On 31 January 1942, the Allied soldiers retreated to Singapore and blew up the Causeway which linked Malaya and Singapore, creating a 70 ft-wide gap in an attempt to prevent enemy forces from advancing into the island. This was to slow down the Japanese advancement to Singapore. Japanese soldiers entered and occupied Johore Bahru, the entire Malay Peninsula had fallen into their hands. From there, they carried out aerial bombardment on Singapore constantly.


In September 1962, Dr. Goh Keng Swee, Minister for Finance, had the pleasure of laying the foundation stone to start the construction of this steel rolling mill. At that time, the great work of constructing the Jurong Industrial Estate had just begun. On 2 August 1963, the melt shop went into operation and four months later the re-rolling mill started. The National Iron & Steel Mills Ltd grand opening ceremony was on 31 January 1964. It is fitting that the completion of the first major industrial enterprise in Jurong should coincide with the completion of the first phase of the Jurong Industrial Estate.



On 31 January 1974, four terrorists armed with submachine guns and explosives attacked the Shell Oil Refinery on Pulau Bukom Besar, an island south of mainland Singapore. The group comprised two Japanese from the Japanese Red Army (JRA) or 'Sekigun' and two Arabs from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). After a futile attempt to explode three oil tanks containing 5000 tonnes of crude oil each in the Shell refinery in Pulau Bukom, the terrorists - dubbed the "Bukom bombers" by the newspapers - hijacked the ferryboat Laju at the Bukom jetty and held five crew members as hostages. After several days of negotiations that involved the governments of Singapore and Japan, the terrorists agreed to release the hostages in exchange for a party of guarantors to ensure their safe passage out of Singapore. The incident ended on 8 February 1974, when the terrorists left for Kuwait.