The winner of the singapore prize was announced at a gala dinner and dance. The grand prize went to Team Empowered Families Initiative, a group of eight people who work at a heavy vehicle leasing firm. They will receive a cash prize of over US$13,000, which is about one and a half years’ worth of salary. The other six finalists will each get a cash prize of around US$5,400. In addition, they will be offered professional development and mentoring, as well as a social media campaign to promote their initiative.
The NUS Singapore History Prize was established in 2014 after an anonymous donor made an endowed gift to fund it. It is the first book prize in Singapore dedicated to history, and is administered by the Department of History at NUS. The prize has a broad scope to include books in English written or translated by creators of any nationality. It also extends to non-fiction, as well as to digital publications such as websites and blogs.
NUS Chancellor Prof Koh Swee Hung said that the prize will encourage new generations to appreciate and learn more about Singapore’s rich heritage. He noted that this year’s award was particularly special because it marks the first time in the history of the prize that a winner is aged over 91. He added that the winners of this year’s prize have demonstrated “a fundamental reinterpretation and fresh perspective on Singapore’s history”.
Professor Miksic, who is 71, was the oldest winner this year. His book, titled “Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800”, explores historical evidence from literary records to show that Singapore was already an important trading hub in the 13th century. It is a valuable contribution to the debate on how Singapore should be seen in the Asian context, the panel of judges said.
During the gala dinner and dance, the participants were asked to participate in a series of games that tested their teamwork and problem-solving skills. Some of them were even filmed for the programme’s TV show, The Straits Times reported. One employee, 42-year-old Selvam Arumugam, did not understand the rules of the games, but he tried his best to win. He even copied what the players in front of him were doing and ran as fast as he could. He managed to avoid elimination in the Red Light, Green Light game, which saw many employees eliminated.
While there are a number of laws regulating gambling, prize promotions and contests are exempted from these regulations. This is because they do not provoke in the participants a psychological pressure to purchase the promoted product(s) or service(s). However, there may be tax implications if the promotion is carried out by a company. Hence, it is recommended that companies seek legal advice before launching any prize promotions or contests. In the case of Singapore, the Betting and Sweepstake Duties Act should be reviewed to determine whether any legal liabilities may exist.