- Singapore and Malaysia cops show close ties in fight against crime
- Lovesick wife gets jail for sneaking into Singapore
- On the militaristic path again?
FOR decades, criminals on the run in Singapore have often tried to flee to Malaysia, believing there was safe refuge there.
For just as long, many of them have been hauled back to face the law – thanks to the close ties between the police forces of both countries.
The killer of eight-year-old Huang Na, the infamous triad leader One-Eyed Dragon, and most recently, Kovan murder suspect Iskandar Rahmat were all arrested across the Causeway.
"In many ways, we are brother police forces, if not twins," Singapore's Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee said. "Every time I meet (Malaysia's) Inspector-General of Police, I tell him, 'You are my best friend'."
That friendship stretches back to 1963, when the two forces were combined under the banner of the Royal Malaysian Police.
Even when the Singapore police went their own way following the country's independence in 1965, ties remained close.
Help was only a phone call away, said retired Singapore detective Lim Ah Soon.
Lim, 68, worked closely with his Malaysian counterparts during his 24 years with the Criminal Investigation Department's (CID) then Organised Crime unit and Secret Society Branch.
In 1981, he was tracking an armed robber who had escaped to Ipoh, and quickly rang the Malaysian police for help.
"As we could not bring firearms into Malaysia, we had to rely totally on the Malaysian police to assist us in the arrest," he recalled.
"We went to where the robber was hiding and helped to identify him before the Malaysian police made the arrest."
A Malaysian court later issued a warrant of extradition to bring the suspect back to Singapore.
"Accomplices would pick up the suspects when they reach Malaysia and escape to another country," said Lim.
The open channels of communication between both forces are crucial, said Commissioner Ng.
"Because every time something big happens, the guy is already over there when we find out who did it," he said.
Both forces were tight-lipped about the operational details of recent cases.
But a New Straits Times report last month on Iskandar's arrest said that he was put on a "stop list" issued by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) through Interpol.
All policemen in Johor were then alerted and briefed about the suspect's particulars and his vehicle.
The helping hand was extended both ways.
Malaysia's Federal CID director Comm Datuk Hadi Ho Abdullah told The Straits Times that the Singapore police have been helpful in many areas, including vehicle thefts.
"This year alone, through the intelligence from our Singaporean counterparts, we've recovered about 20 to 30 vehicles that were stolen," he said.
"There's a common objective that we have, to make sure criminals will not feel safe in any of (our) countries," he added. -The Straits Times/ Asia News Network
A WOMAN who could not bear to be apart from her husband sneaked into Singapore illegally and visited him in jail.
Vietnamese national Nguyen Thi Mai Phuc paid nearly S$2,000 (RM5,100) to people smugglers, who hid her in a lorry and cargo container.
But the 27-year-old is now preparing to start a jail term of her own after being handed a one-year sentence.
Phuc was previously deported from Singapore in 2010 after overstaying her visa. Her husband then came here to work illegally.
The couple lost contact and Phuc decided to come and find him.
Once in Singapore, Phuc paid fortnightly visits to her husband, who had been jailed for one and a half years for immigration and customs offences.
But she was arrested in April this year at the Goldkist Beach Resort in East Coast Parkway.
She had pleaded guilty to the offence. -The Straits Times / Asia News Network
Plans are afoot to revise Japan's postwar peace constitution to assert its right to declare war and rename the self-defence forces.
On Aug 6, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took part in a ceremony marking the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, an event which, combined with the following atomic bombing of Nagasaki, compelled Japan to surrender nine days later on Aug 15, ending the Second World War.
Also on the same day, Japan launched its largest warship since the war. The vessel was launched at Yokohama, where Commodore Mathew Perry came with his US Asiatic fleet in 1853 to open Japan to the West. The 250m-long Izumo looks like an aircraft carrier, though officially it is a destroyer.
Well, it's a flat-top super-destroyer that carries 14 helicopters with a flight deck where combat aircraft that can vertically take off and land can be accommodated. The new vessel shares the same name as the famed Japanese cruiser which played a pivotal part in the Shanghai War of 1937, withstanding repeated Chinese attacks.
In May, Abe offended China and South Korea by tacitly denying Japan's imperialist aggression toward its Asian neighbours. The Japanese leader stated that there is no established definition of invasion, either academically or internationally.
Around the same time, he posed for a photo in the cockpit of a military training jet fighter emblazoned with the number 731, the unit number of an infamous Imperial Army group that conducted lethal chemical and biological wartime experiments on Chinese civilians. Moreover, Abe has reportedly moved to permit the use of the rising sun banner, a symbol of horror to Asian victims of Japanese colonial aggression.
Plans are afoot to revise Japan's postwar peace constitution to assert its right to declare war and rename the self-defence forces as the national "defence forces", the dropping of "self-defence" implying the forces may be engaged in action other than genuine self-defence.
One consequence of these new developments is the serious concern China, South Korea and even the United States are showing for a possible return of militarism in an increasingly nationalistic Japan.
They fear that a militaristic Japan is likely to turn imperialistic and invade its Asian neighbours again.
But their fear is totally unnecessary. The Liberal Democrats may all become ultranationalists like Abe and his mentor, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, but that does not mean they will turn militaristic. Militarism isn't imperialism.
Japan turned militaristic after the Taisho democracy because of the rise of ultranationalism, which held Western democracy as the source of all evils during the Great Depression. In this period the military was viewed as the only stabilising power.
The militarists became imperialists after they were convinced that the West was purposely choking Japan's economic lebensraum in Asia.
Moreover, the Japanese militarists had an excellent role model in Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.
Times have changed. There isn't another Great Depression that may trigger the turning of the Japanese toward ultranationalism, no matter how hard the Liberal Democratic Party and populistic Toru Hashimoto's Japan Restoration Party may try.
The military isn't the stabilising power anymore. People have been taught not to blindly obey the powers that be. Besides, what Abe and his Liberal Democrats want is what a "normal state" enjoys under its "non-peace constitution".
All Abe and company are trying to achieve is to show that Japan is strong enough militarily to resist pressure, diplomatic or otherwise, from China and Uncle Sam in order to win more votes and continue ruling Japan.
Koizumi tried to do so, but failed before he had to step down as prime minister. There was a backlash. The Democratic Party of Japan saw its almost half-century rule of Japan end.
Abe defeated the Democrats last year. He is picking up where Koizumi left off. The Japanese leaders may be ultranationalists, but never will they turn militaristic and start the aggression of a renascent Japanese empire.
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