SINGAPORE - The non-profit voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society will operate a temple with a multi-religious focus in Sengkang West.
Set to open to the public on May 20, the new temple will house a library with books on various religions and host talks and dialogues involving different religious leaders and groups, said the society's chairman Lee Kim Siang on Sunday (April 21).
The Thye Hua Kwan Temple will sit on a 2,000 sq m plot at Fernvale Link, land which was in the news in 2014 when some residents raised concerns over plans to build a commercial columbarium there.
In 2015, a fresh tender for the land was called and Thye Hua Kwan won the bid. The VWO then announced it would build its first temple there.
The building has four storeys and a basement carpark, Mr Lee said while on the sidelines of the VWO's charity event.
"Our teachings have always been multi-religious... We should walk the talk," he added. "To have a religion doesn't mean you cannot have a wide worldview."
Mr Lee said that people of various faiths may use the pews in the temple, where there will be digital tablets displaying different religious texts.
It will have a "hall of filial piety" as well, for ancestral tablets usually inscribed with names of the dead.
Those applying for the ancestral tablets will be encouraged to provide a video remembering the life of the deceased. The aim, he said, is for people to have a space where they can look back on the stories of their loved ones.
On Sunday, the VWO launched its 14th Charity Buddha donation drive at Waterloo Street. The event was officiated by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.
Among other things, proceeds will be used by the society to provide free food and medical services for the needy through its meal centres and free clinics.
The VWO said it raises about $200,000 through its annual donation drive.