GEORGE TOWN: The comment that legendary artiste Tan Sri P. Ramlee lived in destitute at the end of his life was inappropriate and unacceptable, said Penang Malay Association (Pemenang) chairman Tan Sri Yusoff Latiff.
“Although he (P. Ramlee) was not a rich man in terms of money, he had a big heart. We should not look at money alone,” Yusoff told a press conference here.
He was commenting on a statement made by Metrowealth Pictures (MiG) chief executive officer David Teo who was said to have advised artistes under MiG to ensure they led a decent life to the end unlike P.Ramlee who had a difficult life in his final years.
The statement drew strong criticisms from local artistes, including the young, and Teo subsequently released a statement denying he made such a statement claiming that the media had misquoted him.
Yusoff, also president of Penang Malay Culture and Arts Association, said Teo was seen as looking down on the late artiste’s commitment and dedication towards arts in the country.
He said Teo was not aware that P. Ramlee was never interested in becoming a wealthy man and only wanted to elevate the national film industry.
Penang Malay Heritage and Tourism Association (Sahabat) president Syed Kamalrul Sufian Syed Kadiron Mustafa said the late P. Ramlee was an artiste and not a businessman.
“P. Ramlee had succeeded in changing the viewers’ paradigm to have an identity which the audience today have inherited.
“Compare his (P. Ramlee) work with films produced by MiG, can they compete with what P. Ramlee had created,” he said. – Bernama