The NUS Singapore Prize 2015

The NUS Singapore History Prize was established in 2014 to promote interest and discussion about Singapore’s rich past. Boasting an award of $50,000 Singapore, this competition welcomes books written or translated into English that make significant contributions towards our understanding of our past as well as where it fits today in relation to other global contexts.

The Department of History at NUS administers this prize, with shortlisted works being reviewed by a five-member panel consisting of Mr Kishore Mahbubani, Senior Advisor (University and Global Relations), Professor John Miksic (Director, Asia Research Institute); Prof Tan Tai Yong, President; Dr Derek Heng (Head, Dept of History); and Prof Peter Borschberg (Director, Global Research Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill). A winner is announced every three years.

Hidayah Amin’s Leluhur: The Story of Kampong Gelam won this edition’s prize due to its “deep scholarly research and telling a human narrative that resonated with people,” as determined by a jury of historians and researchers. Additionally, this prize seeks to promote historians and researchers while creating a greater sense of belonging among Singaporeans by emphasizing our shared histories and memories. Mahbubani stated: “[The prize recognises] nations are imagined communities built on shared memories and narratives,” Mahbubani stated in a statement.

Winners not only received a monetary award, but they also received a replica medallion like those given out to Nobel laureates and a certificate designed by artist and illustrator Jocelyn Ang. Both awards were handed out during a ceremony held Tuesday afternoon at NUS’ Lee Theatre; members of parliament as well as celebrities attended this event.

At this year’s event, an online safety prize challenge – a 10-week competition to advance AI for online safety in collaboration with Singapore Cybersecurity Agency – was also launched. This challenge seeks to foster safer interactions worldwide by developing multimodal, multilingual, zero-shot models capable of distinguishing harmless from harmful memes; particularly useful in regions lacking data on harmful content. For more information about this competition and awards conferred by Singapore, including those specific to military or police forces – click here.