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Ex-ISD chief: loyalty key lesson from Mas Selamat episode

Published on Jan 23, 2014 9:38 PM
 
Mr Pang Kin Keong, the senior civil servant under whose watch Mas Selamat Kastari escaped, has spoken for the first time on his experience. -- FILE PHOTO: PUBLIC SERVICE DIVISION

The senior civil servant under whose watch Mas Selamat Kastari escaped has spoken for the first time on his experience.

Mr Pang Kin Keong, who was director of the Internal Security Department (ISD) in 2008 when the terrorist leader made his prison break before being recaptured over a year later, called the saga the lowest point in his 20-year public service career.

"To have an incident of this national security magnitude happen under your leadership...that's an awful feeling," said Mr Pang, now permanent secretary for transport, in an interview with Challenge, the Singapore Public Service's magazine.

In one of the nation's most shocking security breaches, Mas Selamat, the leader of the Jemaah Islamiah terror network, broke out of Whitley Road Detention Centre on Feb 27, 2008 after climbing through a toilet window. He remained at large until he was recaptured over a year later in Johor.

 
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