I’m not disturbed by the spectre of unseen beings in limousines or on foot, as long as they don’t disturb me. During their holiday away from Hades during Singapore’s Hungry Ghost Festival, the souls of the dead have every right to roam the earth, partake in boisterous auctions and watch, with unseeing eyes, getai performances by gaudy and surprisingly talented singers. After all, the gates of hell open just once a year, and these poor wandering spirits should be given the time and space to do their own thing. Too bad their inauspicious aura affects countless businesses in real estate, home renovation, wedding banquets and, to a certain extent, new car sales.
The flip side is the morbid boom enjoyed by getai organisers, comperes and performers, and shops selling prayer paraphernalia. There is a price to pay, though, in the form of increased noise and air pollution.
When will brilliant Chinese scientists invent a system of ashless transactions between the living and their dear departed? Direct credit of ash cash into that hell bank account is not only convenient, it also keeps our environment clean. And there ought to be a special “DH Hell” courier service for people to dispatch gadgets, gold nuggets, designer clothes and fashion accessories (all made of highly combustible paper, of course) to bungalows down below to appease their dead relatives.