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Sunday, 19 March 2017 00:00

A Beautiful Close to the 2017 TIMA Conference

Written by  Eileen Tan & Yi Qin / KL & Selangor

The last sharing in the 2017 TIMA Conference was “Food as Medicine” by Dr Eddie Chan. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]

The 2017 TIMA Conference came to a beautiful close on the afternoon of March 19, 2017, with sharing by Dr Eddie Chan on “Food as Medicine”, followed by a heart-warming Closing Ceremony.


Dr Eddie Chan, a Paediatrician and Coordinator of TIMA KL & Selangor, shared on the topic, “Food as Medicine”. He started his sharing by asking the audience three principal questions: “What food you should take?”, “What food you may take?” and “What food you should not take?”.

Without much surprise, Dr Chan revealed the truth that amongst all Malaysians, the Chinese accounts for most of the cancer cases. He further added that animal fat is the culprit that causes most cancers. Recent studies have shown that hyperactivity and autism are very likely to arise from accumulation of mercury in the human body. Autistic children tend to hurt themselves and have social problems, communication barrier and behavioural issues in their life. Astonishingly fish, which is a staple diet in people’s daily life, is the source of mercury; and the precious nutrient Omega-3, which had all along been claimed as an asset of fish, is extracted from seaweed.

Same thing goes for chicken, cow, pig, seafood and even organic farmed animals. They contain harmful substances like arsenic, colouring agent, mutated hormones and toxoplasma (a kind of parasite found mostly in organic farmed animals) which can cause cell mutation, hormone change and breakdown of self-defence system. Everyone was horrified and disgusted when shown a video of tapeworms being extracted from a baby’s stomach, thereby exposing the shocking truth that toxoplasma stays in the human cell for entire life, awaiting the best moment to come into being as the human defence system weakens.

Dr Chan stated that plant-based food provides more nutrients than meat-based diet. Many people argue that vegetables and fruits nowadays contain pesticides and chemical substances that will do harm to human health. However, Dr Chan pointed out that animals are fed grains too; and while we cannot remove the pesticides and chemical substances in the animals’ bodies, we can wash away the chemical residues on plants. Lastly, he shared his convincing views through showing historical figures of geniuses, who claimed themselves as vegetarians, such as, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and Plato. Here, he concluded that “The smarter you are, the more likely you become a vegetarian,” because it is the smart people’s choice! His candid and amusing speech imbedded in his lively jokes, videos and presentation slides had garnered everyone’s attention.

Closing Ceremony

With the final sharing, the 2017 TIMA Conference was nearing its end. The participants were presented a video recollecting the beautiful and inspiring moments during the Conference. Some participants were also invited to share their takeaways on stage.

YuslinaYusof, Chief Nurse from Malaysia, remarked that she was impressed with the mannerism inculcated by Tzu Chi, where everyone would queue up for food and when entering the lecture hall. Being a Kelantanis, she did not notice any images of the “angels in blue-and-white uniform” (Tzu Chi volunteers) on the media in the aftermath of the 2014 East Coast flood. However, through the Conference, she came to realize that the volunteers were actually there, acting as the back bone of the relief work.

She has also learnt that Tzu Chi is not merely a charitable organization, but is also involved in other missions, such as, medicine and education. She held admiration for the elderly volunteers, who are as energetic and strong as the young despite their age. “They are role models for the young generations,” she said.

Besides the Conference programme, she was also exposed to vegetarian food during the Conference. She found the food very tasty and expressed her intention to continue taking vegetarian food after the Conference.

Dr Song Pep from Cambodia shared that he came across Tzu Chi in 2016, when volunteers were in his home country to conduct free clinics. He was overwhelmed by the kindness shown by the volunteers from abroad, and offered his help in locating the patients’ homes and purchasing medications. The volunteers’ hard work and Tzu Chi’s spirit moved him so much so that he decided to join as a TIMA member.

Mao Lychheng, a Pharmacist from Cambodia, has also learnt a lot from the Conference. She was inspired by the selfless love and dedication of volunteers in extending aid and support to the needy. She said, “I also want to do good deeds. I want to become a volunteer too when I go back to my country.”

Another participant, Ho Lian See from Malaysia, was invited by Dr Chan to partake in the Conference. She commented that the Conference was an eye-opening experience for her. She revealed that she was able to hold back her tears despite being deeply moved by the medical cases presented by the speakers. However, she burst out in tears when she saw Ang Chee Mun, who was born with leg deformity could finally stand up after having to crawl around in the past 15 years, thanks to the treatment and care from TIMA doctors and volunteers. She said, “I cried over his pain and laughed in tears when I saw him standing up.”

She had always thought that helping those in need is the job of the government, professionals and the rich. However, when she learnt about the spirit of the Bamboo Bank Era at the Conference, it dawned on her that she was awfully wrong. She was amazed by the volunteers’ courage, passion and commitment in serving humanity, and expressed that she also looks forward to joining TIMA and contributing her efforts.

