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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Datuk Gong Wealth God Under The Tree

ABC Wednesday
G is for .....
God of Wealth !

This is quite a common sight in many places where there is a shady tree near a junction. The yellow building is actually a shrine meant for the 'Datuk Gong' deity, regarded by its devotees as the God of Wealth. Datuk Gong is a Sino-Malay spirit, also known as Na Tuk Kong (拿督公) in Chinese, or Datuk Keramat in Malay. Please click on links to read more.

There are also female versions of Datuk Gong, known as Datuk Nenek or Na-du-nai-nai (拿督奶奶). Nenek is the Malay word for “grandmother”. When praying to the Datuk Nenek, some of the devotees actually offered her cologne or gu-long-shui (古龙水) and make-up, reflecting the Chinese belief in afterlife and the humanistic nature of gods.

Datuk’ is a Malay word while ‘Gong’ (公) is a Chinese honorific title often used for gods and deities. He is often worshipped for wealth, peace and harmony. You may also find the Datuk Gong shrines at factories and offices where it is believed that praying to him deligently every morning and night ensures the smooth running of the business. Some Datuk Gong statues are dressed in songkok and sarong and the shrine is shaped like a typical kampung house with stairs leading up to the altar. The offerings include incense, fruits like the banana and pineapple, nasi kunyit (tumeric rice), curry chicken, cigars, ciggarettes, pinang and sireh. Devotees abstain from eating pork before prayers. Individuals who pray to him ask for lucky numbers to buy at the lottery draws such as Toto, Magnum 4-D and Big Sweep. They will also make vows which need to be fulfilled once their prayers are answered. Those who strike it rich will built a bigger temple for Datuk Gong. Communication with Datuk Gong can happen in 3 ways, i.e. (a) through spirit mediums, (b) premonition or (c) appear in a dream.

This practice is commonly found in Malaysia and Singapore.

Judging by the number Datuk Gong temples I see around here, I'm can conclude that either (a) there are many who have struck it rich or (b) they hope to hit the jackpot which is ever increasing and so tempting to the gamblers.

Today's post is an entry in ABC Wednesday Round 6, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt. For more information and photos, please log on to this site.


  1. Oh... I never know na tuk gong is Datuk Keramat...

  2. Fascinating! So you can tell a wealthy area by the size of the Datuk Gong temples!

    On behalf of the team, thanks for taking part in ABC Wednesday this week! :)

  3. Interesting stuff. So, with all your success in photography, have you built a Datuk Keramat yet?

  4. HAha, next time I come across one whhen I visit MY I will know what it is. Thank you for that bit of info! :P

  5. my mum has Na Tuk Gong outside her house.

  6. Wonderfully informative. I think I should have one!

  7. This yellow one is rather fancy. I've not seen such a fancy one yet!

  8. Very interesting to read and I notice that all people in the world no matter what their beliefs are want to win in the lottery, lol !

  9. i feel that ur information here is very misleading. Do u just copy and paste it from Wikipedia. Datuk Gong is not for wealth for God's sake. And all this shrines are built not because people got lottery or they wish to win lottery. information shoudl be accuate i feel. tq.

  10. Oce, thank you very much for reading my blog and for your valuable comment. I'm very sorry if the title of this post has mislead you in any way. Please be assured that I did not 'just copy and paste from wikipedia'. I have done research and reading on this topic. This is also part of my culture and tradition, as relayed to me by my respected elders. In my post, I have also mentioned other reasons for the worship of the Datuk Gong. Sincerely, I believe in the existence of the Datuk Gong and will not hesitate to pray to him at the temple.

    As this is only a short post, I have elaborated more on the wealth part.


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Autumn Belle


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