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The Datuk Gong shrine of Toh Guan Road East

I stumbled upon another roadside shrine on my travels - this time along Toh Guan Road East, to the east of Jurong East MRT Interchange, on my way to the sprawling complex called Enterprise Hub.

This shrine occupies a triangular-shaped parcel of land bordered by Toh Guan Road East, Quek Industrial Building, and Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant.

The yellow of the shrine jumps out amidst the blue sky, green grass, and grey asphalt - no wonder, for the shrine is for a Datuk Gong, a local guardian spirit, and yellow stands for royalty.

The three Chinese characters on the banner adorning the shrine read “Na Du Gong” - the Chinese for “Datuk Gong”.

Datuk Gong sitting serenely facing the road.

Above his altar, there is a large stone with a garland of dried flowers and grass around it. I assume it is believed the stone denotes his presence. There is a piece of cloth tied to the stone, and other small items around it; my guess is they are “his items”.

The same applies to the walking sticks propped up on the wall between the large stone and the supply of joss sticks - they “belong” to him and he “uses” them to “get around”.

The Datuk Gong of Toh Guan Road East shares his sacred space with other deities. My guess is that members of the public had parked them there for various reasons over the years, and who are we to remove them?

Next to the yellow shrine are two smaller shrines. One has a tablet with words that have completely faded; however, the outlines of the characters are still visible, and they tell me that the tablet is dedicated to wandering spirits with no one to pay respects to them. The other shelters Tua Pek Kong.

Delightfully, there are more deities in the shed behind the shrine.

The top level has an assortment of deities - Buddha, Guan Yin, Tua Pek Kong, Mazu.

There were also smaller figures that I could not make out.

The bottom level has two Laughing Buddhas, which are popular depictions of the bodhisattva Maitreya, the Future Buddha.

I hope whoever owns the lease on the land has a lot of time on the lease, which will secure the existence of the shrine for a long time to come.


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