The facts are slowing being leaked to tease all and everybody is joining the dance. The Malaysians since Friday are releasing bit by tantalising bit. At this point, we know that Mas Selamat was caught sleeping in Skudai (he is also complacent), and he swam over from Singapore using a still undisclosed flotation device (coast guard is going to face the music) and at least 2 people aided him (the JI bunch is still active). The Malaysians arrested him last month and both governments kept the matter under wraps so that they could observe and nab as many Jemaah Islamiah cadres as they could when the time came.
What was not said is what information was provided by Singapore that led to this manhunt closure. We can only guess that Mas Selamat must have finally somehow told his family members in Singapore that he is safe. And word got around eventually (remember there is a huge reward), leading to his recapture on 1 April. However, we will never know the truth.
Mohammad Hassan Saynudin, Mas Selamat’s comrade-in-arms who is jailed in Indonesia, verified Mas Selamat’s commitment and plan to attack Singapore, and when the Malaysians swooped in, the escapee was already plotting some lethal mischief. Singaporeans should be relieved that the joint operation between Malaysia and Singapore paid off. Although I might be mistaken, I don’t think it is a case of one government snatching credit from the other as some bloggers have accused. Provoking Malaysia now would not be in Singapore’s interest as the Malaysians can choose to reveal embarrassing information about the Singapore escape if they are backed into a corner. Hence, Gerald Giam was a bit unfair by speculating that Singapore forcefully took the credit for the capture. Unsurprisingly, it is common for bloggers to jump at any action the government did or did not do as against public interest anyway.
Nevertheless, the revelation of Mas Selamat’s swim across the straits show that PCG might have been sleeping on the job. This is one of the many humiliating questions that will come up as bits and pieces of how Mas Selamat escaped is released by Malaysia in the coming days. Wong Kan Seng should brace himself for impact.