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Sengkang Columbarium Fiasco: Not the First Time HDB Has Hidden Similar Information from Residents

If your thought the HDB’s move to bury information on a columbarium from future Fernvale Lea residents was new, think again. The HDB was already pulling stunts like this as far back as 30 years ago.

Look at this letter written to the Straits Times by a resident, who’s mad at the HDB for not informing Clementi residents that it was planning to build a funeral parlour near their homes.

Similar to the Sengkang columbarium incident, the writer laments that residents were not told of this proposed funeral parlour when they were selecting their Clementi flats.

And finally, the dreaded question: isn’t this a breach of faith by the HDB? It took care to include features in the site plan for residents, such as placement of dustbins, but left out any mention of a funeral parlour.

In the Sengkang columbarium incident, the HDB only gave a “maybe we might build a funeral parlour” in the fine print on Fernvale Lea online site plan.

On the sales brochure, there was no mention that a columbarium could be built at all. Rather, it stated in the description that facilities could include other “ancillary uses”.

Residents who only looked at the brochure would be under the impression that a temple would be built at the site, and nothing else.

They would only have been aware that a columbarium would be built if they checked the meaning of “ancillary uses” in the URA’s guidelines.

So folks, it does pay to read history. Because sometimes, it does repeat itself, HDB notwithstanding.

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