ONLY RM600,000 has been raised so far out of RM3.5mil needed to restore the 161-year-old Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple in Armenian Street and its surrounding area in Penang.
The temple’s restoration and building committee chairman Tan Lye Hock said the amount included a RM200,000 grant from the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, presented by its Deputy Minister Datuk Wong Kam Hoong recently.
“Our targeted completion is 2007,” said Tan, adding that the temple announced its restoration plans and started appealing for funds two years ago.
Tan said the project would cover three phases, beginning with the restoration of the temple building which would cost more than RM1.3mil.
“We have started work on the temple, and it is now 40% completed,” he said.
He said an additional RM1mil was needed for Phase 2 to restore the compound, courtyard and gateway.
He said the remaining funds would go towards the final phase of restoring a row of 10 houses along the street to promote tourism.
“When the area is done up, we plan to encompass a living heritage culture. The houses will be used for businesses of days of old, such as a barbershop, as well as a souvenir shop,” he said.
Tan said the committee had approached associations, companies and individuals for donations, and intended to carry out fund-raising events later.
“We plan to hold a dinner or a stage show, but organising a big project like that would need funds as well,” he said, appealing to the public for help.
Wong, who also checked on the progress of the restoration work, called on the public to help contribute towards the restoration of the temple.
The temple, which had a long history, also portrayed a heritage of Chinese and Peranakan architecture.
The temple houses the oldest statue of Tua Pek Kong (God of Prosperity) in the state, who is associated with the annual chneah hoay (flame watching) ceremony.
It is also home to four brotherhood associations, the Hok-kien Kongsi, Cheng Hoe Seah, Tong Keng Seah and Poh Hock Seah.
Also present were Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Lee Hack Teik and Komtar assemblyman Lim Gim Soon, who are the temple’s committee advisers.
Crossed cheques should be made payable to Poh Hock Seah Restoration and Temple Build-ing Fund and sent to 57, Armenian Street, 10200 Pe-nang. For details, call 04-2623663.