Singapore Superhero: Batman Bin Suparman

Posted on April 3, 2008

You should never judge a book by its cover, but what if that book turned out to be a comic? Batman Bin Suparman might not be a joke, but his name sure is.

In Singapore, English is the most widely used language and all names are translated or converted to English when their Birth Certificate is issued.

batman-suparman-02a.jpg

On May 13, 1990, this young man was blessed with being named after two superheroes: Batman and Superman.

Unfortunately we were unable to find the boy for comment, as no one seems to know his alter egos…

(Thx to WishBone)

孫子
Sun Tzu has spent about 7 years in Asia traveling through Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Korea. A true fan of everything that is weird and strange, he decides in the end what is displayed and published on this site. Sun has previous experience writing for numerous print mags such as XLR8R, URB, and Movement Magazine.
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188 thoughts on “Singapore Superhero: Batman Bin Suparman

  1. Allen

    LOL THAT IS NEVER GONNA GET OLD!!
    last name:superman
    first name:batman…
    noone will ever take him seriously lol

    Reply
    1. jimbo

      AIRPORT SECURITY: What’s your name?

      PASSENGER: Batman.

      AS: Your real name, please.

      P: My name IS Batman.

      AS: Are you trying to be funny?! What’s your surname?

      P: Superman.

      Airport security handcuffs him & puts him in a locked security facility.

      Reply
      1. akk

        it’s true. this guy exist. i had met him and his family. i had seen his dad and his kid brother i suppose. and the funniest thing then is that the kid brother was wearing a superman costume, shouting ‘terbang! terbang!’ (fly in malay) and was holding onto a spiderman figurine. looks like they really have a thing for super heros.

        Reply
    1. Chain

      You just troll-baiting?
      Doesn’t look like a manipulation to me. I’ve had a detailed look at it in Photoshop just in case…

      The reason why the large text is darker is due to this being printed later on top of the base ID card (most likely using a different printing method). I’m sure this was your concern.

      (( IF this is manipulated (highly unlikely) it is a _really_ professional job that has required a lot time to look authentic and not like a “funny fake ID” (i don’t bother with details here). Also they would most likely would have had access to a blank ID card. ))

      Reply
      1. niguhbluntz420

        you are no detective. there is a HIGH probability that not a single one of your suggested machinations are even remotely relevant to the story of where this originated. talk about uni-directional csi fantasy.

        Reply
    2. Joshua

      The name bears a great similarity to the Indian-Caste-Name Subrahmanyan, which indicated the lineage of higher Brahmins. I don’t think this is any kind of forgery based on inference. But what do I know, I’m not Javanese.

      Reply
      1. firman

        suparman is actually a common name in java or Indonesia, but Batman… I think his father got some good sense of humor.

        Reply
  2. someguy

    you realize that, like darkwing duck points out, the muslims in southeast asia follow the general muslim convention of patronymic naming. so batman is his given name. and bin suparman would technically mean that his father's name is suparman. his name actually means batman, son of suparman. what a team he and his father would be to achieve world peace. and finally, it can be put to rest that, superman (or at least suparman) is better than batman since he breathed life into batman.

    Reply
    1. Hinge

      So his kid could quite possibly be Spiderman bin Batman. “Leave me alone Billy, or my grandpa Suparman, will come beat your grandpa up!”

      Reply
  3. web hosting guy

    With a name like that, this guy should be some kind of international fugitive? What if Bin Laden’s parents had named him “Batman Bin Suparman”. It sure would have been a little more entertaining to watch the evening news every night as commentators and political candidates discussed the whereabouts of Batman Bin Suparman.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      for sure you don’t know how the muslim name works..

      Osama Bin Laden should be like this..

      Osama – Son
      Laden – Father

      it’s not funny anymore when people keep calling him Bin Laden..
      that dude name is Osama.

