Muslim lady got anything to do with MAS's escape in a tudung? I think it was the easiest & most inexpensive thing to do that time. Look, it isnt about race or religion, it's about an escaped terrorist that got walked out of the detention ctr! Wa lau, MAS could have put on make up & a wig & hung around Changi as a trans & nobody could tell the difference too!!
James Ong : I have faith in our malay-muslim community. I have zero faith in our govt. Thats the whole issue here.
Irfan MUshroom : Why don't they point their fingers at zaqy instead? That would be more more reasonable. He's the one who bring up the matter.
Stan Tan : one finger pointing to the Malays but 4 fingers pointing to themselves.
Ericson Tham : WTF. What has the Muslim Malay community has got to do with this? Some idiot mentions about the Malays and it now revolves around them. So MSK was a Muslim. Big deal! It could be a Chinese or a Ang Moh or a Peranakan, or a Singh, or even an alien from outer space. A terrorist is a terrorist and he is not defined by his ethnicity but by his actions. And 4 people do not represent the community they belong too. Leave out the community and start focusing why MHA f**ked up in the first 4 days!
Tan Boon Leng : Govt playing the race card as a subterfuge? What's new?
Muhamad Noor : i think majority of the S'pore population has already moved on from the blaming game of the Malay/Muslim community. And now when we are asking the "people upstairs" for reasons why this MSK is able to escape, why again are the mass media still harping on the race/religion card?? the question "Why is MSK able to escape?" remain unanswered.