Saturday, March 01, 2008
The World Class Joke!
Yes, this is about the World Class Joke by a self proclaimed World Class Government in Singapore. And it is indeed a VERY SERIOUS and DANGEROUS WORLD CLASS JOKE ever made in Singapore's history.
It is indeed still fresh from our mind that the ministers had just have their pay raised by more than 14% overall but yet it seems that there are more and more "honest mistakes" made along the way. But never before has such a BIG HONEST MISTAKE has been made in Singapore's short history.
The Home Affairs Ministry has a annual budget of more than 2.4Billions last year (revised, see Budget Link), about $400million more than the Ministry of Health and yet, there are such security lapses for a wanted man for murder just walking across the causeway to Malayisa and the most important LIMPING terrorist detainee making a "World Class Prison Break"!
The terrorist detainee was detained WITHOUT TRIAL for the simple reason that he IS a DANGEROUS man that has planned terrorist attacks on Singapore. How could the minister for Home Affairs says that alarm was not sounded initially because they think this DANGEROUS man poses no "immediate harm" to people living nearby? And the fact that the alarm has only been put up FOUR WHOLE HOURS AFTER he escaped! Didn't they listen to MM Lee that you would only need 20 minutes to travel to anywhere in Singapore?
The ironic thing is that if this man is truly posing NO DANGER to anyone, why would the authorities mobilize a whole battalion of military guardsman to help in the search thereafter? Does the minister of Home Affairs really understand the seriousness of the escape of Mas Selamat Kastari? It is not merely about Singapore's security anymore but the safety of all our neighboring countries! Or rather, the WHOLE World's security and safety is at stake! This is precisely why the Interpol has raise the alert a notch higher after Singapore announced his escape!
I seriously doubt the self proclaim World Class PAP government really understands World Class politics at all. They have already made the grave mistake of letting the man escapes and the most serious mistake is to hold on to this piece of important information for FOUR SOLID HOURS which most probably allows the man to flee the country by the time such information are made available.
We may not fault the minister of Home Affairs directly for the prison break although some bloggers do, but for the crisis management thereafter, the minister of Home Affairs MUST be responsible! Pushing such decision to the "security analyst" or judgment of others, is truly lame indeed! The decision on whether to announce the prison break earlier lies on the minister himself and I think for such bad decision made in view of the seriousness of the issue at hand, I think any minister in the world that is in charge of internal security should and would resign.
For a small island state like Singapore, there are no room for mistakes like this one. This is not China nor USA where escapees would need days before they could reach international borders. You could travel to any coastal area within half an hour. You could even swim across to Malaysia if you want to. It only take less than an hour boat trip to any of the Indonesian islands. For the minister of Home Affairs to take FOUR SOLID HOURS to make that "difficult" decision to make public of such important information, is truly a WORLD CLASS JOKE and this joke is not funny at all!
The most ridiculous thing that is happening right now in Singapore is that the PAP government controlled mass media tries to "soften" the impact of this WORLD CLASS escape. In any normal democracy around the world, many tough questions would be raised against the authorities as well as the minister in question. But instead, they run stories like how this terrorist has attempted many escapes or prison breaks before, thus, subtly "normalized" such escape by Mas Selamat Kastari and implying that if he escapes, its not about the incompetency of our "Home Team" (i.e. police force) but because he is good at it. Such utter rubbish is totally unacceptable because the detention centre that caged Mas Selamat Kastari is no ordinary detention centre but the "Famous" Internal Security Department (ISD) detention centre which has underground dungeons and heavily guarded by Gurkha! We are not "Third World" countries but "First World" country with "World Class " government, for goodness sake! Such apologist stand made in the local media will further dent our international reputation as an island of competency and efficiency! Why? They are comparing and making us look like a third world country!
Some heads must roll from those who are in charge of the ISD detention centre and the Home Affairs minister must go too! We cannot allow a man that cannot make sound and critical decision at the such a high crisis level to stay on as minister of Home Affairs. We cannot allow a man that will only know how to push responsibility to others for such bad decision made to someone else instead of assuming ALL the responsibility, in his capacity as the highest command, for whatever happens in his very own ministry.
Instead of questioning how such escape could be made successful, why the FOUR HOUR delay in the public announcement and questioning the ability of the minister and his ministry's to handle such big crisis, the local mass media goes on to paint the "bright" side of the whole issue. e.g. how Singaporeans responded with good unity...etc.
When a country shows too much leniency to those in power that make such grave mistakes one after another, we will only breed complacency and incompetency. We are MADE to pay WORLD's HIGHEST SALARY to politicians, in the hope that they will make good judgment and decisions, not merely on daily routine management, but also for their ability to handle crisis. It seems that despite of the multi-million annual salary that Singaporeans are paying, we are getting people that could not really understand the bigger picture and handle such crisis well! If we cannot demand or pressure this minister of Home Affairs to resign over such gross display of incompetency, then we could only hope and depend on our citizens making the right choice in voting him out.
For the mean time, I hope that all Singaporeans would raise their awareness and look out for the limping terrorist that has made a joke out of our country. Hope we could catch him before he could do anything harmful to all mankind.
Goh Meng Seng