      Reply
        1. Anon

          do u realize his dad is basically getting the blame for everything ? by calling him bin laden u're calling him by his dad's name, not his. his dad had no part in any of it.

          Reply
  4. Zizi

    WOw!!! that’s funny…heheh. the annoying part is that the boy will be bothered for the rest of his life…

    Reply
      1. FW

        I think it’s more the fact that Arabic doesn’t contain the letter P in its alphabet, so for words like Pepsi, it would be read Bebsi, and Chicken would be read Gee-ken (no pronunciation/letter for Ch). Since Indonesia refer to Arabic, they have to comply with the alphabet/letter limitations.

        Reply
        1. cooope

          there are 2 types of arabic lettering
          the standard arabic(missing a few english letters)
          and Jawi(added some letters like P..)
          so yah…u cld read that as Suparman

          Reply
  5. Ari

    No it’s not a typo. “Suparman” is actually a common name for Javanese men, the only reason why it’s written “sufarman” in Arabic is because the Arabic has no original letter for “p”, different with the Javanese script. But “Batman” is a terrible joke from his parents to name their son with. He should sue them for he’s not going to get respect his whole life!

    Reply
    1. andry

      yes, SUPARMAN (no Superman) is common name in island of Java.
      if you lived in Java Island long enough, there’s a fat chance you’ll gonna hear a joke about Suparman, ie:
      “Q: What’s the difference between Superman and Suparman?
      A: Suparman did not wear red underwear.”
      etc…

      Reply
    2. Chris W Massie

      Batman isn't entirely a joke name – there are people with the name batman; there also happens to be a city in Turkey called Batman.

      Reply
  6. greg

    dude, i think that guy will get nothing but mad respect his whole life – he has the skills, resources, and powers of not 1 but 2 superheroes….well, whatever skills, resources, and powers those names might come with.

    Reply
    1. darkwing duck

      Batman does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime.

      Reply
  7. Captain marvellous

    Já sæll B2 vitlaus sem skírir þennan link “Pabbi hans hlýtur að dýrka Marvel-myndasögublöð”….

    Batman og Supermann eru hvorugir úr Marvel myndasögublöðum, heldur DC Comics, aðalkeppinautnum.

    (vinur minn var alveg mega pirraður yfir þessu svo þetta er svona drasl sem alvöru neeerds myndu posta, aahah)

    Reply
  8. subcorpus

    what ever powers superman has …
    or whatever super powers that batman lacks …
    this dude is gonna have a hard time in school …
    and fun time at work …
    fun for the office … not for him thougth …
    :(

    Reply
    1. Prawn

      Impossible. If you were to photoshop the I into a T, the space between the A and the M would be much smaller, giving no room to be able to drag out a line on top of the I.

      Besides, if that were really the case, where the alleged photoshoppers were to drag the entire area to the right to make space for a T, then it’d look really, REALLY fake. Especially since the design of the NRIC is rather unique and extremely difficult to replicate properly.

      Reply
    2. Crab

      agree with Prawn. besides, the arabic letter that spells his name was supposed to have 'alif' in front of the 'ba'. to edit the I into T myb possible. but its not possible to edit then arabic letter since the design of the NRIC is rather unique and extremely difficult for others to replicate properly

      Reply
  9. Rico

    Chinese people are strange in naming their children.

    By marriage (fiancee is Laotian), I will have a cousin named James Bond and George Bush. Of course, if you call George Bush by George Bush, he will only stare at you. He goes by “Jeh-oh Boo.”

    Reply
    1. Hanii Puppy

      Javanese is an actual racial and ethnic group … from Java – one of the larger islands in the indonesian archipelago, and the island after which the Java programming language was named after.

      Reply
  10. callmevil

    photoshoped… seriously… just look at the font clarity.. and the B looks too fake.. compare the ‘black’ on the marker on the lion emblem with the BATMAN…

    Reply
  11. Jack

    Suparman is a common name in Java (an island in Indonesia) and Batman is a translation of the Indonesian name for it: Kampret and some Javanese use that name as a nickname for a streetboy!

