Fun Facts about the Singapore Passport!

Oh wow… I never noticed this until today!

If you own a Singapore passport (I’m guessing this applies only to the biometric kinds), open it up! You won’t believe this! It’s pretty cool!

Ok, if you open up your Singapore passport, you’d probably see this:

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Also, if you pay attention to the picture, you’d realise that this picture is quite outdated. The Merlion (among several other identifiable structures) is missing from this image!

It’s just a picture of the Central Business District, right? (By the way, did you know that before Independence, it used to be called “Commercial Square”? So cool right? I love the name Commercial Square. It sounds far more awesome than CBD, Raffles Place or Shenton Way)

But wait, there’s more! If you look very very very closely, you’d discover that the picture of the buildings isn’t made up of dots (like most images produced by printers). Instead, it’s basically made up of the words, “REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE,” written in different directions, with the words often overlapping one another!

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Can you make out the words?

You’d probably need super good eyesight or a magnifying glass to see this. I’ve no idea what font size this is, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t even font size 1.

Anyway, on the other page, you’ll see the Esplanade.

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The Esplanade picture is made up of dots, BUT, if you look very closely, at the bottom right hand corner, near the page number, there’s something written down there!

Here’s a close-up:

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Yes, that’s right! The pledge is written on the Esplanade, on every odd-numbered page! Can you see it?

Anyway, the pattern around the page number also has words. But they’re so small that even my eyes and my camera can’t make out what those words are saying.

Pretty cool, yeah?

Anyway, while we’re on the topic of passports, I must say that I really don’t like the biometric passport. It’s only valid for five years, and the bad thing about it is that you CANNOT renew it when it expires. No! Instead, you have to make a brand new one that’ll cost you $80!!!

I know this because I’m already holding on to my SECOND biometric passport. I’m pretty annoyed by the passport re-making process only because you have to provide a recent photograph. Gosh… Passport photos these days aren’t cheap to make. I figured that it’ll be better to go to a shop that does passport photos only because of the passport making guidelines. Gosh… It cost me $18! And the guy just used some random digital camera to do it. I thought to myself… I could have done that! My landlord did his recently, and it cost him $20!!!

In total, (re-)making a passport will set you back by almost $100! OMG!!!

Wah… Anyway, it does look like making passport photos is really good business! Since everyone has to make a new passport every 5 years, you’ll always be guaranteed a supply of customers!

Anyway, to my annoyance, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA – they’re the guys that make passports) rejected my photo because I looked soooo much younger than my previous passport photo. She said, “You didn’t use a recent photo, right?”

WHAT?! I paid $18 for a passport photo that got rejected on the grounds that I look younger in it?!?!

I got really upset and told the lady how I made the photo the day before applying and paid $18 for it! Sure, I should have taken that as a compliment, but… but… I spent $18 on that stupid photo!

Anyway, after hearing my sob story about how much I paid for the photo, the lady at the counter felt compassion for me and my wallet, and she proceeded to make my passport with that photo anyway. Phew! Finally!

Moral of the story? Don’t try to look so young when you make a passport photo or else ICA will reject it.