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Saturday, 22 July 2017 00:00

Bright Lights from the Hearts Pave the Way of Hope

Written by  Koh Poo Leng, Low Hai Loon & Soon Fock Chuan, Klang / Translated by Wong Mun Heng

The sign language performance of “Pray for a Bright Future” by students of Parent-child Bonding Class and the honourable guests led the gala dinner to a close. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

Tzu Chi International School Kuala Lumpur, guided by the principle of “laying the foundation with Great Love, holistic education is the priority”, is going to be a beautiful school filled with love and kindness; with classes commencing in 2020. In order to raise funds for the school, Tzu Chi volunteers engaged different approaches to seek donations. When the Entrepreneurs’ Group of Tzu Chi Klang learnt of the initiation of fundraising activity, they decided to chip in by holding a vegetarian charity dinner.


After five months of preparation, Tzu Chi Klang successfully held a “Tzu Chi International School Kuala Lumpur (TCISKL) Beneficent Gala Dinner” at Hokkien Association Hall, Klang, on July 22, 2017. With the objective of thanking everyone for the support, the 88-table dinner was organized by the volunteers of the Tzu Chi Klang Entrepreneurs’ Group for some 900 guests. It was heart-warming to see the good turn-up and punctuality of the guests; obviously it was because everyone shared the common wish – hopefully, the school will be completed and classes can start soon.

The dinner began at 7.30 pm sharp, with local volunteers serving the guests at every table with food and drinks with all sincerity as a gesture of appreciation for their support towards the TCIS building fund.

Other than broadcasting some news update on the school construction, the programme also arranged for a sign language performance. The Parent-child Bonding Class members presented “Plant a Tree” with a message that young shoots need proper nurturing. “Kneeling Lamb”, presented by members of Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group and Tzu Chi Collegiate Youths, carried a very profound message that one must repay gratitude. Even though this was a very familiar song, many of the guests were touched and overwhelmed with tears in their eyes.

Everyone chipped in for charity

See Hock Beng, Chief Coordinator of the gala dinner function, said that when volunteers first heard of the news of TCIS, everyone was very excited and quite spontaneously initiated discussions on how to raise funds for the school construction. During his visit to TCIS Indonesia, Hock Beng could feel the delightful environment and there and then vowed to do his best to support TCISKL. He shared, “This is because Tzu Chi always adopts the value of “gratitude, respect and love” when running a school, and gives equal emphasis on shaping the kids with good character and moral values, something which the society is very much lacking of...”

Later, upon returning to Malaysia, some volunteers suggested holding a vegetarian charity dinner for fundraising; and this was how it all started. Other than raising funds for school construction, Hock Beng also hoped that with this large-scale vegetarian dinner, more people would be encouraged to become vegetarians and more entrepreneurs from Klang will get to know Tzu Chi better.

To organize this function, community teams and the event’s functional teams were mobilized to share the teamwork and to overcome challenges. For example, the engaging team mobilized their team members to seek support from business associations, guilds and other generous donors.

Since the funds raised from this function was meant for school building purpose, all the food and beverage expenses, together with the rental of venue, were borne by the Entrepreneurs’ Group members. In fact, volunteer Lim Chee Heng sponsored all the F&B expenses on his own. He said that supporting the good cause for education was not new to many, but that he was just lucky to be given this opportunity.

He remarked, “Most people are very concerned about the current educational system and academic teaching. However, other than marks and rankings, good character and good moral values are equally important. Tzu Chi’s education philosophy covers the nurturing of good humanistic values, as well as, moral values, with the hope of evoking the innate loving-kindness of every child.” He hoped that with the completion of TCIS, the spirit of Great Love that Tzu Chi promotes could be instilled in future generations.

Fields of blessing attracted love and kindness of all

As a member of the engaging team, volunteer Chong Sui San, who arrived punctually, expressed that she has been very actively involved in the fundraising and engaging exercise for TCISKL. She said, “To me, school is the place to nurture talents. With a good school that comes with Tzu Chi’s humanity education, we will see better talents in society in the future.” When engaging people to donate for the TCISKL building fund, she would emphasize less on the amount but more on the importance of the education of human values and character moulding, so that the public would have a fair understanding of Tzu Chi’s philosophy in running a school.

Sui San admitted that it was not that difficult when engaging her business partners or clients for donations as most people did see the importance of education of next generation. Like the case of James Lim Chong Shyh, where Sui San knew that he adores his three grandchildren very much, so he was invited to support the school building fund and while so doing, plant blessings for his grandchildren.

What surprised Sui San most was that after sharing barely five minutes on the school project, James Lim immediately agreed to donate the amount for three Tzu Chi Honorary Board Members (see Note). Sui San commented, “I think most of these entrepreneurs are successful people with great blessings. Master has said that blessed people should do more kind deeds and plant more fields of blessing. I guess this is the reason why so many entrepreneurs are so generous and willing to contribute for a good cause.”

Despite his hectic schedules, James Lim, who always has high regards for Tzu Chi and the volunteers, attended the dinner. He was impressed with the elegance that he witnessed at the function. He said, “This is definitely a unique dinner. I could see everyone was so kind and served all the guests with deepest sincerity. It feels different from other ordinary dinner function.” Being a businessman, he never fails to contribute back to society so that the cycle of kindness would continue on.

Jason Yap has known Sui San for more than ten years and both are business partners for many years. He shared, “When Sui San explained on TCIS, I gave her my support because the medium of instruction is English, an international language; and Confucius philosophy is included in the curriculum. This is great.” Being Chinese-educated, he realized the importance of English education and hoped that with the combination of Chinese and English educational system, the students could learn more and better; a definite positive effect for society.