    Reply
  12. Vivian

    Did this kid upload his IC or he lost it or what??
    But not bad for creativity. I wonder how many times he got laughed at behind his back.

    Reply
  13. HaHa

    I can see it now, somebody asks him his name, he grabs them by the lapels and pulls them close, face to face and snarls, “My name is Batman!”

    Reply
  14. Me

    It isn’t photoshopped you retareds, It’s written in Arabic too, and the literal translation would sound more like betmen bin soovermen.

    Reply
  15. Deri

    Note that Suparman is a common Javanese name, pronounced soo-par-mahn.
    Also note that Javanese usually doesn’t have surname. Writing a name “A bin B” is a way to indicate line of inheritance.

    Reply
  16. nemo

    How was this guy’s ID card posted like this all over on the internet anyway?
    Why is his personal information released to the public?
    Was this done with or without his knowledge and consent?

    Granted, I can understand that his name may be considered as mildly amusing, but this is a human being who deserves his privacy and dignity. If he were here to defend himself and let us know whether or not he can also appreciate the joke, I would not feel so strongly that his rights have been violated and this information was stolen and released without his knowledge or consent, which is no laughing matter.

    Reply
  17. porn lover guy

    haha that’s great.. to nemo, if that were to happen to me if i had some weird cool name like that i’d be laughing my ass off.. but you’re right his private information shouldnt be there like that

    Reply
  18. Only if you dare

    Identity card No. S…?
    Wher`s the number?
    Erased so nicely you cant even see it.
    Id say it`s fake.

    Reply
    1. Prawn

      Use your head. It’s erased so you can’t bloody see it or make use of it.

      How would you like it if your Identity number (with photo picture included!) was used without your consent to purchase mobile phones from the various telcoms? Obviously you haven’t thought of that. Also because it’s happened several times here already, in case you didn’t know, where people take on a false identity and rack up international phone bills.

      Have fun thinking about it.

      Reply
    2. ThinkAbtIt

      What is the point of showing the Identity Card number? It serves NO purpose here as the funny part are the english and javanese names. On the other hand, there are serious consequences if the card number is shown.

      Just because the guy who scanned his card has some common sense to block off the important card number, does not mean he made it all up.

      Reply
    1. Hunter

      What german do you speak then, huh?

      That would be “Batman IST Suparman” to be gramatically correct.
      Batman “bin” (here translated as: [i] am) Suparman is Yoda-style!

      “Me Batman Suparman be” comes close to your german “bin”-explanation.

      To the other non-germans:
      “Ich bin Batman Suparman” would be the translation, this german ‘genius’ is talking about, which means “I am Batman Suparman”, where Suparman is nothing more than the last name and Batman his forename, so we have no “son of” in our names like Singapore und some other countries do.

      Reply
  19. Tony

    I used to work for a bank and I have a customer..he’s a regular..and I kid you not.. his name is Bruce Wayne Batman. Also..I had a Robin Hood and Janet Jackson..kid you not.

    Reply
    1. Hunter

      Full ack!

      My father used to regularly play soccer on sundays for years with some people. There was one guy from Chile named (besides lots of other names, by the way) Rogerio Murra, which he explained is after Roger Moore.

      It it a very common thing in Chile to name their children after celebrities, he told us.

      I forgot the numberless (about six or seven) other names, but Roger Moore stayed on my mind :-)

      Reply
  20. palalabu

    all of you who said that this is photoshoped is a party pooper!!!

    but usually Batman is a name for Batak people instead of Javanese rite?

    Reply
  21. Orangethetan

    These are the same sorts of nomenclaturial antics
    that wound up with manuals for electronics which read
    “If left jumper blue then set A(only B) dip switching”

    Actual quote from my bus mouse user manual circa 1994.

