David Teo's statement on P Ramlee angers Penang NGOs
Several Penang non-governmental organisations (NGOs) today expressed regret over a statement made by Metrowealth Pictures (MiG) chief executive officer David Teo which was seen as belittling the late legendary artiste P Ramlee.
Penang Malay Association (Pemenang) chairperson Yusoff Latiff, who is also P Ramlee Fan Club president, said the comment that P Ramlee lived in destitution at the end of his life was inappropriate and not acceptable.
Yusoff, who is also president of Penang Malay Culture and Arts Association, said Teo was also 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.
"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," he told a press conference in George Town today.
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 while expressing his disappointment.
Teo in a statement in a news portal on July 7 advised artistes under his wing 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 among the young and Teo subsequently released a statement denying he made such a statement, claiming that the media had misquoted him.