1st Prize -‘The King of the Sea’ by Dina Zaman
2nd Prize -‘The Garden of Evening Mists’ by Tan Twan Eng
3rd Prize -‘Tiger Isle – A Government of Thieves’ by E.S. Shankar

Published: Sunday August 4, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday August 4, 2013 MYT 8:47:49 AM
Dina’s stories the choice of readers


KUALA LUMPUR: Dina Zaman’s collection of short stories, King Of The Sea, bagged the top prize in the fiction category at Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards, beating award-winning writer Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden Of Evening Mists.

With the culmination of a month-long voting campaign by the public, the announcement was made at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday to coincide with day one of this year’s BookFest@Malaysia, the annual nine-day book festival organised by the Popular Book Company.

“I’ve never won anything in my life, even in a lucky draw – and to beat Tan Twan Eng, a writer that I really, really admire; it’s an interesting Ramadan for me, thank you!” Dina said.

Her series of short, whimsical tales inspired by her hometown in Terengganu beat South Africa-based Malaysian writer Tan’s piece of historical fiction.

The Cameron Highland-set Garden won the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize and recently bagged the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, a British literary award that comes with £25,000 (RM124,485) in prize money.

Garden came in at second place this time.

Former accountant E.S. Shankar’s political satire, Tiger Isle: A Government Of Thieves, came in third.

In the non-fiction category, the first prize went to Mydin: The Untold Story, a story of Malaysian entrepreneurship written by Datin Dr Hajah Siti Hawa Mohd, the daughter-in-law of conglomerate founder Mydin Mohamed.

Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir’s Telling It Straight, a collection of both her published and unpublished columns tackling a range of contemporary and political issues, came second; badminton champion Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s autobiographical account Dare To Be A Champion came in third.

In the Malay language category, Suri Ryana’s Isteri Separuh Masa (Part-Time Wife), Zura Asyfar’s Sebenarnya, Saya Isteri Dia (Actually, I Am His Wife) and Acik Lana’s Maaf Jika Aku Tak Sempurna (Sorry If I Am Not Perfect) won first, second and third prize, respectively.

For non-fiction, the winners in the order of first to third place were Anda Bertanya, Ustaz Azhar Menjawab Berkenaan Permasalahan Umat (You Ask: Ustaz Azhar Answers Questions Concerning Umat) by Ustaz Azhar Idrus, Doktor Umum: Memoir Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (A Doctor In The House: The Memoirs Of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tuhan Sedang Menguji Kita (God Is Testing Us) by Ustaz Kazim Elias.

All first prize winners walked away with RM3,000 in cash and a trophy, while second prize winners got RM1,500 in cash. Third place winners received RM1,000.

Handing out the prizes in the English language category was Star Publications (M) Bhd managing editor June H.L. Wong.

The Malay language awards were given out by 10th national laureate of Malaysia Datuk Dr Anwar Ridhwan, Popular Holdings Ltd director David Chia and BH group editor Datuk Mior Kamarul Shahid (Berita Harian is the media partner for the Malay language awards).

All nominated titles – full list on view at – are available for purchase at a 20% rebate at participating Popular outlets until Sept 1.

An RM25 rebate will be available until the end of BookFest@Malaysia on Aug 11.

Star Publications is a media partner of BookFest@Malaysia 2013.

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