Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesdays With Bapak

Of P Ramlee And Music - July 10, 2007

I remember the day P. Ramlee died, sometime in May 1973. I was in my first year of Pre-university studies at ITM (now UiTM) in Shah Alam.
If 1973 had been today, I think we all would have got the news of his death fast and furious.
But there were no mobile phones then. No computers. And Shah Alam was in the boondocks. Really, it was.
I am not even sure whether the morning papers were delivered regularly to campus, or to whom they were delivered.
I cannot remember where I was able to get hold of newspapers to read -- at our hostel, our school or the library?
Not many of us had transistors in our rooms. I know I didn't. As for televsion, I believe there was one set for one hostel area. At that time there were 4 hostel areas and each area, I think, had three to four hostel blocks.
I do not remember ever watching TV anywhere in campus back then.
So, if we did not venture out of our little campus, read the papers, listen to the radio, watch television or make that occasional phone call home, we were, to a large extent, cut off from the world outside.
What helped a great deal were conversations with our lecturers. They were our main source of information about the latest happenings in the country.

I remember making my way to my classroom for morning lectures on the seventh floor of the multi-storey ITM building when several of my sixth form classmates were abuzz with talk that P. Ramlee had passed away.
It was more like a rumour, not a statement of fact because it was something someone heard and passed on.
The "news" spread like wild fire.
Finally, one of our lecturers confirmed that P Ramlee had died.

I was 17. I had watched a lot of P Ramlee movies. I knew all his songs.
But, really, I don't think that at that time I was a diehard fan although I thoroughly enjoyed his movies and loved his songs immensely.
I was very aware that P Ramlee was hugely talented as a film maker and song writer but I think, at that time, I (and I am sure many others too) had taken his talent for granted, never for a moment stopping to appreciate his genius, his brilliance.

I knew that the day P Ramlee died was a sad day for many people. But what I did not know was how the news of his death had affected Bapak.

A few years later, (by which time I and the rest of Malaysia, had truly appreciated P Ramlee's gift and greatness) I read an article (in a Malay magazine or a book) about P Ramlee. It had quotes from P Ramlee's friends and people who knew him. One of them was Bapak.
Now I cannot remember if the writer of the article interviewed Bapak or he interviewed someone who was privy to this conversation Bapak had with P Ramlee.
Bapak had told P Ramlee that if the time came for P Ramlee to meet his maker, Bapak would weep, for his passing would be a great loss.

I asked Bapak about it. Did he really say that to P Ramlee?
I knew that Bapak loved his songs and would play his records at home.
P Ramlee, keroncong and Asli (Malay and Indonesian) music made up the lot of our music collection.

Bapak encouraged us to listen to music -- rock, pop, blues, jazz or whatever was our fancy.
But, he believed that we had to be exposed to the classics first. Just like books. Read the classics first.
He did not force us to listen to P Ramlee, R Azmi, Affandi, Bach, Chopin or Tchaikovsky.
He just played them at home.

When Abang Med began writing songs for artistes in the late 70s, Bapak reminded him to go back to listening to P Ramlee for inspiration.
Abang Med needn't have to because P Ramlee had been a part of his musical staple.

I cannot remember when or where I asked Bapak that question.
But I remember his reply.
Yes, he did say that to P Ramlee.
What was P Ramlee's response?
He was naturally touched by Bapak's remarks. I suppose it was a huge recognition by an old friend.
Bapak knew P Ramlee in the early days when the legend arrived in Singapore from Penang to try his luck in filmdom.
Every young hopeful would go to Singapore because in the 50s, it was the centre of everything, including culture and the film world.
The Jalan Ampas studio was where they headed for.

Eleven Jalan Yahya was my grandfather's house in Kampung Melayu, off Jalan Eunos in Singapore.
Bapak was at that time with Utusan Melayu. His friends were not only politicians but young struggling artistes counted among them.
Young people trying to make it as actors would arrive in Singapore with nowhere to stay. Through friends of friends, they would get to know Bapak. Some would put up at Datuk's house before finding a place of their own.
P Ramlee was among them.
In fact, that was how Usman Awang (Tongkat Warrant) first got to know Bapak.
He had come to Singapore to either be an actor or a reporter.
He had gone for a screen test and also applied to be a reporter.
Pak Cik Tongkat got the call from the newspaper first so he accepted the job.
It turned out that he had also "passed" the screen test. But that came a little too late. Otherwise, who knows, Usman Awang would have been as great an actor as P Ramlee.

I did not know that some of the well-known names in Malay movieland were known to Bapak until I was in form five (in 1972) when I went to fetch Noorkumalasari from her house.
We were from different schools but were involved in a cultural show.
Her parents, S Roomai Noor and Umi Kalsom were there. So, she introduced me to her (now late) father.
Although it was not my first time at her house, it was my first time meeting her parents.

"Anak Samad. Anak Comel? Uncle kenal your father. Uncle kenal your grandmother. Masa dulu, Uncle pernah duduk rumah your grandmother.
"How is your father?
"Kirim salam ayah, ya. Cakap nama Uncle, sure dia kenal," he said. I was momentarily speechless.

At home later that day, I sent the actor's salam and asked Bapak about what he had related.
"Yaa... ramai dulu datang rumah nenek.. Bapak kalau tak kahwin dengan Mak awak, Bapak dah kahwin dengan seniwati-seniwati dulu," he replied, his face grinning so devilishly I did not ask him further for fear of unwelcomed details.
All I said was : "Teruk lah Bapak ni. Bilang Mak nanti."
His reply was : "Mak awak dah tahu." Followed by his cackle and guffaw.

