SAF Veterans League holds memorial ceremony at Konfrontasi Memorial
It was on 10 March 2014 that the SAF Veterans League (SAFVL) held its first memorial ceremony on the lawn of the Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station opposite MacDonald House on Orchard Road, to remember those who lost their lives and suffered during Konfrontasi, particularly to mark the day MacDonald House was bombed in 1965 where three innocent lives were lost and 33 others were injured.
And on 10 March 2017, the SAFVL again led the annual memorial ceremony at the Konfrontasi Memorial near MacDonald House.
At the inaugural ceremony in 2014, the SAFVL had petitioned the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth for the Singapore Government to build the Konfrontasi Memorial to remember the victims of Konfrontasi, those who risked their lives defending our country and to educate today’s younger generations about its history.
Referring to this year’s memorial service by the SAFVL, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post: “With the threat of extremist terrorism facing us today which target innocent and ordinary civilians, the service and memorial speaks of our stand against such acts and the continuing fight with other countries against terrorism.”
In his opening remarks at the memorial ceremony, SAFVL President, Brigadier-General (NS) Winston Toh highlighted two dark periods in Singapore’s history – the MacDonald House bombing by saboteurs in 1965 and the fall of Singapore in World War II in 1942. He said that while old wounds have healed and we live in peace with our neighbours as well as Japan, “Singaporeans must never forget the impact of Konfrontasi or the Japanese Occupation.” He added: “These events in our history continue to serve as sombre and important reminders that we must never take our peace and security for granted; and that we can only depend on ourselves to keep Singapore safe, strong and sovereign. We must never again let this happen to us.”
BG (NS) Toh also paid tribute to veterans from the First and Second Singapore Infantry Regiment (SIR) present at the event and the many ordinary Singaporeans who served with the Singapore Volunteer Corps, the Singapore Naval Volunteer Force, and the Vigilante Corps to safeguard Singapore with the Police during Konfrontasi.
More than 180 people including some family members of those who perished at the MacDonald House bombing in 1965, National Cadet Corps members, Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team veterans attended this year’s memorial ceremony.
Read the full text of BG (NS) Toh’s speech at the memorial service here.
For pictures from the event, click here.