Militant Mas feels “selamat” in Malaysia

The Star

Jemaah Islamiah militant Mas Selamat Kastari is happier being detained in Malaysia than in Singapore, says a human rights commissioner.

Suhakam vice-chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun said Mas Selamat did not have any complaint about his detention in Kamunting, Perak, where he has been held since early this year.

“He said he prefers to be in Malaysia. He has no complaints of the treatment he gets here.

“His only complaint is on the failure of his family to visit him. From what I understand, there is no problem as far as the Malaysian authorities are concerned.

“The issue is with the Singaporean authorities,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Sipaun said both him and Suha-kam commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam had met Mas Selamat, as well as the other seven detainees during their inspection of the centre on Friday.

The 48-year-old militant had escaped from a maximum security detention centre in Singapore in February last year, and swam to Johor. He was arrested at his hideout in a tiny Johor village in April this year.

Sipaun said Mas Selamat had told him during their meeting that he suspected he was drugged while detained in Singapore as he was constantly dizzy after meals.

He said they spoke to Mas Selamat, who looked healthy, for about 20 to 30 minutes.

“He was not aggressive, he was very pleasant and very polite.

“In fact, we didn’t know he was Mas Selamat until we asked him where he was from. Only then did we realise it was him,” he said.

“My only regret is that I forgot to ask him how he managed to escape from Singapore, as Singapore is so strict and the security there is so tight,” he said.

When contacted, Siva Subramaniam said the militant should be allowed to have his day in court.

“Malaysians, of course, do not support terrorists. But he should be tried in court, to see if he is indeed guilty of all the charges brought against him,” he said.

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