Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just follow the book

Retired US lawyer's last wish: Scatter my ashes at Tiong Bahru Park
30 December 2008

HIS last request - to have his ashes scattered in Tiong Bahru Park
Those were the instructions of a 76-year-old American who had grown to love Singapore since his first visit in 1993, reported Shin Min Daily News.

Retired lawyer Paul Lawson had even developed a passion for durians and nonya food.

He first met Singaporean Kit Lam, a 51-year-old manager, at a party in San Francisco 16 years ago. They hit it off immediately.

At that time, the American had never heard of Singapore and had never visited Asia.

In 1993, he visited Mr Lam here. He liked it so much that he returned every year, staying at Mr Lam's home each time.

Mr Lam lives near Tiong Bahru Park, and Mr Lawson would go for morning walks there, even making friends with other park goers.

Then Mr Lawson was struck down by cancer earlier this year and underwent two operations.
He eventually lapsed into a week-long coma before dying on 2Jul.

Mr Lawson's family sent his ashes to Singapore, following his instructions. But he could not have his park wish fulfilled.

The National Environment Agency website states that after cremation, 'the ashes of the deceased can be stored at home or in a columbarium'.

The ashes can also be scattered at sea, 'at the designated site located about 1.5nautical miles (2.8km) south of Pulau Semakau', off the main island of Singapore.

So Mr Lam decided to place them in his home in Tiong Bahru.

Last Saturday, Mr Lam also hosted a farewell gathering for Mr Lawson.

Mr Lam said: 'I believe that Paul wouldn't want a tearful goodbye. He'd want us to remember him with a smile on our faces.'

Er.. … to me I just think Mr Lawson just got “Tua” by his Singaporean friend Lam Kit Man.

When Kit Man’s deceased friend’s LAST WISH to have his ash scattered at Tiong Bahru Park was put upon him. He just has to check the NEA website and denied Mr Lawson’s LAST WISH by some ambiguous statement on the website. (In fact I can’t find anywhere on NEA website that prohibit people of scattering the ashes in the park)

Geezz… I suspect some people have been scattering some or all of their ashes in some parts of Singapore already and more so NEA website did not say you Cannot scatter the ashes but only suggest what you can do with the deceased ashes.

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