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Apr 23, 2008

Gone In 49 Seconds

The much anticipated findings of the Committee of Inquiry (COI) on Mas Selamat's escape from the Whitley Road Detention Centre were presented by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng in Parliament.

The Executive Summary of the report concluded that a confluence of three critical factors led to security lapses, enabling the JI detainee to escape.

-The Gurkha Contingent guard escorting Mas Selamat did not stop Mas Selamat from closing the urinal cubicle door in the Family Visitation Block toilet;

-The ventilation window in the urinal cubicle had not been secured by grilles (seen here in the photo); and

-The weakness in the perimeter fencing where the outer and inner perimeter fences converged with an enclosed staircase and walkway leading to the Family Visitation Block was not detected.

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.

That was it? A grill-less toilet window, some complacent guards and physical lapses presented the fugitive his chance to be on the run for the last 8 weeks.

Granted no system is perfect and fool-proof. But what are the chances that these imperfections lining up perfectly for such a farce to happen? It's happened, so what to do?

2 comments:

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