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Saturday, 16 July 2016 00:00

Donated Years of Savings for Tzu Chi International School

Written by  Loh Siew Chien, Melaka / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Upon learning about the fundraising drive, Chua Tiap New, a Tzu Chi monthly donor, retrieved her savings to support the noble cause. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Chua Tiap New, a thrifty lady owner of a small sundry shop, donated her years of savings as soon as she learnt about the Tzu Chi International School project.


“I read the news about the fundraising dinner for Tzu Chi International School and waited for ten days yet you never called me,” said Chua Tiap New, a Tzu Chi donating member. As she could not wait any longer, she made a call to Tzu Chi volunteer, Ng Boon Ngoh to inform her of her wish.

Boon Ngoh was so touched after receiving the call. She usually shares the project updates with relatives and friends to raise funds. She did not approach Tiap New as the latter and family members had recently donated RM4,000 for the project through the purchase of lotus lamps. Hence, she was thrilled when Tiap New told her about donating another RM10,000.

Keeping abreast of Tzu Chi events

Boon Ngoh and husband, Teng Swee Lieng immediately paid a visit to Tiap New on July 16, 2016. Her house, located in Merlimau, is surrounded by fruit trees and plants, and her sundry shop is just next to her house. Her customers are mostly her neighbours.

A simple Tiap New welcomed the couple warmly. Boon Ngoh brought along a few Tzu Chi publications ordered by Tiap New through recommendations from Tzu Chi magazine. Tiap New, who had already owned a number of Tzu Chi publications, would be engrossed in the books during her spare time. She said, “The contents are very meaningful, and every phrase is applicable to our daily lives. My mind is broadened after reading these books.”

Besides reading, Tiap New also loves to watch Da Ai TV. She is very familiar with all the programmes, from Da Ai News to Life Wisdom, Wisdom at Dawn, as well as, Da Ai dramas.  Now that her TV has broken down, she has been using her children’s tablet to watch the programmes online.

“I am not savvy with the gadget, so I just simply press and watch whatever programmes are available, but I love them all,” Tiap New said smilingly. She also reads the web news when there are no customers to serve hence, she is very informed on Tzu Chi’s news even though she stays at home all the time.

Looking for ways to do good

She sounded regretful when talking about how she came to know about Tzu Chi. She said, “I missed an opportunity to learn more about Tzu Chi in the past...”

Apparently Boon Ngoh and volunteers stopped over at Tiap New’s shop back in 2008 to check on an address for a home visit. She was greatly impressed with Tzu Chi when she learnt that there were people willing to reach out to the poor family in the neighbourhood.

But it was only in 2010 that Tiap New became a monthly donor through Teng Swee Lieng, her daughter Hau Siew Yean’s colleague. With the installation of Da Ai TV and participation in some activities, Tiap New got to know more about Tzu Chi. She shared, “Wherever there are disasters locally or overseas, volunteers would always render their assistance selflessly. That is why I want to support Tzu Chi.”

“I used to be very poor when I was young and the neighbours used to help us,” she recalled the kindness from others when she was having a tough time. Hence, she would like to help even if she has very little for herself.

“As long as I am capable, I want to lend a hand. I have been searching for ways to do some good deeds. As I hardly go out, I hope to donate some money at the very least…”

Hoping to inspire more into charity

“These are the newspaper cuttings on Tzu Chi International School. I have kept them for record purposes,” Tiap New proudly shared with the volunteers. “It takes a lot of money to build a school, and things are so expensive nowadays. We have only played a small part. My children are very supportive of the donation drive too!”

Tiap New felt that one must seize every opportunity to do good. She has lived a frugal life and saved up bit by bit for more than ten years. Thus, it was truly noble of her to have donated her years of savings for the project.

“These days, society is in chaos and weather conditions are also in the extremes. People feel unsafe when they read about the chaos and disasters from the newspaper. Hopefully, the international school could offer a quality education for the kids, a peace of mind for the parents, and more talents for the nation,” Tiap New continued.

Upon learning about her kind act, her siblings in Muar also expressed their will to participate. She said humbly, “Honestly, I did nothing much. Credit should be given to those involved in the preparation phase. It is never easy to build a school! Effort from everyone is needed. It is hoped that this could act as a catalyst for more to join in the ranks.”

 

Chua Tiap New runs a mini market for living. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   Chua Tiap New requested Tzu Chi Commissioner, Ng Boon Ngoh, to help purchase some Tzu Chi publications on her behalf. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Chua Tiap New runs a mini market for living. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Chua Tiap New requested Tzu Chi Commissioner, Ng Boon Ngoh, to help purchase some Tzu Chi publications on her behalf. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
As the TV at home has broken down, Chua Tiap New has been watching Da Ai programmes online using her children’s tablet. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]  

As the TV at home has broken down, Chua Tiap New has been watching Da Ai programmes online using her children’s tablet. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]