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Singapore Prize for History and Other Awards

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Archaeological finds have rewritten Singapore’s history and shown that the city-state existed more than 700 years before Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in 1819. The revelations prompted the awarding of this year’s Singapore Prize for History to NUS historian Prof John Miksic and his book, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800.

The NUS Prize for Singapore History was created in 2014, and is administered by the Department of History at NUS. It aims to broaden the definition of what counts as Singapore history and to seek submissions from both new and established writers. Prof Mahbubani had written an opinion piece in April last year in which he asked Singaporeans to donate money towards the prize. A philanthropist responded, and the prize has since been funded by private donations.

This year, two projects from Asia won prizes in the five categories of the Earthshot Awards, which was started by Britain’s Prince William in 2020 to tackle environmental issues. The winners received PS1 million each to boost their ideas and solutions.

These included Hong Kong-based start-up GRST, which develops safer and more environmentally-friendly lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, and India’s S4S Technologies, which fights food waste by enabling small-hold farmers to preserve and process crops that would otherwise be thrown away. The other winners were:

A project to build a community garden in the heart of a postwar public housing estate and revive an historic water tower has won this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAFX) 2023 Community or Public Building of the Year award. The Kampung Admiralty by Indonesian architects Budi Prajot and Tito Supriatna, and a stacked apartment block designed by OMA and Ole Scheeren in China were also shortlisted for the award.

In other Singapore Prize news, a book that explores the city’s fractious relationship with Malaysia won the Best Non-Fiction book award at this year’s edition of the Literary Arts Council of Singapore (LAC) Book Awards. The author, Ms Hidayah Salleh, is an award-winning writer whose work has been translated into several languages.

The TOTO game was launched in 1968 by Singapore Pools, and the name comes from a combination of the words totalisator and lottery. The game has evolved over the years, and a Snowballing feature was introduced in 1981, allowing prize amounts to grow as more tickets are purchased. Today, traditional pre-printed tickets have been replaced by on-demand ticket printing at participating Singapore Pools outlets. There is a one-in-eleven chance of winning a prize in TOTO.