Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee

This post is dedicated to legendary Malay actress, Seniwati Mariani Ismail, the sister in law to Tan Sri P. Ramlee. On December 1st, 2015, she passed away in the township of Sentul, Kuala Lumpur.

Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee (P. Ramlee Memorial)

Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee
Address: 22, Jalan Dedap, Taman P Ramlee,
53000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

My family had plan for a short gateway to Kuala Lumpur a few months back. I decided to take this opportunity to visit the Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee (P. Ramlee Memorial) since its located within Kuala Lumpur.

Jalan Dedap street sign
As viewed from the road.
The entrance
Visiting hours of the memorial.
The memorial is located off the junction of Jalan Dedap and Jalan Mawar in the township of Taman P. Ramlee (Formerly known as Taman Furlong but renamed sometime after P. Ramlee's death) in Setapak. It was actually P. Ramlee and his family's last home until his death in 1973. The proprety was later acquired by the Malaysian Government and gazetted as a national heritage site. Later, the memorial project was launched by Anwar Ibrahim, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport at that time on 27th February 1984.

A marble plaque with some info on the memorial.
A plaque declaring its status as a national landmark.
The memorial was officially opened on March 1986. Containing many of P Ramlee's personal belongings including awards, clothes, musical equipment, documents, personal artifacts and photos. Entrance to the memorial is free, however there is no direct train or bus access and it is quite far from the city center. As faced by my family, as we were in a group of 10 we had to take two taxis in which we were overcharged, something that we cannot avoid when in another country. One of the drivers didn't even know where the memorial is and had to follow the other cab.

The Malay social etiquette of being barefoot in someone's home is observed here as the memorial used to be P. Ramlee's house. Souvenirs such as keychains and P Ramlee CD movies and songs are also sold there. There is also a donation box on the counter and proceeds will go to the up-keeping and maintenance of the memorial.

P. Ramlee's car
Another angle
The license plate, originating from the state of Selangor.
A plaque with some info.
Me posing next to the car.
Upon entering the memorial, we are greeted by P. Ramlee's car, a Dutsun Sunny 1200 parked and raised outside the house. And a trishaw, which I presume is a replica from the movie, "Penarik Becha". There are also benches and stone stools for visitors to sit on.

My uncle next to the trishaw.
Some info on the movie "Penarik Becha".
Inside the house itself, displays, photographs, personal belongings of the late P. Ramlee and his family can be found. Upon entering, shoes must be removed and we are greeted by a cardboard standee of P. Ramlee and Saloma. I wasted no time in getting a photo with it.
Myself and a cardboard standee of P Ramlee and his wife.
Also featured are state decorations awarded to P. Ramlee displayed behind a display case. The state order, Darjat Ahli Mangku Negara (A.M.N.) (English: Member of the Order of the Defender of the Realm) It is a Malaysian federal award presented for meritorious service to the country and awarded to him while he as still alive in 1963 for his contributions to the Malay entertainment industry.

Darjat Ahli Mangku Negara (A.M.N.)
The other award, Darjat Panglima Setia Mahkota Malaysia (PSM) (English: Commander of the Order of Loyalty to the Crown of Malaysia) is posthumously awarded after his death on 6th June 1990. The title also came with the Malaysian honorific title "Tan Sri", in which my uncle described as "a VIP and people have to make way whenever he walks".

Darjat Panglima Setia Mahkota Malaysia (PSM)
More info on P. Ramlee on top of the medals.
Up next is P. Ramlee's personal belongings, set up in a corner to look as if it was back in the 70s. There is a piano, radio, a dining table, some framed photos.
The corner of the memorial that partially recreates as it was back in the 70s
A picture of Saloma and P. Ramlee in the 70s.
Some of his belongings on the dinner table.
P Ramlee's radio.
Tributes by various other figures within the Malay entertainment industry.
Tributes from Ahnad Daud, Jamil Sulong, Aziz Sattar and Jin Shamsudin
Some of P. Ramlee's autograph styles.
The memorial also features his biography and accompanying photos of his family, from his father, mother and half brother.
P Ramlee's Biography.
His family
The next section is "Kenali P. Ramlee" or "Getting to know P Ramlee". This features some of his nobable events in his life, from his childhood to getting his first minor role and directing his own movies to his death.
Major events of his life.

A model of his childhood home in Penang.
Some of the photographs featured with accompanying captions.
A letter from his wife while she was performing in Thailand in 1971
P. Ramlee's temporary passport.
An autographed souvenir from a fan.
The next section features the works of P. Ramlee and Saloma. From the films in was involved in to the songs he had written, basically some of the screen used outfits, props, musical instruments, gifts and souvenirs, vinyls records and musical scores can be found displayed here.

"Dunia Filem" section.
An animated display on the films that he was involved in.
Odd items such as a gramophone and a violin are on display
A memento Saloma received sometime in the 70s for performing
for the Royal Malay Regiment
Another memento Saloma received for performing
 for the Royal Armed Forces

A sepak takraw ball belonging to P. Ramlee.
P Ramlee's briefcase.
Some of the original vinyl on display.
Madu Tiga original vinyl
Another old vinyl of the 70s
Lyrics and translations to Azizah and Air Mata di Kuala Lumpur
A recreation of a 60s era powder room
Screened used clothes as worned by Saloma and P. Ramlee
More screen used outfits
Some musical notes.
Me and my uncle posing infront of a portrait of the star couple.
We then proceed to some of the awards that the late P. Ramlee has received at the annual Asian Film Festival. Also featuring a recreation of a film set in "Penarik Becha".
The awards on display.
Up close
A magazine ad in jawi.
The Golden Harvest Award 
The Sliver Crane Award awarded posthumously in 1987.
A recreation of a "Behind the Scenes" of "Penarik Becha"
P Ramlee as Sarjan Hassan
There is also a wall, featuring a collection of photographs of P. Ramlee with famous people. including musician, Kassim Masdor, the head of the Shaw Organization, Run Run Shaw and Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first Prime Minister.
A collection of photos featuring P. Ramlee and some famous people
P Ramlee and Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia
A mini theater screening "Nujum Pak Belalang" (1959)
Screen used Keris, a Malay Dagger, used in some of P. Ramlee's movies 
P Ramlee dressed as a cowboy in in role as Ketua Penyamun
in Ali Baba Bujang Lapok.
Some of Saloma's sunglasses.
P. Ramlee and Saloma at a ceremorony where he is
awarded Darjat Ahli Mangku Negara (A.M.N.)
This next segment is the emotional part. Simply titled as "Al Fatiha" it features the actor's birth and death certificate, photos of his funeral, the prayer for the deceased and his grave. Looking at the exhibits, I couldn't help it but to feel sad. I quietly said out a little prayer for him before moving on.
Some of the photos and items on display.
During the funeral at P. Ramlee's house.
Pictured here is his son, Nasir P. Ramlee, Yusnor Ef and S. Shamsudin
P Ramlee's birth and death certificate
Front page of a newspaper covering P. Ramlee's passing
Salat al-Janazah for the deceased at Masjid Kampong Baru
P. Ramlee's grave at Jalan Ampang Muslim Cemetery
It has been truly an educational experience being here at the Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee. Glad that even after death, his legacy is still preserved and celebrated by the old and young alike. For me, the experience of being there and seeing the exhibits, reading and learning about the man himself was a refreshing one for me. Even my family, who was reluctant to visit the place due to its inaccessibility of public transport other than taxi had a nice time there. I thank them for their support and willingness to accompany me there.
Myself infront of the P. Ramlee Memorial
Another photo with the family.

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