For this AEC Heritage Trail, Me and a few of my friends went on island hunting. We went to Saint John’s Island, then to Lazarus Island and lastly Kusu Island. Though Saint John’s Island and Lazarus Island wasn’t as appealing and interesting as Kusu Island, I sure did enjoy spending my time exploring all the islands.
So I would like to talk about Kusu Island. There is something unique about this island that all the other islands does not have. This island have a temple meant for worshipping the Chinese gods Da Bo Gong (Also known as Tua Pek Kong, Grand uncle) and Guan Yin (Goddess or mercy). Tua Pek Kong is believed to bring prosperity, cure diseases and avert crisis while Guan Yin is believed to be the giver of sons.
Kusu island has its name from “Tortoise” in Chinese. People believed that a giant tortoise had turned itself into an island just to save two, a chinese and a malay, shipwrecked sailors. Hence there was a temple built for the chinese and the keramat for the malay.
Since I have been on this island, I can’t help but see tortoise everywhere, in the temple and there was even a tortoise shelter. The people on board the ferry with us heading to Kusu Island were also fascinated by the peaceful ambience the island gives off. After we alighted, people were reading the signs as to how the island got its name and people were going to temple to pray for good luck. There was this particular set of steps that holds the Keramat for the malay people on top, people go there to pray for good health and harmony.
I have learnt of the whole story behind the founding of the name Kusu Island and how people go there to pray for their safety. What I took back was definately an interesting experience and not forgetting to mention that the scenery there was absolutely stunning because of the quiet environment away from the city life.