Miri Tua Pek Kong Temple celebrates 111th anniversary with grand parade

Five deities including Tua Pek Kong are carried on litters during the procession.

By Tedong Rantayy

MIRI, May 5: In commemoration of Miri Tua Pek Kong Temple’s 111th anniversary, a spectacular parade took place today, drawing crowds from far and wide to join in the festivities.

At the stroke of 5.30 pm today (Sunday), the vibrant streets of Miri came alive with the commencement of the grand parade.

Participants converging at Miri Tua Pek Kong Temple before the parade.

Over 6,000 participants representing 119 temples and Chinese associations marched along a 5.3km-long route, starting from the Miri Tua Pek Kong temple at Jalan Kubu.

The parade route wound past various significant landmarks, including Miri Tua Pek Kong Temple, Bulatan Kenyalang, and Nakhoda Gampar traffic light, among others, before looping back to its starting point.

Notably, five litters proudly displayed the statues of five Chinese deities, including the revered Tua Pek Kong, adding a spiritual dimension to the procession.

This celebration not only honored the rich heritage and traditions embodied by Miri Tua Pek Kong Temple but also fostered unity and camaraderie among participants and spectators alike.

Amongst those present was Minister for Transport Sarawak Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin.

The procession was scheduled to commence at 5.30pm at Jalan Kubu, with 6,000 participants taking part.

Tua Pek Kong is a revered deity in the Chinese folk religion, particularly among the Hokkien community in Malaysia and Singapore.

The deity of Tua Pek Kong in Miri is steeped in folklore and tradition, with various accounts of its origins.

According to legend, Tua Pek Kong emerged as a protector of sailors and fishermen, ensuring safe journeys and bountiful catches.

One version of the story traces Tua Pek Kong’s origins to Fujian province in China, where a devout man named Zhang Li traveled to Borneo in the 19th century.

Upon arriving in Miri, he erected a shrine to honor the deity, known for his benevolence and miraculous powers.

Over time, the shrine became a focal point for the local Chinese community, who sought Tua Pek Kong’s blessings for prosperity and protection.

Another tale attributes Tua Pek Kong’s presence to the arrival of Chinese immigrants in Miri during the heyday of the Sarawak oil industry.

As the community grew, so did the veneration of the deity, with devotees building temples and holding annual festivities to celebrate Tua Pek Kong’s divine presence.

Regardless of its exact origins, Tua Pek Kong remains a symbol of faith and cultural heritage for the Hokkien people in the region, embodying the values of protection, prosperity, and community solidarity.

Today, devotees continue to flock to Miri Tua Pek Kong temples to offer prayers, make offerings, and seek guidance in their daily lives. — DayakDaily