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PUBLISHED: May 7, 2014 7:00am

The three Bujang Lapok are together again, somewhere….

Cobaan

RAJINA DHILLON By:
Rajina Dhillon

Datuk Aziz Sattar (left), the last of the Bujang Lapok who included the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee and the late S. Shamsuddin (right), passed away early on Tuesday morning. — File pic

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By Rajina Dhillon

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7:

Malaysia’s entertainment industry yesterday lost a veteran actor known to many as a man who not only injected humour in the lives of close friends, but was remembered for his humble nature.

Datuk Abdul Aziz Sattar, or Aziz Sattar, was the last living Bujang Lapok until he passed away early on Tuesday morning from a heart attack at the age of 89.

Veteran actress Datuk Rosnani Jamil, who knew Aziz since 1952, said she remembered the late comedian as quite the joker and “was such a humble person”.

“I haven’t ever seen him angry, he always joked around.”

“I’m really going to miss him. I went to see him last month when I heard he was not well. When I went to his house, I cooked him his favourite rendang and he was so happy.

“But that time I could sense he wasn’t himself. He was no more joking around, even when he spoke, he was very slow.”

But Rosnani said in their last conversation, the two reminisced on the times in the 50s when Aziz and several friends would hang around at her house late at night just to eat her mother’s cooking.

“In the 50s, when we were young, he used to come to my house late at night looking for food. My mother used to cook for him. The first thing he remembered when I met him last was how our other friends used to bring empty plates to my house for food.

“Those are my fondest memories,” she told The Rakyat Post in a phone interview.

“We are actually so similar. We are both not well educated so we always tried to improve ourselves all the time. He constantly tried to improve himself until he became an actor and director. He worked hard for his success.”

Another veteran actor, Datuk Mustapha Maarof, recalled how Aziz was well loved by fans of all ages, even to this day.

“We went to Sabah and Sarawak to perform recently, together with a few other old timers and we were very much welcomed by the people there. We were surprised, at our age, we still had fans.”

Mustapha said he had done many movies with the veteran actor and in the 1970s, Aziz began trying to boost the industry.

“It was a changing of times, when TV came in, the changing of the media. So we did our best together. He supported and wanted to have a national film board to help the industry.

“The call was answered by the government of Malaysia and we formed the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) together. He was also active in other associations and was a member of the Malaysian Artists of Malaysia, which didn’t last long.

“We travelled a lot to Sabah and Sarawak, did many shows to raise funds for the association. When money was there, he always gave back to other artistes and the associations.

“He was always active till his last days. He showed never ending efforts in the industry.”

Singer Datuk Khatijah Ibrahim, who wasn’t able to attend Aziz’s funeral, also had nothing but great things to share about the late veteran actor.

“He was such a wonderful, friendly and kind man, always sharing his thoughts as far as the industry is concerned. We performed at so many places together.

“We have lost another legend in the country. I’m also so sad I that I didn’t get a chance to visit him in the hospital.”

Khatijah said he was always laughing and talking about work.

Recalling one of her fondest memories of Aziz, she shared with The Rakyat Post an incident when she bumped into the actor at a petrol kiosk, on her way to Singapore.

“One day, I was on the way to work in Singapore and I saw this man reading a newspaper at a petrol kiosk. I told myself its uncle Aziz. I walked up to him and sure enough it was uncle Aziz!

“So I asked him what he was doing there. He said he was going to Singapore. I told him he shouldn’t be driving there alone, but he said it’s okay, it was just a short trip,” Khatijah shared.

She said that was just the way he was.

“Everything was easy going for him, with no protocol. He was a true star and a true legend.”

“I will really miss his singing and working together with him. Deep down he is a wonderful and simple man. I’m glad, happy and honoured to have known him.”

Acting coach Fatimah Abu Bakar, who briefly worked with Aziz during the film Layar Lara (1998), said that besides his love for films, he was a lovely man.

Fatimah said she worked with several veterans in the film and saw how each one’s dedication shone through.

“I have utter respect for their craft. Listening to them exchanging stories. Pak Aziz was (jokingly) telling all the extras not to make their faces too obvious. He just loved being in films.”

But, Fatimah said, Aziz had said something back then that was saddening to hear.

“When he spoke of the old days and how we treat them now, he wasn’t complaining, but I got that feeling that things were so much different then.

“Back in the day, working with Shaw brothers, they were treated very well, even salary wise. They were treated like kings, chauffeur-driven and such. I could sense that. Anyone who listened to him could sense how he missed the old days.”

But, Fatimah added Aziz was never one to complain, get angry or grouchy.

“On one hand, we’ve lost all three Bujang Lapok. But on the other hand, I feel they are having a party somewhere. I would like to think that. I also hope for us to treat each other better.”

Meanwhile, politicians and several other artists took to social networking sites to mourn the passing of the legendary actor.

Expressing his sadness via twitter, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wrote: “I am sad at the demise of Datuk Abdul Aziz Sattar. There goes an artiste. Al-Fatihah”.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin uploaded a photo of himself with Aziz on Twitter with the words: “Datuk Aziz Sattar, 1/3 of Bujang Lapok. Legend. Thank you for brightening our lives. Al Fatihah.”

Actress Sharifah Amani shared her message on Twitter, saying, “Thank you for the years of laughter and irreplaceable memories. Al Fatihah Pak Aziz Sattar. Forever.”

Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina took to her Facebook account and posted, “We lost Aziz Sattar today. He was one of the last remaining stars of our golden era of cinema. Thank you for making us laugh and cry watching your movies again and again Uncle Aziz.”

While it is obvious that the industry has lost a giant star in the entertainment industry, one would like to think that Aziz has now rejoined the other two Bujang Lapok, Tan Sri P. Ramlee and S. Shamsuddin, laughing and probably saying “Chobaan”.

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