THEN & NOW: Keeping up with Ruminah



WE know Ruminah Sidek, 67, best for her appearance in Tan Sri P. Ramlee’s cautionary tale Anak Bapak, on the corruption and greed of corporate bigwigs.

In this 1960s movie she plays  a woman masquerading as  the wife of the protagonist (played by Ramlee) and they have a famous scene together — in a luxurious but dry bath tub in his super-rich father’s house.

Ramlee’s father was played by none other than Ruminah’s husband, screen legend A. R. Tompel, who is best known for co-starring with Ramlee in the Do Re Mi comedy film series, and in Keluarga 69, a hilarious story on a family.

Ruminah is affectionately known as Mak Mah and she takes on film and television roles with gusto. While she mostly plays kind-hearted grandmothers and matriarchs, she also plays ghosts, as in filmmaker M. Jamil’s Momok The Movie.

The Klang-born actress’ most notable film role in recent years was Puteri Gunung Ledang The Movie produced by, and starring, Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina.

She plays  a “nenek kebayan” who has descended from Gunung Ledang  but is, in fact, the  princess of  Mount Ledang in disguise.

Puteri Gunung Ledang also stars Ruminah’s son, the multi-talented Adlin Aman Ramlie, as Sultan Mahmud Shah 1 of Malacca.

Ruminah has appeared as a guest star in a number of Adlin’s famous television shows, for example, the late night talk show Jangan Tidur Lagi on TV3 and Astro’s long-running reality talent show Akademi Fantasia.

In the third season of Akademi Fantasia, which introduced Adlin as a judge, she famously “rebuked” him for his razor-sharp criticisms of the contestants. She also appeared in the seventh season to announce his impending marriage to actress Emelda Rosmila.

With Ruminah’s guidance, Adlin has become a successful actor, director, lyricist and television personality.

Another notable appearance of Ruminah’s is in the horror flick Jangan Pandang Belakang, which also stars Pierre Andre, the son of veteran actress Khadijah Tan, who is a close friend. Ruminah has six children, 20 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Ruminah received the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Malaysian Film Festival 2008.

She also won Best Supporting Actress for playing the grandmother of a handicapped boy, played by M. Subash, in the film Pensil. She often appears in films directed by Erma Fatima and produced by Rosyam Nor and has co-hosted cookery shows on Radio Televisyen Malaysia.

Ruminah Sidek then... (with P. Ramlee)

...and now ( (with Tan Sri Jins Shamsuddin)

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