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Town councils must tackle burning issue

Town councils would do well to clarify policies regarding the open burning of joss sticks and incense paper, especially during the Hungry Ghost Festival, and how this is monitored (“Understanding Hungry Ghost ‘spiritual spaces’ in Singapore”; Aug 25, online).

Tan Jin Kien

Town councils would do well to clarify policies regarding the open burning of joss sticks and incense paper, especially during the Hungry Ghost Festival, and how this is monitored (“Understanding Hungry Ghost ‘spiritual spaces’ in Singapore”; Aug 25, online).

The burning occurs throughout the year too, around public housing estates and, when residents prefer to perform prayer activities closer to their home, along the common corridors.

There is not only the discomfort caused by smoke but also the fire hazard and unsightliness. On my floor, red wax drippings have become a recurring feature, despite the cleaners’ hard work.

Town councils have a responsibility to ensure the comfort of residents and should consider setting time limits on the burning.

They must standardise enforcement, regardless of whether the burning is religious or non-religious, and monitor the designated areas as well as the corridors.

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