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Singapore Prize 2014 Winner Announced

singapore prize

A Singapore prize is the top accolade given to a person or organisation that has made significant contributions to the country. The winners are honoured at the awards ceremony that is held every year at the Ritz Carlton Millenia in Singapore. Some of the award winners are people or organisations that have achieved remarkable accomplishments in a particular field of work, while others have been recognised for their outstanding leadership skills and their contributions to society. The prizes are named after Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who played a critical role in developing the city-state into the green garden it is today.

Britain’s Prince William walked the “green carpet” on Tuesday at the third Earthshot prize ceremony, honouring five winners who were able to demonstrate that hope does remain as the planet faces climate change. The five finalists, which ranged from solar-powered dryers to combat food waste to making electric car batteries cleaner, were selected by judges from across the globe for their ability to make a significant impact on a problem that affects everyone.

The winner of the history prize at the NUS Singapore Book Awards was announced on Thursday (Jan 11). This year’s prize went to archaeologist John Miksic for his book Singapore And The Silk Road Of The Sea, 1300-1800. The prize was created in 2014, in support of SG50 celebrations. It was mooted by NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani, who is also the current jury’s chair.

He said the prize was inspired by a Straits Times column he wrote in April, calling for Singapore philanthropists to donate money for a prize for history books written about the country. Several responded, and he eventually decided to set up the prize in conjunction with NUS’ Department of History.

This year, the prize was awarded to Prof Miksic’s book about his discoveries at Fort Canning and other excavation sites in Singapore. His research led to the discovery of glass shards, bronze bowls and coins, proving that the island was a trading port more than 700 years ago.

In announcing this year’s prize, Prof Mahbubani said there could be plans to expand the categories of work that can be considered for the award in the future. “It’s important that we tell the story of our country to our citizens,” he added. “So a story that is told through fiction or movies may be more effective.”

The shortlist for the prize included historical tomes as well as novels with a personal slant, including Sembawang, a novel by Kamaladevi Aravindan, which details life in her estate over decades. It is up against State Of Emergency, by Jeremy Tiang, which charts the leftist political movements and detentions that rocked Singapore in the 1990s. Both are published by Math Paper Press. There is a one-in-eleven chance of winning a prize in the Singapore Sweep draw. To learn more, visit the official website here. There is no entry fee.

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