Before I begin on this post I’d like to say that I am definitely not one to resort to such extreme measures especially over matters that can be handled in better. alternative ways. But when the situation becomes as dire as this one, then I have no other choice.
Today morning started out fine. I was enjoying breakfast with my mother, something that has become a rarity with our schedules. My mother had advised me against doing this. But that is the kind of person my mother is, patient. I on the other hand, am not willing to show patience to such inconsiderate behaviour. Shortly into our meal, the familiar repugnant odour of incense papers burning. This only rang one thing in my head: it had to be them. My family has not been on speaking terms with the family opposite my home for over a decade and we have grown to live separately, with only one issue: their incense burning.
I opened my door today to this huge flame outside my home and my neighbour, the lady captured in the picture attached burning her incense paper along the common corridor so brazenly. Even as I was taking the photos here she was indifferent, but all I could wonder was how could she do it without flinching when I was struggling to keep my eyes opened as I took these photos? As I write this post in my bedroom which is in the corner most part of my home, my eyes still burn from the incense.
I’ve reported this issue of incense burning multiple times to the town council. I had called them but to no avail. It puzzles me that for a country that prides itself in its efficiency such a glitch can happen. As an individual with childhood asthma and extreme sensitivity to dust and small particles, I found it more baffling that I was told by the police when I had called them today that there’s not much they can do except for me to “close my windows”. I refuse to accept such a futile band-aid solution. Especially when only my main door was opposite theirs and even with it shut I was feeling uncomfortable in my own home.
These neighbours are apparently members of the Residents Committee under my block. May I ask on what grounds are they allowed to be members of the RC when they are aware burning of incense paper at common corridors is not condoned but they continue to do so anyway so brazenly? As an Indian in a multi-cultural society, I am more than aware that individuals are reserved the right to religious expression. But how can such behaviour ever be condoned if it diminishes the quality of living of those around? I refuse to be passive and turn the other cheek at such ludicrous behaviour. If members of other faiths can learn to practice their faiths with consideration to those around them why is there an exception for them?
The fourth photo shows the extent to which they have gone to hide their burning, by conveniently painting their half of the common corridor and leaving my side of the corridor with the same old layer of paint. It definitely does not take a scientist to deduce the extent to which there has been incense burning occurring along the common corridor.
This occured at Block 718 Woodlands Avenue 6, #04-644. Sembawang Town Council Housing & Development Board National Environment Agency (NEA) I implore you to take the just action that should have been taken far long ago about this.