Bapak knew P Ramlee well but there was little contact between them in later years because, I suppose, they led separate lives. One a very famous "seniman", the other, a very busy newspaper editor.
But it seemed when their paths did meet, during functions and events to which Bapak was invited, they would pick up where they left off and talked as though they'd never been apart. They'd be rib-tickling each other and laughing away.

I was told about a musical/cultural performance at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in which P Ramlee performed sometime in the 60s.
Bapak was there with Mak.
During the performance, P Ramlee announced that he was going to sing a song dedicated to his old friend, Samad.
The song was "Merak Kayangan" which P Ramlee knew to have been a favourite of Bapak's during their Singapore days.

So, yes. Bapak did weep the day P Ramlee died.


Mat Salo said...

Kak Ena,

Today I was indeed perving around the perimeter of the blogosphere, when I was duly rewarded after you hit that "Publish" tab..

P.Ramlee's Death.. Yes, I remembered that day too. OK lah, I was a Std. 5 schoolboy in JB busy main marbles and 'sepak Yem'. To pay my respect, I once visited his grave in Jln Ampang behind Lai Meng Chinese school some years later. Is the graveyard still there?

PR was a true Genius and how fortunate for Bapak to have known him, and perhaps even helped him along the way on his path to the Stars.

Haha.. didn't know Tongkat passed the screen test - but glad he got the reporters job first! But he would've made a great scriptwriter if anything..

Anyway, in Indonesia where I'm posting this comment, PR has suddenly become relevant again.

Go to any CD shops in any town and the latest release is TT DJ's "Best of". It's not released in Bolaysia yet, I don't think. Just in the market for the past 2-3 weeks.

Guess what Track 1 of the CD is?

Hint -(Words: Jamil Sulong, Song: PR)

ENGKAU LAKSANA BULAN- Given the full lush arrangement by top Indo producers that only A PR song deserves!

Almost FOUR decades on, his songs are still going thru' the airwaves in this archipelago of A QUARTER BILLION people...

Anonymous said...

Ah Kak Ena, this one goes straight to my heart.

Long time ago when I was really young, Ayah strummed the gitar kapok he kept at home and sang this song -

Di mana kan ku cari ganti
Serupa denganmu
Tak sanggup ku berpisah
Dan berhati patah
Hidup gelisah

Alangkah pedih rasa hati
Selama kau pergi
Tinggalku sendirian
Tiada berteman
Dalam kesepian

Dunia terang menjadi gelita
Cahaya indah tiada berguna
Keluhan hatiku
Menambah derita
Tetap kau jua
Tak kunjung jelma

Dimana kan ku cari ganti
Mungkinkah di syurga
Untuk kawan berduka
Menangis bersama
Selama-lama ....

He said the song reminded him of his late mother, Julia whom I didnt get to see. She passed away before I was born.

Now, I couldn't even hear the song and not weep at the same time, thinking about my father. But I know, wherever he is right now, he's happy. Perhaps playing music or reading books up there.

Thanks for the memories Kak Ena. When would I get to see you nih?


Mat Salo,

hey, you're the first today.
if you could.... please get me the PR collection. I will pay you in Ringgit the next time we meet.

Can't wait to hear the sound.

I tell you... we should be giving that kind of fantastic treatment to his songs.

Amazing...P Ramlee will never die, man.



how wonderful to have beautiful music passed on to you..

and i love this song too.

hari ni mee rebus-lah..

Mat Salo said...

No problem Kak.. I'll bring back that latest TT DJ CD with the ENGKAU LAKSANA BULAN hit single in it..

Can pay in Rups, Sing, or Ringgit no problem... Eh no need, just blanja me Mee Rebus enough..he..

Sheila Majid once payed homage to the great PR in her "Gemilang" album...But for a top Indo DIVA to o the same? Now? How prescient of your posting kak Ena!

As usual, regards and Salaam to all attendees...

Anonymous said...

and the song.
dalam air ku terbayang wajah,
adik ku nan .........
and another song.......
rindu hatiku tidak terkira
terkenang orang yang .....


mat salo,

thank you...
mee rebus SPECIAL coming your way the next time.

Hey, you know... i'd really like to know about that collection of PR songs.

WOuld be nice to see it in your blog.

ok..will kirim your salam to the usual suspects at Kak Ton's.

Keanorlinsya said...

Actually the song 'dimana kan ku cari ganti', should be dedicated to P.Ramlee himself. More than 50 years since his paa, belum tentu ada org boleh ganti. Nak sampai his level pun susah. Although i never knew him as a living person, his biographies, movies, songs tells the same thing. He's one hell of a character. And yes, a very versatile entertainer. The only one who ever receive an award for being the most versatile in the entertainment arena.

Aunty Ena, your bapak lived a wonderful life. Great family, great friends, colourful characters in his life, and most of all, wonderful experiences. He have been through it all.

Anonymous said...

Kak ena,

Got meeting at 3 pm! Arghhhh

Pi Bani said...

I was still in primary school when a neighbour of mine kepoh-kepoh, "P.Ramlee mati dalam radio!"
Oh well, never mind her sentence... but it was THE big news then.

P.Ramlee is a name even the younger generation are familiar with even though he died long before they were born.

Anyway, you all sebut pasal mee rebus ni, teringin pulak nak makan mee rebus. Nak kena gi cari le nanti...

P.Bani :)
P.Bani... :)

Mat Salo said...

