Saw this letter on Straits Times forum.

Baby’s birth cert reverses parental joy
THE arrival of my newborn daughter was a source of joy for my wife and myself – until I went to obtain her birth certificate from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
To my horror, she was given the number T08-XX444X. As Chinese Singaporeans are aware, the number four suggests death, and implies misfortune.
I appealed to the ICA officer, also a Chinese Singaporean who understood my discomfiture. But she firmly rejected my plea because rules were rules, I was told. Subsequently, I appealed to a superior officer and waited an agonising week, making several calls in between, only to be given the same answer.
I grant that sticking to a system of rules is important. But so too is crafting exceptions which humanise the system.
My wife and I took great pains to craft our daughter’s name, consulting time-honoured cultural principles, because we wanted an auspicious life for her. Imagine having a birth certificate number like 444 which counters all that.
A birth certificate is a personal and important life-long document.
A system which forces officers to stick rigidly to the rulebook without due regard for cultural sensitivities is not a good one. Rules are made to serve citizens and not the other way round.
I’m not giving up. I hope that my daughter can be given a more appropriate birth certificate number and I’m not asking for very auspicious figures.
Joseph Tan

Joseph, Joseph…. Not I want to say you. But it’s your fault that you never refer to the 通书 (Chinese Almanacs) first before you make love with your wife. If you did refer to the 通书, it would have told you that it is not a good time to procreate as the ICA will give your child a NRIC number with T08-XX444X. In fact, you should also refer to the 通书 before queuing up at ICA. NRIC number is very important to a person. You as a parent should check the 通书 first before registering your child birth.
Actually, ICA also got mistake here. How can they use ‘4’ in the NRIC number? They should skip all ‘4’. (Don’t ask me what they going to do in year 2044.) In fact, they should also remove “13” and “666”. Did I miss out any unlucky numbers by other religions/races? I hope not. In fact, ICA can also provide special service and allow parents to choose “Golden Numbers” if they pay extra. I’m sure everyone will be snatching the XX88888 NRIC number. That should make everyone happy.
So remember, check the 通书 first.
PS From DK: Actually, ‘4’ is a good number in the cyber age. Just press SHIFT-4 on your keyboard and see what you get. 😀

The blogosphere is full of news about the NDP theme song MTV copying a Japanese advertisement for The Children’s Foundation. But I don’t think that the NDP theme song copied the Japanese advertisement. In fact, I think they are very original.
Here is the MTV for the NDP theme song, Shine for Singapore.

Here is the Japanese advertisement for The Children’s Foundation.

They may look almost the same. But they are not. I’m going to proof to everyone that our NDP theme song MTV did not copy the Japanese advertisement.
Check out the screenshots below.
The photo on the left is from the MTV for “Shine for Singapore”.
The photo on the right is from the Japanese advertisement for The Children’s Foundation.
Screenshot 1

Both screenshot taken at the 9 second mark. On first look, they may look similar. But I tell you, they are not similar at all.
For a start, the windows are different. Look at the different windows design. And the teacher are dressed differently. The students also dressed differently.
And the biggest difference is the gender of the main character.
For the NDP theme song MTV, the main character is a girl.
For the Japanese advertisement, the main character is a boy.
Not the same at all. Let’s move on to the next screenshot.
Screenshot 2

Screenshot 2 shows the picture that the kids are painting. One look and you can see clearly that they are completely different. The girl is using red colour crayon while the boy is using black colour crayon.
One is red, one is black. Not the same.
Another difference is that the girl’s colouring is very messy. The boy’s colouring, on the other hand, is very neat and filled up the entire paper.
And if you observe carefully, the girl didn’t hold on to the paper while the boy is holding on to the paper. Not the same.
Let’s move on to the next screenshot.
Screenshot 3

Screenshot 3 shows the teacher talking to the parents about the drawing.
For the NDP theme song MTV, teacher is seated on the right side of the screen, next to the parents.
For the Japanese advertisement, the teacher is seated on the left side of the screen, directly opposite the parents.
Not the same at all. And look at the deco of their living room. This clearly shows that the NDP theme song MTV didn’t copy the Japanese Advertisement.
Screenshot 4

Screenshot 4 show us that both kids likes to draw in their room. Other than that, the 2 kids has no other similarity at all.
The girl is now wearing home clothes while the boy is still in school uniform.
The boy’s room has more furniture and books compared to the gal.
See the differences? Let’s move on.
Screenshot 5

Screenshot 5 shows the teacher and parents standing at the 2nd level of the multipurpose hall, looking down at the completed drawing.
For a start, the camera angle is different.
The Japanese advertisement also have doctor and nurses at level 2. But the NDP theme song NDP doesn’t. Very big difference here.
Let’s look at the last screenshot.
Screenshot 6

