T'ni Kong T'nua-Jade Emperor Altar(凤山长庆殿天公坛) Founded on 1869
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“T’ni Kong T’nua” is a well-known Taoist temple but it was built by a Buddhist monk. The full name of the place is ‘Phoenix Hill Long Propitious Temple Jade Emperor Altar’. The locals call it “T’ni Kong T’nua” (Hokkien) which means the Jade Emperor Altar. The exact establishment year of this temple remain a mystery but artifacts shows that the temple was build not later than 1869.

The temple’s harmonious mix of Taoism and Buddhism grand structure is the effort of the two abbot: Zen Master Shi Jing Ming(释镜明) and Zen Master Shi Guang Tong(释广通). There are also two very rare and complex artistic design of caisson ceiling in South East Asia on the main hall of the temple.

Every year, during the official birthday of the Jade Emperor(9th day of Chinese New Year), thousand of worshippers would come and pray at this temple as it is the only temple in Northern Malaysia that honor the Jade Emperor.


Background Story
Note: This is a draft. The proofreading is not complete.
Buddhist Monk who build the Taoist Temple
Way before 1869, the Taoist priests built a small Taoism Temple with only one hall on a hill slope of the current famous Penang Hill(Penang Hill was not even well known then). They have been quietly cultivating in this deep undeveloped hill for as long as no one knows. Decades later, Taoist priests left and the small temple was left abandoned for a while.

The Arrival of the Monks
In the 1900’s, Penang economy was booming and there is high population growth due to migrants coming in to make a living from the spice trading activities. As a result, there are more and more monks arrived in Penang and Kong Hock Keong was the first stop for all the monks as it was the first temple and nearest to the jetty but unfortunately, Kong Hock Keong could not occupied all the monks.   



1st expension of T’ni Kong T’nua
In the 1900’s, Kong Hock Keong took over the land of “T’ni Kong T’nua” which comes with an abandon Taoist temple. Zen Master Shi Jing Ming(释镜明) valued the foundation that has been laid by  the Taoist priest. In respect to Taoism, Zen Master Shi Jing Ming never destroy the Taoist Temple, instead he extend the temple to a larger scale according to Taoist temple structure and layout. He make few major renovation such as renovating the existing main hall. He also built a front hall in front of the existing main hall. When the influx of monks to the temple increases, he built a kitchen on the right side of the temple to accommodate and to feed to the influx of the monks.
The purpose for the monk to construct the Taoist temple is to help the Jade Emperor devotees to build a temple while keeping the Jade Emperor as the main God in the temple. Another purpose is to help Buddhist Monks to have a place to stay and continue to spread Buddhism teachings. His purpose has its own reasons as during that time, there were not enough pure Buddhist temples. Since Buddhist Monk understand both Taoism and Buddhism teaching well as some of Buddhist monks stayed at Taoism temple as well.  This was also the reason Penangites find it hard to differentiate Buddhism and Taoism today.

The construction of the temple was sponsored by Yeap Chor Yee . Clay-made sculpture of Mr.Yeap and five other directors (Cheah Choo Yu, Lim Seng Hooi, Khoo Teng Poh, Chee Wor Lok and Yeoh Phaik Tatt were erected in the temple. They were all very respectable businessman with great reputation and high social status in the history of Penang. The statue of Kong Hock Keong was enshrined in the left chamber of the main hall and Zen Master Shi Jing Ming also erected a giant copper bell in the chamber in 1909. 

In 1920, Kong Hock Keong invited Shi Guang Tong who was also the chief abbot Zen Master of the Drumming Crane Dhyana Woods Temple of Southern Sea Pu Tuo Mountain, China  (南海普陀山鹤鸣禅林) to become the abbot of Kong Hock Keong. Shi Guang Tong(释广通) is also the 44th generation Zen master of Lin Ji Zong(临济宗) – a Zen faction of Buddhism.  
 
The 1st Restoration

In 1925, Chief Abbot Zen Master Shi Guang Tong(释广通) realize that the some parts of the building have started to deteriorate. It would be harder to restore the whole building if it deteriorates further.
So the Zen Master Guang Tong raised funds to restore the building. The project was accomplished in 1926.

2nd expansion-Aw Brothers Funding
In 1932, the Aw Brothers of Tiger Balm Ointment(万金油)add  Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par add donated a series of buildings which made complete the structures of the temple we see today. The series of buildings included:
1. Build the bridge at the main entrance
2. Build square Pavilion at the back of hill
3. Repair the main road at the hill entrance
4. Erect a new Pu Tong Pagoda(普同塔) and a hill path
5. Repair the entire the main hall of the Jade Emperor
6. Build the Pavilion on the bridge
7. Rebuild the mid-hill pavilion
8. Built a bigger and wider road below the hill
9. Built a courtyard for Pu Tong Pagoda(普同塔埕)
10. Rebuilt the Incarnation Furnace(化身窑埕)

Touch of Buddhism in a Taoism Temple
Guan Di – the Guardian that guards the southern gate of heaven(关帝) is put as the main God in the front temple. The layout of the temple was added with a touch of Buddhism colour in the period of 1912-1949(民国期间) which is in accordance to the Buddha statue’s niche but the layout of the main hall still remains untouched. 

The 2nd restoration
In 2004, the temple went through another restoration. The restoration was done by a Malaysian company (东艺古建筑设计工程公司) together with a Chinese company from Fujian (中国福建东方艺术建筑设计工程公司). 


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