Publishing and finding obituaries in Singapore can be a daunting task, especially during difficult and uncertain times. However, obituaries remain one of the best ways to notify friends and acquaintances of the passing of a loved one. In order to make this process easier for you, we have crafted a guide that will cover all of your questions and concerns regarding obituaries.
What is an Obituary?
Obituaries in Singapore are also commonly known as notices of death. They usually contain the following information: photo of deceased, deceased’s name and alias (if any), age, departed time, names of family members, location of wake, service/prayer details, cortège date and time, burial/cremation details, and contact information of surviving family members.
This information can be useful for friends and acquaintances if they plan on coming by to pay their last respects.
Singapore obituaries are commonly posted in local newspapers like Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao. However, digital obituaries have also recently become common as they can be easily shared on social media platforms and messaging apps. Digital obituaries also have the advantage of posting links and map details right on the obituary page. They also tend to be cheaper compared to print obituaries.
Services like Obits are able to help you quickly publish digital and print obituaries simultaneously.
How do I find an Archived Obituary in Singapore?
The easiest way to find a previously posted obituary in Singapore, regardless of whether it was posted digitally or in print, is to head over to Obits.sg and use their search function. They maintain a large archive of previously posted obituaries and memorials that were posted digitally on their platform or published in print in one of the local newspapers.
Some obituaries are posted on smaller independent websites and those take a little more effort to find. However, they all have decent search functions and easy-to-use interfaces. Two less-common Singapore obituary websites are The Beautiful Memories and SGobituaries.
If however you are unable to find an obituary on any of the sites and would like to find out if an individual has passed on, the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority of Singapore keeps a database of birth and death records that is publicly available. This information takes a little more effort to gather and it will cost you $40. In order to access this service, you can head over to the Online Birth and Death Extracts Application System to begin this process.
What are the different Singapore Obituary posting services and how do I publish an Obituary?
There are a number of different outlets that are used to publish obituaries in Singapore, and their processes are all relatively straightforward. Let’s begin by first checking out each service and their features.
Perhaps the most popular Singapore obituary posting service today is Obits. This service allows you to post digital obituaries, as well as print obituaries in The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Berita Harian, and Tamil Murasu.
Simply head over to Obits.sg, create an account, choose between a digital or print obituary (or both), and begin uploading the relevant details to their website.
Three unique features that can be found on Obits are their RSVP, Place Finder, and QR Code Memorial Plate features. The RSVP feature is especially handy during a pandemic as it has a time slot booking and management system which can help you avoid large crowds showing up at the same time. The Place Finder feature saves the exact location of the final resting place of your loved one on the Obits website. This means you can spend less time looking for the exact location, and more time paying your respects. Finally, the QR Code Memorial Plate feature will have a QR Code plate installed at the niche (a niche is a single compartment within the columbarium) or tombstone of your loved one. When the QR Code is scanned, users will be directed to a Memorial Page on Obits where memories of the deceased can be shared by friends and family. The Memorial Page will also have the exact location of the deceased’s final resting place.
You can give the QR Code Memorial Plate feature a shot by scanning the QR code below.
SPH Classifieds Orbituary
Posting an obituary in one of the SPH newspapers is perhaps the most well-known method of doing it, however it also tends to cost the most (keep reading for a breakdown of costs).
Using the SPH Classifieds channel will allow you to post print obituaries in newspapers like the Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Berita Harian, and Tamil Murasu. Prior to November 2014, all bookings for print obituaries had to be placed at the SPH News Centre in Toa Payoh North in person at the following times:
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 9:45pm
Saturday: 12:30pm to 9:45pm.
Sunday and public holidays: 12:30pm to 9pm.
But with the online service found at SPHObit.com.sg, users can now make a booking anytime at their convenience. For urgent bookings, you can contact SPH Classified directly at +65 6319 5192 and they will get someone in touch with you via WhatsApp or email. The cut off timing for next day print publication is 5pm, so have your materials uploaded at least two hours before so you have ample time to vet a draft that will be provided to you.
Additionally, SPH also has a mandatory digital add-on so all print obituaries will have a digital copy as well.
The Beautiful Memories Orbituary
Another popular Singapore obituary portal is The Beautiful Memories. They were established in August 2015 and have since become one of the fastest growing obituary and memorial portals in Singapore. Their services are targeted specifically for digital, mobile, and social media platforms.
