Original film title in Malay: Ibu
English title: Mother
Directed by S. Ramanathan
Written by S. Ramanathan
Starring: P. Ramlee, Neng Yatimah, Aini Hayati, Rosenani
Produced by Malay Film Productions (Shaw Bros.)
Bukit Timah Railway Station
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
Great World Amusement Park
Padang, Esplanade Park, Anderson Bridge
Unidentified shophouse street, high-rise block & recreational venue
Rahimi (P. Ramlee) works as a shoeshine boy in a kampong near Kuala Lumpur to support himself and his blind mother (Neng Yatimah). While doing his rounds near a local nightclub, he hears the renowned trumpeter Zulkifli plays and gets inspired to be a musician. The prodigious Rahimi gains financial support and undergoes personal coaching by Zulkifli. By the time he’s a grown-up, Zulkifli recommends him to perform in Singapore to further his music career. Upon arrival in Singapore (at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station), he makes his way straight to the Great World Amusement Park, only to realize that the band instructor he’s looking for has gone abroad. A disgruntled Rahimi loiters about downtown Singapore, lugging his trumpet around the Padang and its colonial monuments, spits his cigarette into the Singapore River at Anderson Bridge, and passes Shaw Brothers-owned Capitol Theatre (it’s a ‘product-placement’…) Nevertheless, Rahimi’s musical talent lands him lucrative stints at the most renowned cafes and he becomes a target for a group of conspirators to swindle him of his money. (Singapore is a corrupted city, it seems.) He falls blindly in love with a cheat as he forsakes his mother, leading to very dire consequences, including a deadly accident at the Bukit Timah Railway Station.
1. Timothy P. Barnard, Sedih sampai buta: Blindness, modernity and tradition in Malay films of the 1950s and 1960s. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Vol. 161, No. 4 (2005), pp. 433-453.
2. Bukit Timah Railway Station. Singapore Infopedia. National Library Board, 2013.
3. Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. Singapore Infopedia. National Library Board, 2007.
4. Great World Amusement Park. Singapore Infopedia. National Library Board, 2006.
5. The Esplanade. Singapore Infopedia. National Library Board, 2004.
6. Anderson Bridge. Singapore Infopedia. National Library Board, 2004.
7. Capitol Theatre. Singapore Infopedia. National Library Board, 2004.
© 1953 Malay Film Productions
Digital Map Source:
Great Britain. Royal Air Force, Singapore photomap, National Library of Australia, MAP G8041.A4 s6 1950. [http://nla.gov.au/nla.map-vn502375]
© 2014 Toh Hun Ping