Singapore13% dip in complaints about incorrect burning of joss paper during seventh...

13% dip in complaints about incorrect burning of joss paper during seventh month rituals this year

The Municipal Services Office (MSO) has revealed that it has seen a 13 per cent decrease in the number of complaints it receives about the incorrect burning of joss paper during the seventh month of the lunar calendar. The government body has attributed this improvement to the launch of a public education campaign on the proper way to burn joss papers.

MSO said in a statement that the number of such complaints increased in recent years, but this year it has fallen back to 2015 levels. Town councils also found that fewer residents complained this year about improper joss paper burning practices.

According to the data released by the authorities, a total of 2,999 complaints were received during the seventh lunar month this year, a marked decrease from 3,441 last year and 4,333 the year before.

Public education posters on how to burn joss paper appropriately were posted at locations where joss paper is typically sold this year. In addition, Getai hosts worked hand in hand to educate the public on this issue during live broadcasts.

MSO has lauded the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Norms for Joss Paper Burning for achieving this drop in complaints through its work since it was launched in July, this year.

AfA aims to change people’s misconceptions about cultural practices through public education, and hopes to change habits within the next three to five years. Specifically, AfA works to get a deeper understanding of the psychology of the people who burn joss paper and better educate them.

In addition to AfA’s work, PAP-run town councils have placed an additional¬†4,600 incinerators in neighbourhoods during the seventh lunar month this year, in a bid to encourage people to keep the environment clean during their worship and rituals.

The authorities will launch another round of public education activities during the Lunar New Year to reinforce proper joss burning practices during the festive period.

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