The 21st Singapore Prestige Brand Award and 21st Singapore History Prize

In addition to the main prizes, there are also other awards that recognise individual excellence or contribution. The Singapore Prestige Brand Award, for example, honours local businesses that are’recognized as being of high quality and affluence by the general public.’ This year, construction company Craftwork and co-living operator Coliwoo are among the winners in this category.

The 21st Singapore Prestige Brand Award ceremony was held on Wednesday evening (25 October) at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. It was presided over by Minister for Trade and Industry and guest of honour Gan Kim Yong, who spoke about the importance of sustainability in branding. “In the digital economy, a business’s reputation is increasingly important to its success,” he said. “With consumers becoming more discerning, it is important for brands to maintain high standards and offer good value.”

This year, 122 individuals and teams received the National Arts Council Investiture Citations at a ceremony at the Istana on Tuesday (29 November). Eighty-one-year-old Indian-origin novelist Meira Chand was one of three Singaporeans to be conferred the Cultural Medallion, the city-state’s highest arts accolade, along with fellow novelist Suchen Christine Lim and Malay dance veteran Osman Abdul Hamid.

Another highlight was the presentation of the Singapore History Prize, which was won by Leluhur: Singapore Kampong Glam, a book by historian John Miksic. The NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow said he hopes the prize will be an indication to people that they don’t need to be professional historians to write about their country’s past. He also pointed out that the prize could eventually be expanded to cover works in other formats such as movies and comic books, adding that “it may sometimes be more effective to tell our history through fiction than through factual accounts”.

A total of 49 books were shortlisted for the prize, which is open to authors whose work is available in English, Mandarin, Tamil or Malay. They were selected from 192 submissions, which is 32 fewer than the number of titles that were submitted in 2020.

In the non-fiction category, notable entries included a memoir by former politician Ang Mo Kio and a history of Singapore by professors Peter Coclanis and Lam San Ling. Also on the list were a book about Singapore’s first riot and another that details the life of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Two firms from Asia were among the winners of this year’s Earthshot Prize, an initiative started by Britain’s Prince William. Hong Kong-based start-up GRST is developing a safer and cheaper way to make lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, while India’s S4S Technologies combats food waste by using solar-powered dryers that allow small-hold farmers to preserve their crops. Other winners include U.S.-based firm e-mobility startup Zuora and Australian company Sunbeam Automation, which is improving the efficiency of aircraft engines. The awards were presented at a glitzy ceremony attended by celebrities including actor Donnie Yen, who wore an old suit and walked a green carpet.