<Credits: Marine Parade Town Council>
We refer to Mr Sanson Ng’s Facebook post on his friend’s encounter with Marine Parade Town Council and Essential Maintenance Service Unit (EMSU) to book a multi-purpose hall for a wake.
Residents are able to book the facility of their block for funerals or other functions (such as wedding or birthday party). When the void deck of the block is unavailable because it is occupied by shops/social centres, used for upgrading or improvement projects, booked for other functions, residents may choose to use the facilities of the nearby blocks within their vicinity.
The Town Council is mindful that frequent use of the void deck space or multi-purpose hall for funerals will cause inconvenience to other residents living in the block. Hence, the Town Council restricts the use of the void deck space or multi-purpose hall to residents within the block or who are living near the block. If there are no such restrictions, residents living in the nearby blocks would have to face additional traffic and noise on a regular basis.
Essential Maintenance Service Unit (EMSU), a 24-hour service hotline provider for both Marine Parade Town Council and Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, first received a call on 27 August 2016 (Saturday) at about 1:00am enquiring on the booking of the multi-purpose hall at Blk 256A Serangoon Central Drive. The call operator noted that the void decks within the caller's vicinity were occupied. Thus, as this was a special request made by the caller to use Blk 256A Serangoon Central Drive, the operator had to seek permission from the respective Town Council officer.
As a general guideline, such special request has to be considered carefully even within the Town Council's estate. If the request falls outside the precinct boundary even within the same town, the request may also be rejected. There is no political consideration and decisions are made based on residents' interest to ensure that the use of the space is properly managed.
The consideration of rejection is based on the interest of our residents staying nearby. The EMSU operator assisted the caller in securing an alternative funeral site within her Town on 27 August 2016 (Saturday) morning. A follow-up call to the applicant was made by our Town Council staff on 29 August 2016 (Monday) morning.
Mr Sanson Ng did not have the full facts nor did he contact our Town Council office to seek an explanation. Had he done so, we would have explained the situation to him that the Town Council does not reject applications due to political reasons. Whilst we wish to assist every family which is undergoing bereavement, the Town Council also has to consider the interest of residents living in the area.