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'All the ashes fly into my home,' resident complains about nearby incense burners – Singapore News

She says she has complained to the ‘relevant authorities’ but received no response

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SINGAPORE: In a Facebook post, a woman complained about the incense burners set up close to her home. “Illegal setup of private incense burners at my void deck. All the ashes fly into my home and this is not the first time. When strong wind blows, the hot burning fire ashes may fly into residents home,” she wrote on COMPLAINT SINGAPORE’s Facebook page. 

She also declared that she contacted ‘relevant authorities’ to look into her complaint but  received no response from them. 

“Emailed a few times to relevant authorities but yet all we got were silence. This issue is the same culprits who does this every time yet they get away scot free every single time,” the woman wrote. 

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Netizens commented on the post. 

One user said that the setup is not illegal, and mentioned: “Normally this big cage for incense paper burning need to apply for temporary permit before it can be setup. So what you say about them of illegal setup of cage is not correct.” 

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Another user declared that these are bad for the environment and people’s health. “Actually all these burning are bad for environment, humans and animals. Inhalation causes respiratory issues and climate change,” the comment stated. 

One more user advised that she should get the reactions of other residents as well. “Gather feedback from those neighbours who are affected n approach MP again. A lone voice is hard to illicit a response, especially if the burning bin is likely to get approval from town council,” the user remarked. 

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What does the SG law say about incense burning? 

According to the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, there are no regulations against burning of incense in public places as of now. 

“Currently, there are no regulations against the burning of incense in public places. Being a multi-cultural society, the Government encourages members of public, including temples and residents, to practise graciousness and consideration for the environment and neighbouring premises, when carrying out religious practices in public places. The public is advised to clean up the place after they have made their offerings. When burning joss paper, candles etc., they should make use of the proper pits and containers provided at the designated points, such as those provided by the Town Councils,” it said. 

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Instead, everyone is advised to use incense bins to prevent the scattering of incense papers, and to clean up afterwards. 

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“Although there are no explicit regulations, religious representatives, organizations and the government has been encouraging the use of incense bins and to prevent the scattering of incense paper. Even if you have to scatter the incense paper, they also advise the people to clean up after the offerings. The cleaners will also have a hard time cleaning up all the incense paper,” it added. 

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