By Muhammad Najieb Ahmad Fuad
REMBAU, Dec 26: The art work of the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee lives on and remains fresh among his fans until today, despite his death about 46 years ago.
A multi-talented artiste, P. Ramlee was a singer-songwriter, composer, actor, director and producer whose career spanned the golden age of Malaysian film making from the late 1940s to the early 1960s.
His art works, including songs, not only captured the hearts of the Malay community, but also other races in the country.
One of them is Ng Kim Soi, 75, who runs a barber shop which has been operating here for the past 56 years. While snipping the customers’ hair, you can hear him sing, hum or whistle the tune of P. Ramlee’s songs, like “Getaran Jiwa” and “Jangan Tinggal Daku”.
Popularly known as “Ah Kim” among his customers, Ng has also been given the nickname “P. Ramlee of Rembau” by the local community because he sounds like the legendary artiste when he sang the songs.
“Any new customer who comes to the shop thinks that I am a Malay because I don’t sound like a Chinese when I sing P. Ramlee’s songs,” he said when met by Bernama.
Making P Ramlee his icon, Ng said he started to learn and mimic P Ramlee’s voice and style of singing at the age of 16.
“I learn P. Ramlee’s song by listening to his records, but now they are easily available in CD and VCD form, as well as by surfing them on the Internet,” he said, adding that living in a Malay community made it more easier for him to grasp the language during the early years of learning to sing P. Ramlee’s songs.
Ng, who has five children, said there was a time when he was invited to participate in a singing competition in Singapore, but he had to turn it down as he did not have the means then to do so.
“There was also a time I was invited to sing P. Ramlee’s songs at an event that was attended by the 10th Yang Dipertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan ( Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
“It was a great honour for me,” he added.