Somehow, this sounds familiar...
I am from the Phillippines and I first came to Singapore 2 years to work as a bank manager. I would love to know the Singaporean culture better but while people pay respect to the dead during the Hungry Ghost Festival, they should not leave incense papers scattered all over the placeForeigners coming to a country and demanding legislation be changed to suit their wants and preferences. Now, where have I heard of that before?
I hope I do not offend the Chinese or Buddhist community in Singapore but can't they not burn so many incense paper as I am sure many will know this kind of superstition is no longer valid in the current modern world.
I am planning to bring my kids over in the next few years and I hope that they will not have to suffer from any respiratory problem in the "7th Month" every year.
I have already email to the relevant authorities and hopefully the government will listen to my advice and ban burning of papers in the public.
"I love the culture here...but want to ban it anyway." You don't "fundamentally change" something you love.
If you don't want to take it as a religious issue, then it's a damn cultural issue. Really, banning burnt offerings altogether, a custom that's persisted for more than a millennium, because you don't like it.
We are nice people. We use incense bins, or burn the stuff on the grass, and do it away from storm drains, potential fire hazards, and roadsides (or at least, less than before). It used to be that people didn't even bother using cages when burning paper cars and mansions.
People don't clear up the ash piles or hell money because it's supposed to belong to the dead now.
Now, could this be a fabrication? Well, of course it could. But the shitstorm of a response provoked shows that even the local lumpenproletariat are beginning to be more than a little incensed (no pun intended), and the local Brahmin class appears to be either ignorant or dismissive of the concerns raised. Interesting.
But what's going on - it's happening at a smaller scale than in the West, but still happening nevertheless.