    Reply
  22. Jadeite

    1) Our names are NOT translated into English. This is not an English translation of his name, it IS his name. For example, Wang Jiali is not an English translation of a Chinese name. A literal translation would be King Add Pretty, but nobody translates names like that! It is merely the Chinese name written with English letters, exactly how it sounds.

    2) It doesn’t look photoshopped. Our ICs look like that. It is a base pink IC with the letters printed on top – but not with crappy ink, it’s not like you can scratch the name off. Also, the base pattern on the pink part would be difficult to photoshop. It’s a sort of holographic pattern thing embedded in the plastic of the card.

    ~ an annoyed Singaporean

    Reply
    1. Prawn

      Relax, what they mean by “translated” means to Romanize, or in many of our cases, to use hanyu pinyin or your dialect to turn the East Asian name (Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, etc) into something that people who can’t speak the language can (vaguely) pronounce.

      And yes, I entirely agree with you on the fact that the NRIC is extremely difficult to photoshop, mainly because of the pink/blue patterns that make up the design of the card.

      Reply
  23. Jack Chen

    From some of the comments I will deduce they are likely some hillbillies living in the west, like the US. Just because we use the english alphabets for some things does not make it english. Most of the time, the english alphabet was used so that the English speaking minority (ignorant white folk) can pronounced some of the words in our language. So refering to ‘translated to English’ above, is plain wrong.

    I am a Singaporean too. I am thinking maybe the clerk at the Registry or the father got the spelling wrong. I personally know a guy whose father’s surname was spelt wrong by the nurse at birth. His surname is Tan but ended up as Tang.

    Reply
    1. Jesus bin God

      To Jack Chen,
      “Hillbillies living in the west, like the US”? Shut the F up.
      “English speaking minority (ignorant white folk)”. Oh, the great “Javanese” speaking majority! Again, shut the F up.
      Yes, there are ignorant people ALL OVER THE WORLD! You’ve just proven that.

      Otherwise, great post!

      Reply
      1. Prawn

        And you, dear sir, have proven yourself to be as ignorant as Jack said you were. Try travelling to Singapore. You will find out VERY, VERY quickly that you ARE minority. Also, the majority in Singapore do NOT speak Javanese. They in fact, speak English, as well as their respective Mother Tongues.

        And Jack Chen, try and make some non-Chinese friends. You will understand why Batman isn’t so unusual after all.

        Reply
    2. ThinkAbtIt

      If you have friends with “Batman” as his name, you will know that it does not pronounce as bet-men but rather bart-marn. Similarly, “Suparman” is not su-per-men but su-par-marn. This two names are very common and they don’t sound the same as we english-speakers would pronounce them.

      Reply
    1. Prawn

      No, that’s not his father, it’s Batman himself. The smaller picture is protected by a special plastic holographic material that makes forging an identity card a lot more difficult.

      Reply
  24. something

    I thought Singapore uses Jawi Arabic script. It has the letter P (the letter F with 3 dots above)

    Seems like most name that starts with Su- are Javanese.

    Reply
  25. Luwustelaishey

    If any of you could read Arabic script, you would realize that the Arabic name and the English name don’t match. According to the Arabic name, it says “Batman bin Sufarman”.

    Reply
  26. something

    Yeah but if they use Jawi, then why don’t they use the P letter instead?

    Suparman is clearly from Java, I’ve been there and found a lot of people with that name.

    Reply
    1. Hunter

      No!

      It will be, if named Spiderman, nothing else than ‘Spiderman bin Batman’, you idiot.

      “bin” means “son of”, as stated several times here.

      Read first, then think, then post.

      Reply
  27. michelle

    I spotted this guy a couple of weeks ago. He’s working at serangoon central mcdonalds night shift. :) i remember it clearly cause i was trying not to laugh at his “suparman” nametag

    Reply
  28. sars

    I worked for a non profit org. that taught English as a second language, and we had a day care there so parents could learn and not be distracted. There was a little Thai boy we took care of named “Spiderman”. When his mom was done for the day she would run in and start yelling for him “SPIDERMAN SPIIDERMMAN!!!!!!!!!!!” She did this everyday.

