Non-profit voluntary welfare group Thye Hua Kwan to open new temple with multi-religious focus

The non-profit voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society will be opening a new temple with a multi-religious focus to the public on 20 May in Sengkang West.

According to the society’s chairman Lee Kim Siang during VWO’s charity event on Sunday (21 April), the four-storey Thye Hua Kwan temple comes with a basement carpark.

It will house a library with books on various religions as well as lecture halls to host talks and dialogues involving different religious leaders and groups in order to promote interracial and inter-religious understanding.

Located on a 2,000 sqm plot at Fernvale Link near several HDB blocks, the land was initially earmarked for religious use. In 2014, some residents protested over HDB’s plan to award the land to a subsidiary of an Australia-listed company to build a commercial columbarium there.

The following year, HDB cancelled the bid due to the residents’ concerns and called for a fresh tender of the land. Thye Hua Kwan won the bid in the same year and announced the construction of its first temple there.

Mr Lee said that people of various faiths may use the pews in the temple, where there will be digital tablets displaying different religious texts.

“Our teachings have always been multi-religious… We should walk the talk,” he added. “To have a religion doesn’t mean you cannot have a wide worldview.”

A “hall of filial piety” will hold the ancestral tablets which are usually inscribed with names of the deceased, and where those who have applied for the tablets can watch the videos they provide in remembrance of their loved ones who have passed on.

The aim is for people to have a space where they can look back on the stories of their loved ones, Mr Lee said.

The VWO’s 14th Charity Buddha donation drive at Waterloo Street was officiated by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung. The VWO said it raises about $200,000 through its annual donation drives, in which the proceeds will be used to provide food and medical services for the needy through its meal centres and free clinics.

The charitable group operates more than 90 centres and services, which include the Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital and welfare homes.