Singapore Prizes Revealed

Singapore Prizes Revealed

singapore prize

Whether it’s a book, a medal or a statue, Singapore has a lot of prizes to go around. Some are given for academic achievement; others are honoured for their business success or public contributions. This list – which was last updated in 2021 – is just a fraction of the accolades awarded in the city-state.

The most prestigious home-grown prize for literature is the S$50,000 Singapore Literature Prize (SLP), which is awarded to a published book in any of the nation’s four official languages. It was first mooted by the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani in a 2014 column for The Straits Times and is given out every three years.

This year, the SLP introduced a new translation category to allow aspiring translators a shot at winning one of the top honours. It also reopened its prize for debut writers and added a special prize for comic books, allowing more authors to showcase their talents and make a name for themselves in the literary arena.

Another prize that has been reopened for the first time since its inception in 1995 is the Enterprise 50 Awards, which recognises local private businesses. Construction firm Craftwork and co-living operator Coliwoo are among the latest winners in this category, which is for companies that have been operating for three to eight years.

Other prizes that have been reopened for submissions include the Golden Point Award, which is open to unpublished creative writing manuscripts in any genre, and the Epigram Books Fiction Prize, now open to both translations and original fiction. This comes after the prize’s publisher, Epigram Books, announced that it will be focusing on a different genre this year.

SINGAPORE’S science community received a boost this week when the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize was named for the second time, with the inaugural award having been bestowed in 2009. The international water prize is named after the late Singaporean founder for his foresight in building the country into a green garden city and his global leadership.

The prize, which is one of the highest emoluments for scientists in Singapore, is supported by the government and a private foundation. It is a mark of Singapore’s commitment to uphold science and technology excellence, and to celebrate the achievements of the country’s scientists.

It has been described as the “Singapore Nobel Prize”, and it has attracted world-renowned researchers to the country, including Nobel laureates in medicine, physics, economics, and the social sciences. In line with its sustainability theme, the ceremony — which was hosted by actor Sterling K. Brown — saw presenters such as actresses Melissa Ying and Donnie Yen wear old clothing from designer Alexander McQueen’s sustainable collection. The band One Republic and singer Bebe Rexha performed for the event. Besides scientists, government ministers and former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern were also in attendance.