Press Statement by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Komtar, George Town on 17.3.2013.
On behalf of the people of Penang, I wish to offer my heartiest congratulations to Tan Twan Eng for making Penang proud by becoming the first Malaysian to win the prestigious Man Asian Literary Prize.
Tan’s novel, The Garden of Evening Mists, tells the story of Yun Ling Teoh, the survivor of a Japanese prison camp who looks back at the early 1950s and her relationship with the mysterious creator of then-Malaya’s only Japanese garden.
Described as “far-ranging and intricately layered”, Tan’s post-war novel managed to pip four other authors, including Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, for the USD30,000 (RM93,000) prize. Last year, Tan had also been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Tan’s win is not only a feather in a cap for himself, but also a great recognition of Malaysian talent. This is proof that Malaysians can compete with the best from around the world. More importantly, we hope that Tan’s win will inspire and encourage many other aspiring writers from Malaysia, especially amongst the young, to hone their talents in the literary arena.
Penang is of course very happy and honoured to have hosted Tan twice during our annual George Town Literary Festival, and hope to have the honour of having him in our shores again in the future. National Laureate Datuk Pak Samad Said reminded me yesterday to invite Tan again as Datuk Pak Samad Said was very proud of Tan’s achievements that has brought fame to our country.
Tan Twan Eng’s success as an English author is a culmination of all the hard work put in and shows the importance of preparing the young for the future by setting standards of excellence.
陈团英成功成为英文作家，成为第一个赢得2012年英仕曼亚洲文学奖(The Man Asian Literary Prize)，这个重要亚洲文学奖项的马来西亚人，显示为年青人的未来做准备的重要性。
陈团英得奖的小说是《夜雾花园》(The Garden of Evening Mists)，故事描写二次大战时期，日本占据马来西亚，一位从日本战俘营生还的马来西亚妇女 Yun Ling Teoh，在老年时回顾上世纪50年代早期的岁月，以及她和当时马来西亚唯一一处日本花园的神秘建造者之间的关系。
陈团英的战后小说从另外四名晋入决赛的作家包括土耳其作家帕慕克（Ferit Orhan Pamuk ）中脱颖而出，赢得3万美元（约9万3000令吉）。去年，他也曾入围2012年英国曼布克奖(Man Booker Prize in 2012)。