Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Toilet With A View - COI Report on MSK Escape

The COI report is out and Wong Kan Seng has delivered his statement in parliament this afternoon. I’ve looked through the speech and I must say that im shocked, dumbfounded and stupefied. Here are some of snippets of the speech and my reactions to them.

A Toilet with a view

Para 23 – […] ISD had instructed the vendor to install grilles for all windows. But when the renovation works were carried out in 2007, this toilet ventilation window was not grilled up. This arose due to a difference in understanding between ISD and the vendor over exactly which windows were to be secured with grilles.
If the instructions were for ALL windows to be grilled, how can there be a misunderstanding over exactly WHICH windows?? This calls into question the Government’s tendering processes and selection criteria. Were the contractors the cheapest tender? Have they been used for other installations of national interest?

How many guards does it take to knock a door?

Para 16 to 17 – […] After a few minutes, the guard felt that Mas Selamat was taking too long. He alerted the other guard standing outside the toilet, who then turned to the Special Duty Operative who was outside. The Special Duty Operative, who is female, subsequently asked Mas Selamat’s male Assistant Case Officer to check on Mas Selamat as he was in a male toilet.
The COI correctly pointed out that the guards failed in their duties. But even I can tell you that! The first gurkha should have knocked to ask why was he taking so long (he did not). The second gurkha should have asked the first gurkha to do that (he did not). The female officer should have asked the gurkhas to do that (she did not). How many guards does it take to knock a door? Apparently the answer is 4.

Now you see it, no you don’t

Para 31 is rather long so I shall just summarize it as: there were 2 cctv cameras mounted where Mas climbed out. But there was no recording or active monitoring. But they are very good cameras because they were being upgraded with motion-detectors. But they were not fixed yet.

I really have to question the Ministry’s budget allocation. Equipping cctv cameras with motion detectors most definitely does not come cheap. But this is money well spent if they are turned on wouldn’t you think. What really bugs me is that if you are already spending so much to upgrade the surveillance systems, why be stingy with backups or redundancy systems. Couldn’t the old systems remain active while testing new ones?

The buck stops with you, not me
Para 55 – […] The COI observed that no one individual had full control to bring
about the confluence of the material factors at the time of Mas Selamat’s

I completely disagree with this point. If anyone, the superintendent had the control to prevent the escape from happening. He may not have been the guard who lost his line of sight of Mas Selamat, but he as the ‘CO of the camp’ (using SAF terminology as it was mentioned that he held a rank equivalent to an Lieutenant Colonel), would be responsible for setting up the centre’s S.O.Ps and ensuring that the physical security (grilles, fences, cctvs..etc) are shipshape.

Para 66 – […] I have asked Director ISD to examine the roles not only of the
WRDC junior officers but also to go up the chain of command and include the
supervisory and management levels of WRDC as well…
I’m glad that junior officers will not be the only ones singled out for blame. As mentioned above, out of all identified, surely the superintendent would have a ‘helicopter’ view of the entire centre.

1 comment:

Gabriel Sim said...
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