Too bad the Ministry of Home Affairs doesn't have common sense.
ST April 21, 2008The above report raises many questions in my mind. I'm sure it raises many questions in your minds too, dear readers. Overall, the security just seems so lax. Jurong Bird Park keeps its birds under tighter security.
Gone in 49 seconds
That is the time it took for terrorist Mas Selamat to leap to freedom, in a re-enactment of his daring escape after he got out of the toilet in the Whitley Road detention centre.
By Ian Lim
IN THE executive summary on the report of Mas Selamat Kastari's escape from Whitley Road Detention Centre (WRDC) on Feb 27, the Committee of Inquiry (COI) found that the detainee could have made his escape on Feb 27 in 49 seconds.
In a re-enactment requested by the COI, a Gurkha guard took 49 seconds to retrace Mas Selamat's possible escape route from the detention centre.
An unsecured window in the toilet of the visitors block allowed him to make the prison breakout.
The executive summary was released by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng in Parliament on Monday.
On Feb 27, the COI found Mas Selamat was taken out of his cell for his family visit scheduled for 4pm to 4.30pm at the Family Visitation Block.
At 3.35pm, two Gurkha guards escorted him to a locker room to change into civilian clothes.
After changing into a light yellow baju kurung and greenish-grey pants, he was escorted by the two guards and a woman Special Duty Operative (SDO) - a junior Internal Security Department (ISD) officer - to the Family Visitation block at 3.54pm.
He asked to use the toilet next to the family visit room to shave and comb his hair.
One guard stood outside the toilet while the other followed him inside.
Mas Selamat used the urinal cubicle and closed the door. He flipped his pants over the ledge above the door. He left the tap running.
After a few minutes, the guard felt that Mas Selamat was taking too long. He alerted the other guard standing outside the toilet, who then reported to the SDO outside the toilet. The SDO asked a male Assistant Case Officer to check on the toilet.
At 4.05pm, the male SDO kicked open the door of the urinal cubicle, Mas Selamat was not inside.
The ventilation window pane located above this urinal cubicle had been swung open.
An immediate alert was raised that Mas Selamat had escaped.
The COI found that Mas Selamat had about 11 minutes between 3.54pm and 4.05 pm to make his escape.
The COI believes that while in the cubicle, Mas Selamat climbed onto the ledge located just below the ventilation window, pushed open the window and squeezed himself through it.
He probably held on to a water pipe running vertically down the external wall of the toilet.
The COI received forensic evidence from CID that smudges were found on the water pipe, although there were no conclusive fingerprints. A packet of seven rolls of toilet paper was found on the ground, which he could have used to break his fall.
There were also two CCTV cameras mounted where Mas Selamat climbed out, but they were not switched on as they were part of the CCTV system upgrading and the system was still in its testing stage.
There is no conclusive evidence of the exact route Mas Selamat took to escape.
The COI's view is that he was likely to have used a route 20m to the right of the ventilation window, where the inner and outer perimeter fences converged with the enclosed staircase and walkway.
Mas Selamat would have scaled the fence, climbed onto the roof of the enclosed staircase and walkway, and jumped over the converged perimeter fences.
Your comments, please.