mercredi, décembre 04, 2013

Calistro Prize Short List 2013

The Calistro Prize is an annual award that aims to encourage 
and celebrate the creation of Malaysian stories by Malaysians for Malaysian children and teenagers.

The objectives of the Calistro prize are as follows:

To promote the creation of Malaysian stories for children and teenagers
To reward excellence of Malaysian content in fiction for children and teenagers.
To support Malaysians writing for children and teenagers.

The prize is sponsored by Calistro Consultants Ltd, a small management consultancy specialising in strategy in over 40 countries (including Malaysia) for both the public and private sectors. Calistro is committed to education and the arts, central to which are skills in language and the visual arts.

On 1st December 2013, the Calistro Prize Secretariat announced the Short List

Crescendo by Chris Lin
Gameworld by Su Ann Lee
The Last Wills and Testaments Of Melody Law – A High School Journal by Michele Chia
Anya’s Angsana by Bathmaloshanee Muniandy
Siti, The Queen Regnant by Ninot Aziz

I am thrilled and humbled that my third novel,
Siti, The Queen Regnant
has made it to the Short List.

dimanche, novembre 17, 2013


The months pass by so quickly. Last month in October, the excitement of the inaugural PNM awards buzzed everywhere among Malaysian writers and readers.
The family makes everything worthwhile.

With Nisah Harun who makes the journey as a writer a shared path

With our kind and renowned host, Sayed Munawar

I was fortunate that Hikayat - From The Ancient Kingdom was  nominated for two categories, more importantly, it was the only English  publication to be included in the highly coveted People's Choice top five finalists. Hikayat was 1st Runner-up in the Adult Fiction category, losing out to my own English teacher's novel, Magic Eyes!

It was a lovely event, held in the Angkasapuri Perdana Auditorium. Hubby and daughters were there, and my darling Mrs Khaw Choon Ean who continues to encourage me until today (that's a good 30 odd years of nurturing!) Good friend and award winning writer, Pn Nisah Harun had two books nominated. Celebrated writer, Puan Mahaya, whose compelling book Kuasa Kata was also nominated was such a lovely lady to meet.

It was a lovely evening, and treasured honour.

vendredi, septembre 20, 2013


HIKAYAT - From The Ancient Malay Kingdoms was shortlisted for the PNM-RTM Book Awards. Voting begins tomorrow and will close on 28th September 2013.

Here is a video on HIKAYAT with a wonderful introduction by Resensi host, Sayed Munawar.

I am thrilled and humbled that HIKAYAT was shortlisted for this nationwide award.
TOP 10 List so far: 1 Contengan Jalanan / Hlovate 2 I love you, stupid! / Melur Jelita 3 Hikayat : From The Ancient Malay Kingdoms / retold by ninotaziz 4 Cinta high class & cintaku kerana agamamu / Fatimah Syarha, Farhan Hadi 5 Cucur bawang & kopi 'o' / Hasrudi Jawawi 6 Hingga hujung waktu / Saidee Nor Azam 7 My precious Iris / Melur Jelita 8 Kembara sastera Nisah Haron : United Kingdom dan Dublin / Nisah Haron 9 Berjuta warna pelangi / Iris Ixora 10 Kuasa kata : dari lisan mengalir ke lautan aksara / sebuah memoir Mahaya Mohd. Yassin Title : Hikayat - From The Ancient Malay Kingdoms ISBN : 978-967-61-2540-8 Penulis - ninotaziz

Please do continue to vote and share daily
Thank you all for your support.

mercredi, septembre 18, 2013


Full story here.


KUALA LUMPUR : UNRAVELLING Malaysia’s noble heritage through hikayat (folklore), writer-poet Zalina Abdul Aziz, endearingly known as Ninot, shared her passion for Malaysian literature with more than 1,000 Sri KDU primary school pupils recently as part of the #SaySomethingNice campaign (#SSNC).
Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd’s managing director and founder Anas Zubedy suggested Ninot be part of the #SSNC by doing what she does best, enchanting audiences with stories of ancient legends and folklore with ‘A Hikayat A Day’.
The Sri KDU pupils performed six hikayat scripted by Ninot, including Sang Kancil and the River Otters, Onangkiu of Gellangui and various other beautifully costumed renditions, cultivating an appreciation of Malaysia’s glorious culture in her own way.
The rest of the story here.

mercredi, septembre 11, 2013


Trek With A Cause led by Dr Bala aka Monyet King
went on an expedition to Anapoorna in sight of Mount Everest
to raise money for education

As a result, Muslim Aid Foundation got to set up its 
Mobile Library for the orphanages it gives support to.

We were invited to share Hikayat with the kids
and it turned out to be a most joyous Merdeka celebration.
The kids sang Merdeka songs with such fervor.


And they read poetry.

Irani recited her own poem Merdeka with passion!

Did Doodle Art

And acted out ancient stories of Hikayat!

