250 mark MacDonald House tragedy

250 mark MacDonald House tragedy
BG (NS) Winston Toh and cadet lieutenant Siti Sabrina laying a wreath during the service in front of MacDonald House on Monday.

A PART of Ms Rusmah Mohammed Yasin died with her father when he lost his life in the MacDonald House bombing.

Mr Mohammed Yasin Kesit was one of three victims killed by the blast 49 years ago - the worst attack in Singapore during Konfrontasi, the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation which lasted from 1963 to 1966.

The 60-year-old said she initially thought her friend was joking when he told her about the incident, before the news sunk in: "I feel half of my soul has gone with my father."

Ms Rusmah and her brother, Mr Rapii Mohamed Yasin, were among 250 people who attended a memorial service in front of MacDonald House on Monday.

It is believed to be the first of its kind to mark the MacDonald House tragedy and was organised by the Singapore Armed Forces Veterans' League (SAFVL) for victims of the bombing and fallen soldiers of Konfrontasi. Relatives of the victims shed tears as they laid flowers at the memorial.

SAFVL president Brigadier- General (NS) Winston Toh said: "Though this significant event happened five decades ago, we as Singaporeans must never forget this part of our nation's history."

The ceremony took place several weeks after Indonesia named a new warship after Indonesian saboteurs executed in Singapore for the bombing. The decision revived painful memories of the incident, which also injured at least 33 people.

Survivors also attended the service, along with 40 veterans.

The SAFVL has petitioned the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) to find suitable ways to remember the victims of Konfrontasi and educate younger generations about it.

In a letter to BG (NS) Toh, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said he strongly supported the SAFVL's petition.

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