KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has challenged authors and fiction writers alike to produce and publish award-winning materials to be recognised internationally. He urged Malaysian writers to set a goal of clinching the Nobel Prize by 2057, the year Malaysia celebrates its 100th Merdeka celebration. "I challenge myself and fiction writers to work with publishers and go beyond your comfort zone and be recognised globally. "Local publishers need to set a target of winning the Nobel Prize by 2057, the year we reach 100 years of Merdeka. "If we do not make the first step now, it will be impossible for us to reach what we aim for successfully in the next 50 years," he said in his speech at the 2015 National Book Award and Scholars appreciation ceremony today. The event was held in conjunction with the Malaysia Book Expo held last year on Nov 26, where the government had donated RM2 million to the National Book Development Foundation for the industry's development. Meanwhile, Zahid was presented with 'pulut kuning' in celebration of his 63rd birthday today. He was also shown a special video of his family and friends remembering his achievements and their memories of him since young, according to New straits Times.