in News Analysis

Mas Selamat not the pioneer of prison break using toilet break

Eight years ago Oh Chee Kiong had attempted the same feat at the Subordinate Court. One would have thought once bitten, twice shy.

Criminal who used loo break to escape from court jailed

December 31, 2000, by Aletha Lim, Straits Times

OH CHEE Kiong thought he could give the law the slip.

While waiting for a case against him to be heard in the Subordinate Courts, the 27-year-old said he wanted to use the loo.

He answered the call of nature, then took the opportunity to make a quick escape.

But the long arm of the law managed to catch up with Oh and he was back in court again on Friday – without ‘toilet leave’.

He was jailed for six years for a string of convictions such as criminal intimidation and forgery.

On the day of his escape on Oct 23, Oh was in a magistrate’s court to face seven counts of Films Act offences, including having obscene and uncensored films.

When he asked to go to the toilet, a court officer escorted him from the courtroom to the toilet through a holding room.

After he had used the loo, he went to the holding room as instructed by the officer.

While he was there, he realised he was alone and decided to escape.

Making sure that there was no one around in the toilet, he walked out of the room and ran up the stairs through a passageway.

He then left the building in Havelock Square and headed for home in a cab.

Three days later, he was arrested at a house in Upper Serangoon Road for possession and consumption of drugs…