Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Eng Ann Teng, Sibu



Eng Ann Teng Tua Pek Kong Temple, Sibu was found more than a century ago, around the year 1870. In the 1871 Sarawak Gazette, the temple was recorded as a small wooden Chinese temple.

The temple was then rebuilt into a typical Taoist Chinese Architecture in 1897. Most of the critical building materials were imported from China, including the statue of the host deity, Lord Tua Pek Kong. The details of the contributors & expenditure of the 1897 rebuilding was curved in two pieces of stones, which are still in the temple.



Like many of the histories of Tua Pek Kong temples in Sarawak, the Eng Ang Teng Tua Pek Kong temple had gone through major fire disaster, and was unharmed; the March 8, 1928 fire was a tragedy, as most of Sibu business shoplots were destroyed after the incident.

Towards the end of the Japanese occupation, the temple was severely destroyed due to Allied Forces’ air strikes on Sibu town; the statue of Tua Pek Kong, again, was unharmed.

In 1957, the temple was replaced with concrete structure and the then Governor of Sarawak, Sir Anthony Abell, who was the guest of honor, officially declared open of the historical place of worship. It was a grand occasion for the people of Sibu at that time, and especially to the devotees as the grand occasion was also attended by British Royal dignitaries & other important government officers.

With the support of the state Government and devotees, the 7-Storey Pagoda at the back of temple was constructed in 1987.



Eng Ann Teng Sibu and the Pagoda since then has becomes a prime & growing tourist attraction in Sibu, and also a land mark of this Christian town of Central Sarawak, where majority of Chinese are Christians.



Places of Worship & Devotion In Sarawak

Tua Pek Kong, Marudi



Marudi Tua Pek Kong is located within the business center of Marudi Town, in Miri division of Sarawak.

Marudi used to be a stepping stone to the well known tourist destination, the Mulu Cave. Pioneer tourists would travel from Miri to Marudi first, and then from the river, tourist would have to use long boats cutting through few adventurous rapids upstream before reaching Mulu. With the completion of a small airport at Mulu, most tourists prefer to take the twin otters direct from Miri airport.

Marudi is currently comparatively quite since the last century timber boom. The Tua Pek Kong temple here is the only temple of Taoist or Chinese culture origin. The temple has gone through 3 major fire disasters in the history of Marudi, and it has survived unharmed, surprisingly to many devotees. The temple was found around the time when permanent settlement was started in Marudi, more than a century history.

Like many of the Tua Pek Kong in Sarawak, it had gone through few restorations and renovations; with fewer of this historical places remained in the state, the Tua Pek Kong will move on for years to come, with her growing dedicated devotees in the area.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nam Hua Chern Teck Kung, Matang



A new Chinese temple is being constructed at Matang area; the temple is Nam Hua Chern Teck Kung.

The total construction cost will be RM10 millions. Currently 60% of the works has been completed. Another RM5 millions is required for the remaining funding of the project.

The temple official website has just been launched - http://www.ppnamhua.webs.com/. Appeal has been made to devotees to make kind contributions to the construction & related funds.



Besides being a place of devotion & worship, the temple will also collect & provide information on local Chinese history, past cultural events & activities, as well as the forgotten history of the Bau Town, its glamorous gold mines history & Chinese pioneers in the area.

For more information on Bau town, kindly visit - http://www.bau.com.my/index2.htm.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Leang Shen Temple, Spaoh



Leang Shen Temple, literally in Chinese is ‘Two Sages Old Temple’. There is no record on where the ‘two sages’ were from as there are a total 7 main host deities in the temple; when the temple was first initiated, there was only Ma Zhu, the Taoist Goddess of the Sea worshipped in the temple.

Spaoh is a small town of Betong division, about half an hour off the Trans Borneo Highway; it is about 3 to 3 ½ hour drive from Kuching City. The temple is situated next to the Paku River, and nearby a friendly Malay fishing village.

The origin of the temple was said to be from a businessman who used to travel along Paku River & nearby tributaries to do businesses. He brought along the deity Ma Zhu & censer in his boat for spiritual support & protection.

As the population of Spaoh grew, he settled down in Spaoh in about 1920 (& became the first Kapitan or village head), and naturally also built a simple temple for Ma Zhu in this small town. As time went by, additional deities were added to the ‘Ma Zhu’ temple as to devotees’ demand.

In the early 1950s (during the Korean War), the demand of local produce (such as pepper) were good; local farmers (many of them Chinese) were having good days. The first rebuilding of the temple was thus initiated partly for thanks giving & there was a week long celebration & religious procession.

The recent upgrade of the temple was done in 2000. Like the previous rebuilding, there was week long celebration & procession; many devotees & visitors from outskirts, other towns came for the occasion.