The Singapore prize is a biennial award in Singapore given to writers who produce outstanding novels, short stories and poems written in any of the country’s four official languages, namely English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. In addition to the main prize, several other special awards are also given for particular categories of writing. The prize is awarded by the Singapore Book Council, a government agency.
The prize is named after former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and is designed to promote and encourage local writing in the English language and to raise the standard of English literature in the country. The Lee Kuan Yew Book Prize has been held since 1992 and is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious literary awards in Asia.
Each year, the Straits Times recognises a Singaporean or group of citizens who have made a substantial contribution to society. These individuals or groups of people have either gone above and beyond the call of duty to improve the lives of others in the community, or pushed the boundaries of innovation by achieving something that has never been done before. They are the Straits Times Singaporeans of the Year.
In the past decade, the prize has been honoured more than 200 people for their contributions to society and the country. Some of the previous winners have included a mother who teaches her mentally disabled daughter to cook and clean, a woman who runs an online community to help singles, and a man who helped homeless people and migrants.
This year, the prize will be presented to Rui Jie, a primary school pupil from Gongshang in eastern Singapore who raised $286,000 for charity last year by selling homemade cookies and other snacks. The proceeds have enabled her to provide financial support for more than 200 underprivileged children and their families, as well as to build a clinic to treat mental health problems.
During his working visit to Singapore from Nov 5 to 8, Prince William will attend this year’s Earthshot Prize awards ceremony, the first to be held in Asia, and attend a United for Wildlife global summit that features representatives of law enforcement agencies, conservationists and corporations fighting trade in illegal wildlife products, estimated at $20 billion annually. The prince, 41, arrived Sunday at Changi Airport where he was greeted by crowds waving British flags.
The third annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony was hosted by Prince William at the state-owned MediaCorp theatre on Tuesday, with a glitzy evening that saw celebrities like Ted Lasso star and Emmy-award winning actor Hannah Waddingham and Golden Globe winner Sterling K. Brown present awards that were made from recycled materials. The event was attended by Singapore ministers and former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is a trustee of the prize board. Several buildings lit up green during the event to celebrate sustainability in the Lion City. In line with the theme, Prince William wore an old dark green suit by Alexander McQueen and other presenters took to the “green carpet” wearing outfits that were environmentally friendly.