Singapore Prize Winners Announced

The winner of the 21st Singapore Prestige Brand Awards, which honour local businesses established for between three and eight years, was healthcare provider StarMed Specialist Centre. Construction firm Craftwork and co-living operator Coliwoo were among the other winners in the Promising Brands category. The event was held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in central Singapore on Wednesday (Oct 25).

A biography of Sam Hua, a dangerous gangster responsible for multiple killings, has won this year’s Singapore Prize, a literary award administered by the National University of Singapore’s Department of History. The book by Vincent Tong was picked by a four-member jury led by NUS East Asian Institute chairman Wang Gungwu. Founder and professor of history Kishore Mahbubani, who is also the founding chair of the Singapore Prize, launched the book contest as part of a series of programmes to mark SG50 in 2014.

It is open to non-fiction and fiction work from around the world that explores any period or subject matter related to the country’s history. The work must be published between Jun 1 and May 31 of 2024, and must contain a substantial aspect of Singapore’s history.

Submissions can include book-length works that are authored or co-authored. However, creative works such as films, paintings and plays are not eligible. The prize money, which this year amounts to $50,000, will be used to promote the winning works.

This year’s shortlist includes works that eschew the view of history as a record of big movers and shakers. For example, Kamaladevi Aravindan’s Sembawang (2020, available here) examines life in an estate over five decades. The work is among six in the running for this year’s prize, which NUS Press manages.

During his visit to Singapore, Britain’s Prince William will spotlight innovations that address the threat of climate change and help mitigate its impact on the world. The heir to the throne is touring the region with the Earthshot Prize, a programme that his Royal Foundation charity launched in 2020. He will highlight the solutions by companies such as an Indian maker of solar-powered dryers and a soil carbon marketplace, and groups that work to make electric car batteries greener, restore Andean forests, and deter illegal fishing.

The new recipients of the Cultural Medallion, which are conferred by President Tharman, include renowned artist Chand Siti, whose works portray multicultural societies and have earned her international recognition. They join sculptor Lau Choo-Leng and composer Lee Tseong-yan as the latest holders of this prestigious award, which was established in 1967 to recognise Singaporeans for their achievements and contributions in arts and letters, sports, science and technology, business and the professions. The medal, which is made of silver, bears the inscription “PINGAT BAKTI MASYARAKAT” and two laurels. The sculptor and sculptural art collector was awarded an Honorary Fellow of the Singapore Academy of Arts in 2017. The other two, who are both painters, were given Lifetime Achievement Awards. The medal is minted by the Royal Mint of London.