Thirty seven years ago on May 29 1973, the whole of Malaysia wept for the loss of the country’s brightest, funniest, multitalented and charismatic son. P. Ramlee… he was all this, and much, much more.
As a young girl in primary school, I remember sobbing endlessly when P Ramlee passed away. I was afraid there would be no more Friday night movies.Almost every Friday, we would drive back from Kuantan to Chenor to my grandfather's place and the highlight was the P Ramlee movie on the black and white telly. The neighbours would come by to watch and the kids would be playing in the garden. Innocent times. Black and white times. Cherished times.
P. Ramlee was born in Penang, Teuku Zakaria Teuku Nyak Puteh on March 22, 1929. As the young Teuku Zakaria entered school, his father registered him as Ramlee Puteh. It was in 1947, at a talentime competition at the City Light Hall in Penang, when he first used the stage name P Ramlee.
359 songs, 62 films and 4 theatre productions later, P Ramlee, the legend, was destined to remain forever in the hearts of all Malaysians from all walks of life, from the comedians to the royalty, the politicians to the men on the street, the young and the old, the romantics and the realists.
Today, children born long after he has gone sing his songs and laugh at the classic jokes in his ever classic comedies like Bujang Lapok, DO RE MI and LABU LABI: The subtle message in Ibu Mertuaku and Antara Dua Darjat continue to confront those who live in a materialistic society. History and folklore became visibly alive and real in the movies Hang Tuah, Sultan Mahmood Mangkat Di Julang and Nujum Pak Belalang. My personal favourite? Sumpah Semerah Padi.
Recognition of P Ramlee's work was in the region was testimony to his genius. The film Madu Tiga won the award for the Best Comedy Film at the Asian Film Festival in Hong Kong. And P Ramlee’s potrayal of both father and son in Anak-Ku Sazali in 1956 won him due recognition as the Best actor in Asia.
In 1990, His Majesty the Yang diPertuan Agong IX Sultan Azlan Shah posthumously awarded the title Panglima Setia Mahkota which carries the title Tan Sri in acknowledgement of P Ramlee’s achievements, contributions and dedication in his work throughout his lifetime.
His legacy is a national treasure that brings people of all stature and background together in reflection… in tears and in laughter. Timeless… unforgettable…irreplaceable…
In words of Sasterawan Negara, Datuk A Samad Said….
Ketiadaannya dirasakan kehadirannya
Kehadirannya dirasakan kehilangannya
Kehilangannya dirasakan kerugiannya
Kita terlalu terhutang kepadanya…
If I could turn back the clock
Il y a 3 ans