Timothy Tye
Clan Temples of Penang


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Clan Temples of PenangClan Temples of Penang (22 July, 2015)


Penang Clan Temples are built by the different clan associations in Penang during the mid 19th to the early 20th centuries. These clan temples are constructed for the purpose of worshipping the patron deities of the clans as well as to venerate ancestors. Within these clan temples are usually ancestral tablets of those who have departed. Hanging on the walls of these temples are the photographs of clan members who have achieved academic or financial success. These are usually the benefactors of the clan associations.

Clan associations in Penang are created by Hokkien Chinese who immigrated here in since the early 19th century. They set up clan associations to assist their fellowmen, to settle into the new environment and find employment. Eventually, those who have settled and prospered give back by assisting newcomers of a similar clan. Although the clans were initially set up for the sake of offering helping, by the second half of the 19th century, intense rivalry manifested itself as one clan tried to outdo the other. Nevertheless, the Hokkien clans remained close-knit against peoples of other dialect groups, such as the Hakka and the Cantonese.

The wealthiest of the Hokkien clans is the Khoo, which built the most extravagant clan temple, Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, at Cannon Square. It is not the only Khoo clan temple in Penang. A short distance away is the quieter, less visited Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi, also another clan temple belonging to a subset of the main Khoo clan. Within Penang, five Hokkien clan associations are regarded as the backbone of the Penang Hokkien clan associations. They are the Khoo, the Tan, the Lim, the Cheah and the Yeoh, and they each has a clan temple somewhere in George Town. On this page, we will visit these clan temples and get to know them more closely.

In addition to the Hokkien clans, the Cantonese built district associations which have similar functions to the Hokkien associations. Among these are the Ng Fook Thong District Association and the San Wooi Wooi Koon. We are now in the process of documenting other clan associations and district associations and will post them on this page when ready.

In addition to this list, view also the list of Clan Associations in Penang.

Location of the Clan Temples in Penang on the map

List of the Clan Temples in Penang

Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi
Victoria Street

Details

Carpenter's Guild
Lo Pan Hang (Lo Pan Ku Miau)
Love Lane

Details

Cheah Kongsi
Armenian Street


Details

Chin Kongsi (Chin Si Thoong Soo)
King Street

Details

Eng Chuan Tong Tan Kongsi
Seh Tan Court

Details

Fooi Chew Association
Prangin Lane

Details

Hainan Temple
Muntri Street

Details

Heong San Hoay Kuan / Chong San Wooi Koon
King Street

Details

Khaw Kongsi
Burmah Road

Details

Khoo Kongsi (Leong San Tong)
Cannon Square

Details

Khoo Si Toon Keng Tong Kongsi
Beach Street

Details

Koo Saing Wooi Koon
King Street

Details

Lee Kongsi (Lee Sih Chong Soo)
King Street

Details

Lim Kongsi (Kew Leong Tong)
Ah Quee Street

Details

Meng Eng Choo
Ghee Hin Memorial Hall of Heroes
Rope Walk

Details

Moey She Temple
Penang Street

Details

Nam Hooi Wooi Koon
Cantonese district association

Details

Ng Fook Thong Temple
Chulia Street

Details

Ng Kongsi
King Street

Details

Nin Yong Temple
King Street

Details

Ong Kongsi
Penang Road

Details

Penang Goldsmith Association
Muntri Street

Details

Poe Choo Seah
King Street

Details

San Wooi Wooi Koon
Cantonese District Association

Details

Sungai Nibong Tan Kongsi
Sungai Nibong

Details

Tan Sie Eng Chuan Tong, Bukit Mertajam

GPS: 5.37568, 100.46508

Details

Teoh Kongsi
Teoh Clan Association

Details

War Emperor's Temple (Wu Ti Meow)
King Street

Details

Yap Temple (Choo Chay Keong)
Armenian Street

Details

Yeoh Kongsi
Chulia Street Ghaut

Details

Clan Association Offices

Also listed here are clan association offices that operate without a detached clan temple within their premises. There are numerous clan associations for the various Chinese surnames in Penang, many of which have their premises in shoplots all over George Town.
  1. Low Clan Association occupies a shoplot along Magazine Road.


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