Macdonald House Bombing Survivor: Why bring this up again?
Forty-nine years on, his arms, legs and head still bear keloid scars.
Mr Zainal Kassim, 75, is not afraid of walking past or entering MacDonald House at Orchard Road, where he was injured in a bombing on March 10, 1965.
He was 26 then.
Now, when he enters high-rise buildings, he still looks around for anything suspicious.
The chauffeur told The New Paper in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that he is not angry over what happened.
But the news last week of Indonesia naming a navy ship after the two men responsible for the bombing has left him confused.
"Why do they want to bring up this incident? It is very emotional for me," he said.
"I was hurt because these men planted a bomb and other people were killed and injured. These were innocent people."
The Singapore Government has raised concerns over the ship-naming controversy.
And it has raked up memories for Mr Zainal.
At the time, he was five years into his job as an office assistant with the Australian High Commission, which was on the third storey of MacDonald House.
He had accompanied his boss that day to a bank to collect the staff's salaries as it was pay day.
They stopped for coffee at a stall outside the building before heading back to the office.
It was about 3pm. One of the lifts was in use. The other was empty, but its attendant was not around.
They decided they could operate the lift themselves and got in. Just as its doors closed, there was an explosion.
Mr Zainal blacked out. When he came to, he was in darkness at the bottom of the lift shaft, buried under rubble.
He said: "(The debris) was all over my head and body. I kept moving, trying to get out."
Some people later appeared above him in the lift shaft. Using ladders, they climbed down to rescue him.
"I didn't see much... People were shouting. There were cars everywhere and ambulance sirens," Mr Zainal said.
Like the other victims, he was taken by ambulance to the Singapore General Hospital. He was immediately sent to the operation theatre.
"I had no clothes as a result of the blast and was swollen and bleeding all over. Many of the other victims also lost their clothes."
Mr Zainal said he was bandaged from head to toe.
"My head had swelled to double its size, like a watermelon," he said. "I saw my siblings and mother around me. They were crying. I asked, 'What happened?' They said, 'You were in a bomb blast'.
"Some friends who were working at car showrooms near MacDonald House told me I was very lucky. 'You were buried but you're alive,' they said."
Mr Zainal said that opposite MacDonald House then was a Cycle & Carriage showroom. The glass facades of both buildings were shattered by the blast.
He was hospitalised for more than 10 days. After a month, he was asked if he could return to work and he did.
He had to go for follow-up treatment at the hospital for about three months.
"It was okay going back to MacDonald House. It was still not repaired and I could see where the bomb had been planted."
Lift shafts on the first, mezzanine and second storeys were battered, with all lift doors on the other nine storeys wrenched out. The staircase between the first and mezzanine storeys, and the floors and walls on the first four storeys were destroyed.
Mr Zainal never saw his boss again. He was told that he had got stuck in beams above him and was rescued. He later heard that he had returned to Canberra, Australia.
After working for two more years with the Australian High Commission, Mr Zainal became a store assistant. He said that when he left, much of MacDonald House, such as the staircase and the lift he was in, had yet to be repaired.
Interestingly, he has been a driver for an Indonesian family for the past 13 years.
"My boss is only 42 years old. He was not even born then. We never discussed the Confrontation and I never told them I was a victim," he said.
Despite the explosions during that time, Mr Zainal said he was not afraid.
"All we knew was Singapore and Indonesia were having a problem. I never thought I would encounter a bomb."
Despite his close shave with death, he walks past the building with no anxiety.
"I don't think about the bombing because I feel Singapore is safe."
He said he did not follow news of the bombers' trial, and heard only much later that they had been hanged.
"I thought, if they were the ones who planted the bomb, serves them right," the mild-mannered man said in a severe tone.
But he was not angry with them, or with the Indonesian government's decision to name a ship after them.
"I just consider myself lucky to be here. If I had taken longer with coffee, or if I was outside the lift when it happened, I might have died."