Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Malaysian Ruesi: Datuk Kong (拿督公)

Datuk Kong belief is specific to Malaysia and Singapore. The above shows a picture of Datuk Panglima Putih (White), together with Datuk Panglima Merah (Red), Datuk Panglima Kuning (Yellow), Datuk Panglima Hijau (Green) and Datuk Panglima Hitam (Black - Not shown in picture). Some believe that the five colours: white, red, yellow, green and black represents five elements in Chinese belief: metal (west), fire (south), earth (centre), wood (east) and water (north).

There are striking similarities between the offering to Thai Ruesi and Datuk Kong. Both needs to be worshipped with: betel nut flakes, betel leaves with lime paste, tobacco, bananas, chicken, eggs, turmeric rice and sometimes curry mutton. Pork and alcohol are straightly forbidden as it is contrary to Islamic rules. Incidentally a female Datuk is called Nenek in Penang and coastal areas of Perak.

The best day to worship a Datuk Kong is on Thursday night. Incense especially Benzoin and Indian black incense must be burnt during the worship.

At times, Datuk Kong is also given presents such as:

·         A keris

·         A tongkat (walking stick)

·         A small white haji hat

·         Five colored flags

·         A sarong

The Chinese Datuk Kong

1.      Panglima Ah Chong

·         His original name was So Ah Chong (苏亚松) formerly a leader of Ghee Hin secret society

2.      Datuk Zhang

·         Formerly a man known as Zhang who lived in Brunei, originally from Zhang Zhou of Fujian province, China. He was appointed to be ‘Datuk’ of Brunei.

The Malay Datuk Keramat

Below is a list of Datuks according to seniority:

1.      Datuk Panglima Ali (Ali)

2.      Datuk Panglima Hitam (Black)

3.      Datuk Panglima Harimau (Tiger)

a.       This datuk must be worshipped with thick black coffee and cigar

4.      Datuk Panglima Hijau (Green)

a.       A datuk who live in trees

5.      Datuk Panglima Putih (White)

6.      Datuk Panglima Kuning (Yellow)

7.      Datuk Panglima Bisu (Mute)

8.      Datuk Panglima Merah (Red)

9.      Datuk Panglima Bongsu (Youngest)

It is actually imposible to give a complete list of Datuk available out there as different places will have different Datuks. In Teluk Intan, people worship Datuk Haji Tua (Old Haj) and in other places Datuk Kaki Bukit etc. So suffice just to list the above examples. Perhaps the number of Datuks in Malaysia and Singapore can total up to 108 such as that of the 108 Ruesi.

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