Singapore Grave Exhumation Services

Singapore Grave Exhumation Services – The Complete Guide 2023

And, today’s topic is Singapore Grave Exhumation Services.

Or, you may say Grave Exhumation Services in Singapore – A complete guide.

As one of the most developed country, Singapore had its own Crypt Burial System introduced in 2007. However, Exhumation of the grave was introduced in the year of 1998.

Singapore, a bustling metropolis known for its modernity and innovation, also boasts a rich tapestry of history and tradition. One aspect of this history often overlooked is the practice of exhumation.

Singapore’s exhumation services play a vital role in preserving the past, making way for the future, and honoring cultural traditions.

Before, if you are interested please read,

  1. Green Funeral Singapore
  2. International Repatriation Services Singapore
  3. Buddhist Funeral Package Singapore
  4. Christian Funeral Package Singapore
  5. Taoist Funeral Package Singapore

Understanding Singapore Exhumation Services

Exhumation is the process of digging up and relocating human remains from one burial site to another. In Singapore, this practice is primarily associated with cemeteries, as the city-state faces limited land availability. As the population grows and urban development expands, burial grounds often need to make way for housing, infrastructure, and other essential facilities.

In Singapore, exhumations are carried out in accordance with revised laws governing burial grounds. The New Burial Policy, introduced back in 1998, stipulates that a burial ground retains its validity for a maximum of 15 years.

Actually, this policy was a response to Singapore’s persistent land scarcity issue. Once the 15-year period has elapsed, the graves are scheduled for exhumation, presenting families of the deceased with a choice between cremation and interment, a decision often influenced by their religious convictions.

Recently, a significant number of graves underwent exhumation at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery in Singapore. The initiative to execute this large-scale exhumation was announced in 2017, primarily to facilitate further land development.

The government’s objective was to repurpose these lands for the expansion of an airbase, impacting burial sites belonging to diverse religious and cultural communities, including Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and various Chinese clans.

If you find yourself in the situation of needing to exhumate the grave of a family member or a beloved individual, the process can be initiated through the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) website.

Cultural Significance

Grave Exhumation services in Singapore take cultural diversity into account. The nation is a melting pot of ethnicities, each with its own set of customs and traditions regarding burial and death. Understanding and respecting these customs is of utmost importance during exhumation. For instance:

  1. Chinese Tradition: In accordance with Chinese tradition, some families may opt to exhume their loved ones after a specific number of years, typically three to five, to allow for the remains to be placed in an ancestral urn. This is believed to bring the deceased closer to their ancestors, fostering a sense of continuity.
  2. Muslim Tradition: Muslims in Singapore adhere to Islamic burial practices, which include placing the deceased in a simple grave facing the holy city of Mecca. Exhumation may be required if the initial burial was temporary or if the grave site is needed for other purposes.
  3. Christian and Other Traditions: Singapore is home to various religious and cultural groups, each with its own beliefs and practices surrounding death and burial. Exhumation services accommodate these diverse needs.

Regulation and Procedures

Grave Exhumation services in Singapore are tightly regulated to ensure respectful and dignified handling of human remains. The process typically involves obtaining the necessary permits, engaging professionals with expertise in exhumation, and ensuring that the remains are treated with the utmost care and respect.

Environmental Considerations

Apart from cultural and regulatory aspects, environmental concerns also come into play when considering exhumation. The land released from cemeteries can be repurposed for green spaces, housing, or other developmental needs. This process helps optimize land use in a densely populated city while minimizing the environmental impact.

Honoring the Past

While exhumation may be necessary for various practical reasons, it is essential to remember that it is not just about making space for development. It is also a means of honoring the past and preserving the memories of those who have gone before us. Singapore’s grave exhumation services are a testament to the delicate balance between progress and tradition.

Singapore Grave Exhumation Services PHASES

As per NEA, Singapore Grave Exhumation Services conducted in the following phases,

  • Phase 1 – Chinese & Hindu cemetery (1946 – 1961)
  • Phase 2(a) – Chinese cemetery (1954-1971)
  • Phase 2(b) – Muslim cemetery (1973-1980)
  • Phase 3 – Chinese cemetery (1968 – 1978)
  • Phase 4 – Muslim cemetery (1980 – 1986)
  • Phase 5 – Chinese cemetery (1947 – 1975)
  • Phase 6 – Muslim cemetery (1984 – 2000)
  • Phase 7 – Chinese cemetery (1955 – 1999)
  • Phase 7A – Chinese cemetery (1992 – 2013)
  • Phase 8 – Muslim cemetery (1990 – 2003)


  • Step 1: Once the NEA has authorized the grave exhumation, a funeral service provider commences the foundation ceremony (groundbreaking ceremony). The ritual is influenced by the religious traditions and beliefs of the deceased’s family.
  • Step 2: Family members, if any, will assemble and participate in the prayer ritual (if any), which typically commences after sunset. Following the exhumation, packing, and packing of remains, the site will be cleared, and the emptied tomb area will be refilled with new soil.
  • Step 3: Our team shall proceed to transport the remains for cremation. We will assist in picking the bones and collecting the ashes. Families may request religious materials and other items needed for the cremation. The funeral services will place the ashes inside an urn. Afterwards, it’ll be brought to determine the family’s preferred columbarium.
  • Step 4: Should the departed require any final rites, a monk/priest/chanting master will conduct them. The exhumation, cremation, and internment process concludes there.


City Funeral Pte Ltd. is a funeral services company in Singapore which provide wide range of funeral services. You can understand the complete process of funeral is stressful and lengthy. Thus, without a professional help it is hard to arrange a funeral. And, grave excavation or grave exhumation service in Singapore is a very complex process. To conclude, if you choose City Funeral for Grave Exhumation Services, the task will be much easier.

We can help you identify a monk or priest to officiate the disinterment as part of the exhumation process. We may also provide transportation if you wish the remains cremated or transported to a private or government columbarium. You may schedule private exhumations at any time and date of your choosing. You can even observe the entire procedure and reclaim what remains of the burial.

City Funeral has a large range of marble urns to help you move your loved ones to their final resting place. Choose from a variety of urns to keep your loved one’s ashes safe and secure.

Final Words

Singapore’s grave exhumation services are a reflection of the city-state’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage while addressing the practical challenges of limited land availability.

The respectful and regulated nature of these services underscores Singapore’s dedication to honoring the past even as it paves the way for the future. By understanding and appreciating the significance of exhumation, we gain a deeper insight into the complex tapestry of Singapore’s history and traditions.

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