A Com­men­tary By Ravin­dran Ra­man Kutty

Re­mem­ber­ing the great artiste of Malaysia

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME -

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr. P Ram­lee, a Malaysian film ac­tor, di­rec­tor, singer, song­writer, com­poser, and pro­ducer.

Due to his con­tri­bu­tions to the movie and mu­sic in­dus­try and his lit­er­ary work, he is con­sid­ered the icon of Malay en­ter­tain­ment Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, Brunei and In­done­sia.

The movie Bakti, launched the icon of Malaysian film­dom, P. Ram­lee as a charis­matic screen hero, by our doyen of Malaysian film in­dus­try none other than Tan Sri Datuk Dr. L Kr­ish­nan.

I would like to re­mem­ber this great leg­end and doyen of the Malay movies, which I never fail to en­joy too.

It was about 15 years ago, when I was watch­ing the fa­mous “Lak­samana Do Re Mi” and “Ali Baba and 40 thieves”, my son who was just five and my daugh­ter who was three was so ex­cited to see the movies, were roar­ing with laugh­ter and en­joy­ing ev­ery move this ef­fer­ves­cent hero makes.

I was so sur­prised by the power of his movies. The movie has a nat­u­ral at­trac­tion for any age. Whether you are 5 or 50 or 70 you will al­ways en­joy P Ram­lee’s movies. My chil­dren started watch­ing his movies with­out fail. I am to­tally awed by the way he presents and acts.

The great P Ram­lee was born on 22 March 1929. His late fa­ther, Teuku Nyak Puteh, was a sailor from Acheh, who later mar­ried Che Mah Hus­sain.

He at­tended Seko­lah Je­nis Ke­bangsaan Me­layu Kam­pung Jawa and Fran­cis Light pri­mary school. Next he was at the fa­mous Pe­nang Free School un­til the Sec­ond World War broke out. Dur­ing the Ja­panese oc­cu­pa­tion years in Malaysia, he con­tin­ued his stud­ies at the Ja­panese Navy Academy. When the war ended, he re­sumed his stud­ies in Pe­nang Free School and was very ac­tive in sports.

In 1947, he won the first place in a song com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­ised by Pe­nang Ra­dio. Seven years af­ter his act­ing ca­reer started, P. Ram­lee di­rected his first film, Penarek Becha. In 1957, he ap­peared in the first of his Bu­jang Lapok comedic films, in which he acted along with Aziz Sat­tar and S. Sham­sud­din, and which are still pop­u­lar among mod­ern Malay film watch­ers.

Dur­ing his ca­reer he di­rected and acted in 66 films, and had more than 360 songs to his credit. He re­turned per­ma­nently to Kuala Lumpur af­ter years with Shaw Broth­ers in Sin­ga­pore.

His fi­nal film was Lak­samana Do Re Mi in 1973. In his last song, “Air Mata di Kuala Lumpur” (Tears in Kuala Lumpur), also in 1973, the lyrics de­picted his crushed feel­ings from a se­ries of dis­ap­point­ments and set­backs upon re­turn­ing to Malaysia af­ter years in Sin­ga­pore.

P. Ram­lee was mar­ried three times. His first mar­riage, to Ju­naidah in 1950, ended in a di­vorce four years later. His sec­ond mar­riage, in 1955 to Noorizan Mohd. Noor Menonolq, a mem­ber of the Perak Roy­alty, ended in di­vorce as well in 1961. His last mar­riage was in Novem­ber 1961, to singer Salmah Is­mail, who was bet­ter known as Saloma.

On 29 May 1973, P. Ram­lee died at the age of 44 from a heart at­tack and was buried at Jalan Am­pang Mus­lim Ceme­tery, in Kuala Lumpur.

In 1986, 13 years af­ter his death, in hon­our of his con­tri­bu­tions to the Malaysian en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, the P. Ram­lee Me­mo­rial or Pus­taka Peringatan P. Ram­lee was built in his home in Se­ta­pak, Kuala Lumpur.

In 1982, the street Jalan Parry, in the cen­tre of Kuala Lumpur, was re­named Jalan P. Ram­lee in his hon­our. In 1990, he was posthu­mously awarded the Malaysian hon­orific ti­tle Tan Sri, and then in 2009, the hon­orific ti­tle of “Datuk Amar” by Sarawak State Gov­ern­ment. The Chief Min­is­ter of Sarawak then, Datuk Pat­tingi Ab­dul Taib Mah­mud (now Tun), an avid fan of P. Ram­lee, pre­sented the award to his adopted daugh­ter, Dian P. Ram­lee, in a cer­e­mony hon­our­ing vet­eran artistes in Kuching.

On 31 Oc­to­ber 2010, a 90-minute doc­u­men­tary on his life was aired on His­tory Chan­nel Asia. Dur­ing the doc­u­men­tary, it was re­vealed that P. Ram­lee’s death was a shock to the na­tion, and a sense of col­lec­tive guilt be­gan to spread na­tion­wide. Prior to his death he had been dis­cred­ited and re­jected by his own na­tion, cit­ing that he was a “has been” and that his songs and film were no longer mar­ketable.

The doc­u­men­tary also re­vealed that de­spite his pre­vi­ous suc­cess in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, P. Ram­lee died a poor­man; hav­ing given away the last of his money to a vis­i­tor to the house whom he deemed needed the money more than he.

The P. Ram­lee House is a mu­seum sit­u­ated along Jalan P. Ram­lee (for­merly Caunter Hall road) in Pe­nang, Malaysia. The build­ing is a re­stored wooden house that was orig­i­nally built in 1926 by his fa­ther and un­cle.

The house had pre­vi­ously un­der­gone mul­ti­ple re­pairs be­fore be­ing taken over by the National Ar­chives as an ex­ten­sion of its P. Ram­lee Me­mo­rial project in Kuala Lumpur. -Ber­nama

P Ram­lee

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.