KUALA LUMPUR – July 12, 2016: Local actor-comedian Afdlin Shauki Aksan has hit back at film producer David Teo following the latter’s statement about legendary silver screen star Tan Sri P.Ramlee.
Afdlin, like many others, disagreed with Teo when he cited P.Ramlee’s final chapter of his life as a cautionary tale for artistes to be disciplined and financially prudent.
“If you don’t want to be a millionaire, then don’t be an artiste. We have to be rich. Don’t be like P.Ramlee who lived at the side of Bukit Bintang.
“Also, when we’re famous we must not forget our roots and go on a shopping spree to the point that we have no money when we’re old,” Teo reportedly said.
Teo has produced over 100 films since the year 2000 with most of them being slapstick Malay flicks such as ‘Hantu Dalam Botol Kicap’, ‘Bini-Biniku Gangster’ and his highest-grossing ‘Adnan Semp-it’ that generated RM5.5 million within the first 13 days of screening.
In response to Teo’s statement, Afdlin had, yesterday, penned a lengthy Facebook post to remind Teo of the differences between an artiste and a businessman.
“What you have to realise, Mr David (Teo), is that the soul of an artiste is different from that of a businessman.
“For example, P.Ramlee had the soul of an artiste and thus his masterpieces, until today continue to colour and entertain our lives. An artiste’s works will always be profitable in the long run.
“But you (Teo) are a businessman and a great one to boot. It’s true that you have groomed a lot of new artistes to showcase their works.
“But these artistic works use an extreme ‘Fast and Cheap’ business approach and that has greatly impacted the films you have produced. Because you’re a businessman, so all you think about is the quickest and cheapest way to get your ROI (return of investment),” he wrote.
Afdlin also pointed out that the real reason why P.Ramlee suffered towards the end of his career was that he was not protected by the laws of the country.
“He has been exploited by big-time studios that has taken away all of his intellectual properties. It doesn’t have anything to do with him not being disciplined.
“So Mr David, the problem is not P.Ramlee, the problem is the lack of respect this country has for the rights of artistes,” Afdlin wrote.
There were many Malaysians who seconded Afdlin’s counter-argument and his posting had so far garnered 24,000 likes on Facebook in mere 18 hours.
“Absolutely true Bro Afdlin. A wonderful explanation, am so honoured to be one of your die-hard-fans,” wrote Facebooker Abdul Malek Ishak in the comment section of Afdlin’s post.
“Trying to ridicule the late P.Ramlee? Who does he (Teo) thinks he is?” wrote Muhammad Zaidi.
“Brainless idiots like him talks without using any intellect at all. The films he produced are mostly garbage. Too much profiteering too little quality,” wrote Zack Rai Zuraimi.
“P.Ramlee is irreplaceable. He’s one in a million and his films can be watched for thousands of times without getting bored and that is the strength of his films,” wrote Amin Isnin.
“So David Teo insults P.Ramlee? Well I just want to point out that David Teo’s films are not that great anyway. The jokes are only funny for a short while,” wrote Aznil Hisham.
“But P.Ramlee’s films, on the other hand, you can literally watch it time and time again and I’ll be laughing out loud every single time I watch it.
“So David you don’t have to belittle others…it does not make you rich anyway,” he added.