GEORGE TOWN: TAN Sri P. Ramlee, the legendary entertainer, who died 40 years ago, still lives in the hearts of his fans both young and old.
He is fondly remembered for his evergreen songs, timeless movies and regarded as the one who pioneered a breakthrough for Malay movies and music in the region.
In memory of his immense contribution to the entertainment industry, a three-day festival themed “Penang Pesta P. Ramlee” was held at Kampung Melayu in Air Itam here.
It was to honour the entertainment giant who dominated the movie screens and stage in the 1950s and ’60s.
Organised by Penang Institute, in collaboration with Air Itam assemblyman Wong Hon Wai, the Penang Municipal Council, Kampung Melayu Community Security and Development Committee (JKKK), Persatuan Sahabat Belia Pulau Pinang, Radio Penang FM, Hi Top Tea and Public Library Corporation, the cultural event was held for the second time.
Penang Institute chief executive officer Zairil Khir Johari said the institute was committed to honour and celebrate the contributions of local iconic personalities who had made tremendous impact on society.
“P. Ramlee without a doubt has been one of the most influential pioneering figures during the infancy stage of the entertainment industry in this country and his influence is still being felt to this day.
“He was a trailblazer in opening up the Malay movie industry and even the younger generation enjoy his movies and music that were recorded decades ago.
“This fun-filled festival will also serve as a platform for the younger generation to showcase their talent by participating in the many activities and contests related to the theme,” said Zairil, who is also MP for Bukit Bendera.
Among the activities were the Nusantara Forum, P. Ramlee/Saloma Karaoke Competition, Senamrobik P. Ramlee and a teh tarik competition.
Films made famous by P. Ramlee were also screened, including the popular Bujang Lapok series which brought laughter and happy memories to senior citizens and the younger generation.
In the Lagu-Lagu P. Ramlee competition, Muhammad Harizan Azam, 23, took the top prize with his rendition of Sepanjang Riwayat Ku. He took home RM500.
Runner-up Nasib Enting, 45, won for his rendition of Aduh Sayang. Nasib received RM300 while Yuniza Yusof, 34, took home RM200 for her take of Saloma’s Bossanova.
Other winners were Roseli Ismail, 59, and Izubella Rasi, 25, who received RM100 and RM50, respectively. All the winners received a certificate each.
The teh tarik competition ended with Kampung Melayu JKKK chairman Mohd Farouk Ismail, 45, being declared champion, followed by Mohd Rudy Abdul Majid, 35, and Mohd Rizal Nasrul, 40.
Judges included chairman of Sahabat Belia Tarmizi Osman and Hi Top Tea marketing and promotion manager Syed Zainul Alhady.
Among those present at the closing ceremony were Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and state exco Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim.