Singa the Lion

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Singa the Lion

Singa The Courtesy Lion was a mascot used for various public education campaigns in Singapore. It was created to educate the public on courtesy, graciousness andlic education campaign featuring Singa the Lion was launched in 1982 under the National Courtesy Campaign with the slogan, "Courtesy is part of our tradition, it's so nice to be courteous."[1]

From 2009 till 2013, Singa the Lion has been adopted as the official mascot of the Singapore Kindness Movement.[2]


Singa the Lion was initially created by a team of artists working under the then Ministry of Information & the Arts (MITA) - Now known as Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. The creation of Singa was overseen by Basskaran Nair, a civil servant, who headed the National Courtesy Campaign in its early years.

The team tasked with creating Singa consisted of chief artist Joseph Teo, Ahmad Asran and Eileen Wat. The team created Singa within a period of 6 weeks.[3] The initial design of Singa was of a 'fierce-looking' lion and the subsequent revisions were overtly gentle in design.[4]

The final version of Singa was only conceived after more than a hundred revisions.[4] The final design depicts Singa as a golden lion with a bright and welcoming smile. Singa was introduced during a time where most campaigns were slogan driven. Singa's introduction paved the way for other mascots to be introduced into various public campaigns.

The Singapore Productivity campaign followed suit and adopted 'Teamy' the bee to address issues of productivity in the Singapore workforce.[5]

Singa as popular character[edit]

Since its introduction, Singa has been made into a host of items ranging from badges,stickers,documentaries, jingles, songs, posters and banners, debates, contests, talks, exhibitions, courtesy courses, leaflets, handbooks and pamphlets. Sinamiliar face with regular appearances in community events and advertisement campaigns.

The success of Singa the Lion was revealed in the Singa City exhibition held in 1987. Some 600,000 visitors visited the month-long exhibition held in Raffles City.[6]

Additionally, Singa the Lion has been made into a popular board game of the 80's, 'Courtesy Snakes And Ladders', in which discourteous animals will impede the progress of players through acts of discourtesy while landing on courteous animals.

Since being subsumed by the Singapore Kindness Movement, Singa has been revamped and reintroduced to the Singapore public in 2001. Singa the Lion has been incorporated in the Singapore Kindness Movement logo.Statues of Singa have been erected next to the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. building in Fort Canning Road.[7]

Project Singa[edit]

Project Singa was launched in 2010 as a project to commemorate World Kindness Day. A series of 2.5 inch tall vinyl collectible figurines of Singa Lion were created in collaboration with Singapore-based toy maker Play Imaginative and various local artists.[8]

Additionally, a design contest was also held in which winning entries would be made into figurines. A total of 34 designs were designed and developed to promote messages of graciousness and kindness in society.


On 15 May 2013, Singa wrote a letter of resignation stating that he is "too tired to continue facing an increasingly angry and disagreeable society".[9]


  1. ^ Courtesy – More than just a Smile, Singapore.
  2. ^ "Singapore Kindness Movement". Retrieved 2011-01-10.
  3. ^ Evangeline Gamboa (8 May 1982). "How Eileen wiped the snarl off Singa". The Straits Times. p. 9.
  4. ^ a b "Singa — what it could have been". The Straits Times. 1988-06-30. p. 27.
  5. ^ "Campaign mascots come to life". The Straits Times. 21 November 1982. p. 16.
  6. ^ "Holiday fun at Raffles City fair". The Straits Times. 19 May 1987. p. 13. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
  7. ^ "Please do not feed these lions at Fort Canning Park". Archived from the original on 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
  8. ^ "About:Project Singa". Archived from the original on 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
  9. ^ "Singa resigns". Singapore Kindness Movement. 2013-05-15.

External links[edit]