Singapore Prize Winners Announced

The Singapore Prize, named in honour of Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, honours works that contribute to literary art and enrich our cultural heritage in any of Singapore’s four official languages: Chinese, English, Malay or Tamil. It stands as Singapore’s top literary award and one of its most lucrative.

This award is the result of a partnership between the National Arts Council of Singapore and Keppel Corporation; and marks its inaugural presentation by an international company.

Prince William celebrated the work of the finalists as evidence that hope remains, at an awards ceremony held at MediaCorp Theatre in Singapore’s media hub – its third since it first started back in 2021 – after London and Boston. Alongside him at this awards event were Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham of Ted Lasso fame, Golden Globe actor Sterling K Brown from Golden Globe fame as well as musicians Bastille and One Republic.

Singaporeans were among the winners, including one credited with developing a social media platform to address pollution and environmental concerns in Johor, Malaysia. His platform allows users to report illegal or unregulated activity as well as identify where pollutants originate. Furthermore, its mobile app helps people track air quality and find sources of clean drinking water.

Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loon were present to honor the winners, with Lee giving an address entitled, ‘Our Sustainable Future.’ Individuals honored included Public Service Star award recipients demonstrating exceptional leadership during Singapore’s COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods while leading its recovery.

Others who won were an Indian manufacturer of solar dryers, a soil carbon marketplace and groups which work to clean electric car batteries more easily, restore Andean forests and deter illegal fishing. At the inaugural ceremony held in Asia – hosted by Prince William himself – Prince William noted that all 15 finalists demonstrated that “hope does remain” amidst climate change.

Hidayah Ibrahim of Singapore won in the literary category with her book Home Is Where We Are about a notorious gangster responsible for several deaths within Singapore’s borders. It beat other books which explored its development into an international trading port, political history or arts scene – Ms Ibrahim hails from Kampong Glam – one of its oldest suburbs – and believes her success proves that anyone can write about Singapore. Ms Chanracjakul presented Ms Ibrahim with her prize.