Thursday, August 16, 2007

What's in a name

It was reported in The Star a couple of days ago(14th August 2007) that a person is allowed to change his/her name only under "special circumstances". "For example, if an applicant wants to change his name because it sounds like a derogatory word, we will allow him to do it," the National Registration Department director-general said.

So, basically, you can change your name only if the person(s) giving you your name f**ked-up badly, or they hated you. Anyway, shouldn't it be the other way round? Every adult should be allowed to legally and through proper procedure change his/her name unless the chosen new name is offensive or violates any rule.

Imagine a guy called Chau Hai(not vulgar la, er, unless you're a Cantonese speaking chap) wanted to change his name. He goes to the designated gomen department, and the following conversation ensues when the gomen officer decides to interview him:

Officer : Apasal Encik nak tukar nama? Mesti ada alasan yang munasabah!
Chau Hai : Pasai itu nama tak elok.
Officer : Apa yang tak elok?
Chau Hai : Bunyi macam, errr, itu, err...
Officer : Apa tu?
Chau Hai : Aiya, itu la... susah mau cakap la.
Officer : Bagi tahu saja lah, kalo tak bagi tahu tak boleh diluluskan.
Chau Hai : Aiyo, cib*i la!
Officer : Hoi, apasal mencarut ni! Jangan kurang ajar!!!

Well, the situation above is just a figment of my imagination. But I think the officers in charge of handling name-change applications can look forward to some hilarious moments.

Oh, by the way, I do know a guy called Chau Hai... seriously... so stop laughing. If he knows I wrote this, well, you won't be reading anymore of my posts anytime soon. My dear friend, please forgive me, at least I didn't disclose your surname ma(see, I'm a considerate guy). On the positive side, this friend of mine can easily change his name legally - and choose a much better name. But for the rest of us, we're stuck with our uninteresting names.