NEA to allow public to scatter ashes of loved ones inland

The exterior of Mandai Crematorium. The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday (Oct 3) it plans to introduce the new ecological burial concept of inland ash scattering services at government-run facilities as an additional option for the p
The exterior of Mandai Crematorium. The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday (Oct 3) it plans to introduce the new ecological burial concept of inland ash scattering services at government-run facilities as an additional option for the placement of cremated remains.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Instead of placing cremated remains in a niche or scattering ashes out at sea, people might soon be able to scatter the ashes of their loved ones in a garden here.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday it plans to introduce the new ecological burial concept of inland ash scattering services at Government-run facilities as an additional option for the placement of cremated remains.

NEA operates the Choa Chu Kang Columbarium and Mandai Columbarium.

This move comes in response to interest from some members of the public and is in line with similar practices in societies such as Korea, Taiwan, China, the United States and Australia, said NEA. The agency noted that funerary service companies in Singapore are already offering some options, such as turning ashes into commemorative diamonds.

For now, it is unclear how the mechanics of NEA's Inland Ash Services will work, the design of the site and how it will function.

The agency said it will first consult the industry and stakeholders over the next few months on aspects such as design criteria, user experience, operational procedures, booking arrangements, and cultural and religious needs. It will reach out to the various religious groups, after-death care service providers and the general public.

NEA said it will incorporate the relevant feedback and suggestions into the provision of its Inland Ash Services at its Government-run facilities here.