Meet the SAF senior band major who took part in 39 NDPs, including the year he was hospitalised

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

But come August, the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) senior band major Abdul Razak Mohammed Noor will make his swansong in his 40th and final parade before he retires.

Military Expert 3 (ME3) Abdul Razak, who turns 60 this year, has been part of every NDP since signing on with the then Republic of Singapore Navy band.

He is now part of the SAF Band, which was established after the service bands were restructured in 1994 - and he's come a long way.

At his first parade, ME3 Abdul Razak recalled “only carrying drinks for the participants”. He eventually performed with the clarinet, an instrument he picked up in secondary 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 never stopped serving the nation through music.

“To me, this is the biggest thing I can contribute to my country in terms of my expertise. I love most what I’ve been doing. I like to do something, not because of recognition, but just to share with everybody,” he told CNA. 

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

This year’s parade is also special for other reasons, added ME3 Abdul Razak, noting that youth uniformed groups, as well as participants from social and economic organisations, will march in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“I can see the perseverance, the commitment (shows) … (as well as their) competency. Really, we want to uphold … to deliver the best that we can do to support all the NDP, to make the whole nation remember this thing,” he said. 

“Of course, (what’s special this year is) the involvement of the school youth. And the civilians will come in … and integrated with the virtual performance. This is something new and we’re very happy with that.”

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

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