Resident takes issue with neighbor who burnt offerings outside flat; questions impartiality of authorities

Photos: Sinchita Sathish / Facebook
Photos: Sinchita Sathish / Facebook

Claiming that no action has been taken by the authorities even after raising the issue through the proper channels, a Woodlands HDB resident has resorted to social media to bring attention to her long drawn-out dispute with an “incorrigible” neighbor, who was pictured burning joss paper right along the common corridor.

Sinchita Sathish took to Facebook on Saturday to air her grievances with her neighbors, accusing them of unneighbourly behavior. According to her, they keep sweeping dust right onto the front of her doorstep and her gardening area, aside from the clearly inconsiderate act of burning incense paper right outside their homes. Not to mention a potential breach of fire safety, considering the intensity of the flames pictured in a snapshot by Sinchita.

Photo: Sinchita Sathish / Facebook
Photo: Sinchita Sathish / Facebook

HDB house rules state that the burning of religious incense papers and offerings should only be done in burning bins already provided at the building’s external areas. The burning of incense paper is a Taoist tradition commonly seen in public during the Hungry Ghost Festival, but doing so right in front of multiple houses is something that the National Environment Agency (NEA) would take issue against.

“Devotees who wish to burn incense as part of their religious observance should do so with consideration for others,” wrote NEA in an advisory.

‘Above the law’

The thing that Sinchita was most aggrieved about is that she believes her concerns are being swept under the rug because her neighbor is a prominent community figure. According to Sinchinta, her neighbor’s husband is a chairperson of the Sembawang Zone E Residents’ Network.

“One cannot help but consider that there could be a correlation between the fact that perhaps as the spouse of the (Residents’ Committee) Chairperson, she is being granted special concessions, such as her behavior that is unfit of a Residents’ Committee member, and let alone a normal civic-minded member of society being overlooked.”

The couple accused by Sinchita as being “incorrigible neighbors”. The husband is said to have smoked along the common corridor even though common corridors, stairwells, staircase landings, and void decks are all non-smoking areas as listed under the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act.

As for the wife, Sinchita claims that she “resorted to violence” by physically assaulting her.

Again, Sinchita questioned the impartiality of government-affiliated organizations and how it treats the people in positions of authority.

“My question would be very simple: how is it that despite my raising issues with the Singapore Police Force, National Environment Agency, Housing & Development Board, The People’s Association and even the Community Mediation Centre there has been absolutely no action taken against this woman?

Frankly, the kampung spirit is absolute rubbish if it lets individuals like this retain membership at organizations despite vile behavior.”

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