Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple (韦陀法宫) is located on a hill in western Pulau Ubin. Established in the 1950s, the temple has developed from a private residential house to the public temple that it is today.
The temple is privately run by Madam Ong Siew Fong and her son Mr Wong Ming Hua. Mr Wong has a background in Taoism studies and is the resident temple religious advisor. He plays an active role in the ritual activities of the temple.
The Temple’s Beginnings
The temple’s beginnings can be traced back to the 1950s, when Madam Ong’s parents-in-law started to take in some quarry workers as tenants. It was believed that the family was making offering to a big rock which was regarded as an embodiment of Datuk Gong, a native local spirit. The family home also had an altar, and the tenants would pray to the gods there. The Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple thus grew out of a private residential place of worship.
At around the same time, an explosion at a granite quarry caused a large piece of rock to crash into the family home. Fortunately, no one was injured. The rock was then painted a golden colour and set up at its present site as an object of worship. The temple was believed to have been formally established after the accident.
Place of Worship for Many
The Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple features a rich religious diversity. Despite being a Buddhist temple, it houses shrines that are dedicated to different gods such as Datuk Gong hillside spirits and Hindu gods. There is even a Tibetan pagoda. The interreligious elements make Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple a place of worship for many different devotees.
Interestingly, many of the gods that are housed by the temple are taken in from other places of worship. For example, when a temple in the Balestier Road area was demolished, Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple took in its Datuk Gong shrine. The temple also houses gods from demolished Hindu temples from Singapore. The largest image among these is Muneeswaran, said to be from a temple in Bukit Timah.
Additionally, in 2007, after the Thai temple on Pulau Ubin was demolished, the deity statues were moved to Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple.
The temple is also involved in annual Tua Pek Kong festivals, together with the Tua Pek Kong Temple, which is also at Pulau Ubin.
Architecture and Structures
The main temple resembles that of a vernacular residential house because it used to be a family home. Prayer flags are adorned in the area, and the temple is surrounded by lush garden and has a beautiful view of a nearby pond.
The temple also sees a bridge that Mr Wong built when he was younger. The bridge and several other structures were built only for the family’s recreational purpose with no religious purpose in mind.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.SG does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of April 2021 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.