    Reply
  29. ripa

    I don’t think it’s fake. I have another copy of the image (with large resolution). And if someone is feeling uncomfortable about his ID card number not shown, I can actually see the last four digits in my copy.

    Reply
    1. Sun Tzu Post author

      Yeah i removed the number because i was emailed some information that led me to believe the visible number could be tracked, even with the last 4 only.

      I like a good laugh but i am not going to publish someones personal identification numbers.

      Reply
  30. ricki

    lol……wow….bin stands for “son of” so this guy is ” BATMAN” SON OF “SUPERMAN” !….

    Reply
  31. seetow

    HAHHAHAHA i just ran a search on friendster for this guy and there really is a profile! HAAHHAHAHHA

    Reply
  32. Lappo

    This funny name also makes sense in Cantonese.
    It means something like: “Batman becomes Superman”
    or “Batman changes himself to be Superman”

    Reply
  33. Devita Victorina

    Now you’re all know that Javanesse is a very strong and powerful ethnic.
    So, beware of us!
    America ? They robbed Batman & Suparman from Javanesse!!
    Fly…..Fly…..Fly….Batman !
    Fly…..Fly…..Fly….Superman !

    Haa…ha…ha…..

    Reply
  34. ass sandwich

    if you go off of the Arabic writing here, it should be Batman bin Sufarman, but maybe things are pronounced differently in Javanese…

    Reply
  35. Norbert

    When I was living in metropolitan jakarta, which i think is in java in indonesa. i felt so proud to have Suparman as my driver. Yes that was his name.

    Reply
  36. maria agwanta

    i don’t understand why some laugh at this? is this something funny? or do i have a small brain why i don’t get what makes it funny? or……..is it the people who makes this such a big deal are the one with small brain? “Son of who d’hell” or whatever, they don’t deserve this …..humilation.

    Reply
  37. zoon

    I have a feeling that the pronounciation is probably "Baht-Mun bin Soo-Par-Mun"… But he might be worse off with taunts of "Butt Man"…

    Reply
  38. lawyerdude666

    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Kid applied for a name change. He CHOSE to forever be known as an uberdork. All ya have to do is Google it, folks. No Photoshopping involved, sorry to disappoint the "it's a fake" howlers.

    Reply
  39. issactay

    To those GENIUS out there who say that this IC is photoshopped, sorry but you are wrong. He is a REAL person and his IC was photographed when he finally completed his compulsory National Service in Singapore got back his IC (singapore kept your IC for 2 years during the service). So to celebrate his newfound freedom his campmates took a picture of his IC. I know this because my friend is one of his campmate. Sad to say, he currently works as a pizza hut delivery boy. The link below is the ORIGINAL photo taken.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2348914&amp

    Reply
  40. Serious Shepherd

    Photoshopped? I doubt it.

    Even the Jawi script spelling says it's Batman.

    Suparman is indeed a Javanese name.

    Wonder what are the names of Suparman's kids?

    Reply
  41. Rakyat

    What a coincidence – born on 13th May. A very deadful day in Malaysia's, Singapore's neighbour, history (In 1969, there were ethnic killings in Malaysia).

    If Batman and dad were around that day, he'd have saved the day

    Reply
  42. Kraiee

    ok seriously, this ID is not photoshop or whatsoever..Its a genuine ID..and this person is still living..Well, i know about it cause he's 1 of my friend..

    Reply
  43. myqute

    Seems like this guy really existed:  Multiple offender…  Batman bin Suparman  http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/batman-jailed-for/882272.html

    Reply
  44. myqute

    Seems like this guy really existed:  Multiple offender…  Batman bin Suparman  http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/batman-jailed-for/882272.html

    Reply

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