10th March 2013
GEORGE TOWN: A priceless Qing Dynasty candle stand that is at least 150 years old has been stolen from Penang’s oldest clan house-cum-temple.
It was part of a prayer set known as the wu gong, typically placed on the altar, said board chairman Cheah Swee Huat of the Cheah Si Hock Haw Kong Kongsi.
The theft took place at its 192-year-old ancestral temple in Armenian Street on Feb 23.
“Our closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed that he came into the temple when the caretaker was on his lunch break,” he said, adding that collectors were willing to pay hundreds of thousands of ringgit for the antiques.
This was the fourth theft which hit Cheah Kongsi in the past one year.
Last year, the wooden base of a porcelain urn was stolen. In another incident, the thief pried open an antique display cabinet and fled with old Japanese currencies on display.
Cheah said that security at its premises had since been beefed up.
“We’re offering a reward of RM2,000 to anyone who can provide information which lead to the arrest of the thief and the recovery of the stolen items.”
Those with any information can contact the management (04-2613837) or Cheah (017-5016088).
He also said that the practice of allowing free entrance to the clan house-cum-temple (9am to 5pm daily) might have to be reviewed.
George Town OCPD Asst Comm Gan Kong Meng said police were investigating the reports.
The Cheah Si Hock Haw Kong Kongsi was the first of the five great Hokkien clans to be established in Penang.
Source : The Star