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Monday, April 21, 2008

Mas Selamat's Escape : Amazing 11 minutes!

civil servant mentality : Ventilation window with handle sawn off

I was at the Parliamentary meeting this afternoon to listen to DPM and Minister for Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng's presentation of the Committee of Inquiry Findings on Mas Selamat's Escape.

My jaws dropped as I listened to the full details of Mas Selamat's escape, I find it so incredible and dramatic, just like in a movie. 11 minutes was all it took for Mas Selamat to escape via the toilet's ventilation window, which was not secured properly.

When I first heard of Mas Selamat's escape on the news, I was extremely shocked. How could this happen in Singapore? Well... it did and Mas Selamat has been on the run for more than 7 weeks now.

I don't doubt the credibility of this report. We do have civil servants who are that stupid in our various ministries. People who know me, know I hate our civil service where its staff have a typical civil servant mentality. It's over-confidence that leads to such complacency.

At a time like this, I doubt DPM Wong is running away, ducking or covering up this serious matter. It would have a detrimental effect on the security of Singapore. DPM Wong assured Singaporeans that disciplinary actions would be taken against not only the junior officers but to go up the chain of command and include the supervisory and management levels as well. There is a proper process for disciplinary action under civil service and Police Force rules and this must take its course.

I almost could not sit in the Parliament session this afternoon because I requested to "sit in the public gallery facing PM Lee Hsien Loong". A young Chinese Cisco guard shook his hands at his Malay colleague when he heard my request. The Malay Cisco guard then told me, "The public gallery is full."

I was stunned because I noticed that the the box holding Identity Cards was half empty. I asked him, "Are you sure? The whole gallery? What about the other side?" He replied,"All full."

When I started to protest, a senior Malay Parliament staff stepped forward and said,"May I look at your attire, Mdm? ...... Sorry, you cannot go in because you are not properly dressed. You are wearing track pants."

I argued that I had entered Parliament twice in this same pair of track pants but he brushed that aside as "probably they overlooked" and then ignored me.

Undaunted, I went to Peninsula Plaza to buy a pair of long pants, changed into them and went back to Parliament again. I was given a pass. When I entered the public gallery, I discovered that it was quite empty.

I'm annoyed that the Malay Cisco guard lied to me. If I wasn't allowed to pick and choose my seat, he could have told me so. If it is due to security reasons, he could have been frank with me. I made time to attend today's Parliament session but was denied entry for no apparent reason. This again is civil servant mentality at work.

10) What is the acceptable dress code? Visitors are requested to dress modestly and not to come in shorts, jeans, round-neck T-shirts or slippers.

Forgot to publish this but this was included in my email to Parliament Secretariat on 22/4/08, it has yet to reply :

A Japanese visitor who was sitting on my left, wore a golf T-shirt and a pair of golf pants with red lines running down the sides. Isn't that sports attire?

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