Yishun Hindu temple closure due to temple president’s passing draws harsh criticism from devotees


The Sree Maha Mariamman Temple, located on 251 Yishun Ave 3, has been closed due to the passing of the temple president. This move by the temple’s committee has attracted severe flak from devotees who have criticised that closing a place of worship when a leader has passed away is “totally unacceptable.”

The following notice announcing the temple closure has been circulating online. The notice roughly translates to:

NOTICE: It is with sadness that we announce that our temple leader, dear mother, has gone to seek Shri Maha Mariamman’s holiness. The temple will be closed from the evening of 7 Dec 2017 to 8 Dec 2017. Temple worship will resume as per normal from Saturday, 9 Dec 2017, morning. – Temple management group

This has not flown well with devotees who have sarcastically questioned whether the temple president died within the temple for the temple to be closed.

Others have also questioned whether this is acceptable under the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) regulations and whether the HEB is doing anything about this. It appears that several devotees have reached out to HEB but it is unclear whether the Board has responded.

Netizens have also brought up negative experiences they have had with the late temple president who has allegedly chased devotees from the temple in the past:

An especially severe excoriation of the temple committee’s decision to close the temple is being re-posted online. The original post is by Facebook user called Jay Shree who labelled the move “absurd” and criticised the temple for depriving devotees of doing daily prayers because of the temple leader’s passing.

She also noted that the temple leader’s funeral was being held in her home and not the temple, as per the leader’s obituary, and asked whether the late leader is superior to god:



  1. It used to be a kampong temple at shipyard area last time.. Then Gov moved it to yishun.. This lady became leader since she used to take care of the kampong temple.. This yishun temple is infamous for her behaviours as if It’s her own temple.. even now they close it down as if it’s her father’s own temple… Asshole behaviour

  2. Put aside the deceased. A temple is a sacred place of worship for Hindus. Why should the deities be deprived of their daily prayers and offerings due to a demise? It has never happened and it is truly sad to see such things happening here in Singapore.

  3. Ya it’s not the way of closing the temple without prayers for the deity. Do they really understand of temple poojas. Nowadays the temples in Singapore become private equity or else certain body governing the practices of devotees with so many regulations. Ultimate temple ground is to preach and guiding oneself to attain liberation from worldly life to merge with HIM. Sadly it’s been used for generating income and used for non sensible things. The income can help so many poor hindhu families in Singapore and set up education fund for the needy. No need to beg Sinda with so many regulations and requirements. Mostly used funds for celebrating certain festivals which impress our government and tourist. Whoever holding TITLES or chairperson should first understand what is the meaning of temple before taking up position managing temples. Don’t have knowledge about Sariya Kriya Yoga and Nyanam. Only stick to first two, the rest who going to preach??? Don’t expect the priest they merely workers whom chanting and repeating the same mantras over and over whitout even understand the inner meanings. Yoga and Nyana parts we need to find Gurus for enlightenment. The temple ground supposed to cover the whole process as I mentioned above. Wise people will understand what am I trying to clarify here.

  4. Firstly as a human and a follower of Hinduism, I would sincerely render my condolences for the passing of Mdm. Kalyanathayee, the president of Sri Maha Mariamman temple which is located at Yishun.
    Next as for news of the temple closure due to giving the last respect to her shocked and me.
    All Hindu temples have to strictly follow the rules and regulations according to the Hindu Agama Shastras.
    The temple can only be closed for the following reasons:-
    1) Sun or moon eclipse
    2) If a death happens in the temple
    That is also for a certain time only after which a purification prayer got to done immediately and the routine prayers has to be carried out.
    HEB has also clearly agreed with my query on the above matter. In fact, they have even sent an immediate email to the temple advising them to open the temple as soon as possible after many devotees show their unhappiness towards the closure of the temple. But HEB could not force them to do so as the temple does not come under HEB. However, the HINDU ENDOWMENT BOARD has clearly agreed that this is a wrong thing to do so.
    Now things are already done. So the next thing the temple should do is a special prayer to clear the sin which has been done to the Goddess Mariamman and my sincere request to the management is, they have to show their apologies to the devotees.
    The mark of respect is not by closing the temple, it is by opening it and pray to the Lord for peace for the soul.
    Well Let us pray that the late Mdm. Kalyanathayee’s soul may rest in peace

  5. We have many mini empires and mini (pro pap)Emperors and Empresses in Singapore created by the pap in all walks of life to help the pap to stay in power for the past 50 years.This abuse of such privileges will go unchallenged as long as there is no Opposition in parliament to question such practices.

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