The annual Singapore prize, established in 2014 through an endowment by philanthropists, aims to promote awareness and appreciation for Singapore history by spurring interest and understanding among people worldwide. Submissions are reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee of scholars before one winner receives $50,000 Singapore dollars as top prize; runners-up each receive $10,000 while all shortlisted books feature on a website run by National University of Singapore’s Department of History – this prize being administered by them!
Professor Miksic’s book Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800 won this year’s award for its ability to fundamentally reinterpret Singaporean history. The evidence presented shows Singapore existed for centuries prior to Sir Stamford Raffles first setting foot on its shores in 1819, as evidenced by archaeological finds such as glass shards, bronze bowls, coins, pottery as well as literary references by Chinese traders and writers as early as 13th Century.
His work was one of six titles selected to make the final shortlist, alongside memoirist Hidayah Yusof’s Illustrating Singapore History Through Art (Illustrating Singapore History Through Art), ethnographies about Malay community in Singapore (Home Is Where We Are Going), and biography on first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master of Political Strategy). Additionally, Malaysian writer Sukhinder Singh’s Honing the Pen, Volume 2, and Chinese scholar Wang Gungwu (Singapore and China in Asia: Historical Perspectives), both won prizes in their respective categories.
Winners of the Singapore Prize will receive their awards during a ceremony at the National Museum of Singapore, receiving both a specially-made trophy and 12-month subscriptions to StoryTel (an online platform offering books in national languages). Furthermore, they may be invited to speak at events around the globe.
Youth Award, given annually to one Singaporean young person. Finalists for this prize are chosen by an international panel of judges from around the globe and featured on the Singapore Prize website.
The Singapore Book Prize 2024 competition opened for submissions on 30 November 2016, with submissions now closed.