A healthy civil society depends on people who, at pivotal moments in their lives and the lives of those around them, put the common good before their own. The Harvard Prize Book (Singapore) recognizes these individuals for their selfless acts of altruism and encourages them to inspire others to do the same. The top prize winner receives 3,000 Singapore dollars, a commissioned trophy and a 12-month gift code to StoryTel.
This year’s Singapore Literature Prize was handed out at a ceremony in Mediacorp Theatre on Tuesday. A total of 43 writers were shortlisted in the competition that rewards 12 winners in Singapore’s four languages—Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. More than half of this year’s pool is shortlisted for the first time. Suratman Markesan and Wang Gungwu, who are both 91 years old, are the oldest writers to win the prize this year in the creative nonfiction category.
The winner of the prize is determined by a panel of judges, which this year included former US President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister David Cameron. Aside from the cash prize, the winner will also be awarded a bespoke trophy and a chance to have their work published in a prestigious book collection.
This year, the finalists of the prize were chosen from over 150 entries from all over Asia. The winning companies are working on a range of sustainable projects, including a lithium-ion battery recycler and a program to end illegal wildlife trafficking. The prize will give the five winners the resources and recognition they need to scale up their solutions and help solve the climate crisis.
As part of the awards ceremony, prominent buildings around Singapore were lit up green to celebrate the event. This included the 40-meter high Rain Vortex, the world’s largest indoor waterfall, which was illuminated green to mark Prince William’s arrival at the airport. The heir to the British throne was visiting Singapore for this year’s Earthshot Prize and the United for Wildlife global summit, where he will meet local officials and see how their organisations are helping tackle the issue of illegal wildlife trade.
Upon landing at Singapore’s Changi Airport, Prince William was greeted by crowds of cheering fans with homemade signs and photos of his late mother Princess Diana. He was also shown a tree planted in his honor at the airport’s indoor garden. This was William’s first visit to the city since 2012, when he visited with wife Catherine and their daughters Princess Charlotte and Louise. During his trip, the royal will also visit a local school and try his hand at dragon boating, a popular activity in Singapore that has its roots in Chinese tradition. He will also attend a summit with international experts to learn about sustainable development efforts in the region. The event will showcase the latest innovations in the field and how they can address the challenges facing our planet. The summit is being held in conjunction with the third annual Earthshot Prize, which was launched by the Prince of Wales’s Royal Foundation charity in 2020.