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Mar 9, 2012

MacDonald House - Total Defence Lessons

MacDonald House at Orchard Road, Singapore.

This stone was laid by Mrs Malcom MacDonald on 22 November, 1947.

MacDonald House. Gazetted as a National Monument (Category 2) on 10 February 2003.

Designed by Palmer and Turner in neo-Georgian style, MacDonald House was Southeast Asia's first fully air-conditioned office building. It was built in 1949 for the Hongkong Shanghai Bank and was the scene of a bomb attack by Indonesian terrorists on 10 March 1965 during Konfrantasi.

The facade of the building is preserved as a monument.

Bomb explosion at MacDonald House in Orchard Road on 10 March, 1965 during the "Konfrantasi".

Bomb explosion at MacDonald House in Orchard Road on 10 March, 1965 during the "Konfrantasi".

If walls could speak and the memories of the terrorist stories of the MacDonald House situated at Orchard Road of a very different place fifty years ago.

The MacDonald House was threatened against the peace and security of Singapore by Indonesian terrorists during Konfratasi.

Whilst fond nostalgic memories are helpful to evoke joy and happiness to our thoughts, past memories of tragedy, unhappy personal events should not create sadness or depression as grievance collectors.

These selective memories to be positive thoughts as lessons in life to share and learn. These unfortunate experiences of collective memories to move on in later life.

Similarly, the heritage places, monuments and buildings are retained as historical lessons for future generations to remember and learn from the past.

We may forgive, but unable to forget the atrocities of terrorism and war. Never to repeat these lessons of the past.

To learn and rebuild the nation, to rebuild our personal lives and move on together for the better generations.

What is Total Defence , protecting our way of life.
Introduced in 1984, the concept of Total Defence (TD) was adapted from the experiences of countries like Switzerland and Sweden. As a young nation with a small population and a conscript armed forces, we needed to draw on the different strengths and abilities of our community to augment our defence capability.

Conflicts between countries are no longer just military in nature. Potential aggressors and threats can appear in less obvious and non-conventional ways (e.g., destroying social cohesion by exploiting differences in race, language, religion, culture, social or economic class; weakening national resilience by using psychological warfare to play on the people’s fears and apprehensions; or waging economic warfare through economic boycotts, trade sanctions or acts of sabotage to bring down the economy). Total Defence provides the framework for a comprehensive and integrated response to deal with all kinds of threats and challenges. Whether it is a security threat such as global terrorism, or a national crisis like SARS, Total Defence brings together all relevant government agencies, private sector organisations and all Singaporeans in a coordinated effort to deal effectively with these threats and challenges. When Singaporeans take personal responsibility for and get involved in the defence of Singapore, they are playing their part to help keep Singapore safe and secure.

Total Defence has five aspects - Military Defence, Civil Defence, Economic Defence, Social Defence and Psychological Defence. These five aspects represent the key sectors of society. They also help Singaporeans understand how they can be involved. When we take National Service seriously, volunteer in civil defence exercises, help build a strong economy, strengthen community ties with one another regardless of race and religion, and stay committed to defend the country, we are doing something in every sector of our society to strengthen Singapore's resilience as a nation.
The 5 Pillars of Total Defence, Singapore. Photo credit of © 2012 Government of Singapore.

Archived photos of MacDonald House photo credit of National Archives of Singapore with acknowledgement and thanks, for public sharing purposes only.



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