The Singapore Prize aims to inspire thought leadership in cities and promote exchange of ideas and knowledge among urban communities. A biennial international award, the prize is given to a city that has achieved outstanding performance in tackling urban challenges. It recognises and rewards key organisations in the city and their contributions to making cities vibrant and sustainable. In order to qualify, candidates must have distinguished performance in public service and extra-curricular activities in their home country.
The prizes are awarded in twelve categories. Some of the best works published in Singapore in the past year are shortlisted and receive prizes in each of the twelve categories. The prize secretariat is run by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore, in collaboration with the Centre for Liveable Cities. Other partners include the National Arts Council, the National Library Board and the National Book Development Council of Singapore.
For the first time, the award is being offered in three different categories. Writers are shortlisted for the Best Creative Nonfiction, Best Short Fiction, and the Readers’ Choice. One winner will be chosen in each category. Each reader will receive a prize of SGD1,000, as well as a $50 book voucher. However, if there is no candidate who is of sufficient merit, no award will be made.
The prize is named after Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kwan Yew, who was responsible for developing the city into a green garden city. He also became the first Singaporean to win a world championship. Afterwards, he founded the Loh Kean Yew Encouragement Fund to encourage young Singaporeans to become active in sport and other activities.
The prize is supported by Keppel Corporation, which sponsors the S$300,000 prize. “Gaga” was selected as the winner in the drama category. Directed by Laha Mebow, the film featured an ensemble cast of non-professional actors. It is a tale of great warmth and sensitivity. As a result, it was also deemed a winner in the Golden Horse awards. Moreover, it was the best Singapore short film.
Other winners were “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by Alvin Lee, which won the Best Singapore Short Film Award. The production services package worth SGD15,000 was provided by Shooting Gallery Asia, and the audio final mix and DCP feature were donated by Mocha Chai Laboratories.
The Singapore Prize has been given out since 2009. Previous winners were Le Lam Vien, who received the SGD2,000 Peanut Pictures award. Another was Giovanni Rustanto, who won the SGD4,000 Prize for the Most Promising Project. There were also special mentions for Gladys Ng and the film “Dikit” by Khoo Gaik Cheng.
The Singapore Prize has helped promote urban excellence and cost effective solutions for urban communities. It was established by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore in 2009. Currently, the prize focuses on sharing of best practices and innovations among cities. It has a long-term goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 per cent. Through its efforts, it has managed to reduce carbon emissions by 13 percent.