The 21st Singapore Prestige Brand Awards (SPBA) – Winners Announced

THE WINNERS of the 21st Singapore Prestige Brand Awards (SPBA) were feted at a ceremony on Wednesday night. The top prize carries a cash prize of S$3m and a commissioned trophy, while the Special Merit award was presented to suicide-prevention agency Samaritans of Singapore. The award recognises local businesses that have excelled in building their brands and positioning themselves as industry leaders.

The prize was first mooted by NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani in a 2014 Straits Times opinion column. Mahbubani said then that he hoped “our philanthropists will take up the challenge to provide a cash prize for a history book about Singapore that reinterprets our past, and also brings home the idea that nations are ‘imagined communities’ where a shared imagination, especially in the field of history, is the critical glue that holds societies together”.

Miksic’s book Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800, which is published by NUS Press with the National Museum of Singapore, was shortlisted alongside Imperial Creatures: Empire, Nation and Environment in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, by Timothy P Barnard; and Squatters into Citizens: The 1961 Bukit Ho Swee Fire and the Making of Modern Singapore, by Loh Kah Seng. The winner of the history prize was announced on 11 January, with Miksic receiving the prize money of S$50,000 and a gold medallion. The other judges were NUS historian Peter Coclanis, novelist Meira Chand and educator Beatrice Chong.

Besides the history prize, there are two other categories in the award: Best Debut and Best Translated Work. The former is open to fiction and nonfiction works in English by Singaporean writers. The latter is open to non-fiction and fiction works in the English language, whether written or translated, that have been published in the past year from 2021 to 2023.

In the nonfiction category, the prize will be awarded to a work which addresses a particular issue, while the fiction one will recognise a work of originality and quality. Both are open to all Singaporeans.

A new translation category has been introduced this year, in which submissions are open to books from other languages and adapted into English. The judging panel will be made up of three Singaporean writers who are familiar with the original work and the translators, in addition to the judging panel from the previous edition.

Unlike many other gambling-related prizes, the Singapore Prize is not regulated by the Betting and Sweepstake Duties Act. However, the law does require that participants be aware of and accept the risk that they may lose some or all of their participation fee. In addition, the organisers must ensure that the terms and conditions of the promotion are clearly defined and that there is no psychological pressure for participants to participate in the contest or promotion.

By admin
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