The award is an important one as chief judge Nury Vittachi said at the prize dinner:
There's a massive change coming up and Asia will be the world's hot spot. The bulk of the world's consumers are here in the Asia-Pacific, and they're going to need books set here. Asia on its own can't climb on to the world contemporary literature stage easily and neither can Australia. Put the two together, and they're unbeatable. People are not recognising this. But this award does, so I do hope they continue it. ... You've got this fabulous market right here: there are four billion Asians, they're all obsessed by education and almost all of them studying English. So what do they do? They go out and buy English books.Let's hope more Asian voices will find their way onto the longlist in future years ... including, if it isn't tempting fate to wish this, some of our own.