MacDonald House bombing
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The MacDonald House bombing occurred on 10 March 1965, at the then Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank building (now known as MacDonald House) along Orchard Road of Singapore. The time bomb was planted by a duo of Indonesian saboteurs, during the period of Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation (also known as Konfrontasi). The explosion killed three people and injured at least 33 others.
During the Indonesian Konfrontasi, Indonesian saboteurs mounted a campaign of terror in Singapore. They were trained to attack military installations and public utilities. However, when the saboteurs failed in their attempts to attack these installations that were heavily guarded, they set off bombs to create panic and disrupt life on the island. By 1964, bomb explosions became frequent. To help the police and army defend Singapore from these bomb attacks, a volunteer force was set up. More than 10000 people signed up as volunteers. Community Centres served as bases for the volunteers to patrol their neighbourhoods. In schools, students underwent bomb drills. The government also warned Singaporeans not to handle any suspicious-looking parcels in the buildings or along streets.
Despite the efforts of the British, small groups of saboteurs managed to infiltrate the island and plant bombs. By March 1965, a total of 29 bombs had been set off in Singapore. The most serious incident occurred on 10 March 1965.
A powerful bomb exploded at 3:07 p.m. in the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Building located at the MacDonald House along Orchard Road. Three people were killed and 33 others were injured.
The bomb, placed near a lift on the 10th storey, ripped off a lift door and an inner wall was blown inwards, leaving a mass of rubble on the ground floor. Every window within a 100 metres of the blast was shattered and cars parked near the building or driving past were damaged.
Within 4 days, the police arrested 2 Indonesian marines who were responsible for the MacDonald House bombing. They were charged with murder and sentenced to death.
With the start of the Konfrontasi in 1962, the Indonesian Government (led by Sukarno) openly opposed the formation of Malaysia. The Indonesian military, under orders from Sukarno, began to insert saboteurs into both Singapore and Malaysia with the intent of stirring up racial tensions while at the same time undertaking acts of sabotage to destroy vital installations, beginning on 24 September 1963. Later, these saboteurs resorted to exploding bombs indiscriminately to create public alarm and panic. The bombing of the MacDonald House was the 29th, and the most serious of the spate of bombings in Singapore, killing two bank employees; Mrs. Suzie Choo (aged 36), private secretary to the Bank Manager, and Miss Juliet Goh (aged 23), a filing clerk in the bank. At the time of the bombing, the building had also housed the Australian High Commission and the Japanese Consulate.
Officers from Singapore's Special Branch and Singapore Police Force managed to track down and capture the two Indonesian commandos, Harun Said and Osman Hj Mohd Ali, who were members of the Indonesian Marine Corps. Subsequently, they were tried and convicted in a Singapore court, both were executed by hanging on 17 October 1968.
- Jackie Sam, Philip Khoo, Cheong Yip Seng, Abul Fazil, Roderick Pestana and Gabriel Lee (11 March 1965). "Terror Bomb kills 2 Girls at Bank" (reprint). The Straits Times.
- SINGAPORE from Settlement to Nation Pre-1819 to 1971 (in English) (6th ed.). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Education. pp. 196–197.
- Brazil, David. Insider's Singapore. Singapore: Times Books International, 2001.