Mar 2, 2008

The Independence of the Inquiry Commission

A few days ago, Wong Kan Seng told Parliament that an "independent investigation" will be done to find out how the terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari escaped from the Whitley Road Detention Centre. Today, the Straits Times has an article about the commission of inquiry:
ST March 2, 2008
Commission of inquiry to probe JI terrorist's escape

A THREE-MEMBER Commission of Inquiry (COI) has been set up to investigate the escape of terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari from the Whitley Road Detention Centre last Wednesday afternoon.

Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng vowed on Sunday that no stone will be left unturned and no effort will be spared in tracking down the Singapore Jemaah Islamiah (JI) militant chief, who is still on the run after nearly five days of extensive land, sea and air search involving more than 1,000 policemen, soldiers and Special Operation Command forces.

The three commission members appointed to carry out the inquiry are retired High Court judge Goh Joon Seng, now a member of the Council of Presidential Advisors, former Commissioner of Police Tee Tua Ba, who is now Singapore's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, and Dr Choong May Ling, Deputy Secretary (Security and Corporate Services) of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The commission is expected to complete the inquiry and submit its report within a month.

.......... Mr Wong said the Commission of Inquiry would be thorough in its probe 'so that we can get an objective, balanced and comprehensive report on what took place and what we must do'.

On the commission members, Mr Wong said Mr Goh, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2000 after serving for almost 10 years, has a very good standing in the community and had contributed to the public service in various capacities since 1970.

Mr Tee, 66, who was the Police Commissioner from 1992 to 1997, 'is experienced and the knowledge he has on police operations will add value to the committee', said the Minister.

Dr Choong started her career in the Ministry of Health and has held various senior positions in different ministries before joining the Home Affairs Ministry in December 2003.
I found the above article quite disturbing. Let me elaborate.

Goh Joon Seng is a good choice. This man will know how to ask all the right questions and scrutinise the evidence with a fine-tooth comb. As a former Supreme Court judge, he has plenty of experience doing things like that.

Tee Tua Ba is also a good choice. As the former Commissioner of Police, he will have plenty of experience in security issues. Furthermore, as he has already retired from the Ministry of Home Affairs, we can be reasonably confident that he will be able to operate independently.

But Dr Choong May Ling is a bad choice. I do not know what she's doing there on the committee. For goodness sakes, the woman is the current MHA Deputy Secretary. You cannot put the current MHA Deputy Secretary on the commission and call this an "independent investigation". Clearly there would be potential for conflict of interest.

For the sake of discussion, let's just suppose that the reason why Mas Selamat managed to escape is that the detention centre was poorly-run, under-resourced and had inadequate security controls. This would indicate that the Ministry of Home Affairs has been negligent.

Do we really expect the MHA Deputy Secretary (of Security, no less) to come forward and tell us that? And effectively slap her own face in public? As well as that of her boss, Wong Kan Seng? The man who decides the size of her annual bonus?

Just to be clear, my post has nothing to do with the personal character of Choon May Ling. I know nothing about her. For all I know, she actually might be a very brave, righteous and honest person who would do a thorough investigation and speak the truth. No matter what the personal consequences may be for her.

On the other hand, by virtue of her current work capacity, Choon May Ling, in my opinion, is simply not a suitable candidate. Not for an inquiry commission that is tasked to conduct an independent investigation.

If you need an analogy, it would be like asking one of TT Durai's fellow NKF board directors to investigate the NKF scandal. Some of the directors may actually be honest and capable. But due to the potential conflict of interest, none of them are suitable persons to be conducting the independent investigation. The public would not be able to have confidence that the investigation would indeed be objectively carried out.

105 comments:

hugewhaleshark said...

Oh man, in the corporate world such a committee will not stand scrutiny at all. It is unimaginable how she can manage the obvious conflicts of interest.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, you did point out the issue. For all we know, Singapore government has been practising this kind of conflict of interest in their kangaroo system all along. Isn't our LHL a PM and Finance Minister too ? Isn't temasek investment personal and auditors are all of birds of same feathers ? Isn't LKY the senior advisor for Citigroup conflict of interest ?

Yes, conflict of interest start from our dear Harry and just promugated down. Been a ex-public prosecutor, you will have see more of these happening in this system.

These are just of matter of helping each other covering backside and petting each other for future favourite and gain. If you ask me why Singapore governemnt has never learnt any mistake and seem condemn to repeatit forever then you have just answer the question.

In the end, the report will conclude as =>
Nobody is at fault. Security Lapse is to blame. Let's move on.

As when and how security can lapse for Selamat to escape will likely to remain confidential and No Rely or OutOfBound.

Mercia said...

In this system of favours and hierarchy that we call our civil service, it's going to be exceedingly difficult to find someone with minimal conflicts of interest.

No doubt Goh Joon Seng and Tee Tua Ba still have strong ties to the administration, retired as they might be. Choong May Ling's a way to keep a close eye on things, in case their trusted retired lieutenants do an Ong Teng Cheong on them.

Best kind of independent commissions would be a panel of foreign talent. Aheheh.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, you are a bloody idiot. If that girl is not on the commission, how do you expect Mr Wong Kan Seng to plan his GREAT ESCAPE. This is the perfect committee to be set up, duh.

LHL PM
Ho Ching Temasek
LKY GIC chair and advisor to Citibank (who bailed out Citibank)
Tharman GIC director as well as Finance minister, who directed Inderjit Singh that Temasek / GIC investments are private entities that the parliament cannot probe. (which the govt lends our public money to them)
Oh, let us watch how this stupidity unfolds. It will end when all the parliament debate on CPF Annuity is over. I still want to opt out of annuity leh - like eldershield.

Anonymous said...

If Mr Wong don't resign, it will send a signal to our Allies and Terrorists that we are soft with our National Security.

Alan Wong said...

Talking about conflict of interest, I am still wondering until this very day how come our PM did not stopped his wife from being put in charge of our GIC/Temasek coffers. I would have thought that should be the very least decent thing that he would have done.

Just imagine how the Americans will react if America's First Lady is put in charge of the US Treasury.

Anonymous said...

Many thoughts came to mind over his escape. Did he act alone? Was the toilet reinforced? Could the plot had been hatched during the regular family visits? Could there be sympathizers amongst the guards? Could any of the Gurkhas, being mercenary, be involved? I'm therefore relieved that an independent inquiry commission is being set up to look into the escape. Finally, we pray and hope Mas Selamat would be caught soon.

Anonymous said...

By placing the MHA Deputy Secretary in the Commission of Inquiry to carry out the "independent investigation", MHA has drawn a line , the ministry will not be hold accountable for this screw up.

If heads roll, it will be of those at the top level in ISD or the detection facility. MHA will only play the role of cleaning up the mess.

geriatric_eunuch said...

Mr. Wang,

The notion of an Independent Anything in a country ruled by Enlightened Absolutism is a pitiful and cruel joke.

We all know that it is standard operating procedure to appoint an "Independent Commission of Inquiry" to buy breathing space whenever a government of any hue finds itself acutely embarrassed by events which it cannot manipulate and control.

Malaysia is proceeding likewise with an inquiry into their judicial can of worms, and the British Government does so from time to time.

Neither government, however, is so breathtakingly arrogant, so utterly certain of its absolute power, so scornful of its peoples impotence, as to stick two fingers up to its own electorate and blatantly taint the judicial panel in full and contemptuous knowledge that there is sweet FA anyone can do about it.

And they're perfectly correct, of course. WE all know that the blogs might foam with sarcastic rage at the deliberate insult to the intellect but nary a peep will reach the ears of the blissfully ignorant majority heartland which is where it counts. The 66% will swallow the final Commission headlines which, at a convenient time and place of the incumbent's choosing, will exonerate anybody of any importance of any blame whatsoever.

Thus shall all be well once again in Disneypore .

And for the immediate future, whenever approached, WKS & Co. will be able to point to the panel, smirk and murmur "Aiya, that's subjudice, lah. Wait for the Commission to report, can or not?", and hop off to the golf course whistling Non, je ne regrette rien quite cheerfully.

