Friday, November 12, 2010

of P. Ramlee and how Malaysians don't learn from past mistakes

title blog tak nak panjang gila kan?

i saw the documentary of P. Ramlee on History channel.
(mula mula tension sebab Si Rambut Kembang tukar channel sebab masa tu tengah excited nak tengok cerita apa tah kat 413 haha. nasib baik the documentary was well worth it).

Lepas habis tengok, terus terkilan tertekan.

The man was a legend.
But he did not get the recognition and treatment that he deserved until long after his death,
which pretty much doesnt count dah kan?
(and after all these years of idolizing him, i never knew this!)

1. He was the 'anak ikan' of Shaw Brothers. A successful man like him are bound to be subjected to evil glares of others. Having been given special treatment over all the other directors, he became the bull's eye of their dart boards. Using their connection with the media, they managed to curb stories about P. Ramlee's success and brilliance from reaching the society.

2. He was well recognized internationally, but was criticized in Malaya.

3. During the Pop Yeh Yeh era, P. Ramlee was boo-ed on stage because his songs were already 'lapuk' by then and nobody wanted to listen to them.

4. After producing more than 360 songs for EMI, they one decided to tell him 'im sorry, we're not going to continue your contract with us because your album dah tak laku'.

aaaaah, the list of frustration goes and on and on.
just typing about it is giving me a headache.
and considering that i need my sanity so that i can study for my final exams, i shall stop listing it out.
you can read about it here and here if you're curious.

My point is, some things never change.

Allahyarham P. Ramlee was recognized at an international level, but he was shunned by his own countrymen. On the day that he died, there weren't even any food at home. Saloma didn't even have enough money to pay for his funeral. And his family couldn't even claim the royalty for his songs because even though he wrote the whole thing by himself, it wasnt copyrighted under his name.

It's just sad to know that 'our people' has been acting like this from dulu sampai la sekarang.
At the sight of somebody being more successful, we freak out and do all we can to bring that person down.

Ugh. Ugh. 
I take the 'we' back in the statement above.
(i initially thought that using 'we' would make it seem less like i'm pointing fingers at others, but being included in 'we' makes me feel disgusted with myself)

Surprise surprise,
Yasmin Ahmad was treated pretty much the same.
The genius in her movies were often misconstrued as something that it is not.
Her films are sought-after on an international level, and yet Malaysia refused to show her films as they are 'controversial'.
It was only after her death that they decided to air it.

I've lost my mood.
Can't write what i originally wanted to write.
So im gonna stop now.

P/s : BTW, check out Amir Muhammad's  article on P. Ramlee foreseeing the future that is Facebook here.


Maria Elena (Zarul) said...

huuuu!! i watched it too!!
kesian gila kan. dah la gaji kecil je, but he still lends them to his friends who needs it. gila la.

you know what Tun said is hauntingly correct: melayu mudah lupa.

bila melayu nak berubah? eh, saya melayu. hmmmmm...

aisya said...

hard to say....its too complicated i think

Merissa K. said...

Maya :
i almost cried when it was over. shuhaimi baba succeeded in making me depressed. hahaha.

saya pun melayu. tapi i think what he meant was 'meleis mudah lupa'. ngahahaha.

let's not forget, shall we? :)

Aisya :
naah darling, it's not that complicated pun. 'kita' je yang buat benda simple jadi complicated.

p. ramlee was ahead of his time, as was yasmin and the society just didnt know the right way nak appreciate them, tu je.


shafiq said...

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Merissa K. said...

Shafiq :
i honestly dont know the appropriate reply to the peribahasa.


amywammy said...

it's sad that some people would still like to memalukan Yasmin Ahmad even after her death. Dengki sangat, until you lose respect to the dead??

Merissa K. said...

itu lahhh. i dont know what good can possibly come out of it.

and, brian yap once wrote an article as a tribute for yasmin. this was what he wrote :

"Given that every single one of her films were strongly criticised by conservatives, one would think she was rebelling against societal norms. Yet, her films were always about the very things Islam or most religions, for that matter, emphasised—traditional values such as love, tolerance and forgiveness.

I could never understand why she was the one deemed controversial and not her critics, who seemed only able to obsess over minor details and not see the bigger picture of the stories she was telling."

i couldnt have said it any better. :D


wan said...

senang cerita, orang melayu ni slalu busuk hati!! tamak!! pandai cakap je tak reti buat!!

i watched it too, time tu rasa nk tumbuk2 je muka wartawan2 yg seboleh2 nak hentam P.Ramlee dulu...



Merissa K. said...

Wan :
i guess diorang tak bajet that P. Ramlee will be as legendary as he is lah kot.

I bet masa tu they thought that if they could bring him down, it will be the end of his legacy.

and for a while, it did seem like it'll happen.

tapi tu lah. i sendiri tak faham kenapa orang melayu suka dengki. and you are right, sebab tu lah tak boleh nak maju.

kalau waktu yang ada asyik guna untuk jatuh kan orang lain, instead of improving diri sendiri, memang la sampai bila bila pun akan stuck dalam limbo.


Valossa Vicious said...

No Astro for me since I'm staying in a hostel. Dang. Any chance this will be on Youtube?

I love his evergreen films and especially his songs. The classic touch, the way he put his emotions and feelings when he sang, I don't know, it's almost like I'm absorbed when I listen to some of his songs.

Why, why the jealousy??

Merissa K. said...

i pun was lucky to have been home when it was aired. on youtube, tak sure, but ill look it up and let you know if ada. :D

yessss i know what you mean. i get those feelings too. like, no matter what you try to do to modernize his songs, it will never ever be better than the original one kan?

and i love how he uses his films to mock the society then (which also still applies to us now).

ooohhh, you should read this piece by amir muhammad, mesti u kagum!

P. Ramlee foreseeing Facebook. Take that Mark Zuckerberg! hahahaha.

Igniz said...

haaa....sebab tu i selalu puji u. sebab i tanak u terima nasib yang sama. dah transfer ke dunia lain baru nak dapat sanjungan dan penghargaan. baik kan i? bluek. :P

Merissa K. said...

awwwhhh ijan, that's the single sweetest thing ive heard in a loooong time.

thank you!

p/s : in that case, ur gonna have to stick around even during my zaman kejatuhan. comprende? hahah