Lost Mascots 4: MICOS, “The Good Neighbour”

There are mascots that are used for posterity and there were also mascots that were quickly forgotten. MICOS being one of the latter. MICOS, which stands for “Malays, Indians, Chinese and Other Singaporeans” was a creation made in the early ’80s to foster neighbourliness, who made its first appearance in 1982 in Kampung Chai Chee as part of the “Good Neighbour” campaign. It was conceived by Mr Fong Sip Chee, then MP for Kampung Chai Chee and Minister of State (Culture). The irony is that this mascot bears only semblance of Chinese (like a skinner, bucktoothed cousin of the pudgy Mr Mandarin Starter, a more popular mascot for the “Speak Mandarin Campaign”), and seem to have a somewhat overbearing and intrusive (kaypoh; Singlish for busybody) mannerism in most of his appearances. MICOS was subsequently employed in other constituencies to propagate other campaigns, as seen in these stickers retrieved from my storeroom, which could otherwise have still been in oblivion.

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