2008 Chinese New Year Gathering In Than Hsiang Temple

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The annual Chinese New Year gathering organized jointly by the various Buddhist organization of the northern region was held on the 16th February( 10th day of the lunar new year). The event began at 2pm with the all girls lion dance troupe from Phor Tay High School were at ground floor to welcome guests of honor.

In his welcoming speech, Shifu wished all a happy and prosperous new year . He further explained that happiness and prosperity are fruits of seeds that we sowed in the past. Therefore we must remember to plant good seeds via the various wholesome deeds of generosity, giving of dana etc. But he emphasized the preference of cultivating the seven supramundane sacred fortunes to the accumulation of worldly and materialistic fortunes which plays no part in the transference of karmic merits in our next lives. Shifu Wei Wu also touched on the impending general election scheduled to be held on the 8th of March. As politics is inextricably intertwined with our livelihood, he reminded us that we should pay close attention to politics. We must use our wisdom in voting the right candidates. He gave some useful pointers. The candidate must:

1. Demonstrate that he /she has the capability to accommodate and unite all the races, religions, and various cultures.

2. Able to maintain, before and after being elected, an attitude of tolerance,
devoid of extremism in speech and deed.

3. Ability to accommodate dissent and absence of pettiness and parochialism in

In short, a candidate should have the welfare of the electorate in mind in tackling the problems of inflation, racial and religious polarization, declining standard of education, high crime rates, immigrant problems and civil service corruption. Therefore when casting you vote make sure that it is a vote for the better, more capable and credible candidate who would be able to meet the challenges and who can champion our causes. Bearing in mind the law of cause of effect, we are responsible for the type of government that we elect.

The Venerable said that in one’s interpersonal relation, one should practise generosity, forgiveness, while rejecting parochial and petty mindset.

Lastly he appealed to the public, the Buddhists in particular, to donate generously to the Phor Tay High School Building Fund. He expressed the urgency of having a Chinese secondary school to cater to the need of the nine Chinese primary schools in the south west district of the Penang Island. The proposed school will solve the perennial problems of students traveling long journey to continue their secondary education in Georgetown. Consequently, we have a win-win situation in relocating Phor Tay High School in the S.E district for it enables the expansion of the Phor Tay Private High School on the present premise of the Phor Tay High School. It is envisaged that the new building will be completed by October this year.
Currently, the building fund is still short of RM 16million out of the total estimated budget of RM 30million.
The audience were entertained by feature songs by the Chakora singers and Than Hsiang choir group, a Chinese musical performance by Sacred High School, cultural dances from Kulim Buddhist Association and Centeral Kedah Buddhist association as well as Phor Tay High School.
It was a joyous and memorable occasion for the audience at the multipurpose hall.