Burning incense outside one's HDB flat causes smoke to enter neighbouring flats, which can be unbearable.
When I checked, the town council said residents are not restricted from carrying out small-scale controlled burning involving prayer rituals at the common area directly outside their flat.
It instead sought the understanding of neighbouring flats, saying Singapore is a multiracial and multi-religious country.
Certainly, Singaporeans understand and respect these basic principles and are willing to accommodate religious rituals, especially during special seasons or festivals.
However, when such burning goes on for hours every day, the air pollution poses a serious health hazard to vulnerable groups living nearby, such as those with respiratory problems, the elderly and young children.
Such incessant burning also gives rise to fire safety concerns.
While there is a need to respect religious practices, there is also a need to protect the right of residents to a healthy and safe environment.
Residents in neighbouring flats have the right to breathe clean and fresh air in their own homes.
Png Jia Yan