Meet the Senior SAF Band Major Who Participated in 39 NPDs, Including the Year He Was Hospitalized

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SINGAPORE: His love for music has fueled his participation in the National Day Parade (NDP) every year for 39 years.

But in August, Major of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Main Band, Abdul Razak Mohammed Noor, will perform his swan song in his 40th and final parade before retiring.

Military Expert 3 (ME3) Abdul Razak, who turns 60 this year, has been an all-NDP since joining the Republic of Singapore Navy Group.

It is now part of the SAF band, which was created after the service bands were restructured in 1994 – and it has come a long way.

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During his first parade, ME3 Abdul Razak recalled “carrying only drinks for the participants”. He eventually played the clarinet, an instrument he learned in high school during his time in the National Police Cadet Corps band.

Although he later moved on to more “regimental” and advisory work with the band, ME3 Abdul Razak has never stopped serving the nation through music.

“For me, it’s the biggest thing I can bring to my country in terms of expertise. I love what I’ve done the most. I love doing something, not out of recognition, but just to share with everyone,” he told TNZT.

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“If I have a piece of cake, I make sure the piece of cake (is shared between) everyone. That’s me.”

This year’s parade is also special for other reasons, ME3 Abdul Razak added, noting that groups of young people in uniform, along with participants from social and economic organizations, will be marching in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic has struck.

“I can see the perseverance, the commitment (shows)… (as well as their) competence. Really, we want to maintain … do our best to support the whole NDP, for the whole nation to remember this thing,” he said.

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“Of course (what is special this year is) the involvement of young people from the school. And the civilians will come in…and be integrated into the virtual performance. It is something new and we are very happy about it.

Before he calls it a day, ME3 Abdul Razak said he just wants to deliver “another splendid performance for our nation” and make this year’s NPD a memorable one.

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