The Singapore Prize (SGP) is a biennial award given to authors for outstanding published works in Chinese, English or Malay. It is one of the highest literary prizes in Singapore. The prize is administered by the National Book Development Council of Singapore, and is supported by its government. It was first awarded in 1997.
The SGP has been described as the most prestigious literary prize in Southeast Asia, with a cash prize of S$200,000 (US$127,000), and an engraved trophy. Previous winners include Kwa Chong Guan, Tan Tai Yong and Derek Heng.
Winners are selected from the top submissions for each category by a panel of five judges, including representatives from the publishing industry and academia. The jury also selects two additional honorees – the audience choice winner and the jury special mention winner. The winning entries are then screened in the main competition section of the festival, which will take place from 29 September to 2 October, at the Singapore Film Festival.
Prince William, whose charity foundation launched the award in 2020, attended Tuesday’s ceremony at the state-owned MediaCorp Theatre to hand out the awards to green innovators who are working on solutions to “repair the planet”. The winners included an Indian maker of solar-powered dryers, a soil carbon marketplace and groups that aim to make electric car batteries cleaner, restore Andean forests and deter illegal fishing in the oceans. The prince, who wore a 10-year-old dark green blazer by Alexander McQueen and a blue silk shirt by Ted Lasso, said the work of all 15 finalists showed that hope remains in the face of climate change.
In a speech at the ceremony, he called for more governments to support innovation and scale up existing solutions, adding that “it’s time to stop talking about it, and start acting on it”. The five prize winners received their awards – made of recycled materials – from the prince and celebrity presenters such as actor Hannah Waddingham and Golden Globe winner Sterling K. Brown. The bands Bastille and One Republic provided musical entertainment.
The prince’s visit to Singapore is part of a wider trip to several countries in the region, where he will meet with local citizens and organizations that are working to protect and restore the world around them. He will also attend a United for Wildlife summit, featuring representatives of law enforcement agencies, conservation groups and corporations that are working to combat the global trade in illegal wildlife products, which is estimated to be worth $20 billion annually.
The prince will then travel to Malaysia, where he will visit the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest wildlife conservation park in Southeast Asia, and participate in a dragon boat race. He will also meet members of the public and youth groups at an event aimed at encouraging more young people to get involved in environmental conservation. He will then return to Singapore for the final leg of his tour in late November.