SINGAPORE: Inland ash scattering (IAS) services will soon be introduced at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex and Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a media release on Friday (Jun 22).
The service is an additional option for the management of cremated human remains in Singapore, said the agency, following the conclusion of a series of consultations with the industry and various stakeholders.
IAS services will be introduced at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex in 2020 and Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex in 2021.
This move was in response to interest expressed by some members of the public for such practices to be made available here, similar to other countries or regions such as Korea, Taiwan, China, the United States and Australia.
"This series of consultations took place from August to December 2017, and involved the various religious groups, after-death care service providers and the general public," said NEA.
"The industry and key stakeholders were consulted on various aspects of the IAS services, such as design criteria, user experience, operational procedures, booking arrangements and cultural and religious needs."
NEA added that there was also feedback that the user experience at the facility should be respectful and dignified, and that the facility should be secular and open to all faiths.
It added that, where appropriate, NEA will incorporate the feedback and suggestions given during the consultations.
The agency will also be calling tenders this year for the design and development works for both IAS facilities, it added.
Currently, ashes from cremated human bodies can be stored at home or in a columbarium, or scattered at a designated area at sea.
Last year, NEA announced it was planning to introduce the option of scattering cremated remains at Government-run facilities on land.
Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor told Parliament in January that NEA was "consulting stakeholders, religious leaders as well as funeral parlour directors" before making an announcement later in the year.