Singapore Prize Winner

Professor John Miksic of National University of Singapore (NUS) won the inaugural Singapore Prize with his book Singapore And The Silk Road Of The Sea, 1300-1800 that used archaeological evidence to examine pre-colonial history in a wider Asian context. Miksic outwitted 29 submissions for this biennial award set up as part of NUS SG50 program to commemorate 50th Anniversary of independence of Singapore; award will recognise writers across 12 categories covering Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil writing styles.

“His work possesses more than its obvious value; it could also influence and alter how Singaporeans view their past,” commented Professor Kishore Mahbubani, one of the judges. Prof Wang Gungwu of NUS East Asian Institute was another judge; together they formed part of a four-member jury which selected from among a shortlist of five entries, picking their winning work as the winning one; alongside Claire Chiang from business and academic Peter A Coclanis from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as other members.

The NUS Department of History hosts this prestigious cash award of S$50,000 for works written or translated to English that cover any time period, theme or field in Singapore history. Submissions can come from authors of any nationality.

NUS’ History Department stated the purpose of their prize as follows: “The prize seeks to promote appreciation of Singapore’s diverse heritage while contributing to an enhanced sense of Singaporean identity.

NUS is a public research university established in 1959. Home to over 25,000 students and offering degrees in science, technology, business, the arts, humanities, social sciences law and medicine; its research centres include Nanyang Environment and Sustainability Institute; Lee Kuan Yew Centre for International Policy; and NUS Business School.

William and Yen both attended, alongside singer Bebe Rexha and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. To stay true to its sustainable theme, William donned an old green suit by Alexander McQueen while Yen chose an aqua blue dress from Stella McCartney. The pair walked the “green carpet” with other attendees wearing eco-friendly attire. Other winners were individuals who demonstrated exceptional service and leadership during the pandemic response, leading nationwide efforts to protect lives and livelihoods, and helping Singapore on its journey toward recovery. Before the ceremony, they discussed the value of working as part of a team and pushing boundaries in their fields. The ceremony took place as part of WAFX 2023: Inside World Festival Of Interiors with NUS serving as exclusive media partner; read up on winning designs and inspiring stories at WAFX’s website!