Town council drags feet to support funeral wake and only moved after knowing MP was visiting

Town council drags feet to support funeral wake and only moved after knowing MP was visiting

SINGAPORE — Jurong West Town Council staff have been accused of neglecting their duties during a funeral wake and only responding to the matter after hearing that a Member of Parliament was planning to visit.

The funeral wake of a Chinese family at Block 422 Jurong West encountered difficulties due to the town council’s uncooperative attitude.

According to an acquaintance of the family who attended the wake, it was said that the family and funeral service company contacted the town council over 20 times to have the electrical box opened for the cleansing water fountain, but to no avail, making the family unnecessarily frustrated.

It is a traditional Chinese funeral practice for guests to rinse their hands or wash their faces with water steeped with pomelo leaves or loose flowers, symbolizing good luck and the cleansing of bad luck.

To make it more convenient for guests, funeral service providers often place basins of loose flower water at the exit of funeral wakes.

The power boxes that the town council had opened only on 5 March

Furthermore, on 4 March, the power for the wake was tripped after an electrical wreath was plugged on site. The town council allegedly did not take any action until it was revealed that an MP was planning to visit the wake that afternoon. The MP in question was People’s Action Party’s Xie Yaoquan.

Although the power was eventually restored by town council staff before the MP’s visit, the additional power box remained unopened, and they were only opened the following day, on 5 March.

Unfortunately, this delay of over 30 hours meant that many guests were not able to use the cleansing water fountain provided by the funeral service company.

The family of the deceased was understandably unhappy with the slow response. The wake was held for less than 72 hours between 3-6 March, and the family felt that the town council’s inaction had prevented guests from performing an important part of the funeral ritual. No reason was given for the delay in response by the town council.

The Online Citizen Asia (TOC) reached out to the Jurong West Town Council for a response but did not receive a reply to their query.

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