Eh Kak Ena.. sorry. Bukan collection but satu lagu jer Track 1 - the first single. Yang lain-lain tu her previous hits. Which you deserve a copy anyway..Sorry didn't make that clear.


anon@11:02am: i am misty-eyed now..

kea: how right you are, my dear. and coming from someone as young as you are.. that is something. Ni mesti your mum yang main lagu2 dan filem2 P ramlee, ek?
Good for her!
Belum ada pengganti..

Elviza: aaaah.... meeeeting.
Tak apa lah.... another time. Bangsar Village..same place.

Pi: A legend.. a man so gifted that we have yet to find a replacement.
mee rebus? If you are in KL, certainly you are invited. i will give u directions. do email me.

Mat salo: alahai... thank you, brother.

Anonymous said...

LOL... tergolek2... LOL! @ Pi Bani: ... a neighbour of mine kepoh-kepoh, "P.Ramlee mati dalam radio!"

Kacaulah awak, Pi! :b

Saya sedap2 tengah melayan emo sentimental yang tersentuh semacam baca masukan Ena kali ini... tiba2 terencat sebab urat geli bodoh saya tersentuh oleh komen awak. Hahahaha!

Aduhai! Sampai tak ingat dah apa nak kata...

[Ena, nanti when I ingat apa yang I nak kata, I'll come back... kacau betul P. yang sorang lagi ni. :D ]

Meantime I'll go rummage for my PR CDs... dikau umpama merak kayangan...

Anonymous said...


I first saw Roomai Noor and Umi Kalthom when I was eight. One night as I entered nenek’s house after my mengaji class, I had a shock of my life when I saw two famous film stars sitting in nenek’s living room.

There was Roomai Noor & his wife, Umi Kalhthom, chatting away with nenek, arwah Wak Echon & Cik Ah.

They had come to visit nenek. Although I was very young, I knew who they were – celebrities of the day.

Roomai Noor was good looking and Umi Kalthom, beautiful … like what film stars should be. Beautiful couple indeed! I just gawked at them – especially at Umi Kalhtom who was dressed in an evening gown. I couldn’t get my eyes off her. I just stood behind her... admiring her. Cantik sungguh!

I didn’t know why they had come & the connection they had with our family. Later nenek told me that Roomai Noor had stayed at rumah Jalan Yahya when he first came to Singapore from Pahang - long before he became the famous actor.



Keanorlinsya said...

Aha! Im full of surprises. Hahaha.
Dah trained to watching his movies nd listening to his songs. And read a lot bout him too.

Sebenarnye mane ada org yg gdr lagu P.Ramlee tak akan suka. Name me one person, a needle in the haystack.

By the way, i meant to write '50years since his passing...'



LOL.... kelakar, kan boleh gelak sekarang,ek?
dulu, menangis berbaldi2.

Mekyam -- the next time you are in Taman Tun which means you are in KL which means you are in Malaysia, you are to get in touch with me, Abang Med or Kak Ton...or all of us at once.
Do whatever it is you have to do, and then call us...

and that's really good that you are reading the 2 books.

take care.



bagus tu.. di didik macam tu.

proud of you.
as your parents must be.

take care... and write that "50 years...."


kak ton,

supposed to already be at your house for the mee rebus, tapi tangan gatal nak check blog. elviza dah sampai at your place.

anyway.... yes... i know about you encounter with malaya's screen idols.
i think Mak ada simpan gambar2 seniman dan seniwati yang close dengan nenek and family.

ok... going now, before u start calling me.

Anonymous said...

Sis Ena,
"Bapak kalau tak kahwin dengan Mak awak, Bapak dah kahwin dengan seniwati-seniwati dulu," he replied, his face grinning so devilishly I did not ask him further for fear of unwelcomed details.
LOL until my sides ache at the above snippet.
Glad that the irreplaceable legend's place in Malaysian history is assured. We have trendy Jalan P. Ramlee. In Penang, there is Auditorium P. Ramlee. I remember we took our children, Arman and Ainaa (yes her "middle" name is like you, and now she likes to try mama's shoes, handbags, scarves and other accessories), there in 2004(?) to watch Instant Cafe Theatre (ICT) performed. They were sporting enough to let the kids in (Ainaa was about five then) and the kids were in stitches, enjoying the antics from Jo Kukathas and Sukania Venugopal. They were far too young to understand the adult jokes though. We have not been to KL yet. Am staying put in Kubang Pasu as my mum (Wan) has been in a hospital in SP since 060707 due to high bp. We visit her daily. She's OK.

Pi Bani said...

I doubt I'd be in KL on a Tuesday unless it's work related. Kalau pergi pun usually weekends... not your mee rebus day. And oh, sorry terkeluar nama I dua kali pulak masa sign off tu... dah teringin sangat nak makan mee rebuslah tu kot.

I tak terniat pun nak sentuh urat geli bodoh you... tapi that was EXACTLY what my neighbour said. Tinggal lagi sebab the neighbour was a makcik much older than me, tak beranilah I nak buat loyar buruk dengan dia.. :)Hopefully by now you dah ingat what you wanted to say earlier.

Rockybru said...


Indah nian Istana Bunian
Putri Bunian manis menawan
Berat rasa nak kutinggalkan la sayang
Kerana hati dah tertawan ...

My first overseas assignment as a journalist was to Geneva in 88. I was there for two weeks. And I couldn't stop the lyrics and the tune of this song playing in my head.

I am not surprised your dad and P. Ramlee were pals. I wish I had met the great man. By the way, Citizen Nades campaigned recently for the Bayan Lepas Airport to be renamed P. Ramlee Airport. I did a posting on that, too. Will call Nades soon to follow up.

