The heir to the British throne traveled to Singapore this week for an event promoting innovative solutions to climate change. The Prince of Wales and his partners are leveraging his royal name to launch the Earthshot Prize, a challenge inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s “moonshot” speech of 1962, which challenged Americans to reach the moon by the end of the decade. The prince and his team of partners are seeking to address the most urgent environmental challenges through scalable and cost-effective approaches.
On his visit to the city-state, the prince will meet with leaders and representatives from a number of key sectors. He will also call on Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loon, and visit The Istana palace, one of the country’s oldest heritage sites. He is expected to meet with Singapore’s foreign ministry officials as well, and will attend a special presentation of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, a biennial award given to cities that demonstrate good governance, innovation and foresight in their approach to urban sustainability.
Singapore is a global hub for cutting-edge innovation, and the country’s government has taken steps to promote climate action in the region. In 2020, it launched a $10 million program called GREEN Singapore that encourages local start-ups and firms to develop products, technologies and services that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development. In addition, the country has a comprehensive network of government-supported libraries that provides books and digital resources on sustainability.
There are several organizations in the country that award book prizes to recognize authors and writers for their achievements, including the Singapore Book Prize, the Dr Alan HJ Chan Spirit of Singapore Book Prize, the National Book Trust Literary Awards, and the Singapore Writers’ Festival. In addition, the Singapore Literature Bureau sponsors an annual prize for emerging novelists.
In addition to cash prizes, the winners of these competitions often receive other perks, such as the opportunity to take part in seminars or workshops. In addition, they often enjoy publicity for their books. The winners may be able to use their prize money for travel and accommodation expenses or for purchasing equipment. In addition, they may be eligible to apply for a grant from the government of Singapore to help defray the cost of their work.
The winner of the NUS Singapore History Prize is selected by a panel of five judges that includes NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani; historian and archaeologist Prof John Miksic; novelist Meira Chand; economist Lam San Ling; and historian Peter Coclanis. The jury is assisted by a nominating committee that casts a wide net, including academics from the Department of History at NUS, arts and literary figures, museum curators, and history teachers and curriculum developers.
The first prize was awarded in 2021 to Leluhur: Singapore Kampong Gelam, a book that describes the life of the residents of a former gedung kuning neighbourhood. Ms Hidayah spent five years putting the book together, including interviewing the area’s former residents. She says that the prize is an affirmation that ordinary Singaporeans can tell the stories of their past. “We hope that this is a sign that you don’t need to be a professional historian to write a history book, a story about the past,” she said.