They share S'pore's birthday

Mohammad Helmi Hatni and daughter Nur Adilah.

SINGAPORE - Civil servant Mohammad Helmi Hatni and his daughter were both born on Aug 9.

So of course, there's no worry about ever forgetting their birthdays.

"Even if I forget, the whole country will remind me," he joked.

Mr Mohammad Helmi turns 37 on Friday while his daughter Nur Adilah will be 10.

Mr Mohammad Helmi said he didn't expect a National Day baby as the doctor advised his wife to be warded on the eve of National Day in 2003.

But baby Adilah was born at 1.21pm the next day.

Special feeling

"It's really a special feeling for me. It makes celebrating National Day more meaningful," he said.

Mr Mohammad Helmi also has a son, aged seven, who was born in January. The family planning "wasn't so zhun (Hokkien for accurate)" for him, said Mr Mohammad Helmi jokingly.

And while the family usually spends Aug 9 at their three-room Marine Drive flat watching the National Day Parade on television, they always head to the Marina Bay area to catch the fireworks.

"It's her favourite," he said, pointing to his beaming daughter.

She does not like crowded places, but would brave the throng just to see fireworks, which Mr Mohammad Helmi described as a "very Singaporean thing".

With Hari Raya Puasa falling a day before National Day this year, the family has also made red and white baju kurung to mark the occasion.

When he was studying, Mr Mohammad Helmi, who has three siblings, would always be involved in the National Day celebrations in school.

"I would always be on stage with my teachers to cut the cake because they knew it was also my birthday," he said.

His wife, Madam Sabariah Abdul Wahab, 36, a housewife, joked: "He always has to share cake with others. Last time, with his teachers, now, with our daughter. Good for me also... Just need to get one cake for them."

 

benjamin@sph.com.sg

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