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IPOH, April 23 – After having devoted most of his life to collecting antiques, retired Ramli Abu Itam is abandoning his collection.
The 65-year-old former deputy director of the education department of Perak has decided to sell the collection which has around 6,000 items.
He said it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but as he got older he wanted to take a spiritual journey instead.
“I cried for days after deciding to put my collection up for sale,” he said.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the launch of her collection gallery recently, Ramli said that by getting new owners for her collection, she will receive the necessary care when it is no longer there.
“I don’t want my collections to end up as trash by people who don’t appreciate its aesthetic value.”
Medan Klebang Restu, Chemor Gallery was started by famous Malaysian designer Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid or more popularly known as Lat.
Ramli said he started collecting antiques when he was little.
“I started with a wall clock and ceramic bowl that belonged to my grandmother,” the father of four said.
To this day, Ramli offers items ranging from wall clocks and ceramics to phone cards, watches, brass, classic vinyl records and bottled Coca-Cola.
Ramli was also awarded the Malaysia Book of Records in 1998 for having the highest number of calling cards at 68,000 pieces.
“Some of my collections are purchased online, there are also others that are obtained during my visits to various countries,” he said.
He also has one of the first bottled Coca-Cola produced in 1894 which he bought from Mississippi, United States.
Ramli said he also traveled to Greenwich in England to visit a store that sold antiques called The Junk.
“The store offers items such as telephones, historical books and other Malaysian items.”
He also traveled to Turkey to obtain his old phonograph, ceramics and old lamps.
All of Ramli’s collections are arranged in specially designed glass cabinets which are placed in a large area of his home.
Ramli’s collection is also used by undergraduates and undergraduates as reference material.
“They visited me because they wanted more information about Dr Mahathir and P. Ramlee.”
Those interested in seeing Ramli’s collection can contact him via his email: [email protected].