Mat Salo,
Kasi saya satu also, ok. By the way, the only Sheila Majid album i bought is Legenda (I think the name of the album is Legenda). Because of P. Ramlee's songs.

This afternoon I'm going to buy two books on P. Ramlee I saw the other day at MPH. One by Ahmad Sarji and the other by Sazali, P. Ramlee's song.

wanshana said...

Dear K.Ena,

Just when we thought it could not be more colourful than it already was, the more you write about your Dad, the more colourful we all know his life is - he himself is a star among stars!

Keep it coming, K.Ena.

Anonymous said...

'Indah nian Istana Bunian
Putri Bunian manis menawan
Berat rasa nak kutinggalkan la sayang
Kerana hati dah tertawan ...'

"it aint't heavy,he's my brother!"

Anonymous said...

I had the opportunity of working and developing a buddy-relationship with Allahyarham Jaafar Abdullah, the Shaw Brothers' mouthpiece at the Studio Jalan Ampas and also P.Ramlee's confidant.
He told me that Allahyarham P.Ramlee died as a "broken" man, his dreams unfulfilled. Most of the so-called self-acclaimed "friends" and "brother-seniman" have betrayed him,from Jalan Ampas (during the"mogok")even to Jalan Ampang (yes, not the Merdeka Studio)!! The only soul that gave him the lifebelt and regained dignity was H.M.Shah!!

The great P.Ramlee, a true seniman he was, put up that brilliant selfless performance while enduring all kinds of humiliation,...And we still have these selfish *#@s around self-promoting to be his loyal seniman-brothers, co-workers, pupil, etc.
Al-Fatihah, Semoga Allah menempatkan ruh Allahyarham P. Ramlee dan Jaafar Abdullah di sisiNya bersama orang yang soleh! Amin.

Anonymous said...

i had always thought this very vague memory of seeing p.ramlee on a stage was just something i had dreamed up. i was about three or four, and i remember being on my dad's shoulders looking at this stage, at this tiny figure and my dad said 'look, that's p.ramlee.'

some 15 years ago, when i made my only visit to rumah p.ramlee in setapak, it was confirmed that it was indeed p.ramlee. the concert was the last public appearance before his death a few months later.

it was when i came across his death certificate, i realised that the man was truly gone, for good.

Mat Salo said...

Rocky is right. I was just shooting from the hip. Sheila's album is Legenda - the tribute album to PR.

Damn.. Citizen Nades and you MUST campaign for the airport to be called P.Ramlee International.

It certainly sounds better than Abdullah Haji Ahmad's, right? Right?

No problem bro', one more coming up!

Blabarella said...

I doubt there will ever be another seniman from Malaysia like Allahyarham PR. He is supremely talented, a prodigy in his own right, and timeless. Not many (ok, I'm being kind - correct phrase is 'hardly any') in the entertainment industry in Malaysia or regionally even, can hold that claim to greatness.

Now I can't help but notice the constant references to mee rebus. Ni mee rebus Johor ke? Doesn't matter lah even if it's not. Kat mana ya, Kak Ena? Want to add to my eat list when I go home for the holidays. Tq!!


aMir: i know, aMir, I can laugh about that now. but you know i always hated it when Bapak came out with things like that.
You know how daughters want to think the best of their fathers.
for a very long time, we were all in denial. always wanted to believe that Bapak, you know, never ever ever fooled around like most other men.
Well, i really don;t know whether he did because Bapak wasnt the flirtatious type, if anything, his roar was enough to send any dewy-eyed girl 100 miles away. but then, i always thought, very seriously, wasnt he, after all, a man.. mesti ada nakal dia. and i would quickly dismiss such notion.
and bapak would come out with these little anecdotes about his exploits. he would not say directly or specifically any involvement with any women, but he would make that kind of remarks.."awak kalau ke Jakarta,ramai girlfriend2 Bapak", and he would cackle. Never sure whether he was serious. but i know i never liked to hear those things.

anyway... good to know you're still in the country.
and you know what to do when you come to KL.
the mee rebus is waiting.
Hope your Wan is better.
Take care and of the little ones, Arman and Ainaa and the missus.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cik Nuraina,

It was nostalgic reading your post. Saudara P. Ramlee was an immense talent, the sort that graces the Malaysian art scene once a generation or more, perhaps; we have had none of his kind since and there isn't yet an inkling of one to come.

It's lovely indeed to know that the En. Samad Said had known P. Ramlee quite intimately. And pardon my cluelessness (I am rather new to your blog), for it just struck me that you are the sasterawan's daughter! I too have known En. Samad Said since years ago: I read his poetry when I was studying Bahasa Malaysia in high school.

Keanorlinsya said...

Aunty Ena!!!!
My off day ditukar to wednesdays!
My dreams, my hopes..crushed!
How i long for your mee rebus, aunty ton.
I thought ( i made plans with myself) that i would come sometime during july. Aduh, sedih sungguh.
Nampaknye ditunda ke august lah tu.

Keanorlinsya said...

Hold on.
Kenapa takde org masuk TWB chatroom anymore?
Hari2 i check kosong saje.
Boring laa.

Bergen said...

Malaysia cried on the day he died. Maybe because he had touched almost everyone with his movies, and songs. But you can bet all your money in the bank that no one will cry when an Ulama' dies. No one has ever cried over the death of an Ulama'. Imagine if someone like Ustaz Hassan Azahari, the Tajwid expert, dies. Do you think anyone, except his family, cares? No Muslim will cry eventhough the knowledge of the Qur'an goes to the grave with him.

Srikanth Siva said...

P Ramlee was just great!! I could watch his movies over and over again. A pure genius. My family would get together and watch his movies whenever it comes on.


