Mandai crematorium and columbarium closed on Mar 29 for Lee Kuan Yew's funeral

Mandai crematorium and columbarium closed on Mar 29 for Lee Kuan Yew's funeral

SINGAPORE - The Mandai Crematorium will be closed on Mar 29 from 1pm for the cremation service of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding prime minister of Singapore.

Those observing the Qing Ming festival are advised to leave the premises by 1pm. The columbarium will be closed on Mar 29 from 3pm.

Those planning to visit columbarium are advised to do so before 3pm.

During the Qing Ming festival on Sunday, Apr 5 as well as the Good Friday holiday on Apr 3 and the Sundays within the festival period on Mar 29, Apr 12 and Apr 19, large crowds are expected at the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and the government columbaria at Mandai, Yishun, Mount Vernon and Choa Chu Kang.

Members of the public who wish to avoid the crowds and traffic congestion should avoid these peak periods if possible.

To minimise traffic congestion, visitors are advised to take public transport.

Drivers are advised to follow the directional signs and instructions given by the Traffic Police and traffic wardens.

National Environment Agency (NEA) officers will also be stationed on-site from 6am to 6pm in shifts to provide assistance and directions.

Drivers are advised to park in a considerate manner to aid traffic flow.

Temporary car park lots have been made available at the cemetery during the Qing Ming period.

Alternatively, drivers can park along the left hand side of the cemetery paths.

NEA would also like to remind members of the public who observe religious activities such as burning of incense papers to do so in a considerate manner and keep the environment clean.

The next-of-kin are to exercise discretion when engaging grave maintenance services offered by enterprising individuals or other commercial entities.

Observers are advised to use burners and containers when burning joss paper to help keep the environment clean, minimise fly ash, and reduce fire hazards.

For residents in housing estates, Town Councils will be providing bins and containers for their use.

Burners have also been made available at the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and government columbaria at Mandai, Yishun, Mount Vernon and Choa Chu Kang, during this peak period.

NEA's maintenance works at the cemetery involves regular grass-cutting in the common areas of Choa Chu Kang Cemetery. It does not cover the maintenance of carpet grass and flowering plants on the graves, or maintenance of the monuments and tombstones.

Members of the public may be approached by freelance gardeners or tombstone contractors offering gardening or tombstone maintenance services at the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery for a fee. These are not regulated by NEA.

Next-of-kin who have not made prior private arrangements for such services are advised not to pay anyone who claims to have maintained the graves of their loved ones.

NEA has reminded these freelance gardeners and contractors not to engage in any illegal activities or they may face penalties from the relevant authorities.

Members of the public who encounter freelance gardeners and contractors engaging in any illegal activities such as touting, extortion, harassment and cheating especially during the Qing Ming period may choose to lodge a police report at the nearest Neighbourhood Police Centre or Police Post.

Alternatively, they can contact the Cemetery Office at 6793 7428 during office hours.

For other enquiries, members of the public may contact NEA at 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632).

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