News and views from an unique perspective

Accidental encounters with ISD agents

Posted by temasektimes on August 27, 2012

A long time ago, I wrote about my accidental encounter with several ISD officers outside the blue gate when my friend and I tried to take a photograph of it. Taking a photo of the notorious gate was not an offence. The Straits Times and others had featured the gate when Mas Selamat disappeared and gurkhas, police and everyone involved in the security business combed our little red dot. I know from my expatriate friends that the garden of the little cosy private estate opposite the blue gate was thoroughly searched. All the residents on the ground level were told to shut their doors and windows.

There is little doubt that our security forces are very hard working. They work in teams. When my friend and I were confronted by them outside the blue gate, at least ten officers were involved. I asked them if it was normal that so many officers were involved in such a small matter. One of them confirmed that that was the case. Ten officers surrounding two women. They took away our identity documents, made us wait for more than one hour, downloaded all the photos from my friend’s camera, deleted photos which we took of the gate etc. I felt so stupid after the incident. Why didn’t I shout at them, take photos of them and tell them that they had no business and no right to waste our time in that way!

Let me tell you another story, this time involving the famous Alan Shadrake.

Shadrake as we all know, was charged and convicted for contempt of court. My story involved his search for housing while he was waiting for his case to be heard. He was initially offered accommodation by an expatriate. After some days, he was told that they could no longer help him and he had to look for accommodation elsewhere. I was accidentally informed that he was desperately looking for a place. I didn’t know Shadrake until I went to his book launch. I felt sorry for him because he was arrested at dawn at his hotel the day after the launch. It reminded me of my own arrest. To be suddenly awakened at the unearthly hour and taken to the police station must have been a traumatic experience for anyone.

A friend offered temporary lodging. I picked up Shadrake at Bukit Timah and drove him to my friend’s flat. I parked my car at the multi storey carpark opposite the flat and we made our way to the flat. We entered the lift and pressed the button to the desired floor. When the door opened, a young man busy on his mobile walked into the lift. He spoke in Mandarin and we heard him mention the name “Alan”. I looked at Shadrake and instead of getting out of the lift, we followed the man down to the first floor.

At the ground level, the man walked away and Shadrake and I walked out of the lift too. I told Shadrake that the guy was from the ISD. We both sat down on the bench. I wanted to see who else was involved in following us. Shortly after, a lady in office clothes and high heeled shoes walked past us. I told Shadrake that she too was from the ISD. To confirm that I was right, I waited till the lady went out of the block of flats and I got up and hid behind a pillar to see where she was going. She crossed the road and at the pavement opposite, she turned around and faced the block of flats that she had just left.

We waited a while and then went up to my friend’s flat. While my friend and Shadrake chatted, I thought I would check if the lady was anywhere on the road below. I walked to the balcony and looked out. Immediately, I saw several people scrambling and hiding behind the pillars at the multi-storey carpark opposite. There must have been at least four people doing that. Unluckily for them, my friend’s flat was higher than the carpark building and they could not escape my surveillance! I looked down on the road below and saw the same lady walking towards the carpark.

A team of more than six plain clothes men and women following Shadrake and me from Bukit Timah to my friend’s flat! What a waste of manpower. How inefficient can our police force be. If intimidation and harassment of peaceful citizens and people are all that they are good for, I am really worried and concerned at how they manage the security of our little island. Little wonder that they never found Mas Selamat.


*The above was first posted as an article on Facebook.


13 Responses to “Accidental encounters with ISD agents”

  1. Mike Zeng said

    ISD stands for Idiotic Security Dept.

  2. NaBey said

    Wah Lau! U mistaken lah. These people from Mediacock, they filming the new 999 series with james lai and wong li Ling lah.

  3. Goh Tong Seng said

    What do you expect? Their security is compromised. There is no guarantee that if you posted them online, hackers with terrorist organisations will not take those photos and use this knowledge to bust out their compatriots.

  4. Ron said

    I have no sympathies for such pettiness by Teo Soh Lung. She has a grudge against the government for imprisoning her under the ISA. If Teo thinks that she can stir up animosity against the government and the PAP, she is mistaken.

    If she thinks her civil liberrties have been violated, by all means go to the Courts. Now, do not start alleging that the Judiciary is also baised or influenced.

    There is much she can contribute to the well-being of Spore without being a frustrated ex-detainee. Spore has its faults but we should not be upholding an ang-moh foreigner as someone worth defending. Spore politics and internal affairs are not the business of Alan. The ISD has their work to do. I do not the ISD following me around because I will criticise constructively and work for the betterment of Spore whether I support the PAP government or not.

    • horay said

      You mean courts beholden/subservient to the emperor ?
      And what do you think of the current fiasco that involves the LawLess society and ravi ?
      How about a LawLess society counsel member interrupting court preceedings showing no respect for the judge? Was he censured by his LawLess Society, censured by the emperor or the CJ ?

      I don’t know about you Ron, even though I am not qualified in law, I can say it is the most preposterous logic to claim any fooking asshole who is inside the polling station can be deemed as not within 200 metres of polling station….and make a guess Ron, what is the climax to this ?
      So let’s cut the pretence Ron.

      • Alexander Wong said

        I’m interested to know how the Law Society got hold of Mr Ravi’s medical information. Perhaps he should be sueing his doctor instead? Would make for a much better case than sueing the law society…

      • Alexander Wong said

        Actually this sheds some light on the issue:

        So if Mr Ravi is on 4 monthly reporting, that would explain how he was reviewed in August- and noted to be non compliant with medication and hence unfit to practice law. As per prior discussion with the law society (with M Ravi’s consent), his doctor would then be obliged to inform the law society (which was already aware of his condition). What is irregular is presenting his doctor’s letter in the middle of a court case, which from what I gather should not be done…

    • mouse21 said


      If you have a car, may I suggest you drive to Lloyd Road, park on the road side and wait in the car (lets say your cover story is that your fren buying phone in Singtel and you are too cheap skate to pay their carpark fee since only need 10 – 20 mins wait). Have fun and good luck talking to the FT that comes to ask you what is your business waiting in your car.

    • who's your daddy said

      Brainwashed like a CHC cult follower.

      “I do not the ISD following me around because I will criticise constructively and work for the betterment of Spore whether I support the PAP government or not.”

      Seriously, ISD doesn’t bother with non-entities.

  5. spotlessleopard said

    This happens when they do not have to worry about cost….

  6. Singaporean said

    I alrdy knew SG is a sinking ship 6years ago. Just salvage whatever you can from this ship and get out.

  7. Adam said

    ISD is Singapore’s Secret Police set up to protect the autocratic Lee family. Without a doubt Singapore is a police state run by the PAP. LKY is “head policeman”. Not to worry. He is in his last legs. He can barely walk. Ha! Old people who stop walking usually die within a year. The end of PAP’s reign of terror in Singapore is in sight.

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