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2010

 

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2010

From: Zaedi Zolkafli
To: Nazirul Hazim A Khalim
Sent: 23 December, 2010
Subject: Kelab Peminat P Ramlee

Hi Nazirul,
I knew of two Kelab Peminat P Ramlee, one was launched by former Ketua Pengarah Arkib Negara Zakiah Hanum in 1998 and another organized by the owner of Warong P Ramlee in Gombak. The latter, I heard, has ceased business operation. Meanwhile, our online P Ramlee Fans' Club has over 1,000 devoted fans of the legend from around the world.

I am not on Facebook. Would rather concentrate on building up the contents for The P Ramlee Cyber Museum. We are on the way to get into Guinness's Book of World Records for having "The Largest Homepage Tribute To Any Performing Artist That Ever Lived". It would take a bit more time to achieve because we are working on it without any support from the Government. Could happen in late 2011 depending on my projects schedule.

Problem with RTM, Astro and Arkib Negara is that they are not taking advantage of the Internet to publicize the P Ramlee events. Or rather, they only use their obscure websites for the promotion. We would welcome any event postings on The P Ramlee Cyber Museum at no charges.

Nazirul wrote:

>What do you know about Kelab Peminat P. Ramlee? Dulu ada kan? Seems like almost non-existence nowadays. What happened?
>
>And P. Ramlee Facebook page. Is any of them yours? Do u know any of the page creators? We should have an active, well-connected community of P. Ramlee lovers. A lot of P. Ramlee-ralated activities are happening around us but not all of us know. Like the other day, I saw the Pertandingan Bintang P. Ramlee on TV. I had no idea it was being organized. What's your thought?
>
> Salam.
> Nazirul


From: Zaedi Zolkafli
To: Nazirul Hazim A Khalim
Sent: 14 December, 2010
Subject: Ibu Mertua Ku

Hi Nazirul,
If I may recall, Kassim Selamat turns to the camera with both eyes covered in blood. Is this the part that gone missing? Nowadays I don't follow the P Ramlee reruns on local TV as the same films got played so frequently, until you become overdose. We never get to see the other two-third of P Ramlee's 66 films. They are either lost or no longer shown by TV stations because "tidak sesuai untuk ditonton" (not suitable for viewing). No kidding.

I haven't the chance to watch 'Ibu Mertua Ku' (1962) on NNB or Music Valley's VCD. Me think the NNB videos are straight copies from TV RTM. Notice that big 'NNB' letters superimposed on the RTM logo in all videos. However, the picture quality is good and has English subtitles. The videos are now hard to get collector's items. I willing to trade my Music Valley VCDs with anyone who has old NNB copies.

Music Valley as the sole video distributor has cut off and black-out many scenes in Malay classic films that we bought. Is this a sign that our guardian of moral i.e. Malaysian Censorship Board becoming retrogressive? It is mind boggling to think that scenes from old films are now censored because certain actions and languages (dialogues, too) are "harmful" to our modern society. Many who had opportunity to catch the original films in theaters during 1950-60s are still around, safe and sound. Even the fanatics of Kassim Selamat in those days were not dumb enough to waste their eyes with sharp objects. Otherwise our caring Government will issue a ban on all types of cutlery made of metal from our dining table.

My family might still have a copy of 'Ibu Mertuaku' on VHS. Maybe it needs to be cleaned up a bit. That is, if you still keep a working VHS player. Will let you know if I ever find the old tape kept somewhere.

Nazirul wrote:

>Searching for the half-a-second frame of Kassim Selamat's right after he blinded himself with a pair of forks. The frame was deleted in NNB, Music Valley and Astro copy. The only original copy available maybe is the one RTM showed on Wednesdays more than 15 years ago. Anyone has it on VHS Tape? Or better yet, digital video? Knows anyone who does? Any library that does? Any archive that does? I know Shaw Brothers does but..that's almost out of the question.
>
>Thanks!
>Nazirul Hazim A Khalim


From: Zaedi Zolkafli
To: Along Ailina
Sent: 4 December, 2010
Subject: Music copyrights

Hi Along,
Felix Entertainment doesn't own any copyright to P Ramlee's works. I supposed the copyrights of P Ramlee's songs belonged to the administrator of the estate of P Ramlee and the respective song lyricist. You could liaise with the Music Authors Copyright Protection Berhad (MACP) on how to go about using any music copyrights.

