Closer look: (From left) Putrajaya International Convention Centre Sdn Bhd CEO Badlishah Hj Ahmad, Aseh, MPH Bookstores Sdn Bhd director Datuk Dr Abdullah Abdul Rahman and Kee checking out some items on display at the book fair.
PUTRAJAYA: It was a good day for the Malaysian book industry yesterday, as local authors took home many of the major prizes at the MPH Best of 2014 Awards.
Malaysian horror author Tunku Halim took the prize in the Best English Adult Fiction category with his anthology Horror Stories, triumphing over international best-sellers such as Cecilia Ahern’s Love Rosie, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Lang Leav’s Lullabies and Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage.
“The book has long been one of our top sellers,” said Nik Adam, distribution manager of the book’s publisher, Fixi. He accepted the award on behalf of an absent Halim.
“We are surprised that we managed to win in a category with other talented nominees like Murakami, but also very happy, of course,” he added.
Another local winner was cartoonist Datuk Muhammad Nor Khalid, better known as Lat, who won the Best English Adult Non-Fiction award for his latest book, Forever Lat.
The other nominees in this category were Nick Vujicic’s Love Without Limits, Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal, Boey Chee Ming’s When I Was A Kid 3 and Dr Muhammad Abdul Khalid’s The Colour Of Inequality.
The awards were presented to the winners by Perbadanan Putrajaya president Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat during a special ceremony at the official opening of the Putrajaya International Book Fair (PIBF) here.
The awards were held in conjunction with the PIBF to honour both internationally and locally published books that were released in 2014.
Nominees were selected from a list of over 250 titles, with winners selected based on criteria such as overall sales at MPH bookstores nationwide and online in 2014, as well as reviews and recommendations from book buyers and international websites.
For Malay titles, Azura Rasiddin’s Teman Lelaki Upahan took home the award for Best Malay Fiction, while DIAgnosis by Dr Anwar Faizal, Dr Aizzat and Dr Azah won the Best Malay Non-Fiction award.
Other winners were Tony Robbins’ Money: Master The Game for Best Business book, Master Ally Che’s Reiki for Best Chinese, and Jeff Kinney’s Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Vol 9: The Long Haul for Best Young Adult Fiction.
MPH Bookstores chief operating officer Donald Kee said the award winners this year were “fantastic”.
According to him, the prevalence of local winners is a promising development for the Malaysian book industry.
“We are on the right track, and we need to have more publications and events like this to encourage everyone, from writers to booksellers,” Kee said.
The Star is the media partner for the Putrajaya Book Fair 2015, which is supported by Perbadanan Putrajaya.
Organised by MPH Bookstores, the fair began on Tuesday at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre and will continue until Sunday. For more information, go to mphonline.com/offers/pibf.aspx.