Fernvale columbarium: “It is not only Fernvale Lea residents that is affected”

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Over 400 future residents of Fernvale Lea and residents of Fernvale link turned up for  dialogue session called by Dr Lam Pin in, MP of Seng Kang West SMC after concerns from the residents came up to him about the planned Chinese temple and columbarium at Fernvale Link.

The dialogue session also had representatives of the Life Corporation Pte Ltd, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Housing Development Board (HDB).

Many of the Fernvale Lea’s future residents were alarmed to know from news that their estate or soon-to-be-completed homes are to be situated next to a Chinese temple, which would house a columbarium within its premises.

In the above video posted online, a resident asked Dr Lam Pin Min, MP for Sengkang West if he was aware of the land tender bid and the columbarium to be built. While Dr Lam said that he was aware but he did not answer the question of whether was he aware that a columbarium was to be built there.

Dr. Lam was pretty much dumbfounded when another resident from another built-to-order (BTO) project at Sengkang asked if their sales brochure had the same wordings to say that there would be a Chinese temple/columbarium.

Three residents in the video all asked if a full refund can be given which Dr. Lam did not reply.

Read the full report of the dialogue session here.

Below is the transcript of the video


Resident: Here, I just want to know, were you aware of the land tender bid?

That they are going to build a columbarium

Dr. Lam: Ok. If you look at the plan, alright? I am aware that there will be a temple site ok? ok?

Whether the, whoever bid for it wants to run a columbarium or not of course you know, it is not up to us to decide. You can’t say you must have a columbarium , you must not have a columbarium.

Resident: You said that some residents they got some problem with childcare and all that, but if you come up with a survey with residents I think columbarium will be the least prority

Dr. Lam: No no, Ok so now..

Resident: Let me finish what I have got to say. Ok if that is the case, you should send a survey form to us those staying there, all staying there now and see what is the consensus.

Which I think don’t really need that fast, by sending a form or letter to us. Which we can send it back to get our feedback what we feel because this is a taboo subject, because very “pan dan” (supertitious)  for a lot of us

And second question for HDB, let say I don’t want to move in to the house can I get back full refund? (Whole hall of residents applause)

They want to cut our CPF for this unit so I got zero now. So they already take a chunk of it , so can I take back my full 100% refund? (Whole hall of residents applause)

Another resident: Earlier it is mentioned there is nothing to hide here but for columbarium but for columbarium it is actually something which is quite sensitive. If this kind of thing is actually quite really different from a temple, if, I would believe that you put a temple slash (/) columbarium many people actually err.. actually decide what they want, what they do not want.

So if you do not mean to really hide out, why don’t you actually put columbrium slash (/) columbarium there so that people can just highlight. Just like when you are sending emails or what . You actually highlight those huge existing important (points) for the rest of them to read.

And my next question is, I would like to illustrate the whole incident I would like to ask you, how would you feel if I tell you I just moved to 1000 urns to the room that you sleep in everyday, next to you, does it make you feel any better? Does it make you feel any better how beautiful and how sound-proof the room filled with 1000 urns is not going to make any things.

So like what he (the first resident) have mentioned I would actually like to know is there is any remedy that that we can actually opt out of this Fernvale project with our full refund, without the one year forfeit. (residents applause)

Dr. Lam: Right for the two comments, we are going back to the first fundamental question. Should there be a temple with columbarium alright?

So now, we understand the difficulties alright? because, while, while we are addressing, try and address the second big issue, the first fundamental question actually came back, should there even be a columbarium there. ok?

You can actually see the challenge you know?

Even if, if err.. the site earmarked as a place of worship you know?

With ancillary uses there is already alot of disagreement some ok some not ok alright.

Err… I think the guy say, Oh, can we, should we have a survey and things like that. alright?

If let say for example , ok? If you going to, err.. change the use or something like that, when you decided to build something that no body, wasn’t already earmarked something like that. I think fair enough we should survey the residents. ok?

For example, for example.

Third resident interrupts: I would like to interrupt, you keep mentioning that Fernvale Lea, that was the sale brochure, it is stated that there is temple worship and columbarium.

I live across the street, Sengkang west main street, I am at Fernvale Ridge, can I ask you when I buy the flat there, did it state that there is going to be a temple slash (/) columbarium there when I buy. I am already staying there so can I also get a refund in that case?  (residents applause)

Dr. Lam: That one we have to, sorry, I don’t know, I have to check your original. err…

Third resident: That is why I want to bring you back the point. Don’t keep stressing it is stated in Fernvale Lea. What about the other BTO project that is surrounding our fernvale lane.

That is just a few minutes away from the columbarium. are they aware of it? Is it stated in their sales brochure that is the question I want to bring you back to . ok? Alright?

Dr. Lam: That one we can verify that according to the Fernvale Ridge whether the site map actually did mention the place of worship as a Chinese temple or not. Ok? because I haven’t check, I don’t want to say it now because I may have said something that is not verified. Ok?

Third resident: Fair enough Dr. Lam but please verify because you think it is only about Fernvale Lea. It is not only Fernvale Lea residents that is affected, the surrounding residential BTOs or project members are also affected. Not just Fernvale Leu right?

Dr. Lam: So, normally from my understanding of a URA master-plan, usually the URA master-plan is actually put up over a long p.. , it is not just one two years to form. It is usually quite long so we have to verify that.

Third resident: Definitely, but even if URA master plan is put up but is not part of our sales factor when we buy for BTO.

Dr. Lam: Ok, so, so that is a subsequent issue. If let say when we put up a site plan for a [ve] development how far would you have to cover? Is it..

Third resident: Only five minutes to the temple.

Ya I know, I understand. So like I said, you know, if it is let say a site plan do we put how far distance away to indicate in the brochure, is that going to be other development in Anchorvale that kind of thing that one we have to verify alright?

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