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Knowing them: The Story of Malaysiana Grant Recipients

By: The Malaysiana Admin

Three aspiring writers had successfully became the first recipients of Kota Buku's Malaysiana Grant.

The main goal of the grant is to develop raw manuscripts, from scratch into complete publication that can be proudly published and promoted locally and with no doubt, internationally.

The backgrounds of the recipients vary,  but embedded knowledge, experiences and enthusiasm in writing leads them in offering one similar thing, that is valuable content which Malaysia is considered a leader in several identified areas. 

The grantees comprised experienced talented illustrator/cartoonist, financial planners,  and also passionate entrepreneur. 

What about them? Why not take a closer look on their brief biographies!


Saadon Ishak otherwise popularly known as Don, is a cartoonist and caricaturist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Don was born in 1958 at Kampung Luat, Lenggong, Perak. At an early age when his father first noticed his drawing skill with charcoals on his home walls, staircases and furniture, he bought him a bicycle. Soon Don got a new passion, travelling! And he would cycle to every corner of the neighboring villages and far beyond.

His early education was in Lenggong and in Tapah, Perak while his talent in drawing was noticed by his art teacher who assigned him to draw the school murals.

Don started his first career at a publishing house, Caria Pop Group in 1976 where he worked for three years as Graphic Designer and Illustrator before taking up cartooning full time. In 1980, he joined Creative Enterprise which published the National Humor Magazine, Gila-Gila.

Don turns to professional caricaturist and was fortunate enough to be able to travel around the globe together with Tourism Malaysia to many exotic lands.

His first illustrated travelogue, What a Colorful World is published in collaboration with Institut Terjemahan & Buku Malaysia (ITBM) features his visits to Syria, Germany and Tunisia. The 123-page travelogue translates his passion for the art of drawing in the form of beautiful sketches and drawings of the interesting places he visited there. 

Don then moves to his second version of this illustrated travelogue which features his breath-taking collection of his drawings and sketches of local sceneries at places in a few Malaysia states (Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Melaka and Sabah). This time, the travelogue received an amount of grant from Kota Buku under the Malaysiana Grant program as a financial aid for him to develop the manuscript into complete publication like his previous one. As the travelogue emphasizes on highlighting the sociocultural aspects in Malaysia through his sketches, it is the main goal of the grant that is to promote this kind of publication further at the international level.


Abu Hanifah Bin Abu Bakar or his pen name, Han Hanif developed his skills in writing after he managed to author an eBook titled ‘Nak Buka Gym’? with guidance from Ifan Khairi Sendirian Berhad (IKSB). He was born in 1969 and raised in Perak.

He graduated from the University of Malaya with a degree in Engineering (Telecommunications). Han Hanif had successful careers as a technician, an engineer and a coach before fulfilling his dream of becoming a writer. Also managing his own company which is the Han Hanif Enterprise, he is also passionate to seek for business opportunities to become a successful and well-known entrepreneur.

Considering the potential of his latest book that focuses one of the main Malaysiana segments, which is Hajj Management in Malaysia, ‘Travelog Haramain Mengiringi Ibu Bapa Tercinta’ received financial assistance from Kota Buku under the Malaysiana Grant to develop this title until it is published. The book tells his experience as an escort to his parents while performing Hajj. 

Throughout the book Han Hanif also encourages readers to accompany their parents in accomplishing this fifth pillar of Islam.


Nurihan Binti Abd Hamid (also known as Nurin Hamid) is a Licensed Financial Planner with a Licensed Capital Markets Services Representative (CMSRL) from Johor Bahru. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Actuarial Science (Hons) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 1995. 

Her inquisitive mind never wanted to stop learning, thus she pursued an accolade of certification of an Islamic Financial Planner from Islamic Banking and Finance Institute of Malaysia (IBFIM) in 2014. As an Actuarial Science student; she dealt a lot with Mathematics, which did not quite prepare her for the ever challenging Corporate world.

She was with the Banking & Finance services sector for more 10 years handling Corporate & Retail Credit management, banking operation as well as in financial consultation services. Her thirst for new experience, led her to spread her wings, to work with a renowned GLC in Oil & Gas to develop new expertise in Human Resource Management, particularly Talent Management for more than 7 years

Adventurous is her middle name, after years in the banking & corporate world, then striking out on her own as a Financial Planner, she is putting her finger into another platter, that is writing. Her own experiences and expertise as a banker, HR personnel & financial planner would not be put to waste.

Having written five books which focusing on the Financial Management for young readers, she was selected as one of the grantees under Kota Buku's Malaysiana Grant. All her five books emphasize on giving right exposures to young readers on the proper ways to manage their financial. Utilizing beautiful graphics and illustrations  as a method to ease understanding among her readers, the books also hope to create awareness and improving financial literacy knowledge among the youths.



Just a Little Note:

Money Stuff for Kids Vol. 1 & 2 and Money Stuff for Teens are now available for you to purchase at 

Other titles developed under Malaysiana Grant are coming soon!

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