KUALA LUMPUR: To ensure that the legacy of Tan Sri P. Ramlee lives on, Barisan Nasional MPs have stepped in to save his house in Taman Setapak here from being auctioned off by City Hall.
The family living there has failed to pay quit rent arrears amounting to RM10,220 over the past 10 years, prompting City Hall to seal it.
“We managed to raise RM9,565,” said Sri Gading MP Datuk Mohamad Aziz, speaking on behalf of the other legislators who had chipped in.
We were shocked to learn that the house had been sealed, he said at Parliament lobby yesterday, adding that City Hall’s move was “disrespectful to the legendary entertainer”.
The house, registered under Ramli Puteh, is now occupied by the showman’s daughter-in-law Suria Bakar. She is the widow of Nasir Ramlee, a son of the music and film icon.
Suria lives there with two of their sons, Zakaria Nasir, 21, and Zaidee Nasir, 22.
Mohamad urged the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry as well as wealthy organisations to assist the family.
He proposed that the house be made a heritage site.
Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail has used his discretion to exempt Suria from paying interest and warrant, which amounted to RM5,874.
Umno Youth community complaints bureau chief Datuk Muhd Khairun Aseh said all the outstanding sum due to City Hall had been settled yesterday.
“Although P. Ramlee died before he could stay at the house, it would be a shame to see it auctioned off,” he added.
Muhd Khairun said Zakaria and Zaidee had been offered scholarships, in appreciation of their late grandfather’s contributions to the entertainment industry, to study Professional Diploma in Sound and Music at the Limkokwing University.
However, Zaidee had declined the offer, saying he would like to pursue a career in acting instead.
Zakaria got his scholarship revoked after failing some papers.
With Umno Youth’s help, the scholarship has been reinstated with the condition that Zakaria sits for his failed papers again.
The house, bought by P. Ramlee in the 1960s, was used as location for his movie Gerimis in 1968.