Spreading seeds of love always

Eighty-three-year-old Lim Kok Hua, who wore hearing aid, stepped into the hall slowly with his wife, Tan Ngin Neo. The elderly couple has been well-regarded by volunteers from Klang. Watching the sign language presentation and sharing on the stage, Grandpa Kok Hua was seen smiling from start to finish. When Ang Kim Sing, person-in-charge of Tzu Chi Klang, approached him on the TCIS building fund, he donated RM10,000 without hesitation. Later, when he heard the school was still short of building fund, he increased the donation amount to that for a Tzu Chi Honorary Board Member.

Some years ago, the kind-hearted Grandpa Kok Hua has already contributed shops at Taman Sentosa for Tzu Chi Klang to use as an office-cum-community centre. It is heartening to note that his spirit in supporting education and charitable causes has never diminished. Grandpa Kok Hua expressed his expectation for TCIS with only two words – “very happy”. Though simple as it sounds, it truly reflects his blessings and the trust he has for Tzu Chi all these years.

Granny Ngin Neo was pleased to see the establishment of TCISKL, scheduled for completion in 2020. She said, “I am very happy. With Tzu Chi school, the children will learn good moral values and become well-mannered.” The 81-year-old granny endorsed her husband’s support for Tzu Chi and hoped that the TCIS will be ready soon to enable more students to benefit from the quality teachings on humanistic values.

Towards the end of the function, Echo Chien, CEO of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor, and Ang Kim Sing, person-in-charge of Tzu Chi Klang, handed out certificates and tokens of appreciation to generous individuals who became Tzu Chi Honorary Board Members. Inside the beautifully crafted box was a book showcasing photos of the Master in action, along with touching briefs; definitely a precious item to keep.

“With thousands of blessings, hopefully the kids will have a bright future. And, Great Love, wisdom and kindness will bring bountiful hope…” With the song, “Pray for a Bright Future”, the gala dinner came to a close. With the loving-kindness and aspiration of everyone, the TCIS shall be completed in the near distant future!

Note: Years ago, Master Cheng Yen called upon all kind people to contribute towards the Tzu Chi Hospital Building Fund. In response to the Master’s appeal, Tzu Chi volunteers initiated every means to raise funds for this cause. Back then, NT$1 million was a huge amount. As the Master was very grateful to these patrons who had donated over NT$1 million, she appointed them as Tzu Chi Honorary Board Members to show her appreciation and commended their acts of kindness as a role model for everyone to emulate.

 

 

Volunteers lined up to welcome guests and hopefully, they will give their blessings to the Tzu Chi International School Kuala Lumpur with a joyful heart. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]   As the kick-off for the gala dinner, the drum team made up by members of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor Entrepreneurs’ Group beat the drums in unison with a majestic sound shaking up everyone present. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

Volunteers lined up to welcome guests and hopefully, they will give their blessings to the Tzu Chi International School Kuala Lumpur with a joyful heart. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
As the kick-off for the gala dinner, the drum team made up by members of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor Entrepreneurs’ Group beat the drums in unison with a majestic sound shaking up everyone present. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
child from the Parent-child Bonding Class presented “Plant a Tree” with a message that young shoots need proper nurturing. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]   “Kneeling Lamb”, presented by members of Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group and Tzu Chi CollegiateYouths, carried a profound message that one must repay gratitude.Many attendees were touched. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

child from the Parent-child Bonding Class presented “Plant a Tree” with a message that young shoots need proper nurturing. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
 
“Kneeling Lamb”, presented by members of Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group and Tzu Chi CollegiateYouths, carried a profound message that one must repay gratitude.Many attendees were touched. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
A group photo taken of Tzu Chi Honorary Board Members and other generous individuals after they received the tokens of appreciation from the organizer. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]   The 88-table gala dinner was attended by some 900 guests. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]

A group photo taken of Tzu Chi Honorary Board Members and other generous individuals after they received the tokens of appreciation from the organizer. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
 
The 88-table gala dinner was attended by some 900 guests. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]
 
The well-regarded couple, Lim Kok Hua (4th left) and Tan Ngin Neo (5th left) were very happy to see the establishment of Tzu Chi International School. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]   During his visit to Tzu Chi International School Indonesia, See Hock Beng could feel the delightful environment. He has vowed to do his best to support Tzu Chi International School Kuala Lumpur. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

The well-regarded couple, Lim Kok Hua (4th left) and Tan Ngin Neo (5th left) were very happy to see the establishment of Tzu Chi International School. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
 
During his visit to Tzu Chi International School Indonesia, See Hock Beng could feel the delightful environment. He has vowed to do his best to support Tzu Chi International School Kuala Lumpur. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
Lim Chee Heng from the Entrepreneurs’ Group sponsored all the F&B expenses for the gala dinner. He said many would support a good cause for education and he was just lucky to be given the opportunity. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]   Being a businessman, James Lim, who donated amount for three Tzu Chi Honorary Board Members, never fails to contribute back to society so that the cycle of kindness would continue on. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

Lim Chee Heng from the Entrepreneurs’ Group sponsored all the F&B expenses for the gala dinner. He said many would support a good cause for education and he was just lucky to be given the opportunity. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
 
Being a businessman, James Lim, who donated amount for three Tzu Chi Honorary Board Members, never fails to contribute back to society so that the cycle of kindness would continue on. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]