Dr Andre Prawira, a Tzu Ching alumni from Indonesia, joined TIMA four years ago. He shared humourously that his group facilitator had been showing his concern over his tired look, but the fact was, “I am not tired, just that I cried in every session.” He remarked that the Conference has reminded him to treat patients with empathy and to walk into their hearts. He was particularly impressed with what the medical personnel and volunteers in Sabah have done to safeguard the lives of the indigenous expectant mothers in remote Pitas. He also took the opportunity to invite the participants to attend the 2019 TIMA Conference, which will be held in Indonesia.

Dr Laura Pascual from the Philippines greeted the audience with “Selamat Petang” (“Good afternoon” in the Malay language). She shared that she learnt about Tzu Chi when she was still serving as a dentist in the military. However, her involvement in Tzu Chi was inconsistent, which she described as, “Now you see me, now you don’t.” Having retired from her job now, she decided to commit herself to Tzu Chi’s voluntary mission. “Every time you take on a medical mission, it will melt your heart. How could you refuse to help people who needed you?” she asked. She also called upon those who have not joined TIMA to be part of the team.

The last participant to share on stage was Dr Soo Lin Hoe from Malaysia. He recalled that he was introduced to Tzu Chi by his patient, Tan Soon Hock, who later invited him to join Tzu Chi’s medical mission in Sabah. He commended Tzu Chi and TIMA for their excellent job and thanked the speakers for their inspiring and touching sharing. He indicated that it was one of the top conferences he had ever attended. He also deeply appreciated volunteers who worked behind the scene to ensure the Conference ran smoothly. He revealed that he actually arrived at the Conference venue at 6 am to join the volunteers in the kitchen and help out in food preparation. His thoughtful gesture won him a warm round of applause from the floor.



In his closing remarks, Dr Eddie Chan called upon the participants to put into practice what they have learnt from the Conference, and to reserve their time for the upcoming volunteer training course, and the annual TIMA Convention to be held in Taiwan in the first week of October.

Everyone was moved to see on screen that the Conference was made possible with contributions from some 1,000 volunteers, who had dedicated their time and efforts unconditionally. The Conference marked a beautiful end with a sign language presentation of the song, “Give Love”; and the participants from 12 countries held hands and were inspired to go beyond medicine and serve with love.

 

The 2017 TIMA Conference marked a beautiful end on March 19, 2017. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]   Dr Song Pep (left) and Pharmacist Mao Lychheng, both from Cambodia, shared what they have gained from the Conference. [Photograph by Aw Lee Ching]

The 2017 TIMA Conference marked a beautiful end on March 19, 2017. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]
 
Dr Song Pep (left) and Pharmacist Mao Lychheng, both from Cambodia, shared what they have gained from the Conference. [Photograph by Aw Lee Ching]
 
Dr Soo Lin Hoe shared that he had participated in many international conferences, and the 2017 TIMA Conference was one of the top he had ever attended. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]   Dr Andre Prawira from Indonesia was deeply moved by the programmes throughout the three days. He took the opportunity to invite the participants to attend the 2019 TIMA Conference to be held in Indonesia. [Photograph by Aw Lee Ching]

Dr Soo Lin Hoe shared that he had participated in many international conferences, and the 2017 TIMA Conference was one of the top he had ever attended. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]
 
 
Dr Andre Prawira from Indonesia was deeply moved by the programmes throughout the three days. He took the opportunity to invite the participants to attend the 2019 TIMA Conference to be held in Indonesia. [Photograph by Aw Lee Ching]
 
Yuslina, Chief Nnurse from Malaysia, held admiration for Tzu Chi’s charitable work and the elderly volunteers, who are as energetic and strong as the young despite their age. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]   Ho Lian See was amazed by Tzu Chi volunteers’ courage, passion and commitment in carrying out humanitarian work, and looks forward to joining the ranks of volunteers. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]

Yuslina, Chief Nnurse from Malaysia, held admiration for Tzu Chi’s charitable work and the elderly volunteers, who are as energetic and strong as the young despite their age. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]
 
 
Ho Lian See was amazed by Tzu Chi volunteers’ courage, passion and commitment in carrying out humanitarian work, and looks forward to joining the ranks of volunteers. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]
 
The participants gave a warm round of applause to thank the volunteers on stage, who had dedicated their time and efforts to the Conference unconditionally. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]   The 2017 TIMA Conference ended with a sign language presentation of the song, “Give Love”. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]

The participants gave a warm round of applause to thank the volunteers on stage, who had dedicated their time and efforts to the Conference unconditionally. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]
 
 
The 2017 TIMA Conference ended with a sign language presentation of the song, “Give Love”. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]
 
The participants and volunteers offered one another a warm embrace before leaving the Conference. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]

The participants and volunteers offered one another a warm embrace before leaving the Conference. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]