Singapore Prize – Celebrities Walk the “Green Carpet”

A Singapore prize honors innovative technologies, policies or programmes to improve human health and environmental sustainability. It is named after the late former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who is credited with spearheading the country’s efforts to become a green city. It is one of several prizes presented by the government of Singapore, including the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, the Singapore Youth Award and the Singapore Book Award.

Celebrities including Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and actors Donnie Yen, Lana Condor, and Nomzano Mbatha joined Britain’s Prince William to walk the “green carpet” at the third annual Earthshot awards ceremony in Singapore on Tuesday. The ceremony was the first to be held in Asia, and the winners were recognised for their solutions in nature protection, ocean revival, waste elimination, and climate change.

The NUS Singapore History Prize is an award administered by the Department of History at NUS, and comes with a monetary prize of $50,000 Singapore. The Prize is open to works written in or translated to English and that cast a wide net to include Singapore’s history as part of a bigger narrative.

Educator Hidayah Amin was the 2021 winner of the NUS Singapore History Prize for her book Leluhur: Singapore Kampong Gelam, which won the prize because it both synthesised historical information and incorporated primary sources, thanks to Ms Amin’s personal inputs. The citation described it as an elegantly crafted book. The previous year, Professor John Miksic won the prize for his work Singapore And The Silk Road Of The Sea, 1300-1800, which drew on 25 years of archaeological research to reconstruct the 14th-century port of Singapore.

In 2024, NUS introduced a translation category to the prize in order to recognise works that have been translated into English from another language, although they must still be written by a Singaporean author or permanent resident. In the past, translators were eligible to submit to the EBFP as well, but it was decided to focus attention on the new translation award.

NUS Senior Advisor (University and Global Relations) Kishore Mahbubani said the possibility of expanding what types of works can qualify for the prize is in consideration. He used the movie 12 Years A Slave as an example, and said it might be time to think of introducing other formats to better communicate Singapore’s story. The NUS Singapore Literature Prize is now open for submissions, with the deadline set for 2 June 2023. It will also introduce a new children’s book category this year. The winner will be announced in December. The winner will receive a monetary prize and a commissioned trophy. The other finalists will be given concert engagements. The winners of the inaugural 2022 contest were violinists Dmytro Udovychenko, Anna Agafia Egholm, and Angela Sin Ying Chan. The jury for the contest included Qian Zhou, Martin Beaver, Martin T:son Engstroem, and Mihaela Martin. The competition was conducted at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore.