New version of S’pore anthem to play today

  • Singapore
  • Tuesday, 03 Dec 2019

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s national anthem, Majulah Singapura (meaning “Onward Singapore” in Malay), will be updated as part of celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the city-state’s national symbols.

The new version is a rendition by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said yesterday.

“It will be revealed tomorrow (today) as part of a commemoration ceremony for the 60th anniversary of the anthem, national flag and state crest,” she added.

This will be the first update to the national anthem since the current version was recorded in 2001.

Majulah Singapura was composed in 1958 by the late Zubir Said as an official song for the City Council of Singapore. It was based on the council’s motto “Majulah Singapura”.

After Singapore attained self-governance in 1959, then Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye expressed interest in adopting it as the national anthem.

The song was adapted slightly and introduced as Singapore’s national anthem on Dec 3, 1959, at the City Hall Chamber.

The occasion also marked the swearing-in of Yusof Ishak as Singapore’s first Malayan-born head of state. He later became Singapore’s first president.

At a rally attended by 25,000 citizens at the Padang, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew called for Singaporeans to come together under the flag, anthem and state crest, and to pledge their loyalty to the new nation.Yesterday, Fu said the adoption of the national symbols in 1959 was a vital moment for Singapore as a young nation.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth said the new rendition is based on the 2001 musical arrangement by composer and Cultural Medallion recipient Phoon Yew Tien.

The new rendition of the national anthem will be broadcast for the first time on all local radio stations at 11.20am tomorrow. — The Straits Times/ANN

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