Kuala Lumpur 2017 is soon to be held in the cap­i­tal. Ri­mau is the o cial mas­cot for the games and we’ve fallen hard for him. Here’s why ....

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In­tro­duced to the world in Novem­ber 2015, Ri­mau, Malaysia’s mas­cot for this year’s South East Asian Games and ASEAN Para Games is ev­ery­where, and with Kuala Lumpur 2017 mere months away, you’re al­ready likely to have come across this stripey char­ac­ter. Just re­mem­ber, we saw him first. Here are eight rea­sons why we love this kitty….

RI­MAU IS A CAT He is an an­thro­po­mor­phised Malayan tiger to be pre­cise, which makes him a big cat, and ev­ery­one loves cats. Just ask the in­ter­net.

YOU CAN TAKE HIM HOME TO THE PAR­ENTS That’s be­cause Ri­mau has his own line of mer­chan­dise, which in­cludes but­ton badges, stick­ers, pens and even his own ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion plates. Bid­ding for his RI­MAU 1 through RI­MAU 9999 plates kicked o” on April 1st and starts from as lit­tle as RM500.

HE COMES FROM A GOOD PEDI­GREE Ri­mau hails from a long line of sport­ing mas­cots. Since 1985, the SEA Games has had 21 mas­cots, six of which have been from the cat fam­ily in­clud­ing Sawas­dee and Wichien-maat the Si­amese cats, Can the Ko­rat cat and Singa and Nila the Sin­ga­pore lions. Miaow.

HE’S SU­PER FIT Okay, so Ri­mau is kind of big headed—no one’s purr­fect—but who can deny that long, lean ath­letic body, fierce fe­line grace and sharp cat-like re­flexes? HE LOOKS GOOD IN ANY­THING Ri­mau has an en­vi­able wardrobe; 38 out­fits for ev­ery sport con­tested—that’s 38 sports at the SEA Games and an­other 16 sports at the ASEAN Para Games. Whether he’s togged up in his track­suit or slinky swim­mers, Ri­mau looks gr­rreat in ev­ery sin­gle one of them!

HE’S GOT ALL THE RIGHT QUAL­I­TIES What’s in a name? For Ri­mau, quite a lot. An acro­nym for Re­spect, In­tegrity, Move, At­ti­tude and Unity, we also love that he’s been de­scribed as gra­cious, friendly, com­pet­i­tive and ath­letic—all the qual­i­ties we look for in a team mate. Or a mate. Ahem...

HE’S MALAYSIAN THROUGH AND THROUGH Ri­mau wears his jalur gemi­lang proudly and we’re not just talk­ing about his or­ange and black stripes. Go Malaysia!

HE’S A RARE FIND As a Malayan tiger, Ri­mau is ex­cep­tion­ally spe­cial. That’s be­cause there are only 250 or fewer of his kind left in the wild. So do spare a thought for Malaysia’s last re­main­ing wild Malayan tigers and the threats to this crit­i­cally en­dan­gered species’ continued sur­vival.

The 29th SEA Games will take place from the 19th to the 3Oth of Au­gust, while the 9th ASEAN Para Games will be held from the 17th to the 23rd of Septem­ber, 2017. For more Ri­mau and in­for­ma­tion on the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games go to www.kualalumpur2017.com.my. To sup­port the con­ser­va­tion of Malayan tigers in the wild go to cit­i­zen­ac­tion­for­tigers.my

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