Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Efforts and Measures to Detect and Prevent Desecration of Tombstones in Cemeteries
Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether NEA conducts inspections of tombstones in cemeteries to detect desecration and, if so, how often; (b) what are other measures to prevent the desecration of tombstones in (i) cemeteries maintained by NEA and (ii) private cemeteries not managed by NEA; and (c) in view of Regulation 9(c) of the Environmental Public Health (Cemeteries) Regulations, whether there are plans for NEA to bear a similar responsibility to prevent vandalism in cemeteries it maintains including liability for the vandalism damage.
1 The National Environment Agency (NEA) manages the Choa Chu Kang (CCK) Cemetery, as well as some closed cemeteries. CCK Cemetery is the only cemetery in Singapore currently open for burials. Similar to other public spaces, the CCK Cemetery is a large open space accessible to the public. Grave monuments, including tombstones, are maintained by the deceased's next-of-kin (NOK). NEA officers conduct regular checks on cleanliness as well as to detect public health and site safety issues such as fallen trees, obstructions to burial blocks or dry vegetation that could cause bush fires.
2 Private cemeteries owned and managed by private entities are no longer open for active burial, and these entities are required to continue maintaining the premises.