The evolution of the NRIC?


The multi-purpose card is the latest version of our perpetually-metamorphosing id card. With an embedded smart chip, it can also store our medical history, driver’s license, act as an ATM card, serve as an electronic purse and even be used at the National Library. A likely scenario when ordering a simple pizza in the not-too-distant

Operator: “Thank you for calling Pizzeria Deliveries. May I have your…”

Customer: “Hello, I’d like to order a…”

Operator: “Can I have your multi-purpose card number first, sir?”

Customer: “It’s uh…hold on…6102049998-45-54610.”

Operator: “OK…you’re…Mr Sing and you’re calling from 17 Jalan Kayu. Your home number is 4094-2366, your office 7645-2302 and your mobile is 8266-2566. Which number are you calling from now, sir?”

Customer: “Home! How did you get all my phone numbers?”

Operator: “We are connected to The System, sir.”

Customer: “May I order your Seafood Pizza…”

Operator: “That’s not a good idea, sir.”

Customer: “How come?”

Operator: “According to your medical records, you have high blood pressure and even higher cholesterol level, sir.”

Customer: “What…? What do you recommend then?”

Operator: “Try our low fat Hokkien Mee Pizza. You’ll like it.”

Customer: “How do you know?”

Operator: “You borrowed a book entitled ‘Popular Hokkien Dishes’ from the National Library last week.”

Customer: “OK I give up…Give me three family-size ones then, how much will that cost?”

Operator: “That should be enough for your family of 10, sir. The total is $49.99.”

Customer: “Can I pay by credit card?”

Operator: “I’m afraid you have to pay us cash, sir. Your credit card is over the limit and you owe your bank $3,720.55 since October last year. That’s not including the late payment charges on your housing loan, sir.”

Customer: “I guess I have to run to the neighbourhood ATM and withdraw some cash before your guy arrives”

Operator: “You can’t, sir. Based on the records, you’ve reached your daily limit on machine withdrawal today”

Customer: “Never mind just send the pizzas, I’ll have the cash ready. How long is it gonna take anyway?”

Operator: “About 45 minutes but if you can’t wait you can always come and collect it on your motorcycle…”

Customer: “What!”

Operator: “According to the details in The System, you own a scooter… registration number E1123…”

Customer: “#@&*$+!”

Operator: “Better watch your language, sir. Remember on 15th July 1987 you were convicted of using abusive language on a policeman…?”

Customer: [Speechless]

Operator: “Is there anything else, sir?”

Customer: “Nothing…by the way…aren’t you giving me that 3 free bottles of cola as advertised?”

Operator: “We normally would, sir, but based on your records you’re also diabetic…”

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