P Ramlee We will never forget the genius of this entertainer 15 jun 2011
ZAKARIA OMAR MOHAMED, Kota Baru, Kelantan
Born Teuku (Achinese for Tengku) Zakaria Teuku Nyak Putih in Penang, his foray into the celluloid world started in 1948 when the doyen of Shaw’s M.F.P. Studio in Singapore, the late B.S. Rajhans spotted him at a singing contest on the island.
His bright and breezy treatment of Inang Baru (Mak Inang as it was then known) continues to wow even to this day. His haunting melodies in Hang Tuah earned him The Best Music Award at the SEA Film Festival.
Incidentally, Sumpah Orang Minyak won Best Cinematography at another SEA Film Festival. Other international awards included Best Actor for Anakku Sazali; Best Comedy for Pendekar Bujang Lapuk; and Most Versatile Actor for Ibu Mertuaku.
I am paying tribute to P. Ramlee simply because he was a genius. Not only did he understand the art of movie-making, more importantly, he understood the minds of his countrymen.
That’s why whenever we watch his movies, we still cry and laugh at his tragedies and jokes. And unlike today’s local films, we can watch Tiga Abdul or Madu Tiga or any one of his movies for the umpteenth time and not get bored.
P. Ramlee died on May 29, 1973, (last month marked the thirty-eighth anniversary of his passing), but to his countless fans who grew up at a time when his movies were “Queen”, he is still alive — at least in their memory. (Excerpt from a letter published by New Straits Times, 15 June 2011.)