The man with the golden touch

The man with the golden touch

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Event Description: Pictures of God of Fortune and the festivites at Tua Pek Kong Temple

Meet one of Singapore's most popular Gods of Fortune.

Mr Alex Chia used to have a role in a variety show on Channel 8, but in 1995, he was scouted by a producer for the role of the God of Fortune.

And he has been a "god" ever since.

He studied fengshui in a Taiwanese temple in the 1990s.

Mr Chia, who has a freelance fengshui business, has graced corporate events for banks like United Overseas Bank and Standard Chartered as the God of Fortune. He is busiest during the Chinese New Year period.

On Thursday night, The New Paper visited Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple, where he has been the God of Fortune since 2005.

While he was asked to appear only on the eve of the New Year this year, in the past, he has been asked to make an appearance as many as four times during the festive period.

The temple pays him for the visits, but he declined to reveal the sum.

The role requires him to wear an outfit adorned with crystals, jade and gold.

At around 12.30am, Mr Chia headed to the heart of the temple and blessed the devotees by sprinkling gold dust on their huat kuehs (prosperity cakes) and giving out token hongbao.

Everywhere he went in the temple, devotees crowded around him for a chance to touch and speak to him.

Mr Thomas Lau, 37, a devotee, comes every New Year with his family to see the God of Fortune.

The civil servant said: "I come here to wish for prosperity."

Another devotee, who wanted to be known only as Mr Lee, 48, said he waited for about an hour for the God of Fortune to come out.

The manager said: "I'm happy that my huat kueh has been blessed. Now, I just wish for peace for the country and the world."

Mr Chia, whose father also studied fengshui, described his experience being the God of Fortune as "magical" and "glamorous".

He said people approach him even when he is not in his outfit, which is worth $6,000.

He joked: "But (when they approach me), I will say that I can't bless them because I'm not in my outfit."

STRUCK LOTTERY

Mr Chia said many have struck the lottery after getting his blessing.

"But sadly, I can't bless myself," he said with a laugh.

Mr Chia, who weighs about 186kg, said the swarming mobs do not deter him.

"Instead of them crushing me, I'm afraid I will crush them," he said.

The temple saw about 5,000 devotees on Thursday night, the eve of Chinese New Year.

The event co-ordinator for the temple, Mr Jeffery Tan, said devotees always ask him if Mr Chia is returning to the temple as the God of Fortune.

Mr Tan said: "He is indeed our heavyweight."


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