Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple

Singapore Infopedia


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

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


Naidu Ratnala Thulaja

1. Josephine James, “They Come to Worship Together,” Straits Times, 13 March 2001, 2. (From NewspaperSG)
2. Josephine James, “Different Religions... Coming Together,” Straits Times, 13 March 2001, 2; James, They Come to Worship Together”; Neo Hui Min, “Mixed-Religion Temple to Move,” Straits Times, 6 June 2003, 6; “Some Inter-Religious Places of Worship,” Straits Times, 23 September 2007, 53. (From NewspaperSG)
3. James, Different Religions... Coming Together”; James, They Come to Worship Together”; “Some Inter-Religious Places of Worship.”
4. James, Different Religions... Coming Together”; James, They Come to Worship Together”; “Some Inter-Religious Places of Worship.”
5. Neo, “Mixed-Religion Temple to Move”; “Some Inter-Religious Places of Worship”; James, Different Religions... Coming Together”; James, They Come to Worship Together.”
6. Karl Ho, “Adding Snap, Crackle and Pop,” Straits Times, 27 May 2002, 4. (From NewspaperSG)
7. Neo, “Mixed-Religion Temple to Move”; “Some Inter-Religious Places of Worship.”
8. “Some Inter-Religious Places of Worship”; “There’s Always Time to Read,” Straits Times, 4 August 2007, 2. (From NewspaperSG)
9. Xie Yanyan 谢燕燕, ed., Miao yu wen hua: Xinjiapo……min su dao lan庙宇文化: 新加坡 ... 民俗导览 [Temple Culture: Singapore ... Folk Custom Guide], vol. 4 (Singapore: Ji Biaodian Publishing Company, 2014), 99. (Call no. Chinese RSING 291.35095957 MYW); Hariz Baharudin, “More than 6,000 Usher In CNY at Temple,” New Paper, 9 February 2016.  
10. Xie Yanyan, Miao yu wen hua: Xinjiapo, 99.
11. Sandhya Iyer, “Ganesha Lives in Chinese Temples,” Tabla, 26 November 2010.

Further resources

Jack Chia, Who is Tua Pek Kong? The Cult of Grand Uncle in Malaysia and Singapore,”  Archív Orientální 85, no. 3 (2017): 439–60.

Evelyn Lip, Chinese Temple Architecture in Singapore (Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1983), 36–41. (Call no. RSING 726.1951095957 LIP)

Introduction,” Loyang Tua Pek Kong, accessed 1 September 2016.

Yusof Najeer, “Photos from the Ground: Many Religions under One Roof,” accessed 1 September 2016.

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.


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The information on this page and any images that appear here may be used for private research and study purposes only. They may not be copied, altered or amended in any way without first gaining the permission of the copyright holder.

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