Singapore Prize Winner Announced

singapore prize

“Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800” author Alan Chan has received Singapore’s richest ever prize pool – with his $1 Million donation providing funding for the inaugural Dr Alan HJ Chan Spirit of Singapore Book Prize announced April 18th. This prize encourages authors to write books that champion mindsets and values central to Singaporean life such as equality, diversity, religious harmony, meritocracy and resilience – qualities crucial in shaping its society and economy.

As the jury panel announced its choice, they noted how impressed they had been by its book’s ability to captivate readers through its use of “evocative and vivid language” when telling its tale. “This work provides a new angle on Singapore history by drawing from different sources and research,” according to NUS Press’ book publication. This book in the Singapore History series seeks to make history more accessible and broaden awareness of Singapore’s glorious past for young readers. The NUS Singapore History Prize is an annual award administered by the Department of History and funded through an endowed gift from a donor. This prize welcomes any type of work from fiction to non-fiction to win this coveted accolade, including fiction or non-fiction works alike. The prize winner will receive both a cash award of $30,000 as well as an engraved trophy.

Professor Kishore Mahbubani, former deputy prime minister and current senior advisor (university and global relations) of NUS, had issued an opinion column last year inviting Singapore philanthropists to donate money in support of creating a prize. One such donor responded later with an offer of $500,000 which has since been invested into an endowment fund to ensure continued funding of this prize.

Prof Miksic of NUS’ Department of History was the inaugural winner of this prize for his book Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800. A native American, Miksic first came to Singapore in 1984 to conduct archaeological digs at Fort Canning before expanding his activities at other sites such as Empress Place, Old Parliament House and others. Beginning writing his book in 2003 he wanted to demonstrate to all 1,000 volunteers who assisted with these excavations how important their participation is for Singapore as a country.

Celebrities such as Cate Blanchett, Lana Condor and Nomzamo Mbatha made headlines as they graced the green carpet at Singapore awards ceremonies. Prince William of Britain who created the Earthshot Prize three years ago to encourage inventors and entrepreneurs to develop technologies to combat climate change was present to announce five winners.

At this year’s Singapore Prizes and Awards, 131 prizes were distributed among writers, film-makers and companies in this round of Singapore Prizes and Awards. Please view the slideshow to see who won or scroll through here for full list of winners and shortlisted entries – one out of eleven are guaranteed a prize win at every Singapore Sweep draw!

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