Further Baby Inspections


Tomorrow we have to take our daughter to get her Dependent Pass. A few days ago we wheeled her in her stroller down to the Riverwalk building, where they looked at our documentation and then started the processing. There were two odd things about this.

Firstly, there’s a notice on the counter telling you that it’s an offence to use fake educational certificates when making your application, but if you think your certificates are fake, if you tell the officer when they’re processing your application, you won’t get in trouble.

I wonder what they do next. Do you still get a pass, to reward you for your honesty? Are there lots of people who at the last possible moment confess that the Doctoral Certificate they’re brandishing was assembled in Microsoft Word that very morning? What would happen if I admitted that the MBA I’d claimed my six-week-old held was just a fabrication?

The other slightly odd thing was that it wasn’t enough for us to wheel our baby up to the counter. We had to pick her up and rotate her in front of the officer. Did that imply lots of people were importing fake babies to Singapore, but the imitation infants were of such low quality that a single check of the back of their heads would reveal the deception? Or did the guy dealing with us just enjoy seeing new parents rotate their children? Does this happen all the time?

Because I’d not paid close enough attention to the letter (id been distracted by missing apostrophes) I hadn’t brought her birth certificate with us, but fortunately we should be able to do that tomorrow when we pick up the processed pass. That’s quite helpful, unlike the attitudes of some bureaucrats where if there’s a single flaw with your paperwork, the while thing gets torn up and thrown in the bin. On the other hand, I did see the computer application they use to scan the photo of our child’s face with, and the default setting seems to be “make the picture look horrid” which hasn’t quite made it to Instagram’s top rank of filters yet. Still, not to worry, our rotated and monochrome baby should be properly registered with the authorities in the next twelve hours, and I can relax.

Until we need to sort out her British passport, of course…

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