‘King of the parade square’ – SAF’s first regimental sergeant major dies at 90

Captain (Retired) Shamsudin Shadan died on Tuesday morning. PHOTO: CHAN CHUN SING/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) first regimental sergeant major (RSM), Captain (Ret) Shamsudin Shadan, died on Tuesday morning at the age of 90.

Besides holding the moniker “king of the parade square” and being RSM of the 1st Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment, he also organised the country’s first National Day Parade (NDP) in 1966 as the parade RSM.

In a tribute, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong described his former RSM at the SAF Training Institute (Safti) as an “example of discipline and pride in the SAF”.

“He was one of our SAF pioneers who undertook the difficult task of building up our defence forces when we became independent.

“Cpt (Ret) Shamsudin left a lasting impression on me and the thousands of SAF servicemen who experienced Safti training,” PM Lee said on Facebook.

During his July 2015 speech at a dinner to commemorate 50 years of the SAF, PM Lee brought up how the former army regular with a military career of 29 years had put together the marching contingent for the nation’s first NDP in just 50 days.

He said: “He drilled the troops again and again, so that on Aug 9, 1966, as they marched past City Hall, they marched past smartly and we cheered them with pride.”

PM Lee added in his post on Tuesday that Cpt (Ret) Shamsudin was a person who instilled a strong fighting spirit and determination to defend Singapore in his charges.

He also continued to serve the community even after he left the force, having been the former chairman of Qaryah Kampong Holland, which organises community and family-based activities.

“Cpt (Ret) Shamsudin lived a long, full life, and will be remembered by his achievements and the values he stood for,” said PM Lee.

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Facebook that the retired captain’s reputation as a disciplinarian was legendary among early batches of servicemen.

Mr Chan, who is a former chief of army, added: “I know Cpt Shamsudin well as he was also an active grassroots leader in Buona Vista. He was passionate and dedicated to serving our residents. He held high standards and expected that of himself too.

“Farewell to a trusted comrade and true son of Singapore.”

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