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Wednesday April 25, 2012

Do P. Ramlee justice

I WAS shocked and saddened to read “MPs rescue P. Ramlee’s house” (The Star, April 20). While I felt relief at the show of kindness by some Barisan National MPs in ensuring that the legacy of Tan Sri P. Ramlee lives on, what I can’t digest is why is this happening?

Every now and then we read about people and the authorities being concerned with the preservation and conservation of heritage.

And one case of heritage that’s worth preserving is the legendary man himself - P. Ramlee.

Every Malaysian, irrespective of race, religion and creed, young or old, knows this giant of a man.

In fact, until this very day we still “live and breathe” P. Ramlee’s great works of art, be it music or movies.

Many had made riches of what he left behind, both movies and music.

Yet this man who had contributed so much to the country did not benefit from his works.

To me, P. Ramlee was a pioneer who taught us about 1Malaysia long before the concept was even heard of.

We don’t have many iconic personalities in the arts that can match P. Ramlee.

He had not left us much in terms of houses, cars and other worldly possessions. But he did leave us songs and movies that are repeatedly screened and played.

Now that P. Ramlee’s house problem has caught the attention of the MPs and Umno Youth, resolve also the predicament faced by the showman’s daughter-in-law over the quit rent arrears to City Hall.

Perhaps just waive the charges in tribute of his immense contributions to the nation at large.

We know the house in Penang where P. Ramlee was born (pic) is under the watchful eye and care of the archives department.

The house in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, too, should be turned into a sort of gallery cum studio housing all his music/movies under one roof.

The problem of family members living there can be settled by City Hall offering them available DBKL-managed apartments.

I feel ashamed to hear that many years after his death, problems related to copyright, let alone his little property, remain unsolved.

True to the Malay saying “Harimau mati meninggalkan belang; manusia mati meninggalkan nama”.

P. Ramlee left only his name, but no material wealth.

Is this how we repay a multi-talented man who has given us “moments of great laughs and songs to sing the blues” from the 60s until this very day?

I guess Tan Sri P. Ramlee would have been a monumental figure had he been born either in Hollywood or Bollywood.

Petaling Jaya.


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