Pass us the haemorrhoid whitewash will you? I think I might have missed a bit there.

Anonymous said...

Having closely followed so many politically sensitive judiciary proceedings in Singapore, MY PERSONAL opinion is that there is little chance of forming any independent commission.

In the present climate, I seriously doubt there will be anyone brave enough to shake the institution, especially if he/she can't expect support from members of the public -- i.e. as in the case of Pakistan's ex CJ who bravely went against Musharaf and, not all, but the legal professions stood behind him. Can any brave soul expects the legal professions, if not the general public, to back him/her if he/she comes under pressure from the powers-that-be? I seriously doubt any of your peers would be so brave, or am I wrong?

Beside the powers-that-be could easily set terms of references that will be so narrow that even an "independent" commissioner could do nothing but come to a "politically" correct conclusion.

Take, for example, the so-called NKF investigation, it was more a case of witch hunt. When clearly, it was a case of institutional failure to which people have legally exploited for their own benefit. A properly constituted and independent commission would have come to that conclusion. But because the pressure to punish someone and avoiding embarrassing the power-that-be, so a convenient scapegoat had to be found. And virtually nothing said about the institutional arrangement.

Anonymous said...

The issue is one of 'form and substance' as accountants call it. Choong may indeed be independent in substance, but in form she is not.

In fact the ex-judge and police commissioner's independence can be questioned too, seeing how they were ex-civil servants and most probably still drawing pensions.

Solo Bear said...

From Day 1, I have always believed that the great escape is all a wayang show.

The latest fiasco is that after 3 days, the police tells us that Selamat walks with a limp ONLY if he walks fast.

Why was this not told earlier? All this while everyone was looking for a limping man, and he may have literally walked and laughed his way out of Singapore to freedom.

Seen in context with an insider who is convening the enquiry, this has got to be a bloody cover up!

Anonymous said...

Is this the sequel to 'Toilet Break'?

Must say, the Hollywood script writers' strike had apparently hurt us most.

Our gahmen's wayangs are getting rather B-rated.

WKS is definitely not one of the better actors around the Parliament House.

Anyone here thinks that the real limper has booked a chartered flight to the Middle East already?

A limp in exchange for peace and prosperity aka the golden age as promised...

Singaporeans should know this is for the greater good, for your own good.

We can always sacrifice a few buildings (otherwise where got land to rebuild?) and as for people, we can have loads from China and India.

Big honchos don't die in bomb attacks, only small fries like you people.

Singaporeans are really not very bright.

Anonymous said...

Those who have retired does not mean they are independent either.

They had probably recommended the promotions of those that took over their places or had accessed their CEP to lead.

You would not slap your own face by saying your 'blue-eyed' boy or girl is just a huge mistake of your own judgement.

This is how the civil service works.

Malcolm said...

If Mr Wong resigns, it will send a signal to our Allies and Terrorists that we are soft with our National Security.

Anonymous said...

hi,

1) i think this happens more often than we think. examples below.

2) companies pay accountants to audit their accounts and come up with financial statements.

3) consultants are paid to both help companies to obtain certifications like (IS0-9000) and to certify them.

Anonymous said...

”Vigilant, we must be vigilant.” said Wong Kan Seng.

Vigilant my lan cheow lah Wong Cunt Sing.

Anonymous said...

For all we know, that limp horse could locked up in a secret place elsewhere and this was all a big wayang show planned in tune with the "Total Defence" propaganda and to take the attention off all the other honest mistakes.
Nothing like making all the citizens feel under threat and "protected" by the gov to make sheeps of all of us again

Anonymous said...

"HE' STILL IN S'PORE", screamed the FREE SHEETS 'MY PAPER' today.
My, my! Why are they so sure? This makes the DRAMA(Wayang) AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES so plausible and real.

The People of Singapore now have to ask themselves, are we being and had been manipulated by propaganda, dramatized ploy and conspiracy all these years? It seems that the more mistakes happened, more 'actings' have got to be the solutions to deny culpabilities and responsibilities. Sad and disappointing, but seems very real.

The Members in the Panel of Inquiry convened for the Case of Mas Selamats' Escape should and must be Independent, Impartial and most importantly NOT CIVIL SERVANTS AND EX-CIVIL SERVANTS for they will never give the people any sense of IMPARTIALITY!
By scarecrow.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wang,
You seem to suggest that the Inquiry Commission is not truly independent. Can you name a commission set up by the government, which, in your view, is truly independent?

Anonymous said...

"retired High Court judge Goh Joon Seng, now a member of the Council of Presidential Advisors"

Mr Goh JS is also a consultant with the law firm, Lee & Lee.

http://www.leenlee.com.sg/Main_lawyers.htm


"former Commissioner of Police Tee Tua Ba, who is now Singapore's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates"

Mr Tee was a Director of Prisons (1 January 1988-1 July 1992) before.

http://www.prisons.gov.sg/our_history.html (see year 1998)

Anonymous said...

Reading the write-ups. Some bloggers appear to be real childish and envious, again harping on ministers' salaries; mixing up the two and become emotional. Whilst others may have an agenda of their own to cash in against the government.

Look at the bigger picture. In the first place, being a tiny weeny place, we could not have survived at all after independence, given our not too friendly neighbourhood. However, today, we are a 1st world country and the envy of all around the world!

Friends, if the government was corrupt we would not have been so, isn't it? Be realistic. Even the pundits and those who wanted to see us doomed then have come to us for advice and assistance today.

The world ranks us highly in terms of incorruptibility and efficiency, in case we don't know.

Outdated notions, like our strategic location, won't help either in a globalised digital age. In case we are behind time, PSA gets most of its revenue from outside of Singapore and not from the in-situ port!

"PAP! PAP! PAP!" Wake up. Who are the PAP working for? Look at Singapore today. A resourceless; no economies of scale tiny place that is the envy of the world. Can any arm chair critic do better? Except for the great patriot, LKY (who's still working his butt out for Singapore in the Middle East today), all ministers are high caliber people drawn from the private and public sectors to keep Singapore afloat. What's in a name? These outstanding people weren't born "PAP" but are citizens like you and me coaxed to serve the nation. And don't ever forget this is a freely elected democratic government that puts food into the mouths of its 4 million people. Otherwise how on earth did it get more than 66% of the overall popular votes islandwide in the last election (a feat by the free world standard).

I have often asked myself what would have become of most of us if we had been born (with the same skin color) say in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, India or any of the ASEAN countries. Frankly, we could have been discriminated and suffered in silence or migrate in droves (if we had the means).

So, please stop the blood letting my dear Singaporeans. Reflect and look at the macro picture as well or what they would say "use your brans . . ." And I'm not pro PAP or what; just pro-Singapore!

Anonymous said...

If this detention centre was run by, say, the Worker Party, the following could likely unfold before us:

1) The party leader and all persons related to him would be thoroughly investigated for negligence and possible connections to the escape.

2) The party head's past and present would be thoroughly investigated for possible connections to the escape.

3) The press would churn out reports and stories to cast doubts on the integrity of the party and the party leader.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Anon 10:23 am:

Sure. I am not terribly fussy. I think Joon Seng and Tua Ba are acceptable choices. However, I don't think that the commission should include anyone currently working in MHA.

A suitable replacement for May Ling could be any senior civil servant or ex-civil servant with experience working in Mindef G2 or the Military Security Department, or with the Special Investigations Branch of the SAF. Or we could pick someone who has experience managing strategic security issues at key installations such as changi airport. Or we could get someone from MFA who works in the area of international cooperation against terrorism. Or we could pick an NMP or ex-NMP or an academic who researches terrorism. Or someone like chua cher yak (ex-CPIB chief who has plenty of experience overseeing investigations). By the way, CPIB reports directly to PMO and is not part of MHA.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Anon 10:23 am:

Sure. I am not terribly fussy. I think Joon Seng and Tua Ba are acceptable choices. However, I don't think that the commission should include anyone currently working in MHA.

