In the light of recent revelations that 6 Singaporean Muslims were self-radicalised jihadists, the requests were simple: 1) enforce the accreditation of Muslim religious teachers; and 2) produce a "white list " of foreign institutions where Singapore Muslims can study.
But Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim asked instead his Malay community to use the troika of the office of the Mufti, registered religious teachers and the Islamic Rellgious Council of Singapore (Muis) to snitch for the ISD. Instead of helping their misguided brethren who have may have strayed inadvertently from the righteous path, he wants the ISD goons to do the dirty work. Abu Gharib style. Sounding a bit like SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa's logic about packed trains, he said, "if the public doesn't make use of it, there's nothing we can do".
His lame excuse for not wanting to enforce the registration is that there are some 1,200 religious teachers in the register of Muis's Asatizah Recognition Scheme, among which we now know lurks some of the Bin Laden wannabes. As numbers go, that's got to be easier than the gazillion man-years supposedly required to compute the nation's reserves for former President Ong Teng Cheong. As for the "white list" of approved schools to be put together by Muis, Yaacob Ibrahim claims that it would be too onerous to assess the schools. Surely that can't be more onerous than reviewing all the drainage systems of the Singapore flood control scheme that he tasked the PUB to complete?
Even Foreign Minister George Yeo sounded pretty cheesed off with the hands-off approach: "You cannot combat this problem just through policing, just through arresting particular individuals. The critical role is in the Muslim community. The bad cells masquerade as good cells. It's for the good cells to identify the bad cells and contain them."
The Minister could also add that the Ministry of Home Affairs has had a sad record of keeping Muslim radicals securely locked up in the Whitley Road Detention Center. Perhaps they will have to outsource this activity to the Malaysian Police, who seems to be doing a good job with Mas Selamat so far.