I am a little surprised at how things turned out to be. I thought the incident was purely an accident and that no one will be punished. However, now we have the center head being sacked and the rest all demoted with a pay cut. Even the ISD’s command director whom the superintendent report to is also being relieve of his duties.

Hmm… the news came too sudden. Don’t know what to make of it.

THE superintendent of the Whitley Road Detention Centre has been sacked, while his deputy was demoted, with a pay cut.

These disciplinary actions were taken against them for the security lapses that led to the escape of Jemaah Islamiah detainee Mas Selamat Kastari.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng disclosed this in Parliament on Monday.

Formal disciplinary inquiries were set up aftet the incident to find out who was accountable for Mas Selamat’s escape.

Both the superintendent and his deputy were the most senior officers in charge of the ground management of the detention centre.

They were among six Internal Security Department (ISD) officers charged over the escape.

Two other Gurkha officers were also disciplined after admitting their mistakes.

They got demoted.

Mas Selamat escaped from a ventilation window with no grilles in a toilet at the detention centre on Feb 27.

He is still at large.

The superintendent should have instructed the renovation contractor to install grilles on the ventilation window, said Mr Wong.

By asking for the handle of the window to be sawn off, mistakenly believing that it was a sufficient security measure, he made a serious error.

The superintendent and his deputy have also been held accountable for the lack of supervision over the subordinate officers implicated in the escape, added Mr Wong.

The ISD’s command director – whom the superintendent reported to – was also relieved of his duties on Apr 24, said Mr Wong.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 26th May 2008

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