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Saturday, 27 May 2017 00:00

Groundbreaking Ceremony with Abundant Blessings

Written by  Tzu Chi Documenting Team, Muar / Translated by Ong Mooi Lin

Tzu Cheng Faith Corps members marched in while holding reverently the Buddhist flag, Tzu Chi flag and Jing Si Hall model, marking the commencement of the groundbreaking ceremony. [Photograph by Lim Mui Hock]

May 27, 2017, was a significant and historical day. On this day, Dharma Masters of the Jing Si Abode and volunteers from various Tzu Chi Chapters, including Taiwan, Singapore, KL & Selangor and Malacca, as well as, public members, gathered to witness the groundbreaking ceremony of the Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall.


The auspicious occasion was graced by Master De Rang, Master De Ge and Master De Yuan from the Jing Si Abode, bringing with them blessings from Master Cheng Yen and Tzu Chi Headquarters in Hualien, Taiwan. Lin Pi Yu, Vice President of Tzu Chi Foundation; Lin Su Yun, Tzu Chi Foundation’s Head of Finance Department; Low Swee Seh, CEO of Tzu Chi Singapore; Lim Geok Choe, CEO of Tzu Chi Malacca; and persons-in-charge of various Tzu Chi Chapters, were also present to share the joy. Master Ji Huan, Master Zhen Ren and Master Ji Tong from Buddhist temples in Muar and Tampin also attended the ceremony to extend their blessings.

The rain showers on the few days prior to the groundbreaking ceremony had resulted in the land being muddy, with pools of water everywhere. Hence, volunteers quickly mobilized manpower to cover the potholes with sand and absorb the water with large sponges. However, it rained again on the day prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, creating pools of water at the site, and damaging the banner as well. Volunteers coped with it calmly, fixing the Tzu Chi logos on the sand through the wee hours. They finally managed to complete the task with good teamwork.

Thankfully, the sky was blue with auspicious clouds on the day of the groundbreaking ceremony, as though the heaven and earth were touched by the reverence of all volunteers.

Looking forward to the future

Tzu Chi Muar was established in 1998, when the former person-in-charge, Ng Guek Ngoh, offered a semi-detached house as Tzu Chi activity centre free of rental. With dedication and diligent efforts from all volunteers in promoting and inviting public members to join the ranks of Great Love, the number of volunteers has to-date grown extensively since its establishment 19 years ago. In 2012, it was realized that the Tzu Chi activity centre was no longer able to accommodate the increasing number of volunteers. Yeo Koon Lian, who had participated in the Entrepreneurs’ Camp organized by Tzu Chi in Taiwan, and who concurred with Tzu Chi’s principles, then offered the complimentary use of his factory building for Tzu Chi’s activities for a term of ten years. In addition, he also donated a piece of 3.1-acre land for the construction of a Jing Si Hall in Muar.

The site of the Jing Si Hall is located on Jalan Kim Kee, Taman Temiang Jaya. There are more than 20 housing estates around that area, with mainly Chinese residents. The inner ring road, which was completed in 2013 and connects to Muar Second Bridge, has made the area highly accessible.

The groundbreaking ceremony commenced with a team of Tzu Cheng Faith Corps members matching in and holding reverently the Buddhist flag, Tzu Chi flag and a model of the Jing Si Hall. It was followed by a sign language interpretation of the song, “Hope for Future”, presented by Tzu Chi Commissioners and volunteers in grey uniforms to signify the handing down of the Dharma Lineage. Raising the “lotus flowers” high up, everyone wished that the Jing Si Hall will be a long-lasting spiritual fortress for mind purification.

“First shove, may the world be blessed with peace and safety; second shove, may the minds be purified and society be harmonious; third shove, may all things on Earth thrive endlessly...” Holding golden shovels, every shove in the sand represented a prayer and a blessing for the Jing Si Hall, which is expected to be officially operational in 2020.

Person-in-charge of Tzu Chi Muar, Soh Swee Choo, said emotionally in her welcoming remarks, “For 19 years we have been contributing with sincerity and love, and finally we have a home now!” With teary-eyes, she expressed that she was moved and deeply grateful for the local volunteers’ seamless teamwork to make this ceremony possible within a short notice of two weeks.

Vice President of Tzu Chi Foundation, Lin Pi Yu, was grateful to Master Cheng Yen for establishing Tzu Chi and developing its eight missions throughout the past 51 years. From Hualien, Taiwan, the footprints of Tzu Chi volunteers have now spread worldwide. She wished that the Jing Si Hall will be able to instill Tzu Chi’s humanistic values among the local community, and inspire more people to come together to create a harmonious society.

Master De Rang respectfully read out messages from Master Cheng Yen. Jing Si Hall is a spiritual home for Tzu Chi volunteers; it is a building that conveys the Dharma and humanistic culture. Master Cheng Yen hoped that the building, which serves as a spiritual fortress, will give a homely atmosphere, allowing everyone to experience Tzu Chi’s humanistic spirit.

“Tzu Chi volunteers in Muar have vowed to build a Jing Si Hall here. Hopefully, it will bring more people to join the ranks of volunteers, to spread goodness and love far and wide, to create a cycle of mutual help among the local community, and to leave behind footprints of goodness on Earth.”

Master Ji Huan has witnessed the development of Tzu Chi Muar throughout the past 19 years. She associated the solemn march-in during the ceremony to a calm and steady flow of waves, sending Tzu Chi’s Great Love over. She hoped that everyone could rejoice in the Dharma.

Yeo Koon Lian, the land donor, attended the ceremony together with his spouse and three sons. He wished for the construction of the Jing Si Hall to be completed soon to benefit society and help more people who are in need. His second son, Yeo Kok Hun, acknowledged his father’s generosity as a good affinity, and hoped that more kind people will extend their support in time to come.

Love beyond racial differences

Also extending their sincere blessings for the Jing Si Hall were the beneficiaries of Tzu Chi Happy Schooling Scheme from SJK(T) Jalan Khalidi, students from tuition classes subsidized by Tzu Chi, youths from a rehabilitation centre that received long-term care from Tzu Chi, and members of Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group. The performers, comprising Chinese, Malays and Indians, performed a sign language interpretation of the song, “We Are Family”.

Kamaliah bte Abidin, a Malay care recipient for the past seven years, was filled with gratefulness for the volunteers’ caring. As a single mother, she has raised her three children single-handedly. No matter how hard life gets, education has been her utmost priority for her children. Her eldest daughter has received financial assistance from Tzu Chi for her education from primary school until university level now. Thankful for the unceasing love from Tzu Chi volunteers, she brought along her two daughters to perform the sign language presentation of “We Are Family”, even though it was the first day of the fasting month for Muslims.

The Deputy Principal of SJK(T) Jalan Khalidi, Sahila Muniandy, brought 16 students to participate in the sign language performance. She said that the transportation subsidies from Tzu Chi have enabled the students to attend school. Spotting beneficiaries of other races at the groundbreaking ceremony, she believed that the Jing Si Hall, with its greater capacity, will reach out to more needy people upon its completion. She hoped that she and her children will have the opportunity to join as volunteers in the future.

Low Bee Giap, a resident of Taman Temiang Jaya, donated RM1,000 which she had saved for the building fund of the Jing Si Hall, upon her arrival at the groundbreaking site. According to her, the groundbreaking day was a day she had awaited long in anticipation. She had specially taken leave from work to grasp the opportunity to witness the historical moment.

It touched her deeply when she set foot on the site. She is looking forward to the completion of the Jing Si Hall, which she believes will benefit the next generation, educating everyone to be contented with what they have and cherish their blessings. She could feel the beauty of Tzu Chi’s humanistic culture through the whole groudbreaking cereomony, which was conducted in a systematic and orderly manner. Holding the golden shovel in her hands, she exclaimed joyfully, “Finally it commences!”

Tan Kwee Choo, who relocated to Tawau from Muar together with her husband in 1992, felt the urge to do something for her birthplace when she learnt that a Jing Si Hall will be built at her hometown. She donated the RM10,000 (red packet money given by her husband this year) for the construction fund of the Jing Si Hall. Her husband also donated another RM10,000. Both of them were special guests invited to shove the ground at the groundbreaking ceremony. The atmosphere at the site filled them with Dharma joy. They felt honoured to have the opportunity to contribute their part and hoped that the building will be completed soon.

Although the fundraising and construction is still a long way off, the moving scenes of kindness that emerged from everywhere, and the little contributions pooled from many, are repeating themselves from time to time. It is our greatest wish that the Jing Si Hall will be ready soon to serve its purpose of evoking kindness, pooling and giving love, as well as, settling and purifying minds.

 

 

On the day prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, volunteers used large sponges to absorb the pools of water caused by the rain shower. [Photograph by Lim Mui Hock]   Master De Rang of Jing Si Abode delivered Master Cheng Yen’s blessings. [Photograph by Heng Chin Chuan]

On the day prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, volunteers used large sponges to absorb the pools of water caused by the rain shower. [Photograph by Lim Mui Hock]
 
Master De Rang of Jing Si Abode delivered Master Cheng Yen’s blessings. [Photograph by Heng Chin Chuan]
 
Tzu Chi Muar held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Jing Si Hall in Muar. [Photograph by Heng Chin Chuan]   Vice President of Tzu Chi Foundation, Lin Pi Yu (1st left); land donor, Yeo Koon Lian (3rd left); and special guests are seen here officiating the groundbreaking of Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. [Photograph by Lee Chin Seong]

Tzu Chi Muar held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Jing Si Hall in Muar. [Photograph by Heng Chin Chuan]
 
 
Vice President of Tzu Chi Foundation, Lin Pi Yu (1st left); land donor, Yeo Koon Lian (3rd left); and special guests are seen here officiating the groundbreaking of Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. [Photograph by Lee Chin Seong]
 
Master Ji Huan (left), who has witnessed Tzu Chi’s development over the past 19 years, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony and offered her blessings. [Photograph by Ng Pei Sze]   Kamaliah (right) and her daughter performed the sign language interpretation of the song, “We Are Family”, which also depicts their bonding with Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]

Master Ji Huan (left), who has witnessed Tzu Chi’s development over the past 19 years, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony and offered her blessings. [Photograph by Ng Pei Sze]
 
 
Kamaliah (right) and her daughter performed the sign language interpretation of the song, “We Are Family”, which also depicts their bonding with Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]
 
Some 1,300 persons, including Dharma Masters, volunteers from Taiwan, Singapore, KL, Selangor, Malacca and other Tzu Chi Chapters, as well as, public members, gathered to witness the historical moment of the groundbreaking ceremony. [Photograph by Quek Kah Hoon]   Tan Kwee Choo and her husband offered their great support for the construction of Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. [Photograph by Ng Pei Sze]

Some 1,300 persons, including Dharma Masters, volunteers from Taiwan, Singapore, KL, Selangor, Malacca and other Tzu Chi Chapters, as well as, public members, gathered to witness the historical moment of the groundbreaking ceremony. [Photograph by Quek Kah Hoon]
 
 
Tan Kwee Choo and her husband offered their great support for the construction of Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. [Photograph by Ng Pei Sze]