Saloma, whose real name is Salmah Ismail, was the third wife of Tan Sri P. Ramlee

KUALA LUMPUR: THREE decades after the death of silver-screen legend Saloma, films depicting the life of the biduanita negara, are still widely anticipated.

The most recent, telefilm Saloma produced by Kus Semangat Aktor production and directed by Melissa Saila, which was aired on Astro First Eksklusif starting Aug 28, was no different.

However, the royalties from the film, its controversial contents and rights to it have been put to question.

Saloma’s direct next of kin are her grandsons Arzanee Armali, 37, and his younger brother Rohaidee, 30. Both are sons of the late Armali Aman Ramli, the only son from her marriage with Aman Ramli Jaafar, also known as AR Tompel.

Arzanee told the New Straits Times yesterday that he had not received any royalties that were entitled to him through the biopic.

“It is bad enough that they had failed to issue me a formal letter of consent for the film’s production, they have not even given me any royalty payments from it.”

The production company did, however, invite him to the promotional event of the film that Arzanee did not attend in protest at being left out in the making of Saloma.

Arzanee expressed his disappointment and dissatisfaction that certain parts of her life depicted in the film were untrue.

“Some of the scenes brought shame to the family. There are scenes that cast my family members as drug addicts; those were lies.

“I do not understand the relevance of using the word ‘bistro’ in the scenes.

“It is a negative depiction that brings dishonour to my family,” he said, adding that bistro came with a connotation of a place where alcoholic drinks were served.

“My two children are asking me about their great-grandparents, whether they really took drugs or used black magic as shown in the film.

“As a parent, how am I supposed to explain to them?”

Arzanee said he did not face any problem when he was dealing with Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba’s Pesona Pictures Sdn Bhd.

“When they did a film on P. Ramlee, Persona Pictures sent me a letter seeking my consent.

“There is no reason for Melissa not to do the same, more so when this is about my grandmother.”

Melissa is the daughter of Mariani, who is Saloma’s sister.

Arzanee expressed his disappointment that Melissa, his aunt, had sidelined him in the film-making.

“I have no qualms if I have to approach the authorities to fight my case and claim what is rightfully mine.

“If this matter is not resolved soon, I will consult lawyers to file my claims.”

Saloma portrays the life of the singer/actress from a tender age up to her death in 1983.

Saloma, whose real name is Salmah Ismail, was the third wife of Tan Sri P. Ramlee.

Her hits like Bila Larut Malam and the iconic Selamat Hari Raya are loved to this day.