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MacDonald House bombing survivor remembers attack

23-year-old theological student was steps away from MacDonald House in March 1965 when a bomb blast flung him across the road

Published on Feb 16, 2014 7:48 AM

Reverend Yeo Suan Kim remembers the day 49 years ago when he lost his right eye.

It was the afternoon of March 10, 1965.

He was 23 years old and was at Orchard Road, on his way to a bus stop after attending his theological college on Mount Sophia.

He stopped for a drink from a makeshift stall steps away from MacDonald House and just as he walked past the building, there was a blast that flung him clear across the road.

"I screamed for help and prayed for someone to rescue me," recalled Rev Yeo, now 72. "I heard a voice beside me saying, 'Young man, I am a doctor, I will help you', and I was lifted up and carried to the pavement."

But he could not see anything. His right eye had been shattered. "I lay there in total darkness," he said, in an interview at his flat in Sengkang. "I could hear people screaming in pain, footsteps rushing past me, cars honking and glass shattering."

The bomb which went off at 3.07pm in the 10-storey building, which housed the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, had been planted by two Indonesian marines - part of Indonesia's Confrontation campaign against Malaysia from 1963 to 1966.

Three people died, and 33 were injured.

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