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



Reader's Comments

  1. Aprilbull | May 26th, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    In my personal point of view, i think these actions (disciplinary actions) are a waste of time, resources and manpower. It is just to account for an unfortunate incidents that happened. So, are our officals in these Leadership position just to be seated there waiting to be removed when there is problem? It has been demonstrated repetitively from previous issues (dunking incident remember?)
    It just bring down the morale of the force. Moreover, changing of Leadership require time and effort from all, top down to the bottom heirachy in term of adjustment to new duties and policies. In these sense, are they moving forward or just staying in the same difficult position?
    I not saying that we should forgive and forget about disciplinary actions, but i think there is no need to go to such an extent.
    There is also many bindsight bias in these issue.
    The sentences:”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.”

    If you are the superintendent, will you foresee these problems given your everyday tasks and seemingly trival issues. (If superintendent are to look into design of windows, my gosh, what are they really being paid to do)

    Do not mistake me defending those officers, I just voicing out my views. Not that i hope it will be heard, just want it to be shared.

  2. Onlooker | May 28th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Mas Selamat Who?
    And they still haven’t found what they are looking for πŸ™‚
    sad πŸ™

  3. Dayn Ang | August 19th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    mas selamat cute or not i think not

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