World

Big fish proving to be a big draw at Penang temple

GEORGE TOWN A Chinese temple in Penang has been drawing visitors from as far as Singapore for the past six months - thanks to four huge fish.

People have been queueing up for a chance to touch the fish after many claimed that it has changed their luck and allowed them to even strike a small fortune in 4D after doing so.

The Hean Leng Kong temple in Jalan Aziz Ibrahim, Sungai Nibong, is especially packed if the weekend coincides with the first or 15th day of the lunar month, considered as "good days".

The fish is of the Arapaima gigas species - which can grow up to 2m and 200kg - and is known locally as the dragon fish.

Considered one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, the species is not indigenous to the country and is from the Amazon basin in South America.

Waitress Alice Tan, 60, said that after touching the fish, she struck third prize with the number 4093.

Ms Tan said one must first offer prayers to the God of Prosperity at the temple before touching the fish.

"After coming into contact with the fish, you must use the water in the pond to wash your face, hands and legs.

"Don't bathe or wash yourself until the lottery results are out.

"If you bathe, this means that you will wash away your ong (luck)," said Tan.

Temple vice-chairman Low Ah Lek, 70, said the fish were put in the pond by the temple's former chairman last year.

"Word of mouth spread rapidly after some claimed that the dragon fish brought them luck.

"Even Singaporeans would come here to check out the fish.

"We've applied for a licence to keep the fish and it's still pending," he said. - THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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