Wednesday, October 2, 2013


The PNM-RTM 2013 Book Awards will be upon us tomorrow. Apart from being shortlisted for an award, Hikayat is also one of the Top 10 finalists in the Undian Pilihan Penonton. I am blessed, to be among such distinguished entries, in particular my fellow writers Kekanda Mahaya Mohd Yassin and Nisah Haron.

I never expected Hikayat to be a popular choice. It was a journey I took because I was compelled to write these stories for my children, and my children's friends. For future generations of Malaysians. For my late grandmother who told me the stories when I was younger. For my mother who still tells the stories until today.

Therefore, I do not consider Hikayat a mainstream choice. 

However, there are some extraordinary people involved in the making of Hikayat. First my Mother, my Mak, Puan Kamariah Jaafar, who edited Hikayat and wrote the Introductions for each story. Secondly my Editor at Utusan Publishers, Noor Fuzana for believing in my work. My English teacher Mrs Choon Ean Khaw ( whose book, Magic Eyes has also been shortlisted) who encouraged my writing all those years ago, and still does until today! Evelyn Lam who designed Hikayat and the iconic Hikayat khat design (inspired by Mak Ungku Raja Teh Zaitun) , DatinVasanthi, Raduan Man who painted the princess for the cover, Ram, ImanInas and of course Malek Rahim whose artwork really brought Hikayat to life.

A special thanks to Datuk Feisol. Many years ago, he said to me, "Zalina, I would like the theme for our Sovereign Ball to be Tradition. And I'd like to have Makyung at the Ball." And so he sent me on the road to discovery of our heritage, and how I might be able to help bring it to more people…

Most of all, I am grateful to Rudy Daud, my husband who is the reason I started writing again after many years.

I do not know what will happen tomorrow. But I thank God Hikayat managed to garner some attention. I thank all of you who voted for Hikayat and those who shared the news and encouraged their own friends to vote. It has been a humbling experience that makes me believe in my fellow Malaysians and their BIG hearts.

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