Category Archives: Random Stuff

KTKLN Card (KPIS card updated May 2017)

Update: 30 May 2017

Well, it seems the KTKLN card is no longer needed (called an agency today and the person confirmed this with me). However, there is still some work to do when your helper goes for home leave (so it seems, based on what my helper says).

And that is to get a KPIS card (an Indonesia worker in Singapore kind of ID card, see the details in the brochure below).

IMG-20170530-WA0002 (1)

And to get this KPIS card, bring along

  • work permit,
  • passport (and photocopy), and
  • employment contract (note: this contract is the one issued from the Indonesian embassy side when you accompany your helper there, and do an interview with the embassy officials (I guess to ascertain that they are paid the minimum sum, have off days, have no issues to report about working for you, … etc).

Note: not sure how all this works out, if you get an maid agency to do it for you, but the price is $150 – $180 as I found out.

========END of UPDATE 30 May 2017 ======

KTKLN Card – what on earth is that?? (this post from 2016, no longer relevant..see update above)

Well, it is for Indonesian workers who go to work overseas and seems to serve as a form of “compulsory” registration/insurance for them to do in Indonesia, before they can depart for their country of employment. In case anyone has to get it done (e.g. for their Indonesian helper), strongly recommend to look at this blog (published 2014) for details of what to do: Apply KTKLN for Foreign Domestic Worker in Batam

We took our domestic helper to to get her KTKLN card renewed recently in Batam too (using info from the blog above), and this post is mostly an update on the information contained there. Most of the points are still valid, but I will add on some of our own “tips”/experiences …

  1. There is a one hour time difference between Batam and Singapore (we are ahead), so do take that into account when booking the ferry. We booked the 9:30 ferry from Harbourfront (to Batam International Ferry Centre) but almost missed the boat!The gate closes (15 min before departure) at 9:15 and for some strange reason, very likely due to the other person’s blog (she took the 9:50 ferry) which made me think I was also taking the 9:50!!, we only arrived at the gate at 9:17, but luckily the security man allowed us to still go in, but we had to rush like crazy to clear immigration etc, and the PA system announced our names to board IMMEDIATELY, haha 🙂
  2. Buy an open return ticket so that you have some flexibility in terms of which ferry to take to return to Singapore … because there may be delays in processing the card, or you may be distracted by the shopping at the MegaMall opposite the Batam International Ferry Terminal (link by overhead bridge).Ferry ticket costs $48 return, per pax and can be bought online (google Singapore Batam Ferry)
  3. Taxi to P4TKI which is the office where the KTKLN card is done still costs IDR50 000 for the 5 min trip (tell the man at the taxi counter your destination, and he will issue you a slip of your destination to give to the taxi driver; you pay to driver on arrival). Below is what the office looks like from outside (the glass doors beside the camouflage building).

    Complex Ruko Greenland Blok E No. 3A


  4. There is no need to get the taxi driver to wait for you. The officer doing the card for us helped us call a BlueBird Taxi when we were ready to leave, and it only cost IDR30 000 to get to MegaMall, for the return trip.
    (btw, we were quoted a rate of IDR90 000 for waiting for 2 hours, which is about the time needed to get the card and other things done)!
  5. After submitting our documents (original and photocopies), we were asked to go to a clinic (see picture below) a few blocks away (block A? or B? the officer will tell your helper where, and give a slip with address) for our helper to do her health check: this is a simple height and weight and BP measurement, and you pay IDR40 000 for it. A slip of paper is then given for your helper to hand back to the office.Remember to have some ID with you (e.g. an extra photocopy of helper’s passport/work permit will do)  … the clinic will ask for it, and your originals are no longer with you when you go to the clinic (the photocopies, 2 sets each of work permit, work contract, and passport are also not with you; they were also handed to the office upon arrival, together with originals)
  6. Back at the office after the “health” check, your helper will fill up some forms and you’ll be asked to pay for the insurance (IDR170000 or IDR290000 for 1 or 2 years).A man will then take the money and leave the office on his motorbike to somewhere else, to process the insurance (this is where the longest wait time happens …)After your helper has completed the forms, you will need to buy this “stamp” from the corner shop three shops away, to stick onto the form:


    says 6000 but shopkeeper asks for 8000 … just pay lah!

  7. In the meantime, you can wait at the office but much better to go to the modern Morning Bakery nearby for “kopi”:

Me and spouse waited at the bakery, and got our helper to go back to the office to await the collection of her card and insurance. Soon, and after almost 2 hours (10 am to 12 noon) from when we first arrived, she was back with us and with the documents!

The KTKLN “card” is now no longer a nice plastic card (like our NRIC), but two copies of A4 size sheets of paper with her photo. One copy is for keeping in the passport, while the other is for laminating …

and after getting help to call for a taxi from the office, we were back at MegaMall, took our lunch (many options), and then caught the 2:10 pm ferry back to Harbourfront.

