THE quiet village of Ara Kuda in Penanti, north Seberang Prai, Penang, will soon welcome a new landmark — the Sheng Nen Temple.
Located on a 20-acre piece of land beside a Thai Buddhist temple, the Sheng Nen Temple will house a welfare organisation for the old, and also a childcare association for the poor.
A temporary temple structure now sits on the site but will be demolished to make way for the construction of the new temple.
A ceremony was held on Dec 18 at the site by former Kek Lok Si Temple abbot Datuk Seri Venerable Seck Jit Heng to announce the project to devotees.
Ven Seck who was Kek Lok Si’s sixth abbot said the name ‘Sheng Nen’ derived from the names of the fourth and fifth abbot of the temple.
“The project is part of our effort to fulfil the wishes of both the abbots, who wish for better welfare and care for the needy.
“Thanks to the aid and contribution from the public, we managed to acquire this piece of land here last year at the cost of RM9.5mil.
“I believe the first part of the project will be completed within three-and-a-half years once the planning is approved,” he said in his speech before unveiling the model of the temple during the ceremony.
Kek Lok Si Temple trustee Datuk Steven Ooi who was also present said the conversion of the agriculture land status has been approved and the temple would benefit the people living nearby.
“It’s a major project. A lot of planning and skilled manpower are required to design and construct the building.
“Once completed, it should attract devotees from northern Perak, Kedah and the mainlanders,” he said.
Also present was Kek Lok Si Temple abbot Ven Xian Guan.
More than 300 devotees were present at the temple to offer prayers.
A buddha relic is also being exhibited at the temporary temple now until Friday.
Some 60 monks will also be chanting daily throughout this period.