Shah Alam (December 16th, 2014) – Malaysia’s top thriller novelist Ramlee Awang Murshid announced today that a film adaptation of his bestselling novel Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba is currently in development, with production targeted to begin mid next year.

The film will be a collaboration between Ramlee’s production company Layar Sunan, the Karangkraf Media Group (Karangkraf) & Ideate Media (Ideate). Karangkraf is the publisher of the Tombiruo trilogy and other titles by Ramlee, while Ideate is a local content company jointly owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd & Astro Overseas Ltd.

This was announced at a press conference held at Karangkraf’s head office in Shah Alam. Present at the press conference were Ramlee (Founder, Layar Sunan), Dato’ Dr. Haji Hussamuddin Haji Yaacub (Chairman and CEO of Kumpulan Buku Karangkraf), Zainir Aminullah (CEO, Ideate Media), and veteran filmmaker Nasir Jani. The film will be directed by Nasir, who is making his return to directing after a long hiatus. Nasir is best known for directing the hit ‘80s films Kembara Seniman Jalanan and Rozana Cinta 87.

Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba is an action adventure film, based on the novel of the same name. It follows the story of a mysterious being in the Keningau Jungle linked to a series of tragic events surrounding a prominent logging family in Sabah. Shooting will take place in various locations nationwide, including Sabah.

Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba is the first local project for both Ideate Media and Layar Sunan, and is the third novel adaptation for Karangkraf (after Ombak Rindu and the recently released Manisnya Cinta Di Cappadocia). Layar Sunan will handle production of the film, with Ideate and Karangkraf as producers and investors.

Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba was one of my earliest successes, and is a story that is very close to my heart. I’ve always wanted to see it made into a film, and I’m humbled that Karangkraf and Ideate saw the potential in the story and share the same creative vision with me. Of course, as a proud Sabahan, I’m very pleased that Layar Sunan’s first production will also be shot in my home state. I’m looking forward to bringing Tombiruo to a new audience,” commented Ramlee.

“At Ideate, we hope to combine great stories, great characters and great entertainment not just for the local audience, but we have a vision to bring it to international markets. A lot of time has been spent in the development of Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba, not just to tell a good story, but to maximise its potential for further commercial exploitation. We are not merely making a great action film; we are building a transmedia franchise centred on Ramlee’s novels,” said Zainir Aminullah.

Ideate has exclusive access to all of Ramlee’s titles published by Karangkraf to determine their suitability for exploitation in the franchise. Ideate has optioned film, television and ancillary rights in Ramlee’s Tombiruo trilogy, as well as other novels in the series.

The original novel, Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba was first published in 1998, and is now in its 14th reprint.  Ramlee Awang Murshid has published 25 books with Karangkraf. His books have sold over 1.1 million copies, making him Malaysia’s most successful novelist in the thriller and action-adventure genre.


About Layar Sunan

Layar Sunan is a production company set up by Ramlee Awang Murshid, Malaysia’s best-selling thriller novelist, with the aim of adapting his novels into other media platforms such as film, television, print and digital. Established in 2010, the name is taken from one of Ramlee’s most popular characters, Laksamana Sunan. For more information, visit


About Karangkraf Media

The group has its humble beginning way back in 1978 when the then young and enterprising Dato (Dr.) Hussamuddin Bin Hj Yaacub started his small publishing business in a shop lot to produce his first ever product, Mingguan Kanak kanak. From then on, the company has grown to what it is today. In 1990, through Alaf 21 and Karya Bestari, the group started to print novels and books of various genres. Subsequently, in the same year, through Ultimate Print and Dasar Cetak, the group’s foray into the commercial printing business started. The need for a newspaper that is both neutral and independent in its reporting amidst a curtailed media landscape saw the birth of Sinar Harian in 2006 – the first state customized national newspaper. With a 38% growth in readership in 2012, Sinar Harian is the fastest growing newspaper in the country. Now with Alaf 21 being the number one publisher of novels and Ultimate Print the largest commercial printer, 21 magazine titles, a book division, and with the addition of Sinar Harian, Karangkraf stands tall in the world of publishing in the country.

For more information, visit