Site at Changi Beach to be designated for post-death rites, will not be used for scattering of ashes
SINGAPORE: An area along Changi Beach will be designated for post-death rites, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Wednesday, adding that this overrides an earlier proposed site in Tanah Merah.
The agency said it has been working with the relevant authorities to identify a suitable coastal site on mainland Singapore for post-death rites such as prayers and rituals, followed by the release of offerings in the sea.
"The provision of such a facility, which will be properly demarcated and enclosed, is in response to public feedback to preserve the dignity and decorum of after-death proceedings, and to ensure adequate provision of after-death facilities to meet the needs of the various communities in Singapore," said NEA.
"The facility will be open to all communities, although the Hindu community is expected to be the main users," said the agency, adding that the facility's more detailed parameters are still being worked out.
The site will have amenities such as a car park and toilets, and will be within walking distance of public bus services.
While the site is fairly accessible, near Car Park 2 of Changi Beach Park and about five minutes’ walk from Changi Village, NEA said that any inconvenience to the public would be minimal.
The agency also said that there would be no scattering of ashes at the facility.
“The site will be kept within a reasonable footprint based on usage needs, and will be used for post-death rites only, and not for the scattering of ashes. The latter will continue to be done at approved locations at sea, as is the case now,” the agency said.
“It is also expected that the frequency of such rites will be low and the rites will mostly be conducted during pre-dawn hours, thus minimising any inconvenience to beach users and members of the public.”
The agency said that the site was chosen following an "extensive period" of review and consultations with relevant public agencies and stakeholders.
A site in Tanah Merah had been proposed earlier for the conduct of post-death rites. NEA had commissioned a study to assess the possible environmental impact of a facility there and it did not highlight any significant adverse impact.
However, a preliminary design study turned up some safety concerns arising from the gradient of the beach and sea tidal conditions at the site.
"We will thus not be proceeding with the site at Tanah Merah," said NEA.