A suitable replacement for May Ling could be any senior civil servant or ex-civil servant with experience working in Mindef G2 or the Military Security Department, or with the Special Investigations Branch of the SAF. Or we could pick someone who has experience managing strategic security issues at key installations such as changi airport. Or we could get someone from MFA who works in the area of international cooperation against terrorism. Or we could pick an NMP or ex-NMP or an academic who researches terrorism. Or someone like chua cher yak (ex-CPIB chief who has plenty of experience overseeing investigations). By the way, CPIB reports directly to PMO and is not part of MHA.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Anon 11:11 am:

We are discussing a terrorist who ran away, and you talk about Singapore's lack of natural resources etc.

I think it is quite fair of me to say that your comments are irrelevant and absurd.

Anonymous said...

Anon March 3, 2008 11:11 AM:

Yes, you're not pro-PAP...you're merely a PAP grassroot member.

You wrote such a lengthy piece but said nothing new or of substance - basically just rewording the things that our good government and press have told us all the time.

You sound like you are forever contented in that small little well of yours and refuse even to raise your head a little above the well to see what's outside of it.

You might do better with a joke or two about Mas the fugitive. But then again, you probably would resort to recycling old jokes.

Anonymous said...

Just a side track.

ST said:
Escape makes headlines overseas (dated March 2, 2008)

The news report mentioned a few major newspapers running articles on the terrorist escape.

But, they did not mention CNN which is quite a major news agency. You know why? Because of this...

Singapore: Terror suspect fled toilet (dated February 28, 2008)

By the way, ANON 11:11 AM is repeating the same things as somebody in Mr Wang's previous post.

Sing Republic said...

Perhaps all the while, Mas Selamat was just pretending to be limping. Until and unless MHA publish the full details of how he got away, Singaporeans will find it hard to cooperate and help fully with the MHA in bringing him into custody.

Witholding of information for political reasons in this case can really bring harm to Singapore in future. MHA, please consider to release all relevant information ASAP. Not in bits and pieces, and certainly not wait until 30 days later.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans must sincerely thank MR MAS SELAMAT KASTARI. FOR HE, MAS SELAMAT, has single handedly made SINGAPOREANS MORE AWARE OF THEIR HOMELAND CALLED SINGAPORE.

Anonymous said...

If ministerial accountability exists in Singapore Inc, then Anna Nicole Smith married for love and WMDs are in Iraq (or Aye-Rack) furthermore this is one of the many screw-ups of the goverment since "Prestigious Son" took over.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.11

'And I am not pro-PAP or what: just pro-Singapore!'

Oh, come on, don't be modest. Are you saying that all those who spoke unfavourably about the Government are anti-Singapore? By the way, nobody here makes a point and have to apologise for being pre-opposition. Why should you be so self-concious.

Anonymous said...

Anon: "I think it is quite fair of me to say that your comments are irrelevant and absurd."

(Any) The government is the core or heart of the nation. It's dangerous to shake the very foundation by calling for key minister(s) to resign and slander the government.

I traveled quite a lot. And I can see unless one is blind. This government has been with us the day we were kicked out of Malaysia because we they were against a "Malay Malaysia".

Today, everyone is housed comfortably, water at the turn of the tap, job opportunities abound, schools for our kids, buses, MRT, etc. You name it.

I can tell you this is magic for a resourceless, 700 sq km island on planet Earth! Show me another, please.

So stop blaming the government. In fact we can't even solve our domestic conflicts let alone the country.

Yes, Mas Selamat must be apprehended. Like the Israelis, we should learn to work together and finger at anyone.

How about a pricey reward on the MMS next if Mas Selamat is still at large. After all, we not forget though a good number Singaporeans are ungrateful, they are still calculating and materialistic at heart.

Anonymous said...

As of this writing, I counted 22 out of 32 replies that didn't use real names or nicks i.e. "Anonymous Coward".

That's almost 70%.

Yes, I'm one of those.

If Singapore is such a perfect place to be living in, it's a BIG wonder why people are AFRAID to use their own usernames or real names when posting a reply.

People like myself aren't like Mr Wang, who was trained in law. If we say the wrong things, that could be the end of us (think apologies, lawsuits, etc). The unseen force of fear at work. And it's very real.

And that's why I think this idea of allowing the Speaker's Corner to be to be used as "an outdoor venue for more political activities, including demonstrations" is a lame one.

Ask yourself: If people don't even dare to use their own names or nicks in a blog, where at least their faces can't be seen, how many souls out there dare to engage in a "political activity" at the Speaker's Corner? Only Chee and his sister, perhaps.

If you ask me, I would say it's just another wayang.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what happen to the security cameras.

Anonymous said...

Eh, dumb ass. Just because we got fresh water to drink and a hdb flat over our heads doesn't mean that we should close our eyes and say "thank you, thank you" to the govt when they let terrorists run away.

Wah piang, you damn stupid man. Just because we have no natural resources, you think that we don't need our independent commission.s. According to your logic, all PAP ministers can screw up every day from now to the year 2050, and we should still love them because by the year 2050 we STILL won't have natural resources.

Anonymous said...

He is here, but we just cannot get him. Do You believe?

There is always this claim that Singapore has got no resources. Please do not try to frighten the people.

Singapore do not need any resources, the proof is all around you. Many, many FTs are here and coming here as had been the case for more than four decades. The Mainland Chinese, the India Indian and the Westerners are still flocking here. Why?

If anyone has to depend on the Government for survival, let it be. But do not tell others that survive with hard works and sweat to be liked PARASITE LIKE YOU!

As to whether one is pro, anti or sympathetic to PAP, that's your business, why made a declaration? YOU think anyone interested?

By I LOVE SINGAPORE!

Anonymous said...

George says:
Tee Tua Bah was among the police officers who were involved in the tracking down of notorious AK47- armed kidnapper Loh Ngat Fong. Loh was killed by gurka policemen in the subsequent police seige and shootout.

Robert L said...

"malcolm" said, "If Mr Wong resigns, it will send a signal to our Allies and Terrorists that we are soft with our National Security." [March 3, 2008 8:24 AM]

I hope readers would not be misdirected by this inept comment.

Nothing could be more wrong. Say, for instance, if WKS has to commit suicide over this mistake, would our allies conclude that Singapore is soft with our National Security? Surely it's the exact opposite, Singapore would appear to be tough on National Security.

Resignation is one step down from suicide, it's in the same direction. Singapore would be seen to be tough on National Security.

Another critic said, "You seem to suggest that the Inquiry Commission is not truly independent. Can you name a commission set up by the government, which, in your view, is truly independent?"

Dear Mr Wang, please do not fall for these tricks of the cybersquads. Engagement on those lines is clearly another cunning misdirection. [March 3, 2008 10:23 AM]

And regarding this post, "Reading the write-ups. Some bloggers appear to be real childish and envious, again harping on ministers' salaries...(snipped)". [March 3, 2008 11:11 AM] -

Dear Mr Wang, if you close this thread because it's clogged up by such rubbish, then you would be letting the Cybersquad win. And we all lose. So please, choose to clean up the thread instead, delete rubbish posts and let sanity prevail in your blog.

I mean, that whole long post is nothing but saying that Singapore succeeded because of one man, and not because of the toil of it's citizens. I could go on, but to further engage on that post would be falling into the trap. Same goes for the other long post [March 3, 2008 2:14 PM].

Anonymous said...

Any iindependan commission should come from totally independant sources lah. Pehaps we shud invite some Foreign Talents like CIA, MI5? Don't Wayang lah.. this committee won't work that well with the hint of a conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

a terrorist who is a limp could manage to escape during a toilet break, well, this is more likely a scenario in 'scary movie' or 'police academy' ok?!
to all pap machinery who is working on overdrive mode, come on. this is a grave mistake that could possibly put thousands at risk. and please, having a mha person in the inquiry panel is pain lame. there is no way about it - its a major screw-up. just bloody admit it.

world class? my foot.

