Singapore History Prize 2018
The Singapore History Prize is Singapore's richest book prize, set up "to encourage more ambitious and sophisticated research relating to the history of Singapore, as well as to inspire the highest scholarly standards in such research and publications, while also promoting wider critical interest in studying the history of Singapore. At the same time, the Prize hopes to generate a greater understanding among Singapore citizens of their own unique history."
The prize is awarded every three years, and carries a cash prize to the author of S$ 50,000. Three NUS Press books were shortlisted for the prize, which was awarded 11th January to John N Miksic for his Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, published by NUS Press with the National Museum of Singapore. The judges were, from left to right, Prof Peter Colcanis, Kishore Mahbubani, Claire Chiang and Prof Wang.
Prof Wang Gungwu, Chair of the Singapore History Prize Jury Panel, said, “Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300 – 1800 by Prof John Miksic provides the essential context for understanding Singapore’s past in long term context. It is a truly monumental piece of work that is deserving of the first Singapore History Prize. With this book, Prof Miksic has laid the foundations for a fundamental reinterpretation of the history of Singapore and its place in the larger Asian context, bringing colour and definition to a whole new chapter of the Singaporean identity. We now know more about Singapore in the 14th century than any other city in the region during the same period.”
(For more information on Singapore's archaeology, see our first Southeast Asian Site Report, a digital site report on a key excavation of 14th century materials from Singapore's padang.)
Also shortlisted were Nature's Colony: 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.