At a memorial parlor located in Malaysia's capital of Kuala Lumpur, which more closely resembles a five-star hotel than a funeral home, receptionists in smart black suits greet visitors warmly when they step into the grand lobby.
NV Multi Corporation Berhad, Southeast Asia's only listed bereavement services provider, offers a range of funeral services and runs cemeteries and columbariums in six countries - Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Taiwan.
The company plans everything from hearse arrangements to make-up artists to securing the most auspicious funeral plots. Every conceivable luxury for the deceased is available at package prices ranging from $4,000 to $12,000 to cater to the needs of people from all walks of life.
However, it's the top-of-the-range services that are proving to be increasingly popular.
A gold-plated casket is priced at $125,000, while a burial urn crafted from Canadian jade costs over $60,000.
Demand for the company’s services is growing steadily both at home and abroad, especially in places like Singapore and Indonesia.
[David Kong Hon Kong, Company Founder]:
"We are lucky because our product is an essential need. Everyone needs it, during good times and bad times."
A changing mindset about death and funerals has been one reason for the growing popularity of luxury funerals. Young adults especially are seen planning ahead for their afterlife due to limited burial space and rising prices.
This twenty-nine-year-old property agent and his family bought a few niches in a columbarium two years ago. It helped the family avoid the rush of last-minute preparations when his grandfather passed away earlier this year.