A TEMPLE in George Town, Penang, is now providing an e-wallet platform for devotees to give donations and pay for the Grand Duke (Tai Sui in Cantonese) ritual.
Tai Por Kong Temple (San Jiang Miao) honorary secretary Koay Teng Hai said this was the first year the temple was offering cashless services to devotees.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we decided to apply for an e-wallet platform.
“We have been preparing for this since September last year.
“We have e-wallet QR codes on every donation box for devotees to scan.
“Those who prefer to give cash can do so too.
“As for the Tai Sui ritual, devotees can register themselves online while the temple committee members will do the process physically at the temple, ” he said when met at the temple in Macallum Street Ghaut.
The temple committee members will conduct live sessions on their Facebook page once in a while to explain the Tai Sui ritual to devotees.
“Devotees just need to complete the registration process online and provide us with the information needed.
“We have registrations from as far as the United States, China, Australia, New Zealand, England and Japan.
“Our temple volunteers will help with the process and conduct the ritual for them.“In previous years, we had over 1,000 devotees here for the Tai Sui ritual and more than 3,000 devotees on the first and second days of Chinese New Year.
“Due to the restrictions this year, the number of devotees coming here has decreased.
“Half of them preferred to register for the Tai Sui ritual online and half of them preferred to come here and fill in the forms physically.
“After filling the forms, devotees will put them in the designated boxes.
“In previous years, we had volunteers helping them to fill up the forms but to reduce physical contact, the devotees will have to do it themselves this time round, ” he explained.
Koay, however, said the donations received this year were less compared to the amount collected last year.
“Some of the older folk do not know how to use the e-wallet platform.
“As they are from the high-risk group, they are also unable to come to the temple to give donations.
“For those who have asked us how to donate online, we will send the Touch ‘n Go QR code. We will update the devotees through our Facebook page from time to time.
“This is a good time for us to make good use of the latest technology. We have recruited several young volunteers to help us answer enquiries raised by devotees online, ” he said.