2010 Annual Report

-A A +A

Than Hsiang Foundation
Than Hsiang Foundation (W889565) has been successfully registered on 09-02-2010 with Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia

25th anniversary celebration of Than Hsiang Buddhist Welfare Association

While celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, five hundred units of a quarter ounce Guan Yin gold medallions were minted for sale to raise funds for educational and welfare activities. Programmes for the anniversary celebration among the various branches included:

1. The national Chinese Buddhist hymn singing competition.
A total of 120 participants from Penang, Perlis/Kedah and KL/Selangor took part in the competition. The event helped raised RM600,000 for Metta Mobile Clinic, Than Hsiang Wan Ching Yuan Centre, KL/ Selangor Mitra Welfare Centre and SMJK Phor Tay .

2. The Buddha Day week long activities included: the Bathing of the Buddha Statue Ceremony, Buddhist books exhibition, Buddhist hymns and stamps sharing session and a photography exhibition.

3. Prof Yu Chun Fang and Prof Lye Han Yeow were invited to give talks related to Guanyin in commemoration of Guanyin’s birthday in the month of June this year. The public lectures were aimed at promoting a better understanding of the concept of Guanyin‘s compassion and wisdom.

4. The highlight of the 25th anniversary celebration was the Guanyin float procession, which was held, with the support from various Buddhist organisations, for the very first time in the South West district of Penang. The float procession which was about a kilometer traveled along a 6.2 kilometer route.

5.In conjunction with the IBC 3rd convocation held at the Young Buddhist Association of Thailand, Bangkok, a 3-day-4-night Bangkok tour was organised for 80 participants from Penang and Klang valley. The group also visited the IBC branch campus in Korat and the Buddhist holy site at the Phimai Historical Park.

6. The “Om Mani Padme Hum “ recitation assembly and a public Dharma talk entitled “ This is A Happy Moment “ by the renowned Zen master, the Most Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh were jointly organised with SMJK Phor Tay to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Phor Tay school.

7. “A Night of Gratitude cum Reunion Dinner” was held at Than Hsiang on 4th December in recognition of the unwavering support of the Temple’s devotees and friends. The audience were entertained with performances by the staff and volunteers from various departments and branches .

Ven Wei Wu in his speech paid tribute to the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu and shared an account on how the present site on which the Temple stands today was acquired with the help from Tun Dr Lim who was then the Chief Minister of Penang and the chairman of Penang Development Corporation. The “ Night of Gratitude “ gathering was similarly held in Sungai Petani and Kuala Lumpur.

2010 Welfare Activities

Mitra welfare centre
The centre has a total of 141 volunteers actively participating in the various activities or sub-groups such as the Mitra line telephone and face to face counseling, welfare and social education sections. The centre served 900, 500 and 20 cases through its telephone , face to face and mail/email counseling respectively.

For the past three years ,telephone counseling on mental health cases predominated. The welfare section provided 271 cases with either spiritual or financial assistance. Besides providing external training courses, the social education arm also organised seven workshops with various themes for the public. Furthermore, the centre has also taken steps to enhance the interactive/social skill of the volunteers via courses conducted by external lecturers . The centre also participated in the 25th anniversary celebration by staging a sketch —“ Let’s Fly to A New Height”.

Wan Ching Yuen
The year witnessed the ordination of senior manager, Ms Kang Sok Meng of Wan Chin Yuen by Ven. Wei Wu.

Than Hsiang Wan Ching Yuen became the venue for the training of the Surya nursing college. While providing the aspiring students the opportunity for practical training, the venture helped to alleviate the centre’s problem of nurse shortage. As in the past, Wan Ching Yuen continues to organize birthday celebration for the residents in Penang and Sungai Petani. The elderly residents (lao pusa) also attended the 25th anniversary celebration.

“Purchase a Pure Gold Guan Yin Medallion” in aid of Disaster Relief Fund
Early November saw the onslaught of natural disasters – floods, cyclone, volcanic eruption and tsunamis which caused massive destruction and suffering to the people in Thailand, Indonesia, Burma and northern peninsula Malaysia.

Than Hsiang Temple immediately launched the 'Purchase A Pure Gold Guan Yin Medallion in Aid of Disaster Relief Fund' campaign in Penang, Perlis, Kuala Lumpur and Sungai Petani to raise fund for disaster victims. The fund raised exceeded RM 400,000 and was disbursed as follows:

1. Khorat flood relief---------------------RM 100,000
2. Perlis flood relief------------------------RM 25,000
3. Southern Thailand flood relief—-----RM 100,000
4. Myanmar Cyclone Girl relief----------RM50,000
5. Indonesia Volcanic /tsunami fund---RM 200,000

Than Hsiang Sangha members and volunteers immediately visited the affected areas not only to provide immediate relief by distributing cooked food, water and cash but also to show their concern and care. The relief work does not stop there and the welfare volunteers will continue with follow-up assistance in the affected areas.

2010 Cultivation Activities

(A) Annual Cultivation Activities
1. Saturday Cultivation/Chanting Sessions, chanting of 88 Buddha Repentance Recitation on new moon and full moon days.

2. Monthly Eight Precept Retreats.

3. 3-day and 7-day Amitabha Chanting Retreats.

4. Chinese New Year Eve Chanting; CNY One Day Retreat; CNY Lamp Lighting Dharma Assembly; Qingming (Cheng Beng) Dharma Assembly - Three Sessions of Pure-Land chanting and Amitabha Sutra chanting; Buddha day- Buddha Statute Bathing Ceremony and Lamp Lighting; Filial Piety Dharma Assembly—Three Sessions of Pure-land Chanting , Amitabha Sutra chanting and Ulambhana Sutra chanting.

