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The Apple and the Tree

Author: Marina Mahathir  

This is Marina Mahathir's story, from her perspective and no one else's. It is, she hopes, the answer to the question- What is it like to be Dr M's daughter?

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This is Marina Mahathir's story, from her perspective and no one else's. It is, she hopes, the answer to the question- What is it like to be Dr M's daughter?

Read more


When an apple falls, does it roll far or stay close to its tree? Is it an exact clone of all the other apples the tree produces or something entirely different? This is the question that has perplexed the public about Marina for the simple reason that she is the daughter of the man who has governed Malaysia for almost twenty-four years. Does she echo him in his view of the world, or does she chart her own path? Why is it that in her own public life, in her writing and speeches, she expresses opinions that seem to contradict his? This book hopes to detail how she has navigated her life as the daughter of a charismatic politician and a loving father, even as sometimes she has chafed at being constantly under his shadow. It talks about how she has struggled to find her own identity, to defend her worldview at times and to reconcile them with his at others. She tells the story of growing up as the daughter of Malaysia's most influential leader, from the values instilled in her as a child, right up to the day he was forced to step down as the 7th Prime Minister after leading the historic ouster of the government he used to lead.

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About the Author

Marina Mahathir is a writer, women's rights and HIV/AIDS activist. She served as the President of the Malaysian AIDS Council for 12 years from 1993-2005 and was a member of numerous international and regional committees on HIV/AIDS. From 2010-2016, she served on the Board of Sisters in Islam, which advocates for justice and equality for Muslim women, and remains a member of the Finance and Fundraising Committee. Marina has written a column in a local English-language daily for more than 20 years, and writes and speaks regularly on current issues particularly where it relates to gender, human rights and religion. She is active on Twitter (@netraKL) and Facebook and has authored three compilations of her newspaper columns, In Liberal Doses (1997), Telling It Straight (2012), and Dancing on Thin Ice (2015). In 2010, Marina was named the UN Person of the Year by the United Nations in Malaysia. On the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day in 2011, Marina was one of only two Malaysian women named to's list of 100 Most Inspiring People Delivering for Girls and Women. In 2016, Marina received France's highest award, the Chevalier de la Legion D'Honneur in recognition of her work in HIV and women's rights. This is in addition to receiving the Dato Paduka Mahkota Selangor (DPMS) from the Sultan of Selangor in 1997 which carries the title 'Datin Paduka'. Marina's abiding interest in education especially for young women has led her to be appointed to the board of the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh. In 1997 she received an Honorary degree from Universiti Sains Malaysia for her work in HIV/AIDS education, in 2014 from Wawasan Open University, Penang for her work in human rights and in 2018 she received an Honorary Doctorate from her alma mater, the University of Sussex, UK. Previously she also co-produced an award-winning TV programme for young women, 3R -Respect, Relax, Respond which ran for 10 years on TV3. Marina's latest venture is a website for women travellers in Asia and the Middle East, and ZafigoX, an event on women and travel that features inspiring women who have faced challenges and barriers while travelling and overcome them. In 2019, Marina completed with Distinction a Master's Degree in Biography and Creative Non Fiction from the University of East Anglia, UK.

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Product Details

Penguin India | Penguin Books
14th December 2021
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