Anonymous said...

Anon of 2.14 March 3 wrote
"I traveled quite a lot. And I can see unless one is blind. This government has been with us the day we were kicked out of Malaysia because we they were against a "Malay Malaysia".

Today, everyone is housed comfortably, water at the turn of the tap, job opportunities abound, schools for our kids, buses, MRT, etc. You name it.

I can tell you this is magic for a resourceless, 700 sq km island on planet Earth! Show me another, please."

Well, I travelled quite a lot too and I certainly can see, deeply too. You seem to want to compare with some African countries, why not compare with Asia. Hong Kong has been a great success too, in many respects, even more successful than Singapore. I have lived there a number of years and they are just as resourceless as us. But they have built it into the jewel of Asia without the need to silence dissent.
The issue here is one of independence of the Inquiry Commission. Why not put Chee Soon Juan as one of the members. What is there to be afraid of? The truth will prevail. One can be sure that he will unturn every stone there is and the people can be the judge.
In the preceding thread, someone wrote that Singaporeans only know how to whine and whine and dare not come out to publicly do something. Well, I am very sure Chee as a Singapore dares to come out and do something. Any true blue Singaporean dare to second him?

Onlooker said...

It is called damage control.
But best solution is pay cut :)
But really it shouldn't have happen at all.
Obviously the pay raise only decrease their intelligence and ability to lead.
Can have flexible wage for them too or not?
PS decide by number of vote divided by 3 million actual local resident
just nice one vote = 1 dollar.
Based on election day :)

Anonymous said...

Minister Wong Kan Seng has said, that whatever that the Commission Of Inquiry 'uncovered', the full informations may not be publicised.
HE, A DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER CUM THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS IS NOW SAYING HE HIMSELF WILL BE THE ONLY ONE TO EDIT OR CENSOR THE FINDINGS OF THE COMMISSION, to be released to the Public. How does this accords with the 'INDEPENDECE OF THE COMMISSION' ??

Given that certain informations maybe sensitive and top secrets, to say that the three Members of the Commission are not able to discern what informations to be held confidential, but he(WKS) alone is able to, is obviously belittling the Inquiry Commission Members!

Singaporeans want to be comforted, that whenever and whatever mistakes happened, all causes and leads are accounted for and maximun disclosures made known. And certainly, the Three Members of the Inquiry Commission will be able to fulfill such a need.

By perplexed

geriatric_eunuch said...

Anon 03 March 2008 14:14:00 wrote:

I can tell you this is magic for a resourceless, 700 sq km island on planet Earth! Show me another, please.

Indeed. Do please educate us ignoramuses. How would you describe one of the finest sheltered natural deep-water harbours in the world? It's just a nasty, stinking longkang, right? And what description would you give to an island sited in a prime strategic position through which a vast proportion of the world's shipping HAS to pass? A hilariously worthless pimple on the buttock of the globe, hmm?

It gives us such a lovely warm feeling to have it confirmed by you that these actually aren't natural resources and that we made it all on our own against all odds. What on earth was that stupid idiot Sir Stamford Raffles thinking? He ought to have been ISA'd for locating the centre of British commerce in the Far East here - clearly the act of a crypto-communist subversive. Booming prosperity ever since, even * gasp! * BEFORE the PAP arrived on the scene? What utter fiction, what a load of bollocks. That was a figment of our colonial masters' feverish imaginations brought about by dengue mosquitoes, y'know.

Thanks ever so much for the heads-up Anon, we're eternally in your debt. If it weren't for the selfless dedication, genius and sacrifice of the Party (hallelujah), resource-free Singapore would be well down the dustbin of history by now - just like Hong Kong, Macau, and Gibraltar. Oh, wait...


Today, everyone is housed comfortably, water at the turn of the tap, job opportunities abound, schools for our kids, buses, MRT, etc. You name it.

True, true, oh so true. The thousand brainy malcontents who abandon the mothership yearly are clearly ungrateful rats who cannot tell paradise-on-earth from a hole in the ground. Good riddance to bad rubbish.


The government is the core or heart of the nation. It's dangerous to shake the very foundation by calling for key minister(s) to resign and slander the government.

Well, well, now we arrive at the rather unsubtle theme of your message:

Boom! The Party is the State Thud! The State is The Party Boom! Only The One Party has the ability to manage The State Thud! Without The Party, The State is... finished. Boom! Thud! Boom! That it?

The rhythm feels oddly familiar little drummer boy. I wonder why?


* crawls back under rock to gloat over his splendid collection of world-class bovine excrement *

Anonymous said...

wang,

a very sensible assessment i must say.

sarah said...

ok i may be slow in raising this topic here. but aren't the majority of you being entirely useless here by just complaining about the government?

we should encourage the men who have been mobilised out there, searching high and low for that escaped terrorist. They are the ones going through the SHIT right now, for countless of hours mind you. It really isn't helpful that the public only knows how to complain and possibly fill their minds with hatred for the authorities that have deployed them to carry out these duties.

And, a point to raise, it seems like all of you are just plain cynical and against PAP. yea, as if resigning is a way to solve the problem. Tell me then, who do you think is the best candidate to take up Mr Wong KS's position and could have prevented this cunning character from escaping? some member of the opposition parties? Or perhaps, ONE OF YOU PEOPLE? No one in the right mind could have wished for this embarrassing thing to happen in our country. I mean, even if this hasn't happened, all of you would still be criticising the government and all. You really are not helping by giving criticisms and more criticisms. leave the country and migrate elsewhere if it makes you shut your trap. Be happy! go away, so that you can save your energy for other stuff rather than harping on such issues.

let us not stop all these finger pointing and all, no one has denied responsibility so far, the silence is only temporary. The authorities will provide more details soon I guess, after Mas is caught.

Anonymous said...

Anon March 3 2008 6:21pm had a good suggestion to put CSJ as a member of the Inquiry Commission into Mas Selamats' Escape. Though it is a very good suggestion, I doubt it will ever be acceptable to the Authority.

But because of your suggestion, I think MPs Low Thia Kiang, Chiam See Tong and Lawyer Philip Jeyaratnam would make an ideal team for the Inquiry. The Two Lawyers and a long serving Member of Parliament will make a neutral, independent and a very acceptable panel to the members of the public.
But, will the suggestion be accepted? Or even considered?
By hopeless.

Anonymous said...

I believe that there is a reason for the bit by bit release of non-sensitive information by the government to the press or otherwise. It is to buy time for the government to gather the "independent" Commission of Inquiry. Once the Commission is formed, they will have the excuse not to reveal anything (sensitive and non-sensitive).

When questions are asked again, they will tell you to wait for the report after the Commission has completed their investigations.

So, for the next thirty (30) days or so, you can ask questions for all you want, the standard answer will be the same: wait for the report.

Anonymous said...

Alamak! They should have surrounded Mas Selemat like this www.yawningbread.org/arch_2006/pic-651d.jpg then he surely cannot escape.

Mercia said...

@ Anon who appears to be very grateful to the government:

You're wrong. The heart of any country is its citizens. The electorate represent the citizens.

Such is the fundamental premise of any representational democracy, which is what Singapore claims to be, the last time I checked. The PAP can't govern without the popular mandate bestowed upon them by their people.

Seriously, would they still be in power if they couldn't deliver on bare promises light electricity, heating and education? Those are the precepts for any industrialised country.

I've travelled a lot myself, and I agree with Mr. Wang: your points are irrelevant and absurd.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Anon 9:34 pm:

I don't think that there is a necessity to crowd the inquiry commission with Opposition MPs.

I do not see the Mas Selamat matter as a "party politics" kind of situation. I see it primarily as a matter of national security and I think that what we really want to do is how the incident happened and how we can prevent it from happening again, and I further think that if certain persons are at fault for failing in such an important duty as maintaining proper security, they should be properly held responsible.

For the purposes of the above, we need an independent investigation and here, "independent" means "MHA-independent", not "let's fill the COI with Opposition MPs".

