ESM Goh Chok Tong book signing a highlight at Popular's BookFest@Singapore

The 12th edition of BookFest opened at Suntec Singapore on Dec 14, 2018.
The 12th edition of BookFest opened at Suntec Singapore on Dec 14, 2018.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - A book-signing event by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong will be one of the highlights of Popular bookstore's BookFest @ Singapore this year.

The 12th edition of BookFest, Singapore's largest book and stationery fair, opened at Suntec Singapore on Friday (Dec 14) and will run until Dec 23.

The 130,000 sq ft fair sells books, stationery, entertainment, gadgets and will feature a tidbit buffet as well as live cooking demonstrations. It is expected to draw more than half a million visitors.

Said Popular Holdings group chief executive and executive director Chou Cheng Ngok: "When BookFest opened its doors this morning, I was very heartened to see long lines of customers waiting to come in. Some even started queueing from last night. Their support is strong encouragement that says we are working in the right direction."

Mr Goh, Singapore's second prime minister, will be making an appearance on Dec 22 to meet readers and sign copies of his new biography Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story by journalist Peh Shing Huei.

All royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to two charities that he started: EduGrow for Brighter Tomorrows, for children from disadvantaged families, and the MediaCorp Enable Fund, which supports the integration of special-needs Singaporeans into society and the workforce.

Bargain hunters can look forward to the first-of-its-kind Titbits Buffet, where customers can purchase $10 bags and fill them with treats such as chips and crackers from Cassava Republic & Roots Co, Cha Cha roasted sunflower seeds, and Tao Kae Noi crispy seaweed with flavours such as Thai curry crab, Peking duck and cheese.

Mediacorp artistes Pierre Png, Bryan Wong, Ya Hui and Bonnie Loo will be at BookFest to autograph Mediacorp's All Stars Calendar 2019.

  • VIEW IT / BOOKFEST @ SINGAPORE

  • WHERE: Suntec Singapore, 1 Raffles Boulevard, Halls 401 to 406

    WHEN: Dec 14 to Dec 23, 10am to 10pm daily

    ADMISSION: Free. Limited seats for the dialogue with Mr Goh Chok Tong, register at www.bookfestsingapore.com before Sunday (Dec 16)

Popular will also start a charity drive with oncologist Wong Seng Weng, chairman of the Medical Board of the Singapore Medical Group. For every copy sold of Dr Wong's book, A Doctor's View - Cancer: Knowledge And Treatment, $7 will go to the Singapore Cancer Society.

Taiwanese author Li Yi Xiu will share tips on weight loss and recipes that can help one eat healthier without sacrificing taste.

In tribute to late Chinese martial arts novelist Jin Yong, who died in October this year, there will be a dedicated display of his books at BookFest. Fans will stand a chance to get a set of bookmarks or a Hong Kong limited-edition set of special stamps featuring characters from his books.

Other events include author signings, an Amore Fitness workout party, live cooking demonstrations and educational workshops.

The results for the Popular Readers' Choice Awards will be announced on Saturday (Dec 15) at the fair. Shortlisted books include Singapore true-crime book Guilty As Charged, edited by Straits Times associate news editor Abdul Hafiz and children's book Sherlock Sam And The Fiendish Heist In London by A. J. Low, the pen-name of husband-and-wife writing team Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez.