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Aug 28, 2017

Inter-Religious Places of Worship in Singapore

The Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple at Loyang Way, Singapopre

History of the Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple

The history of Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple (luo yang da bo gong) can be traced to the early 1980s when statues of Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu deities were found on the coast near Loyang Way. A modest hut was built on the beach to house and worship the deities. In 1996 a fire destroyed the hut and with generous donations by its devotees a new temple with brick walls and tiled roofs was bulit in 2000 at Loyang Way. In 2007 the temple moved to the current location, which is less than 2 km away from its previous site.

The former Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple facing the sea.

The new Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple at Loyang Way.






Sequence of praying at the Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple

Self-service praying items

There are also vending machines for the exchange of Singapore currency notes and coins for the convenience of the devotees.

Coins and currency notes exchange machines 

 Community service at the temple

The mobile medical service provided by SATA at the temple.

Different religions under one roof

The Taoist, Hindu deities and a Muslim 'kramat' (shrine) of different faiths worshipped together in one location.

Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple is one of the few temples in Singapore that has Hindu deities worshipped alongside Chinese deities, reflecting religious harmony in Singapore. Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple is one of the few temples that is opened 24 hours for prayer. [Source: Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple website here .]

Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple is one of the few temples in Singapore that has Hindu deities worshipped alongside Chinese deities, reflecting religious harmony in Singapore. A related blog "On a little street in Singapore for worshop" here .

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.


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.

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. 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.

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. 

Another attraction was the lighting of non-hazardous fire crackers on weekends.

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. 

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.

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. 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.

[Author: Naidu Ratnala Thulaja.  Courtesy of eResource, Infopedia of the National Library Board]. 

Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple consist of 3 wings with different architectural designs linked alongside each other.

While the Chinese deity Tua Pek Kong, the small centre wing contains a Datuk keramat shrine while the right wing with Hindu deities Ganesha and Dunga.

Da Bo Gong (Tua Pek Kong) 大伯公

The right wing of the temple for worship to the Hindu deities.

The Muslim 'kramat' where non-Muslim devotees pray.

There are clearly no physical boundaries within the Loyang Tua Pek Kong temple which allow devotees to cross freely  between one another with due respect and devotion.

Every Singaporean is entitled to freedom in Singapore, regardless of race, language or religion.  The multi-racial, multi-religion and multi-culture Singapore is an unique country in the world.  

Chinese devotees pray at the foot of Hindu deity Ganesha with flowers and lamps, while Indian devotees were seen carrying joss-sticks in front of Tua Pek Kong and the Datok keramat shrine.

Such are signs of cross-cultural, cross-religion interactions in a distinguished yet assimilating religions hybridized space for the peace and harmony of Singapore.

In November 1990, the Singapore parliament passed a 'Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act' with the aim of further enhancing religious harmony.  Under the provisions of the act, the Minister for Home Affairs may issue a restraining order against any leader, official or member of any religious group or institution who causes or attempt to cause ill feelings between the different religious groups.

The Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore (IRO) was founded in 1949. The date of registration is 18 March 1949. Since its humble beginnings, IRO has worked quietly to promote peace and religious harmony in Singapore.

With the passage of time IRO organized more activities in line with its objectives and participated in local and international forums to learn more about what is being done in the region to promote religious harmony. It networked with organizations like the World Council on Religion and Peace (WCRP) and the Asian Council on Religion and Peace (ACRP).

IRO also regularly conducted inter-faith prayers and blessings at launching ceremonies of public and private institutions. 

Increasingly, IRO became recognized as a force for good. It was invited by the Government to conduct prayers at the passing out parade of the Singapore Armed Forces and for the victims and their families when the SIA air crashes happened in Taiwan and Palembang.

Photo courtesy of the Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore

Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) Singapore promoting peace and religious harmony in Singapore.

Today, 10 major religions are represented in the IRO. IRO will build on the momentum already generated and continue to promote inter-religious peace and harmony in the next decade and in the years to come.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mrs Lee pay respect to the mosque, church, temples and shrine in multi-racial, multi-religious Singapore here .


Aug 22, 2017

Changi Airport T4 Open House

Courtesy of the Changi Airport Group (CAG)

Changi Airport Group (CAG) extended an invitation to Singapore residents to visit Terminal 4 (T4) even before operations begin.

Open House at Changi Airport Terminal 4

An Open House for T4 was held from August 7 to August 20, 2017 to give the public a glimpse of what to expect at the new terminal.

Ms Poh Li San, Vice President, T4 Programme Management Office said: "The public has been eagerly waiting to see how the new T4 will be different from Changi's other terminals.  At the Open House, we will showcase T4's latest innovations in enhancing operational efficiencies and productivity, in addition to the terminal's many unique features.  The Open House visitors will be among the first to learn about and experience the innovations and 'wow' features at T4 - facial recognition technology, integrated duty-free shopping, kinetic art displays, a Heritage Zone, and specially curated sculptures, among many others".

Open House at Changi Airport Terminal 3

An Open House for T3 was held from November 12 to December 9, 2007.

People had to buy tickets to see the restricted areas in the $1.75b facility.

They cost $3 each for a 45-minute guided tour and $1 if visitors want to see these areas on their own.

Visiting hours during the open house were from 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays, and from 9 am to 6 pm on weekends.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore donated all proceeds from the sale of tickets to the Singapore Cancer Society.

Terminal 3 started operation on 9 January, 2008.

Construction of Changi Airport Terminal 4

Construction of T4 started in early 2013 and was completed in December 2016.  The 225.000 square metre, double-storey terminal can handle 16 million passengers a year -  this is about 70% of the handling capacity of Terminal 3 (T3)  although T4 is just half the size of T3.  Designed with a boutique interior decor approach, T4 is set to redefine the way passengers travel, through the creative design of the terminal's layout, streamlined clearance processes as well as the way it leverages technology and innovation for convenient passenger processes, streamlined work processes and improved staff productivity.

Passengers can continue to look forward to the facilities, amenities, dining and F&B outlets at T4.

The speed at which T4 was built was achieved through new construction methods which used pre-cast and off-site fabricated building components.

T4 is a flagship terminal for innovation, new technology and new Tour concepts.

T4 Tour Personal Experience

Unlike the Changi Airport Terminal 3 Open House in 2007, the T4 Open House is a ticketed event free of charge for the public to participate in.

On August 3, I received a T4 OpenHouse confirmation email:

Visit Date and Time:  18/08/2017 14:00:00

The email reminder was sent me on 13/8/2017

I am confident that the tour is well organised and planned, so there would be no ways for a senior citizen to get lost at T4.

True enough, there were many volunteers and helpers at the tour to guide the visitors at T4.

I boarded the shuttle bus from T3  to T4 coach stand in sandals and was comfortable and relaxed.

The electronic copy of the confirmation email was presented upon boarding the shuttle bus.

What to do on arrival at T4?

Upon arrival at T4, the confirmation ticket and collect the commemorative boarding pass at the registration counter. (Photo below):

Begin T4 Tour

Explore various attractions and learn more about what T4 has to offer to travellers and visitors.

Changi Airport T4 Petal Cloud

Changi Airport's Terminal 4 (T4) has a new moving art sculpture that calls to mind Terminal 1's Kinetic Rain installation.

Petalclouds, an aluminium installation, stretches 200m and can be seen from almost anywhere in the futuristic T4.

The moving sculpture by German-based Art+Com - the same design firm behind the Kinetic Rain aluminium droplets in Terminal 1 - comprises six "clouds", each consisting of 16 petal-shaped aluminium frames suspended from wires in motion.  These have been choreographed to form various patterns, accompanied by classical music composed by Bafta award-winner Olafur Arnalds.

Petalclouds is one of the several installations in Terminal 4 which tap technology and typify its push to become Changi Airport's "flagship terminal for innovation".

A video clip of Petalclouds here.

Airlines at T4

Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Korean Air, Spring Airline & Vietnam Airlines.

How to tag your luggage at T4

A video clip of a short demonstration to focus on this new feature at T4 here .

The visitors were under simulation during the tour to check through the latest modern scanning machines for immigration and custom clearance points, pretending we were boarding the plane in the restricted areas.

"Photo of the Day" to capture a memorable moment during the tour.

Time for A Tiger!  One for a flight!

Prominent direction signboards for the travellers

Airlines at T4

Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Korean Air, Spring Airline & Vietnam Airlines.

Grandpa Bear with the Korean Air bear mascots

Not an ad for 'The Straits Times' ...

Checking on the Internet for online games?

Admire the traditional tiles on the walls of the restrooms.

Changi Airport T4 Heritage Zone

At the Changi Airport Terminal 4 Heritage Zone, passengers will be able to view how shophouse architecture has evolved over the years.  The shophouse facades presented at the Heritage Zone reflect the architecture of shophouses commonly found in the Katong and Chinatown districts of Singapore.

It traces the evolution of the shophouse from the 1880s to the 1950s through panels that reflect the styles of different time periods.  This starts off with the Baroque Design found from 1880 to 1900, moves on to the Rococo Style from 1910 to 1920, and to the Peranakan Style in the twenties and thirties, before finally winding up with the 1950s Modern Decor style.

A highlight of the Changi Airport Terminal 4 Heritage Zone is a six-minute long cultural mini-show that is played on a 10 metre by 6 metre LED screen embedded into the row of shophouse facades. Set into two shophouse bays, the LED wall transforms into a theatre screen that reflects the living rooms of two Peranakan homes.

The show, entitled Peranakan Love Story and set in 1930s Singapore, is a non-conversational musical that tells the story of the unlikely romance of two passionate musicians who are neighbours.

It was developed in collaboration with renown Singaporean composer and artist, Dick Lee, and Moment Factory. Peranakan Love Storyfeatures a local cast with actors such as Adrian Pang, Koh Chieng Mun, Amy Cheng and Benjamin Kheng.

  A video-clip to share here