Beat the drums for this drummer

Beat the drums for this drummer
Mr Muhammad Riduan Zalani

SINGAPORE - don't have to be a doctor or a lawyer to be a successful individual.

Just look at this particular successful Malay.

Just look at local drummer Muhammad Riduan Zalani, who was mentioned during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally speech last Sunday.

The speech, which lasted just under three hours, covered key policy changes in housing, education and health care.

When PM Lee spoke in Bahasa Melayu, he spotlighted two individuals - Mr Riduan and Dr Rufaihah Abdul Jalil, a senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

Of Mr Riduan, Mr Lee said: "Another example of a Malay person who has succeeded is (Riduan)... who won the Singapore Youth Award this year.

"He has brought the sounds of the kompang and rebana (traditional Malay instruments) to the world, including France, Australia and the US.

"I met Riduan when he performed at a Mendaki event (and) his talent is impressive.

"I watched his YouTube videos. Very energetic and entertaining."

Mr Lee then signalled for a YouTube video of Mr Riduan performing three different styles of drumming to be aired, before saying: "These are not triplets, but a three-in-one performance by Riduan. Good, right?"

In an e-mail interview, Mr Riduan told The New Paper: "I'm flabbergasted! I'm definitely honoured to be mentioned by our PM."

He said the PM's Office contacted him a few weeks before the National Day Rally for a high-definition copy of his Eastern Junglist Massive video.

"I was curious as to why they wanted it... I didn't know what exactly was going to happen."

Mr Riduan had posted the video on YouTube in May last year. And in November, Mr Lee posted a link to the video on his Facebook page after the two met at a Mendaki event.

When Mr Lee gave his speech last Sunday, Mr Riduan was in Madrid, Spain, to play a series of shows. The 28-year-old full-time musician returns to Singapore today.

PM Lee had previously put the video up on his Facebook page. "(My family members) were really happy and kept saying I should have been in Singapore when it happened, especially these past few days when there has been a lot of attention given to me for my drumming and contribution to the community."

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