The Singapore Prize is awarded for outstanding published works in Chinese, English or Malay. Winners of the prize receive a cash award and a special hand-crafted trophy. The prize is organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore and supported by the government. It was first launched in 1985 and is a biennial award.
This year, the winners of the prize were announced at a star-studded awards ceremony in Singapore. The winners were selected from 43 entries in Chinese, English, and Tamil. The event was attended by the winners, as well as members of the public.
Among the 2023 winners is Accion Andina, who is developing a low-cost battery to power electric cars in remote areas, and GRST, which tightens marine enforcement to stop illegal fishing and support ocean conservation. Other winners include S4S Technologies, which is building tyres for electric vehicles that are more sustainable and help reduce tyre pollution. Lastly, WildAid Marine Programme was named Readers’ Favourite for its work in ending the illegal trade of wildlife products.
A total of 12 winners were presented with the award at this year’s Singapore Prize Awards ceremony held at Victoria Theatre. This year’s prize saw a record number of submissions with over 235 books nominated, compared to the previous two years. This was also the first time that the prize has included a short film category in its award offerings.
The 2021 NUS Singapore History Prize was awarded to Hidayah Amin for her book Leluhur: Singapore’s Kampong Glam, which was hailed for its “detailed archaeological evidence that shows how the area changed over 200 years”. The winning book was commended by the prize jury, comprising Prof Kishore Mahbubani of NUS’ Department of History; archaeologist Professor John Miksic of the NUS Department of Southeast Asian Studies; novelist Meira Chand; economist Lam San Ling; and historian Peter Coclanis.
NUS Singapore History Prize finalists include Seven Hundred Years: A History of Singapore (2019) by Kwa Chong Guan, Tan Tai Yong and Peter Borschberg; Sembawang (2020) by Kamaladevi Aravindan; and Home Is Where We Are (2020) by Wang Gungwu and Margaret Wang. Originally mooted by NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani in a 2014 column, the prize was established to recognise publications that have made an impact on the understanding of Singapore’s history.
This year’s ceremony was also marked by the introduction of a new Earthshot Week, which aims to bring together global leaders, investors and businesses in a unique convening platform, as well as local activations for all to participate in. Taking place from 6 to 11 November, the week will feature events and activities, including a showcase of the NUS Singapore History Prize winners and finalists. It will also highlight Singapore’s role as a hub for innovation and impact, with the aim of supporting our winners in scaling their solutions to repair our planet.