Musicians of HumanistSG – Nora

The first piece by our friends from Council of Ex-Muslims Singapore (CEMSG) came from Nora. Nora is a founding member of the group, and a mentor to the community.

Nora chose the Malay song poem “Tekad” , music by brothers Nur & Adee in the 1990s, based on a poem for lyrics by Mohd Latiff Mohd from 1970s. Tekad, roughly translated as ‘determination’, is about the feelings of post Singapore-Malaysia separation, leaving ethnic Malays in Singapore with a feeling of isolation, and the subsequent need for reflection and determination. Nora likened that to the separation of oneself from a religious faith, and the very similar feeling losing faith among a community of faithfuls evoked. It was a very meaningful interpretation of the song and it exhibited emotions with brilliance.

The feelings of separation are mixed. One could feel probably grief, despair, heartache; Or one could feel freedom, happiness, satisfaction; Or sense of longing. Nora’s delivery was one of quiet desperation & stoicism, with feelings of imposed hopelessness, subsequently living with it, and eventually overcoming it. The song’s minor key was well exploited by Nora, who most likely felt deeper as a daughter and a mother. Ponybard provided guitar accompaniment.


Is there any new sense of belonging after separation? Any other things worth looking forward, rather than backward to? We anticipate, and we hope, and we celebrate.