LEGENDARY ACTOR JINS SHAMSUDDIN DIES
DENNIS CHUA looks back at the legacy and stellar movie career of one of the nation’s most versatile leading men
AN iconic action hero of Malaysian and Singaporean cinema, and perhaps the only other Agent 007, apart from Ian Fleming’s James Bond, Tan Sri Jins Shamsuddin, 81, died yesterday.
Jins, who played Agen Jefri Zain 007 in action-packed spy movies filmed in Hong Kong in the 1960s, was one of the first Malaysian “secret agent men” to grace the silver screen via Malay Film Productions a.k.a. Jalan Ampas Studio in Singapore.
Jins, of Acehnese descent, was born on Nov 5, 1935, in Taiping, Perak, as Mohamed Zain Shamsuddin, and his cinematic mentor was none other than the late screen and music legend Tan Sri P. Ramlee.
He has a diploma in Film Technology from the London Film School, the United Kingdom, and was encouraged by P. Ramlee to pursue acting in Singapore in the 1950s. He worked hard to master his craft, and had a stellar movie career, appearing in more than 40 films over five decades.
Jins’s best-known films include P. Ramlee’s Panca Delima, Di Belakang Tabir and Bukan Salah Ibu
Mengandung; the Jefri Zain secret agent films (which were in colour); the historical Bukit Kepong (where he played real-life Sergeant Jamil Mohd Shah, who fought communists in Muar, Johor); and, the tear-jerking Esok films of the 1970s, such as Esok Untuk Siapa,
Tiada Esok Bagimu and Esok Masih Ada, which he directed. He directed and starred in Ali
Setan, a mid-1980s romantic-comedy, which helped boost the acting careers of Fauziah “Ogy” Ahmad Daud, Azmil Mustapha and the late Izi Yahya.
Singer Datuk Sheila Majid also starred in the film, the first of two in her career.
Jins’s last blockbuster film, in which he played the late Sultan Ibrahim of Johor, was 1957 - Hati
Malaya, directed by Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba.
He was also a talented lyricist and wrote the late Fazidah Joned’s Aidilfitri hit song, Selamat Hari Raya, with its classic line “Semoga kita berjumpa
lagi” (“May we meet again”).
In 1990, he was made a Datuk by the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak. He was awarded the title of Tan Sri by the 13th King, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu.
In 2009, the government honoured him with the Seniman Negara title.
Jins had also served as a senator and chairman of the National Film Development Corporation (Finas).
He is survived by his wife, Puan Sri Halijah Abdullah, and three children.
His son, Putera Hang Jebat, said his father suffered breathing difficulties after choking while having tea with their family, and was admitted to a clinic near his home in Hulu Klang. He later died.
He will be buried at the Masjid Al Ridzuan Muslim Cemetery today after prayers held at 11am.
Photos of Tan Sri Jins Shamsuddin through the years.