|Tan Sri Datuk Amar
|Born||Teuku Zakaria bin Teuku Nyak Puteh
22 March 1929
Penang, Straits Settlements
|Died||29 May 1973
Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Resting place||Jalan Ampang Muslim Cemetery, Kuala Lumpur|
|Notable work||Bujang Lapok film series
Antara Dua Darjat
Do Re Mi film series
Labu Labi film series
|Spouse(s)||Junaidah Daeng Harris (1950 -1954)
Noorizan Mohd. Noor (1955 - 1961)
Salmah binti Ismail a.k.a. Saloma (1961 - 1973)
|Children||1. Mohamad Nasir Bin Teuku Zakaria a.k.a. Nasir P. Ramlee (son)
2. Arfan P. Ramlee (son)
3. Sazali P. Ramlee (adopted son)
4. Safarina bte Mum a.k.a. Dian P Ramlee (adopted daughter)
5. Betty P. Ramlee (adopted daughter)
6. Zakiah bte Ahmad Rejab (adopted daughter)
7. Sabarudin bin Ramlee (adopted son)
|Parent(s)||Teuku Nyak Puteh Teuku Karim
Che Mah Hussein
|Relatives||Sheikh Ali Sheikh Muhammad (older maternal half-brother)|
Tan Sri Datuk Amar Teuku Zakaria Teuku Nyak Putih (Jawi: تاوكو زكريا تاوكو ڽق ڤوتيه), commonly known as P. Ramlee (22 March 1929 – 29 May 1973) was a Malaysian film actor, director, singer, songwriter, composer, and producer. Due to his contributions to the movie and music industry and his literary work, he is often considered the icon of Malay entertainment in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Sumatra, Indonesia.
P. Ramlee, or Teuku Zakaria was born on 22 March 1929 to Teuku Nyak Puteh and Che Mah Hussein at 40A Caunter Hall (renamed Jalan P. Ramlee in 1983) in Penang, then part of the Straits Settlements.6 His father, Teuku Nyak Puteh, travelled from Lhokseumawe in Aceh, Indonesia, to settle in Penang, while his mother, Che Mah Hussein, was from Kubang Buaya in Butterworth, Penang.7
Ramlee received his education from the Sekolah Melayu Kampung Jawa (Kampung Jawa Malay School), Francis Light English School and Penang Free School. He was registered as “Ramlee” in school.8 Reportedly a reluctant student, Ramlee was nevertheless talented in music and football.9 His studies at the Penang Free School was interrupted by the Japanese Occupation (1942–45), during which time he enrolled in the Japanese navy school.10 During the war, Ramlee also learnt the basics of music and to sing Japanese songs. When the war ended, he took music lessons that enabled him to read musical notations.11
Death and legacy
On 29 May 1973, P. Ramlee died at the age of 44 from a heart attack and was buried at Jalan Ampang Muslim Cemetery, in Kuala Lumpur.
In 1986, 13 years after his death, in honour of his contributions to the Malaysian entertainment industry, the P. Ramlee Memorial or Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee was built in his home in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur. In 1982, the street Jalan Parry, in the center of Kuala Lumpur, was renamed Jalan P. Ramlee in his honour. In 1990, he was posthumously awarded the Malaysian honorific title Tan Sri, and then in 2009, the honorific title of "Datuk Amar" by Sarawak State Government. Then Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, an avid fan of P. Ramlee, presented the award to his adopted daughter, Dian P. Ramlee, in a ceremony honouring veteran artists in Kuching.
On 31 October 2010, a 90-minute documentary on his life was aired on History Channel Asia. The documentary revealed that P. Ramlee's untimely death was a shock to the nation and a sense of collective guilt began to spread nationwide following his death. This was because, prior to his death, he had been discredited and rejected by the entertainment industry and the public at large who felt that he was a "has-been" and that his songs and films were no longer relevant or marketable. The documentary also revealed that, despite his previous success in the entertainment industry, P. Ramlee had died penniless, having given away the last of his money to a visitor to his house who he felt needed the money more than him.
The P. Ramlee House is a museum situated along Jalan P. Ramlee (formerly Caunter Hall road) in Penang, Malaysia. The building is a restored wooden house that was originally built in 1926 by his father and uncle. The house had previously undergone multiple repairs before being taken over by the National Archives as an extension of its P. Ramlee Memorial project in Kuala Lumpur. Items on display at the house include personal memorabilia related to his life in Penang and items belonging to his family.
Awards and Honours
- Darjah Yang Mulia Pangkuan Negara (Ahli Mangku Negara) - Awarded on September 1962.
- Darjah Yang Mulia Setia Mahkota Malaysia (Panglima Setia Mahkota Malaysia) - Awarded posthumously on 6 Jun 1990.
- Darjah Yang Amat Mulia Bintang Kenyalang Sarawak (Datuk Amar Bintang Kenyalang (Posthumous)) - Awarded posthumously on 2009.
- P. Ramlee was posthumously granted the soubriquet Seniman Agung.
Places named in honour of P.Ramlee
- Jalan P. Ramlee, Penang (formerly known as Caunter Hall; renamed on 30 August 1983)
- Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur (formerly known as Jalan Parry; renamed in 1982)
- Bangunan P. Ramlee and Bilik Mesyuarat Tan Sri P. Ramlee at Sekolah Kebangsaan Hulu Klang, Selangor (used as background in Masam Masam Manis)
- Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuching, Sarawak (formerly known as Jalan Jawa)
- Taman P. Ramlee (formerly Taman Furlong) a townships at Setapak, Kuala Lumpur and George Town, Penang
- Pawagam Mini P. Ramlee at Studio Merdeka, FINAS, Ulu Klang, Selangor
- Makmal P.Ramlee at Filem Negara Malaysia, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
- P. Ramlee Auditorium (formerly known as RTM Auditorium), Angkasapuri
- SK Tan Sri P. Ramlee, Georgetown, Penang (formerly SK Kampung Jawa, his alma mater; renamed on 13 November 2011)
- Ramlee Mall at Suria KLCC shopping centre, Kuala Lumpur
Films and songs
All of his films are now the property of the Shaw Organisation.