2021 Recipients

2021 Recipients

Almahdi Al-Haj Ibrahim

Bangsawan and Malay Poetic Forms

Ahmad Al Haj Ibrahim Image Credit: National Heritage Board


Mr Almahdi Al-Haj Ibrahim, also known by his stage name Nadiputra, is a veteran thespian, playwright, director and producer. He has received many accolades, including the Cultural Medallion and the Aungerah Tun Seri Lanang, for his extensive contributions to Malay cultural arts for more than five decades. He has been promoting public awareness of and interest in bangsawan and Malay poetic forms through staging, directing and script writing for multiple productions over the years. In addition to conducting workshops on bangsawan and Malay poetry with schools and community groups, he has also encouraged more Malay cultural arts practitioners to be involved in bangsawan and have nurtured and mentored younger generations of bangsawan actors, script writers and directors.

Bhaskar’s Arts Academy

Indian Dance Forms

Bhaskars Arts Academy Image Credit: National Heritage Board


Bhaskar’s Arts Academy was founded in 1952 by the late Mr KP Bhaskar, who was later joined by his wife and Cultural Medallion recipient Mrs Santha Bhaskar. Bhaskar’s Arts has been promoting Indian dance through a wide array of local and international performances, many of which have drawn on multicultural influences in Singapore and Southeast Asia. In addition to performance training for its dancers and conducting workshops with schools and community groups, it also has a dedicated teaching wing, the Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society, which offers classes in Indian dance to hundreds of students. Over the decades, they have nurtured many dancers who have gone on to become Indian dance teachers themselves, both at Nrityalaya and around the world, including in Malaysia, Germany and the United States.

Siong Leng Musical Association


Siong Leng Muscial Association Image Credit: National Heritage Board


Established in 1941, Siong Leng Musical Association has pursued their mission of preserving nanyin in Singapore by actively training and nurturing younger generations of nanyin practitioners, including through its apprenticeship programme. Siong Leng also provides local and international platforms for youths to learn and engage with nanyin, through educational workshops and outreach programmes with schools, and organising the International Youth Nanyin Festival in 2015 and 2018. In addition to its regular heritage performances at Thian Hock Keng Temple and for the annual pilgrimage to Kusu Island, Siong Leng has also explored innovative approaches to promote nanyin to contemporary audiences, such as incorporating or collaborating with cross-cultural musical influences in their nanyin productions, including elements of jazz, Malay music, Mandarin pop.

Tan Poh Choo

Making of Soya Sauce

Tan Poh Choo Image Credit: National Heritage Board


Mdm Tan Poh Choo is the 2nd generation owner of Nanyang Sauce, which has been making traditional soya sauce since 1959. As the sauce master of Nanyang Sauce, she has continued to preserve their traditional methods of hand-brewing soya sauce and draws on her 48 years of sauce making experience to ensure the consistent quality of their sauce. She has also been passing on her sauce making skills and knowledge to her son and 3rd generation practitioner, Mr Ken Koh. Together, they regularly conduct sauce appreciation and sauce making workshops for the public and educational programmes for students, to promote awareness of and share the skills involved in making traditional hand-brewed soya sauce.



Each recipient (individual or organisation) will be presented with a trophy, certificate of award, and S$5,000 cash prize.

Each recipient will also have the option to tap up to S$20,000 in project funding. This is subject to the approval of the proposed project. Please click here to find out more.

Award Categories & Eligibility

  1. Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, 18 years and above.

  2. Must be a practitioner with minimum 10 years in vocation and a respected member of the practising community.

Note: Award will only be conferred upon individuals who are ICH practitioners - researchers, advocates, and/or managers of ICH organisations who do not themselves possess ICH knowledge and practice ICH skills are not eligible for the Award.

  1. Must be based in Singapore and headed by a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident

  2. The group must have been practising for a minimum of 10 years.

  3. The group must be a formally registered society or company.

Note: Awards will not be conferred posthumously.

Nomination Methods

Self-nomination and public nomination

Evaluation Criteria

Nominees are evaluated according to how they have demonstrated the following criteria:

Active Transmission of Skills and Knowledge

  • Displays outstanding and ongoing efforts to transmit skills and knowledge to the next generation

  • Regular engagement with the wider community to raise awareness of the practice

Mastery of Skills and Knowledge

  • Displays excellence in the application of both knowledge and skills

Long-Term Dedication to Transmitting Practice

  • Long-term commitment to sustaining knowledge and skills of the practice

Positive Impact and Influence

  • Serves as a positive example by encouraging cultural exchange

  • Displays efforts to serve the wider community through the practice


Individual and group/organisation applications will be evaluated as separate categories of applicants, although all applications will be assessed based on the above criteria.

Evaluation Panel

Nominations will be reviewed and assessed by an Evaluation Panel, which comprises ICH practitioners, academics, leaders of community organisations, and representatives from NHB.

For the 2022 Award cycle, the members of the Evaluation Panel are:

Chair Ms Yeoh Chee Yan
Chairman, National Heritage Board
Deputy Chair Ms Chang Hwee Nee
CE, National Heritage Board
Members  Dr Azhar Ibrahim
Department of Malay Studies, NUS
  Mr Chan Kian Kuan
Vice-President, Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations
  Ms Julia D’Silva
Representative, Eurasian Association
  Dr Koh Keng We
Department of History, NTU
  Mr Low Sze Wee
CEO, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre
  Dr Norshahril Saat
Chairman, Malay Heritage Foundation
  Mr Rajakumar Chandra
Chairman, Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association
  Ms Serene Lim
Director (Sector Development – Performing Arts), NAC
  Mdm Som Said
Artistic Director, Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts
  Ms Sunitha Janamohanan
Lecturer, LASALLE College of the Arts
  Mr Victor Yue
Exco Member, Singapore Heritage Society
  Prof Vineeta Sinha
Department of Sociology and South Asian Studies, NUS

Contact OR 6982 1173.