My fav movie has to be Anakku Sazali (is that the name of the movie?)

Srikanth Siva said...

Think about it. P Ramlee is just like Elvis....

singer, performer, actor etc etc

They also died around the same time.

Faten Rafie said...


there's still hope there after all, for I know for a fact that a lot of people wept when an 'ulama' passed away. It's been 10 days and we are still getting grown men & women walking up to us crying, saying that they just found out the news, wished they had been able to send him off during the funeral.

I wouldn't write-off all of us, but I do have concern about the newer generations. Sometimes their star-struckeness do bordeline obsession!

Anonymous said...

salam kak ena,
umur saya macam afifah (when she passed away) when p ramlee passed away, 7. i was in seremban at that time. heard it on the morning news on the radio.when my parents went to work, i stayed home alone. my brother was in mrsm and arwah sis was in school.
alhamdulillah, kalau kak ena tak bukak cerita ni, memori ni tak kan tiba-tiba datang! TQ kak ena!


ahirudin (rocky):
aha...that song must have meant something to you when you were young.
"Putri Bunian" not the most popular of PR's songs, but memorable if you'd watch the film.
and i am strongly with Nades to name the Penang Airport P Ramlee Airport.

Yes, I think Mat Salo meant "Legenda".


wanshana: thank you, shana..
and thanks for being sporting about the tagging.
bila nak jumpa at mee rebus again, with ibu? (after meeting ibu, I cannot call her that-lah. dia so muda lagi)

anon@3:20pm: hehehe... he sure aint heavy...

anon@6:51pm: yes.. i believe he died a broken man. i believe there was a lot more that happened in his life before he died.
Well...none of those who mistreated him can never achieve the kind of stature P Ramlee had attained.
I have only kind words to say about HM Shah (if its true) for helping P Ramlee in his time of need.

To P Ramlee I offer him Al Fatihah,, and may Allah bless his soul.

ABOVLB: i am glad that you got to "know" him.

Mat Salo: Yes, bro... the airport mus tbe named after him.. P Ramlee, of course.

Kea; Alaa... what a pity. Still, there is August.
And on TWB chat..aunty ena pun check jugak... tak de siapa pun.
i think when the usual suspects go into the chat room, and selalu tak de sesiapa, so they al gave up after a while.
kita mesti make a date to chat-lah, kea.. kan?


bergen: i dont want to believe that, bergen. and i am sure you are wrong.
take care,

sri: they are both legends...

athene: Alhamdulillah... we all mourn the passing of Allah's gift to mankind. Your grandfather was such a man.

accia (E): i'm glad that was what i managed to do for you,
thank u, E.
Jom lah ke Kak Ton's for mee rebus.

Anonymous said...


My all-time P.Ramlee favourites are:

“Hamidah”, “Getaran Jiwa”, "Manusia Miskin Kaya”, “Jeritan Batin Ku”, “Bekorban Apa Saja” & ”Bunga Melor”.

Here’s the lyrics of the song “Bunga Melor”

Di hujung sana tempatmu, bunga melur
Bukan di taman yang indah, bunga melur
Hanya di sudut halaman
Tiada dihiasi jambangan indah permai

Tapi warnamu yang putih, bunga melur
Tandanya suci dan murni, bunga melur
Walaupun ditiup debu
Warnamu dan baumu tetap memikat kalbu

Ibarat gadis desa, bunga melur
Walau kering tak bercahaya, bunga melur
Baumu memikat jiwa

Semoga sabar dahulu, bunga melur
Pada di satu ketika, bunga melur
Masanya kan menjelma
Disanjung dan dipuja
Oleh gadis remaja

I can cry just singing these songs.


blabarella: how right you are.

ok-- becos you are new to this blog, let me give you a quick rundown on what the mee rebus on Tuesday is all about.

It started just after Rocky's first court case (defamation suit by NST & 4 others) a couple of months ago.
At first it was at a cafe in section 14, PJ where my sister, Kak Ton, was helping out her brother-in-law by serving mee rebus.
the cafe and the mee rebus seemed a tempting combination for an excuse for some bloggers who were "walking with" Rocky and Jeff to just get together.
It became so regular. Even after Kak Ton decided to cease serving her mee rebus at the cafe. She decided to invite the bloggers to her house every Tuesday for mee rebus, sometimes we all kesinakan dia, we buat pot luck. just to chill out, discuss, etcc...

yes..the mee rebus is the Johor/Singapore recipe. actually, kak ton learnt it from Arwah Mak.

So, when you are back home, you are more than welcome to join us. Just tell us when.



so sorry to disappoint you. But my father is not A Samad Said.

you've got the wrong Samad. It's ok..quite a common mistake..


anon@6:51pm: sorry, typo:
one of the sentences i wrote shoud have read "....none of those who mistreated him can EVER achieve the kind of stature P Ramlee had attained."

Anonymous said...

Hi Ena,

Okay, first what I wanted to say was that the Jalan Ampas "connection" makes your grandparents' place in Singapore (or, if that's gone, the memories and memorabilia of members of your family of that period of "zaman gemilang filem2 melayu") another veritable treasure trove of the Malay film industry. Esp for historians interested in collating biographies of those talented senimans and seniwatis of yesteryears.

