Royal Perak’s first music ‘video’ stars, 1968

SembangKuala had previously posted a short feature on the prevalent musical talent in the Perak royal family as well as a description of the talent of Almarhum Raja Ahmed Sifuddin and his involvement with Almarhum Sultan Idris’ RIShah Orkes. Long before the days of MTV, films featuring music composed by Almarhum Sultan Idris performed by RIShah Orkes were shot by Filem Negara Malaysia in 1968.

Raja Nizam on location. On the right are Mohamed Zain, Othman Hafsham and one of the FNM crew. (Source: Raja Nizam Raja Sulaiman)

The filming was reported in The Sunday Times which detailed the film crew led by Mohamed Zain Hussain, shooting on location in Ipoh, Taiping, Pulau Pangkor and finally Kuala Kangsar. The cast of this feature, interestingly, consisted of members of the Perak royal family. The ‘stars’ of the film were Raja Ahmed Sifuddin himself, together with his cousins Raja Nizam Rozita Raja Sulaiman[1] and Raja Hadijah Raja Mohamed. Raja Nizam recalled the event well, describing being accompanied on location by her sister Raja Om and had make up applied on her by Raja Ismail ibni Sultan Iskandar. She was featured in the scene shot at the Japanese ornamental garden in Ipoh, where she accompanied Raja Ahmed Sifuddin who was singing Kalau Rindu (a song penned by Almarhum Sultan Idris II which was later made popular by the late Datin Rafeah Buang).

Raja Ahmed Sifuddin singing 'Kalau Rindu' on location at the Japanese ornamental garden in Ipoh with Raja Nizam Rozita Raja Sulaiman. (Source: Raja Nizam Raja Sulaiman)

The films made by Filem Negara Malaysia were three short features directed by Othman Hafsham, two of which were shown at Istana Iskandariah during Almarhum Sultan Idris’ silver wedding anniversary in April 1968. These short films were subsequently shown in local film theatres and broadcasted on Televisyen Malaysia. The music was performed by RIShah Orkes and conducted by Albert Pohan.

1. PK Huen. Show-biz Royal style. The Sunday Times. 1968 March 17.

[1]Raja Nizam binti Raja Sulaiman is a descendant of Marhum Sayong Raja Muda Mahmud who was the grandson of Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Shah, and is the aunt of SembangKuala co-editor, Raja Mahariz Muzaffar.


5 thoughts on “Royal Perak’s first music ‘video’ stars, 1968

  1. I remember this well but I was with Radio Malaysia Pulau Pinang then. Rishah used to record for our musical programme which was aired nationwide. Our intermediary was Raja Ismail who regularly frequented our studio because of his interest in drama (sandiwara Radio) beside the music.

    Rishah used to have its session at the studio of RTM in Ipoh. Ramli Samad was the Programme Organiser and Michel Ho the Entertainment Organiser. They have many fond memories of the Orchestra. I feel Sembang Kuala should get to them on Rishah. They have retired and settled in Ipoh.

  2. I recall too of the air time Rishah had on RTM many years ago when I was a kid. Another popular number composed by the late DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan Idris was “Cempaka Sari”,(recorded too by Tan Sri S. M. Salim). Quite recently saw this number being played by RTM Orchestra in jazz instrumental mode in their jazz tribute programme. Very nice composition, also on the historical aspect of Perak.

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