It would be important for each COI member to have relevant expertise in such matters. This is why I say that Tee Tua Ba and Goh Joon Seng are good choices; they are MHA-independent AND their previous work experience is relevant to the inquiry.

But Choon May Ling is a bad choice, because she is the Deputy Secretary of MHA.

Anonymous said...

Sarah said:
"we should encourage the men who have been mobilised out there, searching high and low for that escaped terrorist. They are the ones going through the SHIT right now, for countless of hours mind you."

How about sacking the incompetent higher ups that made them do all this SHIT in the first place? You want to solve the problem, you kill it at the source. And that means Wong Kan Seng needs to be fired for incompentence.

"Tell me then, who do you think is the best candidate to take up Mr Wong KS's position and could have prevented this cunning character from escaping? some member of the opposition parties? Or perhaps, ONE OF YOU PEOPLE?"

I think quite a few people are qualified for the job given how it's been handled. I mean, you have to be really bad to mess it up as much as the esteemed minister.

"You really are not helping by giving criticisms and more criticisms. leave the country and migrate elsewhere if it makes you shut your trap. Be happy! go away, so that you can save your energy for other stuff rather than harping on such issues."
Quite a few talented people have already done that. The real people who are capable of achieving and doing real things, many of them have left the country. It is precisely because of idiots like you that the country is in such a messed up situation right now. The country doesn't value real talent, just bootlickers, conformists and running dogs. People like you Sarah.

"let us not stop all these finger pointing and all, no one has denied responsibility so far, the silence is only temporary. The authorities will provide more details soon I guess, after Mas is caught."

Hahahaha! No one has denied responsibility? Are you sure? The authorities will provide more details soon? Why not now? How about a transparent, open and accountable government for once? You mean to tell me these morons are paid millions of dollars a year each and can't even provide any details of how it happened? Are they stupid? Incompetent? Or both?

- Mig 29

Anonymous said...

sarah said...

ok i may be slow in raising this topic here. but aren't the majority of you being entirely useless here by just complaining about the government?


Our media (ST, Channelnews Asia, TV) have already done a fine job of praising our government and Singapore.

This blog and the replies offer an alternative view to some of the issues affecting our daily lives, and so it's interesting and even enlightening.

If you're accustomed to only praises for Singapore and our great leaders, I suggest you visit http://www.youngpap.org.sg/.

Don't come into a restaurant offering spicy food and COMPLAIN the food is spicy.

Anonymous said...

Mig 29,
Well said. I agree with most of your points.

Sarah,

Do not confuse the issue. We empathise with our fellow Singaporeans out there, doing their duty. We did not ask for them to resign. Precisely to stop such a thing from happening again and again, that is why we are asking the one at the top to do so.
If we followed your advice and leave, then our places will be filled up by those foreign thrash who can just pack up and leave once Singapore goes up in flames.
Are you one of them?
Precisely it is because we want the truth to be out so incidents like the recent escapes and boo boos can be stopped from ever happening again that we want the right people to be in the committee for maximum transparency.
But your call for people to leave, physically or in spirit has not gone unheeded. I used to visit a blog that was so enlightening until the writer decided to stop blogging and gave up. What a pity. Just to share with other interested readers, here it is:-
http://matrixisland.blogspot.com/
Sarah, you may want to read it to enlighten your points of view.
I believe in freedom of thoughts and to a certain extent, speech. Only then, can the best ideas come forward. We cannot be creative if we are stifled. We can only be the best if we are diversified in our thinking and deeds.

Anonymous said...

Come one lah. Nothing is independent in Singapore.

Even if we take great pains to put some unrelated people in the commission. Because, they will either be bought over or voluntarily converted over by the promise of future golden age for himself.

Frankly, I have no faith in any Singaporean.

Even if Mr Wang is invited to the inquiry, he can only do 2 things:

1 decline (that's the safest option for himself)

2 say what they want to hear

Singapore is a joke. period.

Anonymous said...

Charles . .

Complaints, complaints, criticisms, criticisms, etc. Looking for a utopio or a shangri-la on earth? Well, Singapore is the place!

This is where we raise our kids and where employment opportunities are abundant (if you are not choosy) since independence.

Some blok heads tell us that this is not the work of the PAP government. to that joke, we say go tell it to the marines. We are not fools. The majority of Singaporeans (less the dissents) are not blind - SEEING IS BELIEVING. Look around the world and see the amount of miseries and poverty governments bring upon their people (btw, Hong Kong which isn't a sovereign country has mainland China as its hinterland).

This government has taken us so far since independence. Don't believe me. Look at its track record.

To the critics and empty vessels I say show us where on earth is there another place better than Singapore where even the free handouts of bumiputraism doesn't seem lure our Malay countrymen across except for the Chinese and Indian Malaysians who migrate here in droves.

Let's have the Commission of Inquiry and stop speculating or calling for our leaders to step down. Can you run the country with your mouths? Maybe Jeyaratam, Chiam, Low, Chee, etc. No lah. Not with our children's future and our lives! No thanks. We don't take unnecessary chances! This is not Kenya or . . .

We all all a bunch of useless, whining, sour grapes, aren't we?

An Ivy Leaguer said...

@Sarah:

I think I could do a better job than WKS, but since I'm not really much for making myself miserable, I guess I'd pass. Seriously though, WKS shouldn't be fired. If he had a sense of responsibility to his people and country, he'd apprehend our limping terrorist and THEN resigned, as atonement for his inability to deliver.

A dedicated, or at least responsible person in his position would admit that given this showing, he is not the best man for the job. Be it an opposition member, a fellow PAP member, or even a random member of the public - anyone can assume his role so long as they can do a better job.

This is not about disgruntled Singaporeans complaining about the government - it simply is the issue of whether WKS is the best candidate for the job. Given the enormity of his mistake, he obviously isn't that competent.

Do you hate your country that you would have an barely apologetic berk in charge of affairs?

Mr Wang Says So said...

"To the critics and empty vessels I say show us where on earth is there another place better than Singapore"

I request that you stop trying to distract my readers from the topic being discussed.

(And just for your information, Singapore is nowhere near the best places in the world to live in. See for example this:

http://www.citymayors.com/features/quality_survey.html

in this list of best cities to live in, Singapore is ranked behind:

Zurich, Geneva, Vancouver, Vienna, Auckland, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Bern, Sydney, Copenhagen Wellington, Amsterdam, Brussels, Toronto, Berlin, Melbourne, Luzembourg, Ottawa, Stockholm, Perth, Montreal, Nurnberg, Calgary, Hamburg, Oslo, Dublin, Honolulu, San Francisco, Adelaide, Helsinki, Brisbane and Paris.

If you go by countries, well, see here:

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/americas/9907/12/country.rank/index.html

Singapore is ranked behind:

Canada, Norway, United States, Japan, Belgium, Sweden, Australia, Netherlands, Iceland, Britain, France, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Italy, Ireland and Spain.

ANYWAY, please stick to the topic.

Anonymous said...

Today every one of us in Singapore is less safe because of this cock-up, so it's no wonder so many are calling for heads to roll. On the other hand, there are certain people who take a profoundly unserious attitude to this matter of national security, like it was merely an opportunity to redo Total Defence Day. Sigh.

Mr Wang's criticism of the so-called independent COI is completely apt, and his suggestions for improving it eminently reasonable. But I don't expect this government to have the good sense to follow through.

let us not stop all these finger pointing and all, no one has denied responsibility so far, the silence is only temporary. The authorities will provide more details soon I guess, after Mas is caught.

You mean IF Mas is caught, don't you? Looks like we got to get the Indonesians to help us out again.

-Data

Anonymous said...

'We are a hunch of useless, whinning, sour grapes, aren't we?'

Better than being a bunch of useless, castrated, bootlickers isn't it?

Mr Wang Says So said...

Another good person for the COI might be someone like Assoc Prof Kumar Ramakrishna.

He is the head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU.

