Singapore —Singaporeans who got the shock of their lives upon seeing two open empty coffins floating along the Kallang River near Upper Boon Keng Road on Wednesday, May 8, will be pleased to know these have been removed, according to the National Environment Agency (NEA).
The New Paper reports the NEA as saying, “Our cleaning contractor was activated, and the coffins were removed from the river at around 1:30 pm.”
Photos of the coffins had been widely circulated on both Facebook and Reddit, and Chinese daily newspaper Shin Min Daily News also reported that they were first seen near Block 15 Upper Boon Keng Road.
How the coffins ended up in the river is still unknown, however. The Straits Times reports funeral director Jackie Lee of Lee Teoh Heng Undertaker as surmising that the coffins had come from overseas and had not been disposed of in the proper manner after the bodies inside had been dealt with.
“Whoever dumped the coffins into the river has no morals. After dealing with the bodies, we will always tear apart the coffins before properly disposing of them.”
Since the shipping labels were still visible on coffins in the Shin Min report, Mr Lee says that it’s possible to still determine the parties responsible for them in the first place.
The NEA’s website says that a permit to import a coffin should be obtained should anyone need to bring home the remains for a Singaporean or permanent resident for either cremation or burial.
Although the fact that the river is channeled to water treatment plants should put to rest fears of water pollution, the NEA still urged the public, as well as business firms, to refrain from dumping pollutants and large items into the river, to make sure that the country’s waterways are kept clean.
The managing director of Singapore Indian Casket, SV Khanthan, told the New Paper, “This should not have happened. It is sad and disrespectful.” /TISG
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