KULIM: It was a tense moment as Wong Chern Kang, who was dripping wet with sweat, sat cross-legged on a wooden board placed across an enclosed giant steamer for more than half an hour.
All that effort was to collect funds for the Kew Ong Yeah Temple’s new building in Kulim.
The 36-year-old carpenter, who has been worshipping at the temple since 2006, climbed onto the board after observing some religious rituals. The temple committee members slowly brought down the giant stainless steel steamer cover over Wong, who was earlier given a walkie-talkie.
Earlier, when the water inside the giant wok had boiled, the temple committee members had dropped in about 90 sweet corns before covering the surface with the wooden board.
Hundreds of visitors and devotees had thronged the temple to witness the event at about 8.30pm on Tuesday at the temple grounds in Kampung Keladi, in conjunction with the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.
Exactly 35 minutes and 49 seconds later, the temple committee members lifted the steamer cover and Wong emerged, drenched in sweat from head to toe.
He was helped out of the wok by some of the committee members as his legs felt numb.
It was Wong’s second time inside a giant steamer. His first was in 2012, when he spent a record 71 minutes inside.
“I could not simply move my body, and at the same time I had to stand the heat.
“However, as time went by, I began to feel my heart beating faster and I had difficulty breathing.
“I also felt my body over-heating, which made me realise that I should stop,” he said when met after completing his feat.
Wong said although he was disappointed that he could not better his previous record, he wants to carry out a similar feat in the future, with the blessings from Kew Ong Yeah.
Temple chairman Chong Fook Choy said the last time a similar event was held at the temple was in 2012.
“We decided to hold the feat again this year to raise funds for the new temple building,” he said.
Chong said the cost for the new temple is about RM10mil and the temple committee is still short of about RM4mil.
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