He'd be much more appropriate than Choon May Ling, anyway.

Anonymous said...

"Complaints, complaints, criticisms, criticisms, etc. Looking for a utopio or a shangri-la on earth? Well, Singapore is the place!"

Indeed Singapore is heaven to the pap multi$million nincompoops and their cronies.
Complaints are good for the human souls. Without complains and criticisms, humankind will still be stucked in the stoneage. The Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment because he is not happy with his life as a prince.

"This is where we raise our kids and where employment opportunities are abundant (if you are not choosy) since independence."

Sure employment opportunities are abundant to the foreigners and youngsters. However look around and u see plenty of middleages still looking for a decent job.

"Some blok heads tell us that this is not the work of the PAP government. to that joke, we say go tell it to the marines. We are not fools. The majority of Singaporeans (less the dissents) are not blind - SEEING IS BELIEVING. Look around the world and see the amount of miseries and poverty governments bring upon their people (btw, Hong Kong which isn't a sovereign country has mainland China as its hinterland)."

Indeed look no further. The Indonesian villages can survive without any money but how r u going to do that in Singapore. The Indonesian villages are so happy that they are outproducing even the middleclass Singaporean.

"This government has taken us so far since independence. Don't believe me. Look at its track record."

You mean the track records of inprisoning pap opponents without trial like LIm Chin Siong. The underpaying of interests on Singaporeans' CPF balances. Paying themselves multi$million salaries?
Taking away of free medical we inherited from the British. Compulsory acquisition of Singaporeans' properties at way below market rates. Manipulating of the laws and elections.

"To the critics and empty vessels I say show us where on earth is there another place better than Singapore where even the free handouts of bumiputraism doesn't seem lure our Malay countrymen across except for the Chinese and Indian Malaysians who migrate here in droves."

Sure we now know that GCT quietly handed out massive amount of Singaporeans money to the Malays in order to buy their votes and loyalty. Why are Singaporeans migrating by the thousands every year ?

"Let's have the Commission of Inquiry and stop speculating or calling for our leaders to step down. Can you run the country with your mouths? Maybe Jeyaratam, Chiam, Low, Chee, etc. No lah. Not with our children's future and our lives! No thanks. We don't take unnecessary chances! This is not Kenya or . . ."

To retain Wong Kan Seng after such a serious mistake is to take chances with the security and future of Singapore and Singaporeans. Not to remove him will prove to Singaporeans that the pap are more interested in protecting one of their incompetent yes-man than in the security and future of Singapore and Singaporeans.

"We all all a bunch of useless, whining, sour grapes, aren't we?

March 4, 2008 11:38 AM"

Typical pap people - always look down upon Singaporeans. Over 40 years of power have removed the papist from the reality of life in Singapore.
Wong Kan Seng must go . Otherwise Singaporeans will have to conclude that the pap is extremely selfish in only wanting to protect one of their kind at whatever cost to Singapore and Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

"Complaints, complaints, criticisms, criticisms, etc. Looking for a utopio or a shangri-la on earth? Well, Singapore is the place!

This is where we raise our kids and where employment opportunities are abundant "

Precisely because this is the place that we raise our kids, I am incensed that the incompetencies of the present govt has now caused sleepless nights to us Singaporeans. We cannot just pack up and go like the foreigners. Imagine when the escaped terrorist comes back with a vengence, what will happen? As common citizens, we have to take public transport like the MRT. This guy has ever planned for such an attack on our transport system. What if he succeeds? There is no place for complacency. To reflect the seriousness of the situation, and to prevent future office bearers from resting on their laurels, an example must be made of WKS. He has to go for this simple reason.
As for your statement that employment opportunities are abundant, are you referring to the cleaning and security jobs? Do you know why so many Singaporeans are now working overseas, away from their families? Do you know how many professionals have yet to find jobs, and many resort to driving taxis, registering as self-employed managing directors and principal consultants but hardly making ends meet? Or are you merely referring to the official mouth piece of the govt who tells us that "commuters are happy with taxi stands in CBD" and "Singaporeans feel safe" even as news of the escape start surfacing?
Why are we so angry? Because we want fairness and transparency. We want a spade to be called a spade instead of a golden period! We want justice and fairness and transparency!!! and not fanciful marketing wizards to insult our intelligence. Singaporeans are not SHORT of it!!!

Anonymous said...

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/04/02/city-rankings-070402.html
Best cities of the world survey.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that all these things cannot happen just before elections??? Why always so 'zhun' a yr or so after elections and at least a yr or two before the next one???!!!

Philip

Anonymous said...

A S'porean is offering $8888 for info leading to the capture of Mas.

In contrast, the govt - which had billion dollars surplus - is only offering $1000.

This island is hopeless.

Anonymous said...

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/04/02/city-rankings-070402.html
Best cities of the world survey.

March 4, 2008 5:43 PM

Charles says: Be open. Be transparent abt it. Where's my posting? Where's my right to rebut and refute. Let others be the judge. Practise what you preach please. Isn't this a marketplace of people's opinions and views? Why be afraid yourself?

Mr Wang Says So said...

I decided not to publish your further comment about singapore being the best place in the world to live, because:

1. your point is repetitive;

2. your point is untrue;

and

3. your point is irrelevant.

Btw I have also rejected two comments from other readers who said very rude things about your earlier comment.

Simply because this thread is not about how much natural resources we have; or the size of Singapore's land area or why Singapore is only the 34th best city in the world to live in.

My post is entitled "The Independence of the Inquiry Commission". Do feel free to share your thoughts on that.

Anonymous said...

So, Charles, you have said enough of the resources or whatever of Singapore. Now, as Mr Wang has said, people here like to know what are your opinions of the independence of the Commission. Are you also afraid to make some comments on this issue? Is Dr Choong the right person?

Talk to your supervisor and check if you are able to comment on this issue.

Anonymous said...

What has Singapore being the best place to live got to do with incompetence? So with a terrorist walking out of a high security detention centre and making a fool out of our self proclaimed supermen make us a better place to live. I was glad many Singaporean felt that a reward to capture Mas was against the basic principle of duty to the nation. This is what I call duty and moral authority. I remember the days when ministers offered to quit in the name of honour and some did. That is why we are the supposed best place to live. We had men who placed their honour and duty before monetary gains and took responsibility for the men their governed.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to the arguments of PAP loyalists, there is a very good reason why Wong Kan Seng must be fired(or resign).
He has demonstrated his incompetence in a number of occasions, including the one happening right now. The government always claims that they pay the best salaries in the world because they hire the best people. Well, this clearly isn't the case. Also, removing him from the job will prevent such an incompetent person will messing up in the future. This will benefit everyone since we do not want a person causing anymore damage to the country. Hence, removing him isn't just empty talk or a cynical complaint, it is an action that works for the greater good of every citizen. For the safety of the citizens and the prevention of future cockups by this incompetent person, he needs to go.

- Mig 29

Anonymous said...

Security is such an important issue to Singapore. The government has been exhorting Singaporeans of all walks of life to participate in Total defence. Mindef spends huge resources protecting Jurong Island and other facilities against terrorists of which Mas Selamat is supposed to be the greatest threat. Mindef has even dedicated an entire active battalion 6 SIR to protect against such people. Now that MHA has allowed Mas to escape and for some bloggers here, it is no big deal.

Is Mindef over-vealous or is MHA sleeping?

Anonymous said...

That these three people appointed to the Commission of Inquiry are competent is beyond doubt. The problem is whether they will indeed ask the really 'right questions', bearing in mind that all three still have strong ties with the administration as someone pointed out.

As an example, the obviously reputable auditors of GIC and Temasek are competent, but after years of asking the so-called 'right questions' which all auditors are supposed to, they cannot even furnish a complete picture of Temasek's assets which former President Ong asked for. So, what were they doing as auditors? Obviously some sensitive questions were not asked or having asked them they were not given any answers, perhaps quoting confidentiality.

