Monday, Aug 20th

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 00:00

A Clear and Pure Stream in Morning Market Place

Written by  Koh Poo Leng, Klang / Translated by Goh Hwe Yong

Photo shows Khor Siew Kheng promoting the bamboo bank with “Tzu Chi 50” label on it, as well as, the Buddha Bathing Ceremony to a member of the public. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]

Every Wednesday morning at the market in Bukit Tinggi, Klang, located at a street junction is a stall under the shade of a huge blue umbrella. On display is a series of Tzu Chi’s Jing Si products, two bamboo banks and copies of Tzu Chi publication. Come rain or shine, the Tzu Chi volunteers have religiously been introducing a “mind-purifying stream” to the local community since April 30, 2013…


Drawing inspiration from Master Cheng Yen’s vision to recruit a million donors, Tzu Chi volunteers in Bukit Tinggi began to reach out to the local community to spread the missions of Tzu Chi and to solicit for membership. As the drive for “A Million Bodhisattvas” was a gift for the Malaysian volunteers, naturally all Tzu Chi volunteers happily accepted and gave their best to achieve the target.

How to sustain the drive over the long term? This was a pertinent question. An idea struck Tzu Chi volunteer Khor Siew Kheng. Together with other volunteers, they set up a stall at the local morning market on every Wednesday to promote Jing Si products and Tzu Chi missions.

Promoting a ‘pure stream that purifies minds’

On a typical morning the Bukit Tinggi market is bustling with activities with a myriad of people doing marketing, buying from Malay, Chinese and Indian hawkers plying their wares and food.  It was busy yet peaceful without the shouting of vendors to attract customers.

At the street junction, the Tzu Chi stall is set up next to a Malay vendor. On display are vegetarian instant food such as noodles, rice, biscuits and powdered drinks of a variety of flavours. Tzu Chi volunteers put their sincere and friendly smile forward as they introduced the Tzu Chi organization, activities and products to customers.

“Hello, good morning. Have you heard about Tzu Chi? We are here to promote the products made by the resident nuns of Tzu Chi. Would you like to take a look? We will be holding a Buddha Bathing Ceremony on May 8, please come and join us...” Low Poh Lai greeted every passer-by in a gentle and polite manner.

“Hi sister, I am here to hand in my donation. Oh yes, I want to get a sugar-free multi-grain powder…” To be at ease with either positive or negative response was what Poh Lai did. She was well aware that in this defiled world, it takes great patience to purify people’s minds for a peaceful world.

Poh Lai is 66 years old. She has been on duty without fail since the Jing Si stall was set up three years ago. Her determination is inspiring the rest of the volunteers.

“I seldom take leave, except when I had my knee operation last year for which I had to go on leave for a month. I came back for duty as soon as I got better,” said Poh Lai, who has been working closely with Siew Kheng, whether to inspire more people onto the path of goodness, or to promote Jing Si products at this stall. She took it as her duty to introduce healthy food to the local community.

“These products are healthy, as there is no preservative and are not so sweet too. It is good to share good things with others,” Poh Lai remarked.

Despite her age, Poh Lai, does all the house chores on her own. She takes up her tasks responsibly. Each Wednesday morning, she would volunteer for 2½ hours, and then set off happily home. To her, to be able to share with others is happiness indeed. To be able to spread positive information to others, and to urge others to do good deeds in itself is doing good, and doing good deeds made her happy.

Spreading Great Love with sincerity

“Pakcik, we have been here for three years already,” Siew Kheng told an elderly Malay man, the adjacent stall owner, selling cooked vermicelli and noodles. Siew Kheng is also collecting donations from him.

“Oh really, three years already? So fast…” replied the cheerful and friendly elderly Pakcik.

In the course of three years, Siew Kheng, the inspirational figure of the stall, has mingled well with all stall owners in the market place.

Despite the simple set-up, the Jing Si stall is no ordinary stall in that its mission is not only to care for the physical health but also the spiritual health of the community. If there are any customers with a worried mind, Siew Kheng and the volunteers would lend a sympathetic ear. By so doing, they have become closer to the community.

“My only wish is to make it known to the people that it is simple to do good. When they realize and start to join us, the three wishes of Master, i.e. mind-purification, societal harmony and world peace could become possible,” expressed Siew Kheng.

To Siew Kheng, piling loads and loads of Jing Si products in her newly acquired car is happiness, for she just wanted to seize every moment to do good. Sharing Jing Si products and Tzu Chi periodicals with others is a joy to her.

She is animated when talking about how she went about promoting the products at the stall. Nothing makes her happier than a customer that came back for more.

“This morning, a customer came on the recommendation of her neighbour. There are cases where parents buy the products for their children to bring overseas,” Siew Kheng could not contain her delight.

She would gleefully deliver goods to the customers’ doorsteps as per their request, as a way of practising Great Love. “It is great that people think of taking Jing Si products with them overseas, so I oblige such request.”

Chong Tee Eng, an old lady who lives nearby the market place fancies the multi-grain powder. Whenever she needs to replenish, she would walk to the stall on Wednesday to buy it. She would also take time to talk to the volunteers to keep abreast of latest developments in Tzu Chi.

“I have tasted every flavour of the multi-grain powder. It is filling. This stall is convenient for me too since I don’t drive. Very good…” the granny grinned as she said.



For every cause, there is an effect. The simple thought of Siew Kheng and with the help of other Tzu Chi volunteers have resulted in a stream of purity at the morning market. Over a period of a thousand days, more than 300 locals have joined as Tzu Chi donating members, and Jing Si products have also been successfully promoted to more people.

 

Over three years, more than 300 members of the public were inspired to donate for a good cause. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]   Chong Tee Eng, a regular customer, credited the setting up of the stall for saving her time travelling to purchase the healthy products. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]

Over three years, more than 300 members of the public were inspired to donate for a good cause. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]
 
Chong Tee Eng, a regular customer, credited the setting up of the stall for saving her time travelling to purchase the healthy products. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]
 
On display is a series of Jing Si products and Tzu Chi magazines, with the wish to purify peoples’ minds and to promote peace in society. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]   Volunteers with the “three finger” gesture signifying the three years since the stall have been operating. [Photograph by Tai Fuey Tat]

On display is a series of Jing Si products and Tzu Chi magazines, with the wish to purify peoples’ minds and to promote peace in society. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]
 
 
Volunteers with the “three finger” gesture signifying the three years since the stall have been operating. [Photograph by Tai Fuey Tat]
 
Khor Siew Kheng enjoys setting up the stall on every Wednesday in order to fulfil Master’s wishes. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]   Low Poh Lai has never missed reporting herself for duty at the stall, in order to share with members of the public on the benefits of doing good. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]

Khor Siew Kheng enjoys setting up the stall on every Wednesday in order to fulfil Master’s wishes. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]
 
 
Low Poh Lai has never missed reporting herself for duty at the stall, in order to share with members of the public on the benefits of doing good. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]