Maybe RTM or MU is already doing this, in that case whoopee! Otherwise, hopefully somebody or some bodies (historical buffs, the government, academia) have the good sense to collect and preserve bios of those pioneers. Would be really nice to be able to go somewhere or to click someplace online to read about not only PRamlee and Saloma, but also of Roomai Noor and Umi Kalsom and Normadiah and Sarimah and Salleh Kamil and Haji Bakhil (I dunno his name) and Mak Enon, etc. etc. Btw, just like those illustrious names mentioned in your last TWB who are merely street names to many of us, I read in someone's blog about how Jalan Maarof in Bangsar was actually named after the nationalist father of one our senimans, Mustapha Maarof. It was such a wow moment for me reading that... so much history... so in danger of being lost through indifference.

Next I wanted to say, reading between the lines of what Bapak intimated about days back when, how rich their lives seemed, how not bent out of shape by hypocricy and over-smug piety the Malay psyche was then, how honest... no wonder they were able to achieve so much.

Last, mais oui you betcha I will call you, Kak Ton & Abg Med. No way I'd let myself be cheated of that Mee Rebus.


Hi Pi, actually I should thank you for touching my urat geli bodoh. I love it when that happens. You know, whenever I read your blog or your comments, I'm often struck by your cheerfulness and wit. I tell myself the reason why lovely folks like you and Daphne can do the selfless work you do is because you are bubbling with good cheer. Bet you dispel gloom and morbidity wherever you go. If someone were to write a story about a Malaysian superhero, I think Pi Bani would make a lovely superheroic name. She'd be tudunged but unencumbered, bubbly and full of pithy Malay one-liners, winking and smiling at the bad guys as she sic 'em silly. And she'd leave potty-mouth superdude Darth Seri Amir Transformizi aka the Malay Male in her angelic dust. Yeah!


Anonymous 6:51 PM said: Allahyarham P.Ramlee died as a "broken" man, his dreams unfulfilled. Most of the so-called self-acclaimed "friends" and "brother-seniman" have betrayed him,from Jalan Ampas (during the"mogok")even to Jalan Ampang (yes, not the Merdeka Studio)!! The only soul that gave him the lifebelt and regained dignity was H.M.Shah!!

That is so heartbreaking to hear. Kudos to H.M.Shah. [Would this be H.M.Shah of The Shah's Motel, I wonder. If so... Mal, hope you're reading this.]


Kea babe, I too jenguk the chatroom a few times but left when I found no one. Like Auntie Ena said, we'll have to make it a date, like the Mee Rebus session.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the Bunga Melor lyrics! :D

I have a mind to sing it to my two pots of jasmine... nun di hujung my living room, on the bay-windows. Like real sweethearts, they have been blooming non-stop since spring, scenting my humble home with harum memikat jiwa.

Maybe not... so far only the hardy bathroom greens have been able to withstand my offkey onslaughts.

This comment has been removed by the author.

Mis_Tey: I love the song too.

Mekyam: Yes... what a pity if all our treasures are lost through something as avoidable as indifference.
and yes... HM Shah is the Shah of Shah's Motel and PJ's first bowling alley.

It's a date! And when you go back to the States, Kak Ton will dry-freeze (i think there is such a thing) the "kuah" for you!

I'll just kepo at TWB chat room tonight.

Anonymous said...

Salaam mekyam

Me too. I love that song “Bunga Melor”.

In fact, Mis_tey seems to share something in commmon with me where P.Ramlee's songs are concerened.

I also love the song “Hamidah” because that’s the name of my late mother. And “Getaran Jiwa” memang sungguh mencuit jiwa.


Btw, Haji Bakhil you were referring to (mekyam says... and Haji Bakhil [I dunno his name]) was the late Ahmad Nisfu.


Yes. H.M Shah is the one and only H.M. Shah. His daughter, Dr Faridah, a former UKM lecturer and who is a friend of mine (we were classmates), now runs the chain of Shah Motels, the one in PJ and the beach resort in Malacca.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Nuraina,
Wow P Ramlee! I come from the generation that does not know P Ramlee. We know Pee-wee, some know Pi Bani *hehe. I do!*, they know PDD, but dunno P Ramlee...Not as well anyway...
There are three P Ramlee songs I absolutely love: 1) Getaran Jiwa, 2) Tunggu Sekejap, and 3) Aci Aci Buka Pintu...
When I was young, I use to listen to it every day, until mom had to ban it from the house, because she got tired of hearing "Nana ada hai parang kontot" in that cheeky voice of his! *Giggles*
Thanks for sharing the lovely story of P Ramlee and your dad =)
I like Batu Belah, Batu Bertangkup...Anybody got a copy I could pinjam?

Anonymous said...

Kak Nuraina,

Please forgive my embarrassing mix-up of identities!

I resonate with you in support of naming the Penang airport as the P. Ramlee Airport.

The great (and late) Brazilian composer, Antonio Carlos Jobim, has Rio da Janeiro's major airport named in his honour. Similarly, P. Ramlee has contributed significantly to Malaysian arts and culture, and I see no reason for there to be misgivings about naming an airport after him.

In response to those who carp in reference to P. Ramlee that our people tend to cherish 'film stars' more than other figures -- that's just childish pouting. Note that P. Ramlee made a great contribution to Malay and collectively Malaysian arts and culture. His work and personage is highly regarded and valued by Malaysians of all background for decades. And thus he is a true Malaysian seniman worthy of our appreciation, implicitly or explicitly. I doubt you can name a contemporary film or music personality who is of that status.


daphne: hey, not bad...u DO know P Ramlee pretty well.
Thanks for visiting, Daphne

slade: it's ok. enough people have made that mistake, so I'm used to it.

Indeed I do support steps to name Penang Airport after P Ramlee.

Anonymous said...

