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Thursday June 23, 2011

P. Ramlee kin seek share of royalty

ALTHOUGH Shaw Brothers is still raking in millions of ringgit for television rights to movies of the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee, none of his family members have reportedly been paid royalties.

Lawyer Datuk Hamzah Mohd Kassim, who is representing P. Ramlee’s grandchildren, said it was only appropriate that a certain amount of money be paid to the family members as token payment.

“This, despite the ambiguity in legal provision when it comes to the entitlement of royalty payment for films made several decades ago,” he said at a press conference yesterday at the P. Ramlee Gallery next to Rumah P. Ramlee in Penang, the house where the late Malaysian entertainment icon grew up in.

Shaw Brothers receives royalty payments as it owns the rights to P. Ramlee’s movies.

Recently, it is learnt that a cross-media group with significant presence in DTH (Direct-To-Home) TV services, paid Shaw Brothers several millions of ringgit for the rights to air P. Ramlee’s movies over three years.

Home of an icon: A group of visitors including the grandchildren of P. Ramlee touring the house of the late entertainer

“In the olden days, the movies were only meant for theatres.

“Nobody, not even Shaw Brothers, could have anticipated that P. Ramlee’s movies would be aired on television all over the world following his untimely death in 1973.

“As such, the family members clearly deserve some sort of payment based on the extra income generated from television rights.

“There is basis for such demand to be made based on my findings from a few legal experts,” he said.

Hamzah said he would suggest to the Federal Government to hold talks with Shaw Brothers over the payment to the family members.

He said so far, the family members had only received about RM200,000 from recording companies for playing P. Ramlee’s songs last year.

He added that the Government should also hold talks with their counterparts in Indonesia over royalty payment as P. Ramlee’s songs are also widely played there.

Also present were the Federation of Malay Culture and Art Associations president Datuk Seri Mohd Yussof Latiff and Roslina Bahari, the director of Kembara Dunia Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd.

Mohd Yussof said they have secured green light from the Education Ministry to rename SK Kampung Jawa Baru — the school where P. Ramlee received his primary education — after the singer.

Roslina also launched two travel packages themed “P. Ramlee Heritage Trail” during the event.

For details, call 03-77224304/4308.

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