Young leaders recognised for their contributions to society

Muhammad Riduan Zalani, 27, is hugely passionate about music, especially Malay traditional music. Over the past few years, Riduan has taken the music of the kompang, or Malay drum, to the international scene, performing in countries such as France, Australia and the United States.

But not forgetting his roots, Riduan also strongly believes that the youths of Singapore cannot forget their heritage. In 2011, he co-founded NADI Singapura, a traditional Malay music band comprising youths aged 15 to 27. He is also a drum instructor and conducts motivational talks at various organisations such as the Singapore Boys' Home.

"I am not just a drummer behind the throne...we feed off each other. The sense of willingness and awareness of both parties - that's the fuel for me," said Riduan. "With these kids, it's an organic process, because I see them grow."

He also strongly believes it is crucial that youths of today not neglect tradition. "We want to have leaders who are able to think ahead, but also not forget the past."

For his passion and works both in music and with the youth, the National Youth Council will be awarding him with the Singapore Youth Award (SYA), the highest accolade for youths. Riduan is one of six recipients of the award, whose names were announced on Thursday evening. The awards will be presented at the Istana on July 7.

The event also saw the launch of the SYA's new logo as well as the slogan 'Soar Above'.

The SYA, introduced in 1975, honours exceptional young people who have contributed significantly to the community and the nation.