MSK saga: S’pore security force “vindicated”, says Straits Times

First escape:

Mas Selamat Kastari escaped capture first in 2001. He escaped from Singapore in 2001 before authorities conducted a massive operation to arrest 13 suspected JI members in December 2001. (Wikipedia)

Mas Selamat had earlier been arrested in February 2003 in the island of Bintan, Indonesia, to assist Indonesian police in their investigations of several bombings in Indonesia in 2001 and 2002. Mas Selamat had changed his identity, assuming the name of Edi Heriyanto and obtained an Indonesian passport. Found in his possession was literature on making bombs and the virtue of suicide. He was jailed for 18 months in 2003 for immigration offences. He was, however, not handed over to Singapore upon his release, since Indonesia and Singapore do not yet have an extradition treaty. During this period of imprisonment, he broke his left leg in a botched attempt to escape when he jumped from a high floor, resulting in him walking with a permanent limp.

On 20 January 2006, he was arrested again for using a fake identity card in Java, where he was visiting his son who was said to be studying at a religious school there. Singapore requested Mas Selamat’s extradition and he was handed over to Singapore on February 3, 2006, where he was detained in Singapore under the Internal Security Act without trial.

Second escape:

At 4:05 pm on Wednesday, February 27, 2008, the JI leader escaped from the Internal Security Department’s Whitley Road Detention Centre (Singapore) where he was being detained.

On 8 May 2009, the media in Singapore reported that Mas Selamat had been captured by Malaysian authorities in Johor, Malaysia. This report was later confirmed by both the Singapore and Malaysian governments, with the date of capture given as 1 April 2009.

Mas Selamat Kastari was handed over to Singapore by Malaysian authorities on 24 September 2010. (Channelnewsasia)

Home Affairs Minister, K Shanmugam, revealed in Parliament on 22 November that Mas Selamat hid himself from the authorities at his brother’s home in Tampines after he escaped from Whitley.

Apparently, the authorities here failed to detect this. Mas Selamat then escaped to Malaysia where he was caught on 1 April 2009.

In short, Mas Selamat escaped Singapore’s authorities twice – in 2001 and in 2008.

And both times, it was the Indonesian and Malaysian authorities which re-captured him and handed him over to Singapore.

In the 25 November 2010 edition of the Straits Times, widely regarded as the Government’s mouthpiece, an editorial claimed:

“Mas Selemat re-capture has vindicated the work of Singapore’s security forces”.

Do you agree with the Straits Times’ editorial claim?

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