Monday, 19 May 2008
Catch Mas Selamat? Send Iron Man
Not long after Mas Selamat's escape on 27 Feb, I wanted to write a column about it.
But I was worried that the authorities would suddenly get their act together, catch the guy and put an end to our national embarrassment before my article came out, thus rendering it obsolete.
I expressed my concern to a colleague who scoffed dismissively with a cynicism that only a long-time New Paper journalist could muster. "As if," she said.
That was 11 weeks ago. I needn't have worried.
Mas Selamat is still at large, even though he's not in the news much these days, dominated in turn by seat belts, killer cyclones and earthquakes, not to mention killer grocery prices.
He's not even the most famous man in Singapore anymore. That honour belongs to Iron Man this week. (Cue Black Sabbath.)
I mean what news is there to report about Mas Selamat since the sage culminated in the big reveal in Parliament last month that he climbed out the toilet window of the Whitley Road Detention Centre?
Not exactly the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters - like say, Iron Man.
It was an anti-climatic climax that provided no closure whatsoever because, well, we still haven't caught the guy. Maybe we should send Iron Man. (Sing it, Ozzy!)
How is it possible that we could apprehend that 20-year-old National Serviceman who went AWOL with a SAR-21 rifle within 24 hours last September, but not a mole-faced middle-aged escaped detainee with a limp?
That's what leading to conspiracy theories, like the one Opposition MP Low Thia Khiang brought up in Parliament that Mas Selamat had died in detention.
To some, it's more reasonable and perhaps more comforting to believe in a successful government cover-up than a failed island-wide manhunt by the security forces on which our nation's defence depends.
Despite the authorities' insistence on the contrary, many take it for granted that if Mas Selamat hasn't gone from this earth, he has at least gone from this country.
This is based on no more evidence than the simple fact that he hasn't been found yet. Because if he's still here, Singapore is so small that we would've found him already.
I beg to differ. My niece is getting married next month and she is not sending me a cake. Why? Because she lives in Bedok and I live in Choa Chu Kang. She said it was too far for her to travel. Clearly, Singapore isn't so small after all.
Now I just hope they don't catch Mas Selamat before this column comes out.
TRENDING POSTS OF THE WEEK
A long time ago, I met Mr Lui Tuck Yew when he was nobody. Okay, he wasn’t exactly nobody at the time. He was the outgoing Chief of Navy. ...
A few days ago, my former employer, MediaCorp, announced the surprise resignation of its chief executive officer, Lucas Chow. So what ...
I suppose you’ve heard the big Joanne Peh news by now. I, too, was caught by surprise like everyone else although in retrospect, I should’...
I first met Darryl David at Gurmit Singh's wedding dinner in 1995. David's date was a woman named Lynette Pang , who was a stag...
Remember in February when SMRT won some international award for “delivering value through risk management”? You should because I wrote a...
Okay, I surrender. I admit it. I was wrong. In April last year, I wrote a column called “ So is Joanne Peh really going out with Qi Yuwu? ...
Two years ago, when celebrity radio deejay Glenn Ong revealed that he was dating fellow MediaCorp deejay Jean Danker after splitting fro...
Dear producers of Code Of Law , My condolences on your new Channel 5 drama series. As a former TV producer for Channel 5 myself, I sympath...
Last month, my wife posed for pictures with a topless male model at the entrance of Abercrombie & Fitch on Orchard Road. Because he pu...
When I learnt that Vernetta Lopez ’s autobiography Memoirs Of A DJ: Life In Progress was published last week, I rushed to the nearest major...