Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Singaporean Policemen

"The marble bathroom walls had no holes in them. Nor were there any bolts or screws. The toilet was not where the police had said."
Suppose the Singapore police have actually covered up the murder of a U.S. citizen. What are the chances that the apparent incompetence of this cover-up was contrived, in order to intimidate and/or provoke (and to what purpose?), or simply a reflection of genuine incompetence?

My bet would be that the latter is more likely; covering up high profile murders for the benefit of Chinese interests is probably not something the Singapore police have much prior experience with and nor do I think it likely that they would have been given much in the way of advanced notice. There are probably also people relatively high-up in the Singapore police chain of command who would have taken preventative action had they got wind of any such plot.

It may be that, with sufficient pressure over the next few years, some policemen in Singapore (perhaps even a bureaucrat at the IME also) will eventually go to jail for the cover-up. The actual murderers and their Chinese handlers, if indeed that is what they are, will likely never see the inside of a courtroom.  

If this was indeed a murder coupled with a sloppy attempt by some local police at a cover-up - and it does look that way - then perhaps the order for the murder was issued by military (i.e. PLA) rather than civilian (CCP) political authority? Surely there are "ambitious" personages in the PLA who would like to frighten their supposed masters in the CCP and elsewhere, and what better way for them to do that by knocking off the odd westerner and leaving the diplomatic fallout for the others to deal with?


  1. Mike, that's quite an interesting story, with what appears to be many loose ends.

  2. That's how Philip Marlowe would have described it: "too many loose ends".

  3. Mike, as I thought on this last night, I kept returning to that external hard drive which was left in Todd's apartment. It seems counter-intuitive for it to have been left behind when you consider that Todd was working in a high tech industry and that all the other tech devices (computer/cell phone, etc.) had been impounded by those investigating Todd's death. It's being left behind seems unthorough and this is perplexing.

  4. The hard-drive could have been a decoy, yes. Having said that, the apparent fact that it was "card-sized" could signify human error; the article does not describe how the parents found or noticed it, but merely that they did notice it. Was it out in the open lying flat on the coffee-table, or was it down the arm of the sofa, half out-of-sight? If it had been left lying down the arm of a sofa, or half-under a book or something, then it may simply be that the cops didn't notice it during a rushed cover-up job.

    But the question that occurs to me is why was it thought necessary to kill him? If they didn't kill him and he alerts U.S. intelligence, they have a problem. If they do kill him, U.S. intelligence is alerted anyway and they have problem+1 - unless they were confident of pulling off a successful cover-up rather than a cock-up.

    That's why I think his murder might have been a deliberate attempt by one personage in the PLA to create a problem for another personage in the CCP (recently there has been speculation - after incidents around the Senkaku islands - that the CCP's grip on the PLA might be becoming less de-facto and more de-jure). With the recent assumption of Xi Jinping to the post of general secretary, it might be that there are people in the PLA trying to test, or manipulate him. But at that point I'm out on a limb.


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