SINGAPORE — The National Environment Agency (NEA) is calling a tender for the building of an ash scattering garden at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery.
The site, located within an existing garden at the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex, will be named “Garden of Peace” and designed as a secular facility open to all religious faiths, said the NEA in a press release on Tuesday (16 April).
Expected to be operational by 2020, the “open concept” garden will feature designated lanes for walkways and ash scattering.
Other features will include the planting of shrubs and vegetation to demarcate the garden’s boundaries; separate ash scattering lanes for privacy; a bed of pebbles on the lanes to allow ashes to naturally percolate into the soil underneath, and user-friendly facilities, such as wheelchair access and seating areas.
No religious rites permitted
The NEA added that religious ceremonies or rites – such as the burning of joss sticks, food offerings and playing of instruments or music – will not be permitted within the garden “to maintain a clean and serene environment” as well as its “secular nature”.
“The awarded contractor for the tender will be required to integrate the ash scattering lanes and supporting facilities to the existing garden at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex, as well as enhance the existing garden landscape,” said the NEA.
More details about the various aspects of the inland ash scattering services, such as operational procedures and booking arrangements, will be shared at a later juncture, the agency added.
The move comes after the NEA had announced in June last year that inland ash scattering services will be available at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex in 2020, and at Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex in 2021.
This was in response to interest from members of the public for such services similar to those available in South Korea, Taiwan, China, the United States, and Australia. Consultations on the matter were held from August to December 2017 with the various religious groups, after-death care service providers and the general public.