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Monday May 11, 2009

Police arrest Mas Selamat’s landlord

JOHOR BARU: The landlord of the house where fugitive Mas Selamat Kastari was caught hiding in was arrested last week at his work place.

Villagers at Kampung Tawakal said the man, known as Johar, was a contractor.

They described him as the “quiet type,” just like Mas Selamat.

Many believed that it was Johar who had tipped off police about Mas Selamat’s whereabouts.

Villagers said that it was hard to keep track of people living in the area as many of the houses were rented out to tenants who kept moving out.

Snug refuge: This is the interior of the lower part of the house, where Mas Selamat spent most of his time. The room has two sofa sets, a punching bag, a shelf of books, a table, as well as an aquarium (on top of cabinet at right) containing dead fish in murky water.

Shopkeeper Roslan Talib, 39, said Johar often came to buy groceries from his shop.

“I heard that Mas Selamat often went fishing at the canal behind his house,’’ he said.

Rsolan said that it was a pity he did not know Mas Selamat lived nearby or they would have reported him to get the S$1mil (RM2.4mil) reward offered for his arrest.

The hunt for Mas Selamat, 48, began after the head of the Singapore Jemaah Islamiah escaped the Whitley Road Detention Centre in Singapore while on a toilet break on Feb 27, last year.

This sparked a massive regional hunt for the militant who is suspected to have planned various terror plots, including crashing a plane into Changi airport in Singpaore as well as attacking different targets, such as the American Embassy and the Singapore American School.

He was previously jailed in Bintan for using a fake identity card and was handed over to Singapore in 2006 for detention under the Internal Security Act without trial.

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