Sunday, February 05, 2006

An anthology of Malaysian Folklore

An anthology of Malaysian Folklore and Legends, rewritten in beautiful prose and poetry, produced as a homage to the opulent and flowery roots of our language, for the world to appreciate. The collection includes:

• Magical Princesses of Malaysia
The stories of magical princesses are abundant, signifying the popularity of such mythology and the esteem given to the feminine figure in our society, which is unique in this part of the world. The chosen few here are Puteri Gunung Ledang, Mahsuri, Puteri Santubong, and Puteri Hang Li Po, a Chinese princess sent to Malacca to marry the Sultan of Malacca in the 15th century.

• Legendary Epics
Interwoven between fact and legendary tales, the Malaysian Hikayat are entrancing tales of heroic deeds, intriguing plots of royal court, personal sacrifice, mythical journeys and more. Epics like Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa and Hikayat Malim Deman, tell of complex and sophisticated civilizations eons ago.

• The Fabled Lands of Malaysia
This collection related the origin of historical and mythical lands in Malaysia like Tioman Island.

• The Wily Hero of Malaysia – Sang Kancil
A celebration of the wit and intelligence of the small Sang Kancil, the legendary mousedeer, which saved him from many courtly perils in the dangerous land of the jungle.

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Bitara MBBY Award
The Star

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Press Release

An Anthology of Malaysian Folklore
by ninotaziz

Malaysia has a rich literary heritage in the form of folklore, legends and epics, which has survived the birth and destruction of many civilizations throughout our history. Puisi, pantun, gurindam and syair – epic poems and prose, are but some of the enduring legacies of our forefathers from a millennia ago. Vivid mythical narratives and elegant language provide an enlightening wealth of literary wonder.

This is testimony to our cultured past which is interwoven into the very fabric of our society. The influence of the Islam, Hindu and Chinese made its way over the centuries into our legends and has its own history in its telling.

From The Written Stone is a tribute to this rich legacy and is an anthology of Malaysian Folklore, Legends and Epics rewritten in beautiful prose and poetry. It is a compelling introduction to the most famous legends of the land. The anthology includes retellings on magical princesses, legendary epics and stories of forgotten kingdoms. A favourite for the young and old, tales of The Wily Hero of Malaysia – Sang Kancil are a celebration of the wit and intelligence of the small Sang Kancil, the legendary mousedeer, which saved him from many courtly perils in the dangerous land of the jungle.

The stories are presented with dreamlike quality illustrations carefully selected to represent the magnificence of our diverse cultures.

Published by Utusan Publications and Distributors, FROM THE WRITTEN STONE is now available
at selected MPH Bookstores.


was born in Tasmania, Australia and has been writing ever since she was in primary school. When she was 10, her mother sent her to stay with her grandmother in a quaint and typical Malay kampung - Chenor, Temerloh Pahang primarily to study the Quran. Here began her love for the Malay Hikayats for her grandfather, a retired headmaster had chockful cupboards of books which included folklore of every kind.

ninotaziz firmly believes that legends and folklores represent the elegant and cultured civilisation of our past and should never, never be lost. The fables have shaped our intrinsic values that make us unique and therefore, should be treasured forever.

Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim says…

From The Written Stone, an anthology of Malaysian Folklore, reminds us of a time of grandeur. It subtly tells us of the story of our roots and culture. Sometimes we forget the magnificence around us that has been preserved throughout history. This book revisits this literary splendour.

This anthology is wonderfully written in a new voice that is poignant and lyrical. ninotaziz’s love for the subject is evident in her retellings of these time-honoured Malaysian favourites.

For more information, please call Puan Noor Fuzana Yaakub, Editor Utusan Publications and Distributors
at 03-92856577. ninotaziz can be contacted at , or

Book Projects








What They Say

This anthology is wonderfully written in a new voice that is poignant and lyrical. ninotaziz's love for the subject is evident in her retellings of these time-honoured Malaysian favourites.

Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage
January 2006

Reflecting the confluence of many cultures that have helped to shape Malaysia's history and identity, these traditional stories too have Islamic, Hindu and Chinese roots. Written in clear and simple language, this book is suitable for both adults and youngsters.

Select Books On-line, 2006

Enchanting folklore

Compiled by LI EE KEE, The Star November 2006

From the Written Stone: An Anthology of Malaysian Folklore
Author: Ninotaziz
Publisher: Utusan Publishers and Distributors

A CAPTIVATING book containing some famous Malaysian lores rewritten in prose and poetry. If you have not had the pleasure of reading these tales, this book serves as a good introduction. Among the popular folklores in this collection are “Puteri Gunung Ledang”, the story of Sultan Mahmud Shah’s obsession with the mythical princess and the lengths he went to just so he could marry her. “Puteri Santubong, Puteri Sejinjang” retells Sarawak’s popular fable of two immortal warrior cousins, who fell in love with the same man. “Hikayat Malim Deman” tells of how Malim Deman married the enchanting Puteri Bongsu while “Mahsuri” unveils the story behind the Langkawi’s curse that lasted seven generations. “Puteri Hang Li Po” is the story of the Chinese princess’ union to Sultan Mansur Shah.

TINTARONA, December 2007

Majlis yang dianjurkan bersempena dengan sambutan aidilfitri Majlis BukuKanak-kanak dan Remaja Malaysia (MBBY) tersebut dihadiri oleh beberapa wakil penerbit tanah air dan merupakan kali kedua dianjurkan setakat ini.
Menurut sumber MBBY, buku-buku yang dipilih memenangi Anugerah Buku BitaraMBBY akan turut terpilih untuk dicalonkan ke dalam Senarai BukuKanak-kanak dan Remaja Pilihan IBBY 2008 (IBBY Honour List 2008).


UP&D turut memenangi hadiah penghargaan melalui penulisnya Ruhisham Hashim, Mohamad Ali Majod, Zalina Abdul Aziz, dan Padmini KVBalan. Karya Ruhisham Hashim ialah The Lagend of Flying Cats, Clokie the TalkingClock Tower, Celebrating with the Annual Dwarf, dan Papie the Magicpaper, the Greedy Doctor Barr. Manakala Mohamad Ali Majod melalui karya beliau Pantun Jenaka, Pantun Kasih Sayang, Pantun Nasib, Pantun Ilmu,Pantun Sahabat, dan Pantun Budi.

Sementara itu Zalina Abdul Aziz atau nama penanya Ninotaziz dan Padmini KV Balan melalui buku From The Written Stone: An Anthology of MalaysianFolklore dan Author of Beauty: A Poetry Book. Majlis penyampaian anugerah disampaikan oleh Datin Paduka Hajah ShahaneemHanoum yang juga Presiden MBBY

From The Gathering - An Excerpt

From The Gathering is a collection of the most popular folklores from around the world. Some familiar tales from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, India are featured. Lesser known Celtic folklore and Chinese myth are also included.

Panji Semirang

Hatta empunya cerita, tersebutlah perkataan didalam kayangan hendak membuat lelakon,
supaya menjadi cerita; kerana pada tatkala itu alam dunia pun
belum ramai dan belum banyak manusia,
bermuafakatlah penduduk kayangan itu hendak turun ke dalam dunia,
supaya menjadi panjang lelakon ceritanya.

Heavan was a place on earth. And it was called Java.

A very long time ago, when the island was mountainous and the sea filled with ferocious monsters, the world was all at once a beautiful but terrible place. Hugh and towering plants reached out to the sun. Streams, crystal clear, were where fairies came down to play and frolic. The Dewa residing in the heavens were always tempted to descend to this earthly Eden.

Three Dewa Kings and a Princess of kin did just that. The Kings founded the cities Kuripan, Daha and Gagelang and the princess, being divine, set off to Mountain Wilis. She was called Tuan Puteri Biku Gandasari and drew such immense power from her deep meditations, she possessed knowledge and sight of all.

Ratu Kuripan, the eldest, was a mighty King. On the day his first son, Raden Inu Kertapati was born, he was the most joyous of men. As was customary and fit for the young prince, the King chose four companions for him to grow up with, Jerude, Punta, Kartala and Persanta. The young regent was the pride and joy of not only his father, but the whole kingdom for the prince was beauteous in face, courteous in speech and a skillful warrior.

The royal household of Sang Ratu Daha was much more exciting. It was easy to see why. Sang Ratu had three wives. His queen, Tuan Puteri Ratu Ningrat gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Galuh Cendera Kirana. Mahadewi, though kind and grateful, was childless. The youngest wife, exotic as she was, was in a perpetual state of jealousy - so conscious she was of her status as the youngest wife, and a commoner at that. Her daughter, Galuh Ajeng followed in her mother’s footsteps in moral and character, envious of her stepsister, Galuh Chendera Kirana. Which was a pity, as the younger girl was quite sweet in her looks had she managed to smile a little from time to time. But her shrewish nature made her a very difficult girl to like.

The King of Gagelang had but one son, Singa Mentari. So favoured was he that the boy grew up to be spoilt and self centred.

As Raden Inu reached manhood, his parents decided to marry him off to his cousin, Galuh Chendera Kirana. A special envoy was sent to Daha. Ratu Daha was extremely pleased with the proposal and he invited his eldest daughter to sit next to him at the Banquet specially prepared to welcome the envoy from Kuripan.

At that very moment, Paduka Liku’s heart blackened with pure rage.

Immediately after, Paduka Liku rushed to her chambers, prepared a dish of poisoned tapioca sweets, tapioca being renowned as the Queen’s favourite dessert. She sent it as a gift to the Queen and Galuh Chendera on the princess’s betrothal. Her audacity was only matched by her fury. In her mind, should the queen or the princess fall victim to her poison, Galuh Ajeng would be able to marry Raden Inu Karpati. A solution no simpler.

As it was, Paduka Liku’s plan went like clockwork. The gracious Queen choked on her last breath after taking the delicious dessert. Galuh Chendera Kirana who was with her mother held her as if in a trance and fainted. Maidens screamed in terror. The palace was in chaos.

The King quickly arrived at the scene. His anger simmered like a lethal volcano. One of the Queen’s handmaidens gave an account of the day, including the arrival of the fateful dessert. The king immediately ordered the livestock in the palace grounds to be brought to him.

There was no doubt as to Paduka Liku’s guilt when the proud rooster pecked at the remnants of the ‘tapai’. The poor animal fell to the ground, stiff in a matter of seconds. The King’s eyes flashed red, muscles bulging, a fearful sight indeed. He grabbed his swords and strode in angry strides towards Paduka Liku’s mansion.

Meanwhile, Paduka Liku seemed to be excited beyond measure. Her life long dream to be Queen in the King’s eyes was soon to be reality. She ordered her servants to leave her palace. Draped only in jewellery and precious gems, she waited for the King in her chambers, the air heavily scented, sireh scattered everywhere. Even the plants and animals around her mansion seemed drugged by her charms and spells.

The King stepped onto her verandah. And all was lost.

He seemed changed, his steps lighter, a silly smile quivered on his lips.

Paduka Liku’s eyes flashed brilliant.

He found her upon her enormous bed, an exotic and wild flower. He asked her tenderly, ‘Where is Galuh Ajeng, my love?’ and all thoughts of the dead queen and Galuh Chendera Kirana flew out the open windows.

Paduka Liku had triumphed.

From that moment onwards, Galuh Chendera Kirana’s life took a turn for the very worst.