Built in Jalan P. Ramlee (formerly Caunterhall Road) in 1926 by his father and uncle, the house was renovated twice – before the Japanese Occupation and again in 1948. It was where P. Ramlee was born in 1926 and where he spent his childhood. The younger generation can also visit the house showing the “Rhythms of his Youth” and thus explain themselves with his life and work.
A Penang Malay of Acehnese descent is an icon in the entertainment industry of Malaysia in the black-and-white movie era. He also sang and composed in a simultaneous music career. During that time, his colourful career in the entertainment industry directed 54 films, acted in 62 films, wrote 359 songs and sang more than 200 of them that had since attained a cult status and remained the pride and joy of Malay cinema.
| He started in this industry by 1948 and continued till he died of a heart attack on May 29, 1973. At that time he was only 44 years old. The last song recorded was Air Mata which sung by his wife Saloma in 1972. She passed away at the age of 48 on April 25, 1983.
The restored house was rebuilt on the site of the old house, which had belonged to the late artist's father and uncle. The entertainer's life history and his personal and family memorabilia are display in an adjoining building.
The house has both indoor and outdoor displays. The sitting room tells the story of P. Ramlee’s childhood, up to the time he left for Singapore in the early 1950s to pursue his singing career. The centre hall has displays of his musical instruments and photographs.
The bedroom houses original furniture including an iron bed, table, mirror and metal trunk while in the kitchen are traditional clay pots and other utensils.
In the compound outside is a bicycle that P. Ramlee used. It was said that as he cycled along, he would use the brake to produce some sort of rhythm.
The house had previously undergone successive repairs before being taken over by the National Archives as an extension of its P. Ramlee Memorial project in Kuala Lumpur. The original form of the house, however, remains intact. It has a nipah roof and wooden floor and walls. The items on display at the house include his life history, personal memorabilia related to his life in Penang, and items belonging to his family.
Rumah P. Ramlee is at 4A, Jalan P. Ramlee. It is open from 10am to 5.30pm from Tuesdays to Sundays. Admission is free. For details, call 04-281 7484.