Allocate one whole day if you ever have to do this! And treat it as a little travel/adventure to Batam  … 🙂



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罗大佑Concert@Star Theatre

Lol! Didn’t know he was such an important songwriter/singer until two days after the concert (7 May 2016, Star Theatre)!!


And double LOL, I even knew (i.e. have heard/can recognise) these FIVE out of the many songs he sang during the concert:

And he wrote 明天会更好 too,inspired by the success of the charity single We Are the World by USA for Africa

Performing to a full house (of mostly people above 40), definitely am glad to have been there to see “a major cultural icon” live and re-acquainting myself with some of these songs from “my younger days” (童年)!!  🙂

(Wikipaedia extract, Lo Ta-Yu

(simplified Chinese罗大佑traditional Chinese羅大佑pinyinLuó Dàyòu; born July 20, 1954), also known as Luo Dayou and Law Tai-yau, is a Taiwanese singer and songwriter who, during the 1980s, affected Chinese pop and rock music …  his love songs, and his witty social and political commentary that he infused in his more political songs, often to the point that some of his songs were suppressed in Taiwan and China during the 1980s. He is recognized as a major cultural icon in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.)


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Random nature shots …

Doing my training for Rinjani and marathon around different parks and taking random photos this week with phone camera (first two shots) ..

DSC_0078 copy

Bishan Park II (the one nearer to Upper Thomson Rd) – nice symmetry and greenery!


Bishan Park II – pink and white flower carpet  🙂

Also have been carrying my backpack, with DSLR to train for Rinjani, at Gardens by the Bay area ..


Lilies, always a wonderful sight at the pond by the Art Science Museum!!

and Macritchie ..


Very exciting week ahead as D and me head to Rinjani this week!! 🙂

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Oh My Josh…

Joshua Bell with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO)!! What a treat for all who were at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Saturday … (including former PM Goh CT, and Prof Tommy Koh 🙂 )

Must say that we were really lucky to still be able to get Stall tickets at the last minute on Friday, the day before the concert! It was the last 2 tickets available at the Stalls Level, and the last 6 tickets overall (another 4 seats were available at the Circle 1 Level).  🙂


ST Life Section 11 Apr 2016 Monday

Classical violin superstar Joshua Bell held the audience spell bound with his virtuosity and showmanship in this thoroughly enjoyable and “joyous” concert that blended both Western and Chinese music (see review in ST 11/4/16 Life). My dizi teacher was in the orchestra too (as guest performer too, but haha, not in the same league as Joshua Bell 🙂 )

Truly a memorable and inspiring treat to see a superstar perform live, and many thanks to SL for “introducing” him to us! 🙂

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Rules for Using the Computer …


Two days ago, while digging my stuff to look for the phone number of a plumber for a friend, I found this “contract” dated 7 April 2006, exactly 10 years ago. Believe it was during the heydays of an online game NEOPETS (seems it is still around??!!). How time flies!!

Love how the two girls have come such a long way together after all these years, and the way they complement and cooperate with (see Rule 7) each other!! oh, and also the “cute” handwriting!!  🙂


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The Songs We Sang 我们唱着的歌

The Songs We Sang 我们唱着的歌

Went with wife to watch this Singapore documentary over the Good Friday weekend, and must say it was really good!!

It is a documentary about the origins and people behind xin yao (新谣 or “Singapore Songs”), and this “movement” actually happened about the time when I was a junior college student. However, I was not really aware about it at the time (but wife knew/knows most of them, people and songs, at that time), perhaps due to my not so strong CL and being mainly amongst English speaking folks.

Nevertheless, it was a most enjoyable movie (like the other documentary movie I really liked, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”)  I was moved many times to see the people talk about their dreams and passion for songwriting, their sincerity, and those who helped these people along. It was also fun to see the way things were (e.g. the fashion back then, the concerts held last time).

Eva Tang, the director, has indeed done a great job in stitching together the many interviews, interspersed with songs and other “nostalgic” scenes of Singapore from the 70’s to make it a local documentary worth your while to see! ( this link for an interview with her about it, and one question that she responds to below:

8. Would non-Chinese or non-Chinese speakers find any resonance in this documentary?

Yes. It is about our struggles and dreams, about friendship, about courage, about following one’s passion. These are universal themes of life.

10 Questions for Eva Tang, the director of
documentary feature film “The Songs We Sang”

Indeed, the show is about universal themes of life (and more), the way Eva puts it!!
Go catch it soon! before Batman v Superman even, as such shows unfortunately, and usually, don’t screen for too long in Singapore!


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Batman v Superman …

“Batman v Superman” coming soon (24 March 2016) is almost like “Bougainvillaea vs Sakura” happening now, haha! No fight …

So many people flocking to Gardens by the Bay, paying $12 – $20, to see the cherry blossom … and just a bicycle ride away (from GBTB using the park connector) at East Coast Park, our own bougainvillaea in full bloom at the bougainvillaea garden (near to Sunset cafe), no admission fees, hardly draws any attention! 😦



Believe that due to the hot and dry weather lately, the bougainvillaea are in full bloom… if you can, go and see both shows! 🙂

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