MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
On 18 Oct 2010, DPM Wong informed this House of what Mas Selamat had said about how he got out of the Whitley Road Detention Centre (WRDC) on 27 Feb 2008. The account given by Mas Selamat was consistent with the findings of the Committee of Inquiry (COI).
2. CID investigations into what Mas Selamat did after he escaped from WRDC are still in progress. He has not been entirely forthcoming. He has changed his story several times. In some instances, whether his accounts are completely truthful cannot be fully verified. Today, I will update the House on the findings that the investigators have verified through independent corroboration.
Took shelter with brother's family
3. Mas Selamat escaped from WRDC on 27 Feb 2008. Two days later, on 29 Feb 2008, he made his way to his brother Asmom's home in Tampines to seek shelter and assistance from his grown-up niece, Nur Aini bte Asmom. Mas Selamat thought that Nur Aini was living alone. He believed that Asmom and his wife were living in their house in Johor while Asmom's son (i.e. Mas Selamat's nephew), Mahadir, was overseas. Mas Selamat believed that it would be safe for him at Asmom's house as only Nur Aini would be there and that she would render assistance to him.
4. However, Asmom, his wife Aisah, their daughter Nur Aini and son Mahadir were all living in Asmom's home. They have all independently admitted to the fact that Mas Selamat had stayed overnight in their home between 29 Feb and 1 Mar 2008. Asmom, Aisah and Nur Aini have also admitted that they had harboured Mas Selamat, providing him with shelter, food, money and clothes.
5. I will set out their respective roles in harbouring and aiding Mas Selamat on those two days.
6. Nur Aini had let Mas Selamat into the flat. Her mother Aisah had reservations about allowing Mas Selamat into the flat because by that time, his escape two days earlier and fugitive status were very public and she knew that it was wrong to help him. Nur Aini, however, persuaded her mother to allow Mas Selamat to enter the flat. She gave him use of her bedroom, provided him food and water, and also assisted him by destroying material evidence, namely the clothing he wore to the flat, which included his WRDC-issued attire.
7. On 1 Mar 2008, before Mas Selamat left the flat, Nur Aini applied make-up on Mas Selamat and secured a tudung (headscarf) over his head so that he could disguise himself as a woman to evade detection and recapture. She also gave him several items, which included a set of clothes to wear, a baseball cap, water, a snack, an illumination stick, air-tight resealable plastic bags to pack the items, and a backpack which he used to store all the items. At Mas Selamat's request, she also handed to him a map of Singapore that showed part of Malaysia.
8. Asmom jointly owned the flat with his wife Aisah. He found out about Mas Selamat's presence in the flat when he returned from work in the early hours of 1 Mar 2008. He knew it was wrong to harbour Mas Selamat, but eventually decided to allow Mas Selamat to stay in his flat.
9. Before Mas Selamat left the flat on 1 Mar 2008, Asmom gave him S$100 and RM100 to facilitate his escape from Singapore to Malaysia. He also gave Mas Selamat some traditional medicine which the latter kept in his backpack.