Singapore Prize for History Winners Announced

A renowned archaeologist who shattered the widely held perception that Singapore’s history began with Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in 1819 was awarded the inaugural Singapore Prize for History at a ceremony on Thursday (Jan 11). Professor John Miksic, of NUS, won the award for his book, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800, which synthesises more than 25 years of archaeological research to reconstruct a 14th-century port.

The prince was joined by a host of celebrities including actors Donnie Yen, Lana Condor and Nomzano Mbatha at the glitzy Earthshot awards ceremony at the Mediacorp Theatre in Singapore. In keeping with the green theme of the event, he wore a dark green suit to match the thick carpet they walked on. He also planted a Tembusu sapling at Jurong Hill to mark the occasion.

He said the solutions presented by all 15 finalists showed that “hope does exist” as climate change takes its toll on our planet. They include a solar-powered dryer to combat food waste, making electric car batteries cleaner, and a new way of growing bamboo that can reduce carbon emissions.

A healthy civil society depends on people who put the common good before their own self-interest, he added. He praised the winners of the prizes for their innovation and grit in tackling difficult challenges. The prizes were presented at a gala dinner with a performance by award-winning singer-songwriter Yui Horie.

The winner of the Singapore Prestige Brands award – an initiative by the Singapore Economic Development Board to recognise local businesses that have established their brands internationally – was healthcare provider StarMed Specialist Centre, which has offices in Thailand and Malaysia. Its founder and CEO, Dr Siah Kheng Hui, was presented the award by Minister of Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong.

Other winners included telco SingTel, whose digital TV platform allows users to watch their favourite shows on the go and CoWorking space operator Coliwoo. They were among 21 businesses recognised in the inaugural awards programme.

The Articulation Prize Singapore, which was founded in 2018, aims to help young people express their ideas and views on contemporary issues that affect them, through the medium of art. It is organised by the National Gallery of Singapore and Singapore Art Museum in partnership with the Institute of Public Administration. It is supported by the SingTel Foundation and the National Arts Council. Its first edition saw more than 200 students from various schools and universities participate. The judges selected the top 10 to receive cash prizes, and an opportunity to work with art curators from the two museums to present their art works to the public. The next edition will be in 2023. There will be four categories of prizes, with the top student receiving a prize worth $30,000 and a one-year internship at SAM. The remaining students will each receive a prize of $5,000. The final three will each receive a $30,000 scholarship for their studies at university.