The Singapore Prize Shortlist For 2009
A prestigious biennial award, the singapore prize seeks to celebrate the best works of fiction and non-fiction written by Singaporeans. The prize, named after Singapore’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, recognises work in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
This year’s shortlist includes novels that explore a range of themes – from the history of an estate in Singapore to the politics of detention. One of the books shortlisted, Sembawang by Kamaladevi Aravindan, explores a story of ordinary Singaporeans in the midst of the country’s political upheavals in the 1960s. This novel takes an alternative approach to the traditional view of history that is dominated by a selection of big movers and shakers, argues its author.
The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of SGD1,000 and a book voucher worth SGD50, to be used in the Singapore Book Council’s bookstore. A jury will decide on the winner, which will be announced at a ceremony in August.
There are a wide variety of books submitted to the singapore prize every year. This year’s shortlist is a testament to this fact, as it has drawn a diverse mix of works ranging from historical fiction to creative non-fiction.
Some of the shortlisted titles include a story about a Singaporean who finds her life turned upside down after being caught up in a leftist political movement. Others focus on the lives of young people living in a slum and the impact of social media on the lives of ordinary citizens.
A novel that combines literary fiction with the history of an estate in Singapore, Sembawang, by Kamaladevi Aravindan, is up against a book called State Of Emergency by Jeremy Tiang, which traces the lives of an extended family through leftist movements and detentions across Southeast Asia. This novel focuses on ordinary people in a largely forgotten period, says National Institute of Education senior lecturer Anitha Devi Pillai, who translated the work from Tamil.
Another shortlisted book, A Floating World by Daryl Qilin Yam and Pan Zheng Lei (Pan Cheng Lui), tells the story of two men who are stranded in a migrant labour camp in Singapore during the 1970s. A group of volunteers help them navigate their way to freedom and, along the way, discover new friendships and a sense of belonging.
WOHA Architects have won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize for their Kampung Admiralty senior housing development in Singapore, designed to promote inter-generational bonding and encourage active aging. The 11-story structure features communal spaces and gardens, as well as pedestrian walkways linking each block.
In addition to the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, this year’s shortlist also included a series of other awards from both local and international design organisations. WOHA Architects’ Kampung Admiralty senior housing development, which was designed to foster inter-generational bonds and encourage active aging, won the President’s Design Award in July 2018.
There are a number of other prizes that can be won by those who partake in singapore pools games. However, some of these may be confusing to some players as each game has a different way of claiming the prize money.