The Singapore Prize is given out annually to individuals or organisations whose work has been recognised for making a positive impact on society. Winners are honoured at a ceremony hosted by the President of Singapore. Previous award winners include the National Museum of Singapore, the National Gallery of Singapore and the Ang Mo Kio Food Centre.
The top prize carries a cash purse of 3,000 Singapore dollars (US$2,158), while the other five runners-up receive 2,000 Singapore dollars each. The award also carries a hand-crafted trophy and a 12-month gift code for StoryTel, a digital platform for reading. This year, two authors – Suratman Markasan for his novel Honing the Pen, Volume 2 and Wang Gungwu for Home is Where We Are Going – have become the oldest winners ever in this category. They are both 91 years old. This year, more than 4,000 readers voted in the consumer choice category for their favorite shortlisted works. Of the four winners, two were fiction and two were nonfiction. The other shortlisted writers were Ali Bin Salim, Daryl Qilin Yam, Pan Zheng Lei and rmaa cureess.
In announcing this year’s winning entries, organisers SBPA said the prize celebrates “the most outstanding works produced by Singapore’s publishing industry.” Submissions are made across categories that recognise literary work, education titles and professional publications, as well as children’s books and various forms of non-fiction. Works published in Singapore or Malaysian can be submitted, as well as those translated into a Singaporean official language.
Professor Mahbubani, who was part of the jury that picked the first prize winner this year, said Prof Miksic’s book was a “fundamental reinterpretation” of Singapore’s history and its place in Asia. He added that the book’s discovery of ancient artefacts was a “game-changer”, as it answered questions about where Singapore began and its link to Southeast Asia, which had been speculated on for many years.
Meanwhile, this year’s Earthshot Prize ceremony, founded by Britain’s Prince William in 2020, will be held in Singapore. The prize of GBP 1 million (S$1.7 million) is aimed at helping environmental innovators accelerate their plans to repair and regenerate the planet over this decade. The ceremony will be attended by leaders and businesses from around the world. It will also feature performances by internationally acclaimed artists. It is the second time the event has been held in a foreign country, after last year’s award ceremony in Boston. The event will take place in November.