You know our Home Affairs Minister already said that after the Inquiry, some things may not be revealed. That makes Singaporeans even more skeptical of what the Commission of Inquiry is going to accomplish. Just to exonerate someone? Maybe.

black feline said...

wonder when the trinity will make their grand entry to give their 2cents on the escapade...dont be surprised if they tell us: Let's Move On!

Kaffein said...

Can we handle the brutal truth?

I think this 'escape' is planned and conspired at a very high level of secrecy. Can you see the coolness of the senior PAP members?

I am very certain that this guy is still behind bars in some remote, ulu area where he is being grilled to confess details.

Of course this shouldn't be done by any developed nations, should it? But then, Singapore is a very special developed nation.

Another theory I have is they have let him go to trace his roots/his members. I mean this guy will be mentally tortured, or brainwashed so much that he will need to seek out his 'friends' to find his own identity back.

If the powers to be had brainwashed a 4.8 million people population that they are the only true party that will be best for the nation, who is this guy who can go against the powers to be?

LOL. I'd think there will be a report of finding his body in some swampy waters where he 'tried' to swim across.

*shrug* No sympathy from me either way.

Kaffein

Anonymous said...

Really, no one should be blamed for being sceptical or even suspect the Indenpendence of the Commission.

All indications seem to point out the facts that it seems MHA made the selections and appointment of the Panel comprising the Said three Members. And unfortunately one member has to be a Senior Officer from MHA.

Up to this point in time, Minister Wong Kan Sengs' superior officers, namely; the Prime Minister, Senior Minister and Mentor Minister have not made any official statement regarding the Escape of Mas Selamat. Minister Wong Kan Seng appears to be calling the shots, presumably because he himself is a Deputy Prime Minister as well as the Home Affairs Minister.

MHA is the Official Agency for the Security and Law Enforcements in the Country. It includes the legal, proper detentions of undesirables and ensuring detainees do not breach the Laws.

Minister Wong KS as the Home Affairs Minister, has been called upon by many to be accountable for the Escape and to resign voluntarily as a self responsible head of his Ministry. He has not done so as called, not that he has to, but instead he seems to be conversely having more says over the Incident. This is quite queer.
By the patriot.

orange said...

haha im a newbie here. well, never knew Singapore gahman would allow that... so much for independent investigation - to include a member of MHA in it. sighs.

anyway,
refering Anon 3rd march:
to put "Chee on Inquiry Commission".
im sure Chee, who is over zealous will leave no stone unturned and give the public the TRUE coverage of what happened. already, he has valid retorts to the info that WKS has released.

however, his history of defamation, bankruptcy, imprisonment etc.... kinda discredits him. even if he uncovers the truth, will the public give him credit or just shove his opinions aside?

Anonymous said...

When the Commission completes its report, some parts will NOT be revealed to the public, as mentioned by the government. It means that those sensitive parts will be classified as official secrets. So, when the "independent" Commission was announced by WKS, he probably did not tell us that COI is for the government and the report is for them to review, not for the complete public viewing.

The public will probably be told that MSK escaped by climbing out of some window but will not revealed the procedures of supervision (by detention centre's guards) leading from his cell to his family visitation area. This may expose a lot about the centre.

The guard(s) will not be revealed but it will be mentioned that they had been dealt with.

PS: Funny that when there are government troubles, all the major ministers are not around to make any statement.

When there are trumpets to blow, all come out to self-praise. Where are these ministers now? Such a shame, hiding behind the media.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wang,

Anon 10:23 here, and I would like to clarify what I wrote. I'm definitely not a critic of your blog out to make trouble, and I apologise if you or your readers thought so.

My remark on finding a truly independent committee was simply a tongue-in-cheek comment poking fun at the use of the word "independent".

If you look at our government's track record of naming "independent" committees: Who helms the presidential elections committee? Who advices the president on the appointment of the judges of our independent judiciary? The potential for a conflict of interest is just a little more obvious in this case.

Cheers,

Anonymous said...

Orange wrote:
refering Anon 3rd march:
to put "Chee on Inquiry Commission".
im sure Chee, who is over zealous will leave no stone unturned and give the public the TRUE coverage of what happened. already, he has valid retorts to the info that WKS has released.

however, his history of defamation, bankruptcy, imprisonment etc.... kinda discredits him. even if he uncovers the truth, will the public give him credit or just shove his opinions aside?

Dear Orange,
I agree with the first part that CSJ will leave no stone unturned but disagree that his history of defamation, bankruptcy and imprisonment discredit him. In fact, that should make him more qualified to do the job as he is "hands-on" having been there before and experience it first hand. In any case, the objective should be to leave no stone unturn. The judging can be left to others.
first find the facts and ensure no possibility of cover up. The judging can be left to another high powered committee.

Anonymous said...

Question: If a screw up of such mammoth extent occurs in other countries, don't you think they will make the leader bear all consequences?

Touch wood if this guy succeeds in a terrorist attack on Singapore later on, or even anywhere else in the world, I wonder what lousy excuses they will use...

Anonymous said...

PS: Funny that when there are government troubles, all the major ministers are not around to make any statement.

When there are trumpets to blow, all come out to self-praise. Where are these ministers now? Such a shame, hiding behind the media.

Good observation but nothing new, if you look back at history, even that which has been rewritten, it will show that the person in power was never around in periods of crisis like the riots and so on...

Anonymous said...

The Japanese people are also asking their Defence Minister to resign because one of their warship had collided with a fishing boat off the Vietnamese Coast. There was another collision earlier involving Japanese Warship.

So far, I have not read of any reaction from the Japanese Cabinet and the Defence Minister himself. Although he(Japanese Minister) did not command the Frigate involved in the Accident, he is held accountable by the Japanese people.

How the Japanese Cabinet is going to resolve the Matter with their citizens, including the possibility of having their own commission of inquiry, can be a good lesson for us to emulate.

Whatever befalls the Japanese Defence Chief should be a good example for our own minister(s) to emulate.

family man said...

I think we should accept the commision as it is. We should not continue to paint the ministers in bad light. This will allow more citizens to get agitated and possibly allow more opposition members to come into parliament. The prime minister will then have to spend time fixing the opposition instead of fixing the electorate, the citizens. How is he going to think up more ways to raise the GST to help the poor? Introduce means testing to punish the middle class to 'help the poor' and introduce CPF Life so that father and wife can continue to buy more Citibank shares and other 'cheap' shares. No, we should be happy with our ministers. They take good care of us. PS I much prefer to have all my CPF back at age 55, not annuity for me please. Can we petition again?

geriatric_eunuch said...

Asked to elaborate on the 'physical breach', he said: 'You will have to wait until the investigation is over.' Pressed further on whether the breach was part of the structure at the detention centre, Mr Wong replied: 'You will know that later on.' He would not give further details.

"Mr Wong said the system at the detention centre will have to be examined to get to the bottom of what happened and to prevent repeat incidents.
He added that he will decide on the parts of the committee's findings that can be made public.
'Definitely, the public will want to know how he escaped and what has been done to deal with the problem, and that part I will tell the public,' he said.
But sensitive information relating to operational procedures will probably remain classified."


Screw-up? What Screw-up? You must be delirious. We don't do no steenking screw-ups!

BTW, not so much as a peep from Ministers Mentor, Senior, and Prime. So this minor incident is probably unimportant and you're all overcome by irrational hysteria. Move along now, nothing to see here.

Anonymous said...

Watch this and decide for yourself.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0TSNy3Yk50

Sing Republic said...

The worst part of this whole fiasco is that until now, we do not know how Mas managed to escape from the toilet.

So will the COI really be out to give us more information, or actually, be out to suppress the truth.

Don't blame us for being skeptical. The dearth of information in this time of crisis does not exactly inspire the confidence of us common citizens.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Watch this and decide for yourself.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0TSNy3Yk50
March 6, 2008 8:18 AM"

Thank you. What revelation. Guess only people from the outside can see and appreciate how Singapore was won. I really fear for the future. Lao Lee is going into the nineties. He's still at it today - seeking out the Middle East for Singapore.