HM Shah was the major shareholder of a film company, Gabungan Artis Filem Melayu (of some sort) with P Ramlee. HM Shah gave the financial and moral support to P Ramlee, the lifebelt he needed to launch his come-back. The film was still at the brainstorming stage, I believe....sadly it was not meant to reach the screen!! HM Shah either bought or was instrumental in getting a cinema theatre ( along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, near P.Ramlee's favourite Nasi Kandar shop)and renamed it as Pawagam P.Ramlee.

On another point, I was told that Tan Sri Taib Mahmud has the best (if not a complete) collection of all P.Ramlee's records and songs.

Faten Rafie said...

When I was around 9-10 years old, I thought that "Bulan Dipagar Bintang" is the most beautiful & melodious song, ever!

I thought that I was a weirdo, enjoying old old P.Ramlee song when everyone else was listening to Wham! & Air Supply & Carefree!This embarrased me tremendously, so I hid fact from everyone else.

Later, when I learned to appreciate lyrics & the varieties in music, I discovered that I was still weird, enjoying Maria Callas & Andrew L. Webber along with Bon Jovi & Bumiputra Rockers.

My point is P. Ramlee is the most talented performer ever to come out of Malaysia (SEA?) and he deserve more than what's been bestowed upon him. I agree with the renaming of Bayan Lepas International Airport to P.Ramlee International Airport. We should really lobby for this.

p/s: Kak Ena, did you know that the 'telo' of P.Ramlee in 'Ahmad Albab' was actually a parody of my grandfather's elder brother, Shekh Abbas Rafie who was P.Ramlee's teacher in AlMashoor. Yeap, he did speak like that, and so did my dad 25-30 years ago! :)

"Bulan Dipagar Bintang"

Malam bulan dipagar bintang
Makin indah jika dipandang
Bagai gadis beri senyuman
Pada bujang idaman

Duhai kasih ingin dimanja
Dengan cumbuan mesra
Untuk pelipur lara
Penawar dik asmara

Mmm.. mmm...
Mmm.. mmm...

Malam bulan dipagar bintang
Tambah seri cuaca malam
Murni sungguh ciptaan Tuhan
Bulan bintang lampu alam

Andai kata bintang menyepi
Bulan tidak berseri
Malam menjadi sunyi
Tidak berseri lagi

an0nymous-ign0ranus said...

kakton, if i may, i don't think ahmad nisfu played the character haji bakhil (from labu labi). it was udo omar.

Unknown said...

I am your age. True what you said, when he died, we knew that a popular actor and singer died but adulations? I don't think so. Only later, when I started to listen to his songs seriously did I realise we have lost a musical genius.

Keanorlinsya said...

Aunty Ton,
Haji Bakhil bukan Ahmad Nisfu laa. He is Udo Omar.
Ahmad Nisfu tu the mamak guy yang "lobang hidupmu tatap menjadi pojaan hatiku" dialog from Seniman Bujang lapuk.

Anonymous said...

A Babe Of Very Little Brain & kea: I stand corrected.

Both of you are right. Haji Bakhil bukan Ahmad Nisfu. He is Udo Omar.

Sorry mekyam. I got it wrong.


Anonymous said...

Hi Nuraina

For the following songs are P.Ramlee’s evergreens. If u wanna hear the songs, just copy and paste the link on to your browser, then click.

Getaran Jiwa: by P Ramlee

Istana Cinta by P. Ramlee

Tudung Periuk by P. Ramlee & Saloma

Bunga Melor by Siti Nurhaliza

Dari Masa Hingga Masa by P/Ramlee

Anonymous said...

Dear Nuraina,
There's a scene in one of PR's movie on taking the early morning bath. Just a dab on the sleeping eyelids and a sprinkle on the chest. This reminds me of my early days in boarding school. Matron in charge will always yell "Bath properly...". Then she will check on our towels. If found to be dry, siap... kena label "mandi PRamlee". heheh.
Muah2 from Rubiah

Anonymous said...

kak ton: Sorry mekyam. I got it wrong.

mekyam [in her best Haji Bakhil impersonation]: ih..ih..ih..ih takpa kak ton, saya tak maghah.

Anonymous said...

Nuraina ,

This is for Elviza;
Di Manakan Ku Cari Ganti by Saloma


and this is for athene:
Bulan di Pagar Bintang by P. Ramlee & Saloma


mutalib saifuddin said...

It has been 34 years after his passing, and i have yet to see anyone re-emulating him. Still waiting.

Another revealation, it seems, i have never knew that he once 'almost' becoming an actor. Hah. Never mind, he's still in the world of art and culture. Too bad, he left us just few days after the late Agong, November 2001, but his works are chef f' oevure ever, and shall not be forgotten.

The book dedicated to him (by his own son), Bapaku P Ramlee, is a good read too. Not expensive!

Sheila Majid has her Lagenda, and it's with a good tempo, too.

Anonymous said...

Hi mekyam

If you wanna hear the song “Bunga Melor” someone up there has sent a link.

I’ve gone to the site. It’s good. The song’s rendered by Dato' Siti Nurhaliza.

Here’s the link, in case you missed it.

Bunga Melor by Siti Nurhaliza

Anonymous said...

26 Jamadil Akhir 1428

Being checking your blog for quite sometimes now but don't have the heart to leave a commment... until today.
My father (over 80) and my mother (over 70) watch PR since then and still love it to date.
My brothers and sisters love PR and enjoy him whenever we got a chance. we are 32 to 54.
My kids love PR and sometimes refuse to go to bed on time because of him. My kids are 6 to 12.
And if you ask my mother why he named me so, it was because of him.

