The name Wong Kan Seng translated phonetically in Cantonese means certain to succeed. But
three confidence-shaking events this year which rocked public confidence in his administration
of his ministry are hardly a denotation of success.
First, the Houdini-style disappearance of Singapore Jemaah Islamiah leader Mas Selamat bin
Kastari from the security-tight ISD detention centre on 27-2-08 was the subject of prolonged
public controversy on the strict adherence of protocol in the administration of the centre which
afforded an opportunity for Mas Selamat's mysterious flight from the centre. Mas Selamat's
present whereabouts are the subject of much speculation. Meanwhile, security at the ISD
detention centre has been tightened to prevent a recurrence of the Mas Selamat fiasco.
Hardly had the furore over the Mas Selamat saga subsided, the public was shaken a second
time by another escape this month, this time by two remand prisoners who broke out of the
subordinate court lock-up and made an attempt to flee. They were fortunately promptly
recaptured. Again it was discovered that protocol of the lock-up was not strictly adhered to
which showed clearly that lesson from the Mas Selamat saga had not been learned.
True to the saying that trouble never comes singly, the public was again shaken by this morning's news that the much-vaunted Home Team had committed another booboo by
allowing a Singaporean to pass through allo the security checks at the airport armed
mistakingly with his son's passport who landed safely at Ho Chi Minh airport after a smooth
air journey. DPM Wong Kan Seng was naturally livid and appalled at this gross and inexcusable
slip-up and promised to punish the officer or officers responsible for this booboo.
There is a Chinese saying that there will be a third escape saga following the two earlier
incidents - that of Mas Selamat and the subordinate court lock-up. Well, Mr. Wong Kan Seng
should now be at his wit's end trying to think of a way to pre-empt such a possibility as
otherwise the public might want to know if he justifies his whopping $2 millions annual
salary with all the booboos happening under his watch.