History has shown nation-states don't last. In fact, we are the last of the Mohicans. Apart from Malaysia, already some far right Indonesians are calling for the Natuna gas supplies to be cut off from Singapore if Singapore doesn't kowtow to them, after chasing the profitable ST investment in Indonesia.

Pray we have a strong leadership and government who is able to maneuver Singapore in this geo-political setting where envious neighbours have no qualms in finding opportunities to bring our economy down to their level. Human nature I guess.

Sophie said...

OMG! I really did have respect for the SPF until now. A mere "honest mistake" ??? It's so heavy for it to be a honest mistake! And they earn so much to be 'efficient ministers' ? Tsk! It's more than a week and the fugitive is still at large. I'm still baffled as to how he, a LIMP man, escaped from a detention centre...

The government is really... no words to say.

What could make it more effective is to put up more posters and in more languages especially around the construction areas, he could blend in easily with them. The "WANTED" posters should be in Bangladeshi, Thai, Myanmar and Indonesian languages... That would make it even more effective in making the public aware. Especially foreign workers... Singapore is just a dot. Can't get him still? I'm sure Malaysia and Indonesia must be laughing at us... Half the time people don't read 'latest' news only until the next day... Ugh! I know I'm being loh soh... But I'm not happy! )-:

Anonymous said...

With so many citizen demanding WKS to resign, it will be no surprise that WKS will succumb to the demand til the report released at 1 month later, which is exactly 1 April. So WKS will resign on April Fool day as Minister of Security but then rehired as Minister of WangYang.

He will simply be retransfered to other duty, and as good as no resignation because it fall on April Fool day. He still has his million dollars pay check monthly and his arrogant smile.

Anonymous said...

Fully agree on your point. It's an effort by the gov that they are doing an investigation 'independently'. There is definitely a conflict of interest here.

Anonymous said...

If we had world class gahment & airport, why not world class cleaners and security guards, since many had years of working experiences before became cleaners and security. Possibly devise special courses for them?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wang,

Thank you for the opportunity to know better how Singaporeans share their thoughts on issues of common interest. I have lost touch with the Singapore scene for over two decades it's refreshing to be able to follow the discussions in your blog, thanks to the wonder of ICT and the freedom of speech cyberspace provides.

Would like to post some comments but after having spent time reading through all the comments with not a moment of boredom coming out of it, I'm off to the polling station in a little while to vote in Malaysia's 12th General Election.

Born_Bred_Brought_up_Sg_style

geriatric_eunuch said...

I wonder if the Mas Selamat Kastari débâcle has in fact done Singaporeans a huge favour? It has forced, after 11 days of paralytic silence, one of the 3 wise monkeys to finally break cover and admit smug 'complacency' and that 'it is stupid to believe we are infallible'.

Citizens are entitled, therefore, to question how our authorities would cope when confronted with, say, a terrorist outrage like the Madrid train bombing or the 7/7 London bus/tube attack or the Bali nightclub massacre. Recall that our no-nonsense heroes had no clue that a JI sleeper cell existed in Singapore until alerted by the Americans sifting through captured Taliban documents.

Since a high ying-yang garmen representative has confessed to it being slightly less than perfect, this also raises some rather interesting questions. What other 'infallible' decisions have been made which might reasonably be suspect? Is the determination to stack the 'Independent' Commission of Inquiry deck unwise? Might the GST hike to help the poor be a gross error? Could the decision to sequester even more of a worker's CPF to provide for their 80s be highly questionable? Is it really stupid to flood a 700 sq. km country with a million more foreign talent PRs? And (shock! horror!) could it possibly be that paying top dollar salaries buys you not necessarily top quality but rather top opportunists who are only in it for the beer? Hmm.

Are we in serious danger of becoming like those despised European countries with 'mediocre' governments, one wonders? After all, they have their Ivan the Terrible, Vlad The Impaler and Catherine The Great while we have our Harry The Horrible, Peanuts Goh, Lousy Loong, Clueless Khaw, Calamity Wong, and now our Magic Mas.

Answers on a postcard to Mr. Wang please.

Anonymous said...

So long as the Rulers are placing themselves further apart from their ruled, it can be said that total national security is doomed.

The Leaders should know whether they themselves are willing to sacrifice for the people and the country. My personal take is that they(Rulers) care more for their own wealth and fame.

How does the public react to the selfish manifestations of the Leadership? Well the People RESPONDED(RESPONDING) with apathy towards everything. You mati your pasa(it's your own business), we are struggling to make our own ends meet. After all You(Leaders) are paid so high and it is YOUR DUTY to make sure YOU PERFORM to commensurate with YOUR REMUNERATIONS!

Armed Personnels in Singapore are but only working for an income too. National Service; only morons like to do it. Most who have done it and doing it now have little positive feelings for it. They either HATE or DISLIKE being conscripted(by force) and the trainnings and reservist duty that followed. YOU WANT OUR YOUNG MEN WHO HATED NATIONAL SERVICE TO BE LOYAL? You must be a very good joker, but do not joke on the wellbeings of the State and its' People.

The Leaders got to earn some respects before the People are willing to co-operate. This is a 'PRAGMATIC ERA' much to the credits of our PRAGMATIC LEADERSHIP for the past four decades.

So, my call to the Leadership; be less pragmatic, self centred, want less of self-importance and fame. The People will react positively, it is as simple as when you earn the respects, respects will and shall be accorded. Conversely, then You see scorn, swear and antagonism.

As Leaders, You have the rights to choose to be liked, love and revered or be hated and cursed. The ball is in your court.

Potassium said...

Hmm, it's the 12th day already and still no signs for the missing suspect. Somehow I got a feeling that he is already gone from Singapore.

Malaysia has a uproar yesterday with their elections. I wonder if this issue, together others such as the peanuts and golden tap case in 2005 will actually make people wake up and face the reality? Perhaps not, but I still hope that such a day will arrive, since our neighbours have shown us their hunger for change.

porcorosso said...

There's a conspiracy theory that Mr Wang has been detained in exchange for Mas Selamat. This is clearly not true as I saw Mr Wang having lunch today. So Mr Wang, was it you at Asian Kitchen or was it Mas Selamat disguised as you? I'm confused.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Haha, porco, were you around? Didn't see you. You should have come by to say hi.

Anonymous said...

Slightly out of topic, but can ISD be sue for negligence for financial losses incurred due to the escape?

kang said...

"Today, everyone is housed comfortably, water at the turn of the tap, job opportunities abound, schools for our kids, buses, MRT, etc. You name it.

I can tell you this is magic for a resourceless, 700 sq km island on planet Earth! Show me another, please."

i din wan to comment but that sarah post force my hand

harping on history.. hmm... how abt Beckham managed to bring England to WC2002 virtually on his own. so england did not make it to euro08 becos mcclaren ditch him?

Mr Wang Says So said...

Yup ....

Sarah also forgets that Singapore has no natural disadvantages. What I mean is that we don't have to spend tens or hundreds of millions of dollars every few years to deal with natural disasters like earthquakes; tsunamis; avalanches; volcanic eruptions; hurricanes; tornadoes; blizzards etc.

Which are a fact of life in other countries.

Anonymous said...

And the bigger the country the more difficult it is to govern in terms of development, security, housing, job creation, etc. The fact that we are so small make us look good in every respect compared to bigger countries, but our problems are nowhere near what bigger countries have to contend with, like, for example Indonesia, where earthquakes happened almost every other day.

Anonymous said...

If you are humble, people will come to your help even if you make mistakes.

If you are arrogant, people will try every opportunity to pick on you even if you do not mistakes.

The moral of the story, be humble, sincere and truthful to the aspiration of the common people because when it comes to the crunch, their blessing is truly needed even sometimes they may not have much to offer.

That is life and that is human nature.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that the People of Singapore believe or accept the Independence of the Inquiry Commission as long as the panel comprises Civil Servants, ex Civil Servants and any 'Government Man'(Chenghu Lang).