Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple



The Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple, located off Loyang Way, was established in the 1980s. The temple owes its existence to a group of friends, who on finding figurines of different religions abandoned on a beach, brought them together and housed them under a unique mixed-religion temple. The temple houses Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist deities, and a Muslim kramat (shrine) within its premises.1

Background
In the 1980s, a group of fishing buddies, including Paul Tan and Huang Zhong Ting, stumbled across statues of Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist deities strewn across the beach at the end of the Loyang industrial area. The friends built a small hut made of bricks and zinc sheets to house the figurines. This humble construction served as a makeshift temple. It also includes a kramat to honour a holy Muslim man.2


Soon, scores of people, mainly those working in the Loyang industrial area, were visiting the temple. Miraculous powers were attributed to the temple as devotees claimed that their prayers for prosperity and wealth were never denied. Unfortunately in 1996, the hut was razed to the ground by a fire. The Taoist statue of Tua Pek Kong, the god of prosperity, was the only one that was not damaged by the fire.3 New premises to house the deities and the kramat had to be built. Through public donations that poured in, a new temple complex was built on a 1,400-square-metre area at the same site. The temple was named after Tua Pek Kong, the god whose statue had miraculously survived the fire.4

Around 20,000 devotees visited the temple per month despite the fact that bus services were limited to week days and the nearest bus stop was half an hour’s walk away. One of the temple’s claims to fame was its two-metre-tall statue of the Hindu god Ganesha, said to be the tallest Ganesha statue in any temple in India or Singapore.5 Another attraction was the lighting of non-hazardous fire crackers on weekends.6

New temple complex
In June 2003, the lease on the land on which the temple was situated expired. The temple authorities procured a new site nearby for the construction of a new complex.7 In August 2007, the temple re-located to its new premises at 20 Loyang Way. The new temple cost S$12 million to build and its construction was completely funded by public donations.8


The temple holds yearly celebrations in conjunction with various festivals, such as a celebration to welcome the God of Wealth on the eve of the Chinese New Year. Animals are sometimes brought in to heighten the atmosphere.9 Other events include the celebration of the birth of the Hindu god, Lord Ganesha, on the 5th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar.10 The two-metre-tall statue of Ganesha, which was moved over from the old temple, attracts Chinese devotees as well.11



Author

Naidu Ratnala Thulaja



References
1. James, J. (2001, March 13). They come to worship together. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. James, J. (2001, March 13). Different religions... coming together. The Straits Times, p. 2; James, J. (2001, March 13). They come to worship together. The Straits Times, p. 2; Neo, H. M. (2003, June 6). Mixed-religion temple to move. The Straits Times, p. 6; Some inter-religious places of worship. (2007, September 23). The Straits Times, p. 53. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. James, J. (2001, March 13). Different religions... coming together. The Straits Times, p. 2; James, J. (2001, March 13). They come to worship together. The Straits Times, p. 2; Some inter-religious places of worship. (2007, September 23). The Straits Times, p. 53. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. James, J. (2001, March 13). Different religions... coming together. The Straits Times, p. 2; James, J. (2001, March 13). They come to worship together. The Straits Times, p. 2; Neo, H. M. (2003, June 6). Mixed-religion temple to move. The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Neo, H. M. (2003, June 6). Mixed-religion temple to move. The Straits Times, p. H6; Some inter-religious places of worship. (2007, September 23). The Straits Times, p. 53; James, J. (2001, March 13). Different religions... coming together. The Straits Times, p. 2; James, J. (2001, March 13). They come to worship together. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Ho, K. (2002, May 27). Adding snap, crackle and pop. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Neo, H. M. (2003, June 6). Mixed-religion temple to move. The Straits Times, p. 6; Some inter-religious places of worship. (2007, September 23). The Straits Times, p. 53. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Some inter-religious places of worship. (2007, September 23). The Straits Times, p. 53; There’s always time to read. (2007, August 4). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. 谢燕燕. (编辑) [Xie, Y. Y.]. (Ed.). (2014). 《庙宇文化: 新加坡 ... 民俗导览》[Miao yu wen hua: Xinjiapo……min su dao lan] (Vol. 4).  新加坡: 焦点出版公司, p. 99. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 291.35095957 MYW); Hariz Baharudin. (2016, February 9). More than 6,000 usher in CNY at temple. The New Paper. Retrieved 2016, September 1 from AsiaOne News website: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/more-6000-usher-cny-temple
10. 谢燕燕. (编辑) [Xie, Y. Y.]. (Ed.). (2014). 《庙宇文化: 新加坡 ... 民俗导览》[Miao yu wen hua: Xinjiapo… min su dao lan] (Vol. 4). 新加坡: 焦点出版公司, p. 99. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 291.35095957 MYW)
11. Iyer, S. (2010, November 26). Ganesha lives in Chinese temples. Tabla! Retrieved 2016, September 1 from AsiaOne News website: http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20101126-249329.html



Further resources
Lip, E. (1983). Chinese temple architecture in Singapore. Singapore: Singapore University Press, pp. 36–41.

(Call no.: RSING 726.1951095957 LIP)

Loyang Tua Pek Kong. (2014). Introduction. Retrieved 2016, September 1 from Loyang Tua Pek Kong website: http://lytpk.org.sg/about.htm

Yusof Najeer. (2016, January 20). Photos from the ground: Many religions under one roof. Retrieved 2016, September 1 from The Middle Ground website: http://themiddleground.sg/2016/01/20/photos-from-the-ground-multi-religious-hubs/



The information in this article is valid as at 1 September 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Religious Buildings
Religious buildings
Arts>>Architecture>>Religious buildings
Shrines--Singapore
Temples, Chinese--Singapore