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The Campaign Issue: Of Singa, Sharity and celebrity

SINGAPORE — Mascots are the easily-recognisable faces of otherwise-impersonal campaigns — public faces that encouraged some of our most famous faces to share their toys, strive to do better, and be the most courteous little girl in school (except Rebecca Lim) when they were little.

SINGAPORE — Mascots are the easily-recognisable faces of otherwise-impersonal campaigns — public faces that encouraged some of our most famous faces to share their toys, strive to do better, and be the most courteous little girl in school (except Rebecca Lim) when they were little.

Who is the one mascot to rule them all? Singa the Courtesy Lion wins, paws-down.

YA HUI: There was Sharity Elephant when I was very young. I really loved that one. In primary school, I went to a funfair and the pink elephant mascot was there. I took a picture with him.

XIANG YUN: The courtesy campaign was memorable because they gave out honey sweets every week in primary school. We were very poor and it was rare that we got to receive candy, so I always looked forward to the free sweets. And there was a badge in the shape of a yellow smiley face. I think people have forgotten to smile — they’re engrossed in their phones and their own things, and they forget common courtesy.

REBECCA LIM: When I was in primary school, the courtesy campaign was huge. Every week, they would give a courtesy badge to whoever was deemed most courteous by the form teacher. Everybody was vying for it. It looked like a small Courtesy Lion and you’d pin it on your sleeve. My brother had it, my sister had it — I was the only one who didn’t get it.

RUI EN: I can think of only Singa the Lion. When I was in school, that was a big deal. He was everywhere. I guess because Singa was a cute cartoon, that’s why it sticks in my mind.

PIERRE PNG: For me, it’s got to be Teamy the Productivity Bee. (Sings the ditty) “Good better best, never let it rest, till your good is better, better than the rest.” That has always been, consciously or unconsciously, my motto. I’m never satisfied with whatever I do; I always find ways to better something. When I play Angry Birds or Plants Versus Zombies, if I’m not (getting a good score), I’d erase the whole game and start again.

DIVIAN NAIR: My favourite campaign mascot definitely has to be the Courtesy Lion. I (played him) in primary school. We didn’t even have a costume, so I had to be painted orange. The play was about courtesy and being polite — a lot of people were arguing rudely and I’d swoop in to tell them to say “please” and “thank you”.

CHEN SHU CHENG: Singa was very cute. The puzzling and disappointing thing is that our courtesy campaign, up until now, hasn’t managed to make Singaporeans prioritise courtesy. Personally, I hope I’ll also be able to be kinder and more polite to others.

CYNTHIA KOH: The Courtesy Campaign is unforgettable. No 1, there was a mascot. Then there were jingles that rang in your mind for a long, long time.

EDWIN GOH: Sharity Elephant left a huge impact on me in primary school. He’s the cutest mascot.

NADIAH M DIN: When I was nine years old, I went on a school trip to the Road Safety Community Park. I saw the Courtesy Lion walking around, saying hello to everybody. I was intrigued … I said hello, but, you know, they cannot talk.

CAVIN SOH: The Courtesy Lion left the strongest impression on me. Recently, I saw that he retired. How can a mascot retire? I think young people today are a bit less polite.

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