The Department of History at NUS launched the second round of its singapore prize in 2021 to recognise outstanding publications that have made a lasting impact on Singaporeans’ understanding of the nation’s history. The prize, which is administered by NUS, is the first in Singapore devoted to history.
The prize, which is open to works in both non-fiction and fiction, will be awarded every three years to encourage greater diversity in the works that contribute to Singaporeans’ knowledge of the country. The winner will receive S$50,000.
Britain’s Prince William joined celebrities and entrepreneurs at a green carpet awards ceremony in Singapore to celebrate the third anniversary of Earthshot, a global initiative to accelerate solutions for protecting our planet. The prince said that the solutions presented by five of this year’s winners, which range from solar-powered dryers to combat food waste, to a company that makes tyres for electric vehicles that are less polluting than traditional ones, showed that “hope remains” despite the devastating effects of climate change.
He also said that he is excited to be back in Singapore, which he described as the perfect host for the event because of its bold vision of being a leader in environmental innovation. At the end of the ceremony he was joined by celebrity supporters, including Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, actors Donnie Yen and Lana Condor and Australian wildlife conservationist Robert Irwin, in planting a tree at Jewel.
It was the first time a royal had planted a tree at the site, which was chosen because it honours the late Queen Elizabeth II and her legacy of stewardship over the park. The tree is a Tembusu, and it will be added to the park’s tree map, which charts all of the more than 700 trees in the park.
During his visit, the prince was also presented with the Cultural Medallion by President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the highest arts award in Singapore. Meira Chand, an eighty-one-year-old Indian-origin writer and novelist, was among the recipients of the prestigious award, which is accompanied by a grant of S$80,000 to support her artistic endeavours. Other recipients include Malay dance pioneer Osman Abdul Hamid and arts educator Suchen Christine Lim. The award was instituted in 2014 to mark the nation’s SG50 programme to celebrate its golden jubilee. The four winners of this year’s Readers’ Favourite award received a cash prize of S$3,000 each, as well as a hand-crafted trophy and a 12-month gift code for audiobook platform StoryTel. A total of 4,000 readers voted this year, more than double the number in 2020. You can view the list of shortlisted works here. The winning books and authors are listed here. The final decisions were made by a jury panel comprising Mr Mahbubani; Archaeologist Prof John Miksic; and Ms Patricia Lee, Executive Director, Singapore Heritage Council. They were supported by a nominating committee of experts from the fields of history, arts and culture, and education.