The Singapore prize is an award given to an author or work of literary merit that has a significant impact on Singapore’s national identity. It is open to all authors and works in the four official languages of Singapore – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil – as well as to genres such as poetry and drama.
The winner of this biennial prize is chosen by a panel of historians from the Singapore Book Council. The first prize was awarded to John Miksic for his book Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800, in 2014.
A housing complex for senior citizens has beaten off flashier competition to win the World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Amsterdam on Friday. Kampung Admiralty, designed by the WOHA firm, has been recognized for its integration of public facilities and community spaces in addition to over 100 apartments for elderly residents. The prize jury praised the project for its “integrated public and leisure spaces” that were designed to promote inter-generational bonding and active aging, according to WAF.
In the fiction category, Ali bin Salim’s Not Great, But At Least Something, Daryl Qilin Yam’s Shantih Shantih Shantih and Pan Zheng Lei’s (Pan Cheng Lui) rmaa cureess beat out three other shortlisted titles for this year’s reader’s choice award. The winners – which came out of more than 4,000 votes cast by voters – each receive a cash prize and book vouchers worth $50 from the Singapore Book Council.
As well as a cash prize, each winner also receives a hand-crafted trophy and a 12-month gift code to audiobook platform StoryTel. A special mention was accorded to Jee Leong Koh for Snow At 5pm: Translations Of An Insignificant Japanese Poet, and Cyril Wong for This Side Of Heaven.
The prize is supported by a number of Singapore philanthropists. Prof Mahbubani said: “The idea for this prize stemmed from an opinion column that I wrote in 2014, where I asked Singapore philanthropists to donate money to fund the best history book about the country.”
He added: “I wanted to show the importance of history to Singaporeans, and to help encourage young writers who have a passion for the country’s past. It was a chance for me to make a difference.”
This year’s winning entry was also one of only two that is available in both English and Chinese, the other being Mok Zining’s The Orchid Folios. All of this year’s winners and finalists will be invited to participate in a series of events organised by the Singapore Book Council.
Other awards this year include the Yong Siew Toh violin competition, which is held at Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. The three winners this year – Dmytro Udovychenko, Anna Agafia Egholm and Angela Sin Ying Chan – will be performing concertos with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Joshua Kangming Tan.
The winners will be announced at the end of December. In addition to receiving a cash payout, each will also earn 16.5 official World Golf Ranking points and 460 Race to Dubai points.