[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Saturday, March 01, 2008

[No more security lapses please]
It is usually in crisis that Singaporeans pull together. If that hypothesis were true, we would have been seen to be stronger recently.

First it was a NSF with a rifle on the run then a terrorist. I wonder what would be next. More security lapses? I am not sure.

I was reading Dr Ng Eng Hen's reply on the security lapses due to a few negligent soldiers. If you know me well, I am very critical about such incidents.

Well they say prevention is better than cure. But then how can one prevent something when it has not happened before? Most of the time, the wierdiest things happen.

When I lost my handphone for the first time (I never thought that I would lose it), I started taking more measures to prevent myself from losing my phone. These measures include checking my pockets occasionally to ensure that my phone is around.

The saddest thing about the case of Dave Teo Ming is that on one hand, punishment is one of the best forms to differentiate good from bad - it is a psychological theory with respect to the topic on learning. When you punish someone for a crime, others will see it as a deterrent and will not commit the same mistake.

Take for example in the past when someone tries to assasinate the Emperor in China. He would have to endure the most horrible punishment ever thought as a result of his actions. Gruesome.

The filpside is that Dave Teo Ming is young and that if he is punished just like that for a mistake he had committed, what will his future hold? Although punishment is a practical solution, I feel sorry for him. I'm sure he must have had done well in the past before. I'm sure there were times when he was obedient. Or so I hope.

This also leads me to draw parallels to the case of the escape by Mas Selamat Kastari. Compare it to the case of Dave Teo Ming, this is not as serious because Mas Selamat was not armed.

Discussions on online forums, largely pluralist, have many ideas (some very harsh, some compassionate) on what should be done after this issue made headlines. I'm sure Singaporeans feel more "united" now but don't suggest that such "security lapses" should happen again in the near future.

I hope investigations bring up important lessons and refinements to the exisiting security checks and measures both in army camps and prisons.

Lest people think that ministers should step down because of mistakes in their ministry, I think many would have stepped down by now.

Perhaps we should not just judge ministers on their mistakes alone but also look at their track record and make the judgement. Well, after all it is not their fault alone (there are so many other people down the lines to blame).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction. Mas Selemat escaped from an ISD detention centre and not from a conventional prison.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 10:20:00 pm


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