After more than a month (don't so impatient, I know they promised in a month. Maybe had to choose a font leh?), we can now know what we are allowed to know about how Mas Selamat escaped from Whitley Road Detention Centre (WRDC). This from the Executive Summary by the COI, or Committee of Inquiry:
-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.
My first question was: Why such a lapse from the Gurkhas? Just come back from holiday then got holiday mood ah?
And another interesting bit:
"A packet of 7 rolls of toilet paper was found on the ground adjacent to the external wall, which he could have used to break his fall when he descended."
See lah, sabo leh. Next time all the toilet rolls will be accounted for, and all toilet users will be given a fixed amount of toilet paper, like those 20-cents per entry toilets with the cranky auntie outside.
Other bits of interest:
-The two GC guards and the SDO escorting Mas Selamat failed to respond immediately and decisively when they noticed Mas Selamat was taking too long in the urinal cubicle;
-The Special Duty Operative (a junior ISD officer) escorting Mas Selamat failed to check if Mas Selamat had changed out of his WRDC-issued attire into his civilian clothes. The COI believes that Mas Selamat must have been wearing at least two layers of clothing when he emerged from the Locker Room; and
-No one was actively monitoring the two CCTV cameras covering the outer and inner perimeter fences at the rear of the Family Visitation Block.
That is most unlike Singapore to have faulty CCTVs or unmanned ones. The Election Department's CCTVs are a shining example of working ones.
Note: The above NOT a photo of the CCTV at WRDC. Just an example of poor CCTV placement.
Apparently, the Superintendent of the WRDC thought that sawing off the handle of the toilet window was enough, no need to grill it up, because he thought the guards would always have line of sight of the detainees.
The guards thought that even without line of sight, it would be ok, because they thought the toilet was secure enough.
As our Sergeants used to scream at us in National Service: "You think, I thought, who confirm?"
All the while I thought maybe he got away in something like the following:
But I was wrong. It was nothing THAT sophisticated. It was just an ungrilled window, a closed door, and 7 rolls of toilet paper.
-Text version available at Simply Jean's blog