You know, during my younger days, I would be stuck to the black & white television of mine watching the ‘Bujang Lapok’ series in the afternoon ….. the characters that include the likes of Tompel and P. Ramlee.

P. Ramlee was such an artiste!

Not many realize that he had won many awards including the coveted Asian Movie King!

This was considered a great feat if one is to factor in the other great Hongkong movie stars then like David Chiang, Wang Yu, Ti Lung, Ivy Ling Po etc.

 P. Ramlee’s fall from grace seemed to be just as fast as his rising star.

And when he died in his Setapak home in 1973, I was literally dumbfounded …. especially with respect to his personal state of affairs.

Some light was shed when his life was broadcast over Astro ….. when it was revealed that it was primarily due to the jealous and vested interest cretins that caused his ‘transfer’ to Kuala Lumpur (from the hub in Singapore) and ‘left to rot’.

The day before he died, P. Ramlee was served with a summons as he acted as a guarantor for a lender who had defaulted.

P. Ramlee by that time was a destitute and that summons apparently broke him.

It was only after his death that people started to appreciate his contribution to the film industry and also to Malay culture …… that his ‘Tan Sri’ title was awarded posthumously.

Fast forward to day ……. and I was really saddened by the sudden death of economist Zainal Aznam Yusof ….. also from a heart attack.

If one may recall not too long ago, Zainal Aznam was quoted as advocating the implementation of the New Economic Model that would propel the country to the next level of development.

He has since been cast as an outcast by the likes of the ultras in UMNO and Perkasa.

Such is the internal Malay politics of UMNO that any of their critics would be literally but subtly ‘put to the sword’!

UMNO does not like smart people …… because smart people will advocate for the right things to be done ……. and for the good of the race, religion and country.

Did this subtle but tremendous pressure exerted on Zainal Aznam take its toll?

I sincerely hope not!

Click HERE for The Star’s Soo Ewe Jin take on the Economist Extraordinaire.


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