Singapore. Mas Selamat Kastari, former leader of the
Singaporean branch of the radical Islamist terrorist network
Jemaa Islamiyya, fled in February from the prison he has
been in since 2006. He managed to escape in connection with
a family visit. According to
Countryaah reports, Kastari was arrested in 2003 in Indonesia,
from where he was subsequently extradited to Singapore via
Malaysia three years later. Jemaa Islamiyya struggles to
make the entire Muslim part of the Southeast Asian island
world an Islamic state. The group was behind the bombing of
Bali in 2002, which claimed more than 200 lives.
In May, the UN International Court of Justice in The
Hague granted Singapore the right to the Pedra Branca rock
island. Singapore had disputed with Malaysia the right to
the island since 1979. The two countries turned to the Hague
Court in 2003 to decide the conflict.
In November, Singapore's economy went into a recession
after growth was negative for two consecutive quarters.
Singapore is very export-dependent and was therefore quickly
hit by the autumn's international financial crisis and the
downturn in the economy.