Thank you all.

samedi, août 31, 2013


Che Wan Kembang
Gemilang bestari rupawan
Ditatang dibelai disayang
Puteri sulung Sultan

Duduk di negeri Tanah Serendah Sekebun Bunga

THE ONLY DAUGHTER of Sultan Ahmad and Sultanah Che Banun, Che Wan Kembang was the light and life of the palace. Very often, she could be found in the forbidden garden, playing with a golden antelope her father gave her as a present. Her handmaidens tried to keep up with the little princess. Her hair,  flying in the gentle breeze, her cheeks rosy and her smile, lighting up her beautiful cherubic face.

Even at such a young age, the princess was already a brilliant scholar. She could read all the old Hikayat, which described her ancestors, the cities they built, the seas they traversed, the people they ruled. She was beginning to learn the arts of defense and the silat from her father’s warriors. She was fearless, beautiful and intelligent.
The rest of the story can be found here .

vendredi, août 30, 2013


ANCIENT WINDS SURGED to the coastal lands, bringing the monsoon rains. Here, in Pati Talak Terengganu, the kingdoms flourished and rulers changed guard. Tuanku Si-Helang Mawai ruled with the assistance of his trusted Perdana Menteri, Temenggong, Laksamana and Orang Kaya.
The king’s greatest treasures were his four daughters. The eldest was Uli Emak, followed by Uli Pati Talak Terengganu, who was born to lead. Puteri Emak Helang was the mistress of the sea. And the youngest, the most beautiful of all was Si-Helang Bakau, a princess of extraordinary beauty.

They lived in the royal palace, bringing joy to the royal household. When the old king was no more, Uli Pati Talak Terengganu ruled with her husband. After some time, the youngest princess, Tuan Puteri Si-Helang Bakau, married a neighbouring prince, Tuanku Si-Helang Laut. One day, Tuanku Si-Helang Laut said to his wife, “Your sister is ruling Pati Talak Terengganu well. Let us go to Bandar Mengkaleh as I hear they are in need of a king.”
After much preparation, the royal couple boarded the royal barge, Bunga Rampai Layangan Angin, together with the eldest sister, Uli Emak and sailed the open seas until they reached Bandar Mengkaleh. They were received by the four lords, Datuk Batin Alam, Datuk Batin Sangeru, Datuk Batin Laksamana and Datuk Batin Bongsu, in full ceremony as was customary when a royal family from far-off lands arrived.
The people built a magnificent fortress in which they would build an even more magnificent palace. After it was completed, Uli Emak was wedded to Datuk Batin Alam. The newlywed royal couple then travelled to the neighbouring kingdom Kota Ruyung to rule.
More and more people came to Bandar Mengkaleh. Trade prospered. Wise and learned men imparted their knowledge to their pupils. Experienced warriors taught the novice their art and skills. Everyone in the new country had a role to play, no matter how small, no matter how big.
However, the royal couple’s happiness was incomplete. They yearned for an heir to the kingdom.
One day, Tuanku Si Helang Laut said to his queen, “Let us sail out to sea, my queen. We will go to Lautan Tanjong Jati. The sea breeze and beautiful sights will do us good.”
They sailed away on the royal barge, Bunga Rampai Layangan Angin. The trip was so agreeable, upon return, Tuan Puteri Si-Helang Bakau was with child. Soon, the queen sensed that the baby was due.  Bujang Selamat immediately called for the Mak Bidan who came, took charge and cared for the queen. Amidst pelting rain, crashing thunder and lightning streaking across the sky, the prince Awang Sulong Merah Muda was born.
Tuanku Si-Helang Laut was very happy and full of energy. The people from the land of the seven rivers were ordered to clear the forest. Then the royal medicine man, Tok Pawang Tok Palit was asked to raze the earth with a wild fire that spread for seven days and seven nights.

Habis daun di-makan ranting
Habis ranting di-makan dahan
Habis dahan di-makan batang
Habis batang di-makan tunggul
Habis tunggul di-makan akar
Tiba di-tanah, api pun mati
Terbentang ladang bagai kasah terbentang

And the fire died out when the trees were no more...
The Tok Bidan came forth to plant the paddy into the fertile earth. At long last, the season of harvest arrived and a big festival was held in thanks for the bountiful yield. The king then said to his queen, “Let us sail upon the Royal Barge to Lautan Tanjung Jati once again.”
But when they arrived at the calm open sea, Puteri Si-Helang Bakau caught a chill, which turned for the worst and they returned to Bandar Mengkaleh. The Tok Pawang Besar tried all he could to heal her but the young queen failed to recover, becoming weaker and weaker day by day.  Soon she was no more and was laid to rest at the royal burial grounds.

The king grieved for he loved the queen beyond life. Seven days after, he became ill and no amount of medicines, herbs and chants brought him back to health. The king too passed on to the afterworld.
For 100 days, the people held prayers and mourned the royal couple.

The prince, Awang Sulong Merah Muda was an orphan, no more, no less.

Find the conclusion of the story here.

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