In 2008, Singapore's first LGBT advocacy group, People Like Us, thought that it was time to honour the best Singapore LGBT research work periodically. For that, they instituted the Rascals Prize, named after the Rascals incident, with a cash award worth S$2,000 donated as seed money by Fridae, for the best work - not just by students, but also open to any independent researcher, regardless of age, nationality or occupation - related to sexual orientation or transgenderism, and Singapore.
The winner of the Rascals Prize was decided by a jury of four highly regarded academics, all of whom were independent of People Like Us. The academics chosen for the inaugural award presented during IndigNation 2009 were:
- Professor Michael Hor Yew Meng, NUS Law Faculty, also Chief Editor of the Singapore Journal of Legal Studies. He had written extensively on criminal law in Singapore.
- Associate Professor Quah Sy Ren, Acting Head of the Chinese Division, School of Humanities and Social Science, NTU. An essayist and playwright, he was actively involved in the arts and civil society.
- Dr Sharon Siddique, a partner in a regional research consulting company based in Singapore. Prior to that, she was Deputy Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies where her research interest covers issues of culture, race and religion.
- Dr Kenneth Paul Tan, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS. He specialised in Singapore studies, focusing on topics such as democracy, civil society, media, multiculturalism, and meritocracy.
The presentation of the third round of the Rascals Prize took place during the opening reception of IndigNation 2011 on 7 August 2011 at Viet Lang Restaurant next to The Arts House. Long-serving PLU committee member Russell Heng introduced the recipients and judges for the Prize.
This article was written by Roy Tan.