Sengkang temple site re-tender draws 4 bids

The site at Fernvale Link.
The site at Fernvale Link.PHOTO: ST FILE

Four applications for the development of a Chinese temple in Sengkang have been submitted, three months after a new tender was called following controversy about a planned columbarium.

The second tender - for the site at Fernvale Link - closed yesterday and included only bids from non-profit organisations. It came after residents protested against the planned construction of a commercial columbarium in January.

The new bidders for the plot are the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society, Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation Singapore, Lorong Koo Chye Sheng Hong Temple Association and the Taoist Peng Hong Association. Provisional tender results were posted on HDB's website yesterday. A decision on which group will be awarded the tender will be announced at a later date.

The Peng Hong Association was one of the original bidders for the first tender in May last year.

The 2,000 sq m plot of land was originally awarded to funeral service firm Life Corporation's subsidiary Eternal Pure Land, which planned to run both a Chinese temple and columbarium at the site.

However, the tender was cancelled in May this year after complaints that a commercial entity had been allowed to bid for a piece of land slated for religious development, as well as profit from the development of a columbarium.

When the re-tender was put up in June, there were new conditions in place stating that only religious groups were allowed to bid. Only registered societies, charities and non-profit companies could qualify.

The Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society topped the latest tender with a bid of $6 million - beating Eternal Pure Land's bid during the first tender of $5.2 million.

A spokesman for the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation Singapore said its plans are still in the works, but a columbarium is not one of them. It submitted a bid of $4.58 million. The Lorong Koo Chye Sheng Hong Temple Association, a Taoist group, offered $3.88 million. The Peng Hong Association offered a bid of $3 million.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2015, with the headline 'Sengkang temple site re-tender draws 4 bids'. Print Edition | Subscribe