Singapore Prize Winner Announced

The Singapore Prize is an award that recognises cities that have displayed foresight and good governance in delivering social, economic and environmental benefits to their communities. It is named after Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who was instrumental in building the city into a distinctive, clean and green garden city that is thriving in tandem with rapid economic development. The prize is co-organised by URA and the Centre for Liveable Cities.

The winner of this year’s coveted award, which will be presented in June 2023, was chosen from a shortlist that featured 29 submissions by local and international authors. The winning book is ‘Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800’ by archaeologist Prof John Miksic. The work, which was one of five books that made it to the final shortlist, has received positive reviews from historians and scholars around the world.

Founded in 2014, the Singapore Prize was created to celebrate the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence. It is the first prize devoted to Singapore’s history and is given out triennially. The judging panel, chaired by the chairman of the National University of Singapore’s East Asian Institute Wang Gungwu, consists of four other scholars who are experts in their field.

Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Senior Advisor, Office of the Deputy President (University and Global Relations), NUS, was among the judges. He commended the quality of submissions this year, saying that “there were many outstanding works by both local and overseas authors”.

NUS Professor John Miksic, who was also on the jury, said his book is “a major contribution to our understanding of Singapore’s past in Southeast Asia”. It has confirmed, he added, that through concrete archaeological evidence, the city’s history extends back more than 700 years.

Prof Miksic, 71, started excavations in Singapore in 1984, and has led research projects at Fort Canning, Empress Place and Old Parliament House. He was honoured for his contribution to Singapore’s heritage.

The prestigious Singapore prize was presented at a ceremony on Tuesday evening by the Royal Thai Embassy at Ritz Carlton Millenia. It was attended by the ambassador of Thailand to Singapore, Panalee Choosri and Counsellor of the Royal Thai Embassy, Ms Chonlatee Chanracjakul.

There is a one-in-eleven chance of winning a prize in the Singapore Sweep draw, according to the official website. Traditional pre-printed tickets are now replaced by on-demand ticket printing within Singapore Pools outlets, and there is no limit to the number of entries per person.

In a speech, the prince highlighted the importance of scientific discovery for the world’s survival. His words were reminiscent of the late President John F Kennedy’s 1962 moonshot speech, which challenged Americans to reach the moon by the end of the decade. He also encouraged the audience to work together in tackling the earth’s biggest challenges.