I don’t really need to say much about this. This is so obvious.
One look and you can see that the NDP theme song MTV is a red star while the Japanese advertisement is a black whale.
Red star, black whale. Not the same thing at all. Need I say more?
And the floor is also different. The floor on the left is black while the floor on the right is brown.
So there you have it. The 6 screenshot has already proven that the NDP theme song MTV did not copy the Japanese advertisement. I hope this will put the matter to rest.
PS: This entry is inspired by NYT’s David Pogue on Windows Vista

After reading thru the patent list, I discovered that there are tons of things in this world that hasn’t been patented yet. Perhaps we should patent them and sue people’s ass for infringing our patents. Here is the top 10 list of ridiculous patents that you should register to earn quick bucks.
Top 10 ridiculous patents that you should register to earn quick bucks
10) Method of walking by alternative movement of the left and right lower limp
9 ) Method of selecting an item on a Personal Computer by a mouse click
8 ) Method of consuming nutrition thru mouth for the purpose of providing nutritional needs
7 ) Method of creating sound by striking two palms together
6 ) Method of inhaling oxygen and carbon dioxide using the mouth or nose
5 ) Method of gesture by extending the middle finger of the hand while bending the other fingers into the palm
4 ) Method of positioning head on the table with the face facing a downwards position
3 ) Method of releasing body fluid when in a standing, squatting or sitting position
2 ) Method of coming out with ridiculous top 10 list
And the number one top 10 ridiculous patents that you should register to earn quick bucks
1 ) Method of patenting ridiculous patents.

The Executive Summary of Committee of Inquiry (COI) for the Mas Salemat escape is out. After reading it, I start to wonder… who is complacent anyway?

There was a physical security breach as the ventilation window in the toilet – from which Mas Selamat made his escape – did not have grilles.

Who is complacent anyway? ISD or Singaporeans?

During renovations in 2007, grilles had not been fixed to that particular toilet window due to a misunderstanding between the ISD and the contractor.

Who is complacent anyway? ISD or Singaporeans?

The superintendent of the centre, who was alerted to this weakness in May 2007, asked the contractor to saw off the window handle as a security measure instead

Who is complacent anyway? ISD or Singaporeans?

The guards watching Mas Selamat allowed him to close the door of the urinal cubicle when they should not have done so.

Who is complacent anyway? ISD or Singaporeans?

There was a physical weakness in the perimeter fencing outside the Family Visitation Block, where the toilet was located, which made it easier for Mas Selamat to get out of the detention centre’s premises.

Who is complacent anyway? ISD or Singaporeans?
Answer: Singaporeans lah. MM Lee say liao, Singaporeans are complacent. Anyone here dare to dispute his claims?

I don’t understand why so many people are blaming the Government for Mas Selamat’s escape. Why are they being blamed in the first place? It’s not their fault at all. None of them were at the Whitley Road Detention Centre when Mas Selamat escaped. So why are they being blamed for it?
We shouldn’t blame them for the escape. We only give our Government credits when Singapore is a safe place. But when Singapore become unsafe, it is totally not the Government’s fault. We aren’t unreasonable people who blame our Government for things. We don’t ask them to resign just because some terrorist escape from our detention centre. We are reasonable people. We continue to pay our Government millions of dollar.
‘Complacency sets in when a people have not suffered any shock or setback for a long time.’
YOU SEE! The Government is giving us some shock and setback so that we won’t be complacent. Where in the world do you find such good Government? And ONLY the people of Singapore are complacent. The Government is never complacent. Repeat after me, The Government is never complacent. Good. Class dismissed.
I think we should increase our minister’s salary again. They deserve higher pay.

I guess all of you have heard about the limping terrorist escaping from Whitley Detention Centre on Wednesday. It has been revealed that he used the classic tried and tested method of escaping from toilet. The guards never watch movies 1 huh? We all know that whenever a detainee go to the toilet, he will surely escape one. That is what they always do in the movies. How can you all let him go toilet? Give him a rubberband and tie lah.
Now that he has escaped, Wong Can’t Sing “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”. He said he is sorry that it happened, from a script prepared nicely for him to present during Parliament. Nobody told him that if he wants to look sincere, he should face the camera instead of the prepared script when saying sorry. Perhaps we should give him another pay increment so that he can say sorry in a more sincere manner next time.
On the side note, rumors that Suntree picture is going to do a remake of the 1953 movie, The Limping Man. Mas Selamat Kastari is being considered for the lead role. That is provided the polices and soldiers manage to find him.
The Limping Man Starring Mas Selamat Kastari.
Limping to a theater near you.