Singapore has officially witnessed a new book award that seeks to encourage writing beyond big figures in our history. Sponsored by DBS Bank and open to fiction and non-fiction works alike, its judges look for works which resonate with readers – this rich book award started through donation from Confucian scholar Alan Chan will recognize books which highlight mindsets and values important in shaping Singapore such as equality, diversity, religious harmony, meritocracy resilience along with education innovation and community building.
The inaugural prize, to be presented triennially and valued at $50k, represents an important step toward making Singaporean history more accessible to the general public, according to NUS. Established to commemorate 50 years since Singapore achieved independence, it will join other national awards for academic research, cultural heritage preservation and sports performance in making history more easily understood.
Prof Miksic expressed his gratification at being selected as the inaugural winner, hoping it would encourage others to learn about Singapore’s past more deeply. With his cash prize enabling excavations at various sites throughout Singapore and workshops for budding archaeologists; as well as giving credibility and respectability to his field of work.
This year, the Prize has joined Earthshot Week – a global festival that brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, community leaders and scientists committed to revitalizing our planet – in Singapore for Earthshot Week 2018. At this festival of changemakers from business leaders and investors to scientists and researchers from around the globe as well as young people working towards making our world better, participants will compete to win GBP 1 million (equivalent to SGD 1.7 million). Winners will receive this prize and have an opportunity to showcase their solutions on an expansive scale during Earthshot Week 2018.
Alongside its main prizes, this award will recognize five finalists with GBP 100,000 each – approximately equivalent to SGD 250,000 – as a reward for their exceptional work and business strategy. They will also benefit from mentorship and business support provided by award partners as well as access to international events and networking opportunities.
An expert panel comprised of scholars and literary experts from diverse fields selected the shortlist. Authors behind four novels and two memoirs will now go before the public for voting and will be announced at an awards ceremony held later this year.
Other notable wins included “Gaga”, directed by Laha Mebow who has won multiple Golden Horse awards; Bayu Prihantoro Filemon’s Vania on Lima Street won best Southeast Asian short film; Bopha Oul in Polen Ly’s “Further and Further Away” earned best performance award; see full list of winners here.