Along Ailina wrote:

>We would like to find out if P.Ramlee song Bunyi Gitar is under your copyright. If it is, how can we get the approval to use the song?
>
>Your cooperation and urgent reply on this matter is highly appreciated.
>Thank you.
>
>Best Wishes,
>Along Ailina


From: Zaedi Zolkafli
To: Fans of P Ramlee
Sent: 23 November 2010
Subject: P Ramlee's Tiga Abdul review

Gaik Khoo wrote in malaysian-cinema@yahoo.com:

>While we're still on the subject of P Ramlee, here's a funny film review of Tiga Abdul. Something about fezzes.

http://diedangerdiediekill.blogspot.com

Monday, November 8, 2010
Tiga Abdul (Singapore, 1964)

In Malaysia, P Ramlee is an artist of such stature that he has buildings and institutions named after him. (Yes, that’s plural.) He rose to fame as a singer, instrumentalist and composer in the late 40s, and soon thereafter became a star on the big screen, adding the title of director to his formidable list of accomplishments only a few years later. 'Tiga Abdul' (or 3 Abdul), a 1964 production from Shaw Brothers’ Singapore-based Malay language division, shows the multi-talented Ramlee firing on all cylinders, acting both as star and director, while also singing musical numbers that he wrote and arranged for the film.

Based on a traditional Malaysian folk tale, Tiga Abdul takes place in a fictionalized, time warp version of Istanbul in which everyone wears 60s fashions but still buys and sells slaves in the marketplace. It also appears that every man to a one is born with a fez attached to his head. With most films in which a guy in a fez appears, you could describe him as “the guy in the fez” and feel secure in the fact that you have been sufficiently specific, but, in the case of Tiga Abdul, that would quite literally describe every man who appears on screen. Furthermore, while none of these men are shown sleeping, I imagine that, if they were, they would be shown wearing their fezzes. If not, someone might notice that they are all Southeast Asians who look nothing like what most people’s idea of a Turk is. In short, Tiga Abdul is a real fez-apalooza.

Anyway, Ramlee plays Abdul Wahub, the youngest of three brothers who are all named Abdul. As the film repeatedly strives at the expense of all subtlety to make clear, Abdul Wahub is the most virtuous of these brothers. He is even at one point shown wearing a white suit in conspicuous contrast to their black ones, and is frequently shown gazing reprovingly upon their greedy, hedonistic antics. This, while effective in establishing the elder Abduls’ lack of character, also comes very close to presenting Abdul Wahub as being a bit on the priggish and judgmental side. Luckily, this impression is mitigated somewhat when we see Abdul Wahub in the music shop he owns, rocking out on the electric guitar with pseudo-Turkey’s fez-wearing version of The Ventures.

When the wealthy father of the three Abduls dies suddenly without leaving a will, the eldest Abdul, the grasping Abdul Wahab (Haji Mahadi), is charged with divvying up the inheritance. Likely because Abdul Wahub so obviously hates both of them -- but also because they only care about money, while Abdul Wahub cares about art and music and feelings and stuff -- elders Abdul Wahab and Abdul Wahib decide to split the old man’s vast fortune in assets between themselves, leaving Abdul Wahub with only their father’s rundown mansion to show for his filial devotion. At the same time, an unscrupulous friend of their father’s, Sadiq Segaraga (Ahmad Nisfu), has his own eyes on their newly acquired fortune, and goes about getting it by launching his three attractive young daughters at the boys like so many hourglass-shaped, heat seeking missiles.

Both of the older brothers fall head over heels for these lovelies, and it is only the upright Abdul Wahub who sees through the ruse, greeting the tentative advances of Segaraga’s youngest daughter Ghasidah (Sarimah) with nothing but scorn and reproach. Soon the elder Abduls are approaching Segaraga and asking for his daughters’ hands in marriage, at which point the old trickster springs a contract on them that stipulates that, once married, they can never become angry, lest they should forfeit all of their assets to him and be sold into slavery. The two foolishly agree to this and the wedding bells chime, after which Segaraga, quite unsurprisingly, makes a dedicated project out of making them angry as quickly as possible, first by denying them access to anything beyond the aroma of food, and then by barring them from the marital bed. Needless to say, it’s not long before both are penniless, on the block, and up for sale to the highest bidder.

Soon after these developments, Abdul Wahub’s father appears before him in a dream. Now, given that Tiga Abdul has up to this point exhibited a sort of fanciful, fairytale-like quality, you might expect this to be the juncture at which things will take something of an enchanted turn. But in a surprising display of fiscal pragmatism from beyond the grave, Dad instead advises young Abdul to pay a visit to his lawyer. Once done, this lawyer informs Abdul that, in addition to the domestically accrued fortune that his brothers have inherited, Abdul’s dad also had overseas assets of even greater value, all of which now belongs to him. Now having reaped the huge cash rewards that are the right of any truly virtuous soul, Abdul Wahub sets about scheming with the lawyer to win his brothers’ freedom and deliver Segaraga his comeuppance.

This scheme will ultimately involve Abdul Wahub marrying Ghasidah and then turning her father’s contract back against him, with the result that, after a number of convolutions, Abdul Wahub will end up turning just about everyone involved into human chattel and buying them for himself. He does this, of course, so that he may ultimately free them, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t first harangue them about how awful they all are. The moral of this age old fable, then? Don’t f**k with Abdul Wahub. Oh, and? Get a lawyer. It’s basically like a folk tale written by an MBA.

As a lead actor, Ramlee gives a competent but not especially charismatic or developed performance here, which leads me to suspect that, for his audience, his status as a beloved entertainer was a suitable stand-in for characterization. His musical contributions to the film, furthermore, give us a solid idea of just why that might have been. Ramlee’s tunes are so beguilingly melodious, and the manner in which he sings them -- when he takes the lead -- so relaxed and agreeable, that I ended up wishing that he hadn’t been so stingy with them, and had instead provided more than just the three. Especially nice is the film’s devilishly catchy theme tune, which is sung by Ramlee’s wife, Salmah “Saloma” Ismail, who appears in the delightfully modish credit sequence, singing in split screen as the titles roll beside her.

As for his talents behind the camera, Ramlee’s directorial hand is not flamboyant, but sufficient to get the story told on the obviously limited budget that was provided. It’s becoming apparent to me that the Shaw Brothers’ Malaysian productions were nowhere near as lush as those made by their Hong Kong division, and here that’s evidenced by the preponderance of tiny sets and matte painted exteriors. Still, Ramlee nonetheless manages to conjure up an appropriate, “fractured fairytale” atmosphere with the application of mischievous cartoonish touches and visual puns. He also keeps things moving along briskly, which, with a story that is so obviously grinding inevitably toward a predetermined and all-too-clearly visible moral conclusion, is always welcome.

Having seen Tiga Abdul’s toe-tapping credit sequence on YouTube, I was hoping for it to be an exotic 60s time capsule with cultish appeal. What I got instead was a modest little film with an abundance of quirky charm. I also, as mentioned above, got more fezzes than I could ever have imagined seeing onscreen at one time. Nonetheless, you don’t have to be an enthusiast of traditional Ottoman headwear in order to appreciate this one. But if you are, you might want to wear yours for the viewing.

Posted by Todd


From: Zaedi Zolkafli
To: Rishi Randhawa
Sent: 5 August, 2010
Subject: P Ramlee Images

Hi Rishi,
I would suggest that you visit Arkib Negara to find images of P Ramlee in old documents that are now public domain.

Rishi wrote:

>Was wondering if you could help me. I am trying to find images of P Ramlee to use. Do you know who holds the copyright to the images?
>
>Regards
>Rishi Randhawa


From: Zaedi Zolkafli
To: Fans of P Ramlee
Sent: 26 July 2010
Subject: 'The Bolshoi Ballet Theatre Orchestra Of Tashkent presents' CD

There's been a lot of interests lately to purchase 'The Bolshoi Ballet Theatre Orchestra Of Tashkent presents' CD. For those residing in Kuala Lumpur, the CD is available at Tower Record outlets. You could also check out the Love Music outlet at Ampang Park shopping complex.


From: Zaedi Zolkafli
To: Tray Edyz
Sent: 20 July, 2010
Subject: Photo enquiry

Hi Tray,
Thanks for you e-mail. We currently don't have the item that you are looking for at the P Ramlee Cyber Museum. Will let you know when that is available.

Tray wrote:

>i'm seeking for photo or images of koko shimada ( the singer of 'indian summer' - re-recorded from the song 'jeritan batinku') if u guys could find it for me coz i've look over n google in the internet but unfortunately i couldn't find it.
>
>tq.
>
>regards,
>yart


From: Zaedi Zolkafli
To: Ross Clement
Sent: 20 July, 2010
Subject: Film posters

Hi Ross,
We currently don't have Malay classic film posters for sale. You may want to check out the Sunday flea market at Amcorp Mall for scan copies of film posters, if you are in Kuala Lumpur.

Ross wrote:

>Greetings i would like to ask you regarding purchasing some of p ramlees movie posters do you have any copys for sale if so how much and how do i order them
>
>regards,
>roslan ross

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