Perhaps the feature that makes The Beautiful Memories stand out from other services is their attention to detail on their obituary and memorial pages. They spare no effort to create a memorable and aesthetically pleasing experience for every obituary and memorial page. They believe that the platform should have the ability to capture the hearts and minds of friends and family of the deceased, which is why so much emphasis is placed on design and aesthetics.
Every obituary and memorial page allows friends and family to share messages, condolences, as well as memories of the deceased. Other useful information like the location of the wake and dates and times of important events are prominently displayed. Every page also has easy-to-access share buttons so you can share the obituary page quickly via social media platforms or messaging apps.
Besides having a visually pleasing design palette, the user interface on their website is also very easy to use with lots of helpful information. At the top of the page is a directory where you can look for various services such as undertakers, funeral directors, psychologists, financial planners, and lawyers. There is also a page on what to do when a death occurs in the family. Nobody ever plans for a tragedy, so such a resource can be extremely helpful during a chaotic period.
Publishing an obituary on the website is very easy. Simply fill in the relevant details and someone from The Beautiful Memories will reach out to you within one working day.
What is the cost of publishing an obituary in Singapore?
It’s all well and good to know how to post an obituary in Singapore, but perhaps the most important question on most people’s minds is, “how much will it cost?” Well, it varies depending on platform and medium.
Without a doubt, posting a Singapore obituary in one of the local newspapers is the most expensive option. This is somewhat understandable as you are essentially purchasing advertising space on one of the main newspapers in Singapore.
The cost of printing an obituary in an SPH newspaper ranges from $790 onwards. Of course, as the size of the print increases, so will the price. There is also a digital add-on for all SPH print obituaries.
In contrast, posting a digital-only obituary on Obits will cost you $100. Add-ons like the QR Code Plate and Memorial Page are additional costs, but they come at a very affordable price of $28 for the QR Code Plate and $5/year for the Memorial Page. The Memorial Page and all the features within it like the Place Finder and shared memories will stay active as long as you stay subscribed.
On the other hand, creating an obituary on The Beautiful Memories will cost $250 and you get all of the features found on their online portal such as social media integration and the ability to upload photos. However, the page only stays active for a year.
Other sites that offer online obituaries also have prices ranging from $100-$300, so you have a number of different options to choose from. If you do decide to create a completely digital obituary, you can also consider websites based out of Singapore like Memories. At the end of the day, the thing that sets most of these digital obituary platforms apart from each other are their unique features.
Digital versus print Obituaries in Singapore
Judging solely by price alone, it may seem like a no-brainer to go fully digital with your obituary. Afterall, they are cheaper, can provide more information, are more interactive (viewers can leave comments and photos), and they will outlast any print medium.
However, a very important factor that you have to consider is digital literacy amongst the older generation. Yes, it is easy to share a digital obituary via WhatsApp or Facebook, but what if the friends and acquaintances of the deceased are older folk who do not have smart devices? Many of them still rely on traditional media like newspapers, the radio, and public free-to-air TV to get their information.
There is also a certain prestige that comes with taking out a page in the local newspaper for an obituary in Singapore. Very often, the ¼ page obituaries are of influential individuals that ran large businesses.
Having said all that, perhaps the two most important factors to consider when deciding between a digital or print obituary in Singapore are the age and socioeconomic status of the friends and acquaintances of the deceased.
All Things Considered on Obituaries
Regardless of which Singapore obituary posting service you decide to engage, it is good to know the different options out there and the features that come with each service. Hopefully this comprehensive guide has helped you pick out the best option for your situation and smoothens the process.
Ang Brothers Funeral Services
While the previous three Singapore obituary portals mentioned are solely for posting obituaries, there are funeral homes that provide all-in-one services. Ang Brothers Funeral Services is one such service provider and it can possibly save you some time and money to do everything through a single service provider.
Ang Brothers Funeral Services is one of the leading funeral parlours in Singapore and has served more than 8000 families since its inception. They are a one-stop solution for all your funeral needs and they are committed to providing services that give comfort to bereaved families. They provide various religious services — buddhist, taoist, soka, catholic, and christian — as well as free-thinker services.
They have amassed a large number of positive reviews throughout the years and can easily point you in the right direction for any of your needs during difficult times.