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     FrontPage Edition: Sun 1 October 2006

National Heritage Board launches Singapore: The Encyclopedia



The definitive Singapore reference with half a million words

Did you know that Neo Chwee Kok was the first Singapore swimmer to compete in the Olympics?
Or that Singaporean Naa Govindasamy launched the first Tamil page on the internet?
How about the fact that Singapore is home to three species of ¡®carnivorous¡¯ pitcher plants?
Interesting facts such as these are faithfully captured in Singapore: The Encyclopedia ¨C a 640 page volume that is the most comprehensive reference on Singapore.
The Encyclopedia was launched on 11 Sep 2006 by President S R Nathan at the Istana.
Jointly produced by the National Heritage Board and publisher Editions Didier Millet, Singapore: The Encyclopedia is an indispensable compendium of the country¡¯s rich and diverse heritage.
The Encyclopedia has more than 2,500 entries and features 2,400 photos, maps and illustrations, many of which are published for the first time.
With entries contributed by 231 experts from various fields, it covers diverse topics ranging from history, geography, flora, fauna, pop culture, the arts, politics, economics, sports and more. (A full list of the contributors can be found at Annex A.)
More than 24 months in the making, the Encyclopedia is a key example of Public-Private-People partnership, with 36 sponsors across various sectors generously donating some S$1.3 million to this landmark project.
The list of sponsors include Keppel Corporation, Khoo Foundation, Lee Foundation, DBS, SingTel, UOB and more. (A full list of the sponsors can be found at Annex B.)
Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large and Chairman of the National Heritage Board said: ¡°Singapore: The Encyclopedia is a milestone for us. It is NHB¡¯s most ambitious publication. With its publication, Singapore joins the ranks of global cities like Chicago, London and New York which have their own comprehensive single-volume reference books. Anyone seeking to learn more about Singapore should refer to Singapore: The Encyclopedia. We hope that every home, school, library, office, hotel and embassy will keep a copy.¡±
Added Mr. Didier Millet, Publisher of Editions Didier Millet, ¡°The book is a magnificent piece of collective works, and we are proud to have had the opportunity of bringing together such a wealth of talent, and such a range of information. There has never been a book like this published in Singapore or about Singapore. Through the Encyclopedia, we aim to tell people everything they might want to know about this fascinating country.¡±
Historic national facts aside, Singapore: The Encyclopedia also features many interesting and lesser known trivia.
For example, Irishman Dennis Santry designed the Sultan Mosque, drawing inspiration from the Taj Mahal and the Dome of the Rock; in the 60s and 70s, Singapore hosted the world-class Formula Asia Grand Prix at Thomson Road; and ¡°The Swallows¡± is the only Singaporean music band to have had a hit in West Germany.
The Encyclopedia covers not just the famous but also the infamous ¨C with entries on personalities like Michael Fay, serial killer Adrian Lim and porn star Annabel Chong.
Overseeing the Encyclopedia publication is an Editorial Advisory Board chaired by Professor Tommy Koh. It comprised distinguished representatives from academia, government, and private corporations.
They include Mr Peter Ho, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Head, Civil Service, Professor Su Guaning, President of Nanyang Technological University, Professor Shih Choon Fong, President of the National University of Singapore, Professor Tan Chin Tiong, Provost of Singapore Management University, Mr Lim Chee Onn, Chairman of Keppel, and Mr Alan Chan, CEO of Singapore Press Holdings. (A full list of the members of the Editorial Advisory Board can be found at Annex C.)
Singapore: The Encyclopedia is available at major bookstores islandwide at a retail price of S$75.

Source: Press Release 11 Sep 2006

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