[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, July 08, 2007

[Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple]
1. Last Saturday, a group of us visited the seaside temple before its impending shift to new 4-storey premises nearby. Although the new temple building is modern and has good facilities, its site cannot compare with the old next to the Commando jetty where you can hear the waves lapping the shore.

2. The success of the Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple in recents years is quite remarkable. It is opened 24 hours a day and festival events are extremely well-attended. Some say that many who pray there touch 4D lottery. Because of the generous donations, the temple has been able to help fund many good causes. All of us in nearby constituencies have benefited in one way or another.

3. What is fascinating is the co-location of a Muslim keramat and a Hindu ganesha temple. Both will be shifted together with the Chinese temple to the new location at a midnight ceremony before National Day. I was told that the Hindu Endowment Board has appointed a priest for the ganesha temple. As for the keramat, it has no remains, only the grave stones. While it has long been the custom of Chinese Taoists at this temple and elsewhere in Southeast Asia (like Kusu Island) to revere certain Malay datuks (holy men), orthodox Muslims have never felt completely comfortable about this. But it is good that there has been no problems. Indeed it is common for religious leaders from other communities to turn up at charitable functions organised by the Loyang Temple.

4. The Temple receives many foreign tourists. During my recent visit, I greeted a number of Taiwanese tourists and took a group photo with them. Tua Pek Kong and Mazu are two deities worshipped by Hokkiens and Teochews and connect us to the Southern Chinese provinces of Fujian and Guangdong and to other parts of Southeast Asia. I hope Singapore Tourism Board will help to promote the Temple at the new site. Not only is it good for tourism, it will also build bridges of friendship to other countries.

5. On the third floor of the temple building, a TCM centre will be established to treat patients, especially those who are less well-off. I congratulated members of the Temple Committee for this philanthropic act.

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG


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