In Tanjong Karang, Datuk temples and shrines abound. The Datuk helps protect the fishermen who hail from a sea-faring background in Fujian province in China. There are 5 Datuks worshipped in this shrine and some of their names are indicated, suggesting that they may represent respected personalities in local history and former community leaders. Datuk Haji Abu Yahya sits on the left; Datuk Haji Abu Osman is on the right.
Some Datuks have simple names based on the colours of the 5 directions of the Taoist compass. Datuk Hijau (green) and Datuk Putih (white) are very popular but the others are out there if you look. It is always fun to ask people the name of the Datuk. It often leads to some stories.
The most common name for the Datuk is Datuk Kong (or some variation in a dialect). This translates to “elder” . There are also many who are called Datuk Keramat – keramat being the Malay word for sacred space, sometimes referring to a grave or a place of ascension.