Ramli AR


anon@6:47pm: thank you.
yeas i heard he is an ardent fan.

athene: amazing,, i wouldnt have known that if you hadnt told us.

abovlb: thanks. i think kak ton has noted that.

nak tak nak: betul tu cik gu. that's always the case..

kea: wah wah wah... kea... boleh tahan...

silent observer: thank you, appreciate it.

rubiah : P ramlee lives in our life.

mutalib: we can never forget these great people.

anaktelosan : such die hard fans...

Anonymous said...

Kak Nuraina:

Correct me if I am wrong, but it just occurred to me that another seniman may have probably been one to have come closest to P. Ramlee in terms of mass popularity across the broadest cross-section of Malaysians (in addition to making Malaysians proud at the regional level): Sudirman Hj. Arshad (1954-1992).

Perhaps Bapak may have an anecdote on this too. Perhaps, as you would say, on another Tuesday.

Keanorlinsya said...

Oh yes! Sudirman... sayang he died young. Another legend i knew through stories but never the person himself.

Through my dad, i learnt that Sudirman was the only entertainer who could bring all the races in Malaysia to watch his shows.

I watch re-runs of his concert on rtm. (Sudirman, dalam kenangan. April 2007) and i never question that.

Keanorlinsya said...

Bapaku P.Ramlee, was a good book. Light reading. Not much info on him but still, the facts remains the same. No matter who the writer is, P.ramlee's autobiography tell the same stories.

Kalau nak baca yg best2 i recommend to go to bookstores yg jual buku2 lama. Kadang2 boleh jumpa books on him written by his friends and/or those close to him.

I have read the ones by Aimi Jarr (reporter/actor) and Ramli Ngah(his sidekick). You may also know Ramli Ngah as Norlia Ghani's ex husband and father of Rusdi Ramli.

Anonymous said...

LOL! LOL! @ mekyam [in her best Haji Bakhil impersonation]: ih..ih..ih..ih takpa kak ton, saya tak maghah.

Can just imagine mekyam doing a Haji Bakhil.

He! He! He!

Anonymous said...


For someone so young, you seem to know a lot about the late P. Ramlee.

Just wanted to say that it is uncommon for someone yr generation to have an interest in the history of our film/music industry & who is proud of our heritage/legacy.

Anonymous said...

Saya ingin berkongsi puisi/esei dari Sasterawan Negara Seniman Agong Dato' Usman Awang kepada Seniman agong Tan Sri PRamli dengan peminat-peminat kedua seniman agong ini.


Bila lahat terbuka dan keranda diturunkan, berakhirlah satu kehidupan insan. Di sini perbatasan dunia fana dan alam baka di sini palang pintu hayat perhentian penghabisan yang meletakkan batu tanda sebuah pusara.

Kini tanah Ampang laksana pelabuhan sepi kerana kapal telah bertolak. alun sedu gelombang di teluk hati yang kasih, nanti riaknya bakal mengecil jua di samudera waktu. Begitulah keranda berangkat sebelum senja ketika, begitu pulalah terdengar suara da bicara di mana-mana menyebut namanya.

Tapi siang akan memanjat jua dan malam bakal rebah di kaki subuh: hari baru datang lagi membebani manusia atas nama kehidupan. Lalu sedu tidak lagi bergetar, suara pujian pun semakin pudar.

Segalanya laksana bunga ditaburkan di rumah perhentian hayat, lupalah pada segala sengketa, malah tiada sejarah pun titik hitam cacat cela, kerana memang demikianlah kehidupan ini berlangsung; ketika jantung tak lagi berdenyut dan luka tak lagi bisa, suara kagum terdengar memuja. Dia tyang pergi bukan lagi menjadi saingan sesiapa!

Seoran seniman telah berangkat, yang tinggal dan kekal ialah pohon seninya yang bakal berdiri ditengah jantung seribu kota dan desa. seorang seniman tidak wujud di ruang kosong, ia bernafas dalam rongga masyakat bangsanya. Maka jika kewujudannya dalam kehidupan yang disusun di atas nila ringgit dan darjat, dia selalunya menjadi laksana ladang getah yang membeikan susu untuk kekayaan segolongan kecil manusia. Dan pohon getah itu akan ditoreh tiap subuh sehingga tiada lagi darah putihnya mengalir. Tiada siapa pun pernah mendengar suara dan tangisan kepedihan pohon getah - selain angin, burung-burung, matari dan seniman yang tajam inderanya.

Begitulah terjadi di depan mata kita, seorang seniman yang telah mengabdikan puluhan tahun usianya, bakat seninya dan titis peluhnya kepada sebuah syarikat, dia di hargai seribu ringgit cuma oleh syarikat yang dimakmurkannya.

Jika kita merasakan pedihnya seniman yang berjasa itu diperalatkan oleh golongan yang memeras tenaga dan bakat seninya, dan kita bangun menghadapi dan menentang penindasan ini, kita bukan saja telah memberikan erti kepada seniman yang kita sayangi, malah membela seniman muda yang sedang tumbuh dan yang bakal lahir nanti.

Ini bukan sekadar persoalan sosial-budaya, tetapi menjadi persoalan ekonomi dan politik. Dan itulah pokoknya apabila kita mahu menjadi bangsa yang pandai berterima kasih dan benar-benar menyayangi senimannya, tidak dengan sedu-sedan emosi dan air mata.

Kini tirai telah turun, lagu dan piano tidak lagi berbunyi, tepukan gemuruh penonton kian sepi di pentas yang telah padam lampunya.

Dipetik dari "Koleksi terpilih Usman Awang" m/s 75, terbitan Dewan
Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1995.