Merdeka Generation: From shy guy to avid volunteer

While the pioneer leaders were the architects of Singapore, everyday heroes helped build society here. This is the start of our new series Merdeka Generation, about those born in the 1950s who lived and persevered through a tumultuous period.

Mr Abdul Rashid Ibrahim (above) and Madam Fazilah Mohamed got married in 1981 (left). The photo of their three children - (below, from left) Ms Nur Hidayah, Mr Muhammad Taufiq and Ms Nur Diana - was taken in 1989. Ms Nur Hidayah died in 2011 as a res
Mr Abdul Rashid Ibrahim.PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Mr Abdul Rashid Ibrahim (above) and Madam Fazilah Mohamed got married in 1981 (left). The photo of their three children - (below, from left) Ms Nur Hidayah, Mr Muhammad Taufiq and Ms Nur Diana - was taken in 1989. Ms Nur Hidayah died in 2011 as a res
Mr Abdul Rashid Ibrahim conducting a class in the dementia education programme called Age Well Every Day at Tampines Changkat Community Club, where he has been a volunteer instructor since 2017. PHOTO: PEOPLE’S ASSOCIATION
Mr Abdul Rashid Ibrahim (above) and Madam Fazilah Mohamed got married in 1981 (left). The photo of their three children - (below, from left) Ms Nur Hidayah, Mr Muhammad Taufiq and Ms Nur Diana - was taken in 1989. Ms Nur Hidayah died in 2011 as a res
Mr Abdul Rashid Ibrahim and Madam Fazilah Mohamed got married in 1981. The photo of their three children - (above, from left) Ms Nur Hidayah, Mr Muhammad Taufiq and Ms Nur Diana - was taken in 1989. Ms Nur Hidayah died in 2011 as a result of lymphoma cancer.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ABDUL RASHID IBRAHIM

For the longest time in his youth, Mr Abdul Rashid Ibrahim was too shy to talk to girls.

Born in 1955 to a mechanic father and housewife mother, Mr Rashid was the third of 12 children - nine boys and three girls.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2019, with the headline 'From shy guy to avid volunteer'. Print Edition | Subscribe