A Korean man suddenly collapses and breaks out in splotchy rashes and abdominal pain, leaving them to diagnose what is wrong with him.
'What about syphilis?' suggests Dr Cuddy.
No, says Dr House.
'First of all, he apparently speaks a language that no one else speaks. Which makes talking up the ladies a little rough.'
Dr Cuddy retorts: 'We're flying out of Singapore. If he has a credit card and a condom, he can get anything he wants.'
'Eeew!' someone exclaims.
Marketing manager Chua Boon Hou, 35, who watched the episode last Thursday night said the moment was 'shock awakening'.
The self-professed House fan was irked enough to e-mail The New Paper to complain and demand an 'official apology' from the writers.
'Are the writers suggesting that Singapore is some sort of sex haven? I am sure they must have confused us with some other cities,' he wrote.
'But this type of insulting remark is something that I would not like to hear... This sort of unfounded remark is damaging to our country's reputation.'
S'pore and the movies
Welcome to Singapore! - Chow Yun Fat's pirate chief in Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
If someone were to tell you this ship was headed for Singapore, what would you say? - Sailor Hayes (Evan Parke) in the 2005 remake of King Kong
Clearly you've never been to Singapore. -Captain Jack Sparrow (Johhny Depp) in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)
It's time for Paul to take a little trip. Where do I send the ****? Dallas? Paris? Singapore? London? - Bateman (Christian Bale) thinking aloud about what to do with his latest victim in American Psycho (2000)
I heard about you in Singapore. How you'd captured the biggest animal on earth and taken him back to New York. - Villain Helstrom (John Marston) talking to the hero in Son Of Kong (1933)
When contacted, AXN Asia's executive director Wong Yan-Jong said in a statement that 'AXN has a team that screens all programming content to ensure that our TV programmes adhere to the guidelines set out by media authorities'.
Attempts to contact the show's writers through AXN were unsuccessful.
Private tutor Alison Ling, 32, who also follows the series, said she was 'a bit offended' that the writers got their facts mixed up and did not pay attention to details.
'I think the Americans might have this false impression that all Asian cities are the same, and they don't know the difference between Thailand, Singapore and other Asian countries.
'Singapore is renowned for shopping and dining, that's why (the comment about) credit card. But condoms? That I really don't understand.'
Mr Chua said he feels the remark is 'absolutely untrue' because Singapore is not known to have a vibrant sex trade.
But he fears that it might give other viewers the wrong impression that Singapore is a 'trashy place', an 'alternative' for Caucasians looking for some exotic entertainment.
Not that this is the first time a Hollywood TV show has rankled Asians. In October last year, the producers of hit show Desperate Housewives apologised to the Philippine government when one of their episodes questioned the training of Philippine doctors.
House, an Emmy-winning series, is reportedly the most-watched scripted programme on the Fox Network in the US.
The third season, which ended in May last year, attracted a record-breaking 27 million viewers, according to AXN.
The series airs in 50 countries worldwide.
But some Singaporean viewers took the condom remark in their stride.
Student Charlene Kwan, 21, believes it's actually good for Singapore to get more mention on global TV.
She said: 'It's a very subtle promotion. It gives our country a tongue-in-cheek mischievousness.
'It will not hurt us in any way at all. It's a TV show, it's entertainment. You'll never take it for fact. People are not so gullible.'
This article was first published in The New Paper on Jan 23, 2008
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