The singapore prize is a biennial award in Singapore to recognise outstanding published works in any of the country’s four official languages: Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. It is presented by the National Book Development Council of Singapore. This year, it received the highest number of submissions in its history. The theme of this year’s singapore prize is resonance – the way a work of literature can rekindle emotions and memories for readers. The winner will receive a cash prize of up to $10,000.
The first prize of the Singapore Literature Prize was awarded to archaeologist John Miksic for his work, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800. Prof Mahbubani said the idea for the prize was sparked by an opinion column he wrote in 2014 calling on philanthropists to donate money for a history book written about Singapore. He said the philanthropist, who wanted to remain anonymous, responded with a S$500,000 donation and the money was put into an endowment fund for the prize.
Ms Hidayah’s book focuses on one of Singapore’s oldest neighbourhoods, Kampong Glam. The citation praised her for her “unfair advantage” in writing the book, saying she had a unique perspective as an author who grew up in the area. It also lauded her for combining synthesis with primary sources, using her personal inputs to bring the past to life for readers.
In the poetry category, the judges were impressed by the range of voices in the entries. They decided that all of them deserved to win, and they discussed their decisions on the strength of each poem, rather than by how many points each got. Poet and literary critic Gwee Li Sui was among the poetry judges.
The festival’s short film awards jury included academic Khoo Gaik Cheng, filmmaker Lucky Kuswandi and artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen. The winner of the best Singapore short film was “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” by Alvin Lee. The award carries a production services package worth SGD15,000 from Shooting Gallery Asia and online, audio post and DCP package and a digital cinematography feature from Mocha Chai Laboratories.
In his address, Prince William highlighted the importance of the Earthshot Prize that he and his Royal Foundation charity launched in 2020 to promote innovative solutions to combat climate change. He added that he looked forward to his return visit to Singapore in 2022.
During his previous trip in 2012, the heir to the British throne joined his wife for a spectacular view of the 40-meter high Rain Vortex, the world’s largest indoor waterfall at Changi Airport. On this trip, he will focus on meeting Singaporeans and seeing how they are working to protect and restore the planet. He will also participate in the United for Wildlife global summit, featuring representatives from law enforcement agencies, conservation groups and corporations fighting the illegal trade in wildlife products, which is estimated to be worth $20 billion annually. The event is scheduled for February 21 and 22.