5. Others; the Great Compassion Cultivation Assembly.

(B) Dharma talks/Dharma propagation
Several talks were organized in conjunction with the annual Maha Sangkhidana and the 25th Anniversary Celebration.

1. Ven. Jideng -- “The Joy of Cultivation”
2. Ven. Jizun – “ Buddhist Concept of Ethics”
3. Ven. Boon Kean – “ Be Mindful”
4. Ven. Wei Wu —“ Dharma sharing on the Bodhisattva Path during the Three-day & Seven-day Retreats”
5. Ven. Drupon Khenpo Lodro Namgyal - “Buddhism and the Path”
6. Dr Lye Hun Yeow — “Guanyin and the Heart Sutra”
7. Prof Yu Chun Fang — “Guanyin and Chinese Buddhism”
8. Prof Yu Chun Fang and Dr Lye Hun Yeow — ''Guanyin Q & A"
9. Dr Lye Hun yeow — “Living the Six Syllable Mantra"

2010-Education activities

In line with the community based approach adopted by Than Hsiang, Than Hsiang Kindy extended its kindy and day care services to Juru, Permatang Pauh, Farlim and the vicinities of Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Union, Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Kwang Hwa, Penang and Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan(Cina) Shih Chung.

The total student enrollment has reached 830 students. Several workshops on pictorial teaching method were organized to enhance and improve teachers' teaching skills. Workshops on supervisory skills had also been conducted. Teachers were also encouraged to enroll in Post Graduate courses on early childhood education by the International Buddhist College.

Sunday School
Besides familiarizing students with the Dharma the primary emphasis of the Sunday school is the practice of the Ten Good Deeds. The total number of registered students for the year 2010 stands at two hundred and thirty. Students are encouraged to appreciate Buddhist hymns and participate in retreats to heighten their Religious sentiment. During the school holidays, one secondary school students' camp and two primary school students' camps were organised to enhance Dharma cultivation. The Sunday school together with the Young Buddhist Association conducted training workshops to upgrade Dharma teachers. A total of eight parenting events were also carried out during the year.

Kalyanamitra homes situated in the vicinity of University Science Malaysia and Tar College, serves as centers for the propagation and cultivation of Buddha Dharma for undergraduates. During the Buddha day celebration, students learned to appreciate the sublime teachings of the Buddha through sharing and appreciation of Buddhist hymns. During the 25th Anniversary Gratitude Night concert, members also presented the IBC theme song” For the Good of the Many”. During the August graduation tea party celebration, Ven. Wei Wu was invited to give a Dharma talk and the alumni were also present to advise and share their experience with the fresh graduates.

Thanqing (Than Hsiang Youth) has a total of thirty members. Members are involved in activities organsied during the weekends especially Sundays. Among them are the Environmental Protection Day recycling project held on every second Sunday of the month, Filial Piety day, Cultivation Day, National Service Cultivation cum Sharing Day. The creativity subcommittee meets on the first and fourth Thursdays of the month. Other annual activities organised by the group include CNY caroling, Buddha Day celebration, Guan Yin Birthday celebrations, Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival, the ninth lunar month vegetarian festival and the Primary and Secondary students' Holiday Dharma Cultivation Camps.

IBC offers courses at the Bachelor, Master and Doctorate level in Buddhist studies taught in English or Chinese at its main campus in Klong Ngae, Sadao, Southern Thailand or its branch campus which was established in July 2010 in Pat Thong Chai, Korat, Northeastern Thailand. Apart from continuing the existing Buddhist courses, the IBC campus in Southern Thailand has also started to conduct secular courses. The main campus is now offering courses for the MA Degree in early childhood education headed by Dr. Kim Phaik Lah. The courses are also offered in Than Hsiang Temple, Penang.

Alternatively international students can avail themselves to the recently introduced E-learning programme whereby one can study at home via the Internet. Presently E-learning offers courses for a three-year MA Degree in Buddhist Studies.

The Southern Thailand Campus started operating Kawaii Kindergarten in November 2010; which will subsequently serve as a training ground for students pursuing the MA in Early Child Education. To date there are 16 students.

Klintiendharm foundation also set up an English language centre in Hatyai city to conduct conversational and commercial English, providing an opportunity for students and workers to learn and improve their English conversational skills during their free time.

Another unique feature of the college is its environment that encourages cultural interaction between the Malaysian and Thai community to bring to the fore mutual understanding and harmony among people of different backgrounds through educational and welfare services.

Sunday Dharma classes in Chinese and English are conducted throughout the year for the benefit of the locals in the Southern Thailand Campus. Teachers and students are sent to seminars and courses to improve their teaching and learning skills.

Monthly free Chinese medical services are offered by a team led by Bro. Goh Ah Ba at the main campus to serve the local community. The medical team also rendered their services in the Mahamakut Buddhist University thrice this year.

SMJK Phor Tay School
Sangha members, staff and volunteers had put in a joint effort to promote Buddhist education in SMJK Phor Tay. Besides utilizing multi-media approach, a one to one teaching method is also carried out for students in the Secondary One and Three. Generally, the emphasis is to impart the knowledge and practice of the Ten Good Deeds.

During the first semester for the year, Secondary Three students are exposed to Buddhist hymns, while the Six Perfections (paramitas) is emphasized. After the governmental assessment exam, students are encouraged to participate in a series of after examination activities such as the community service, visiting old folk homes and others.

Gatherings and parenting talks are organized for both parents and students to promote parenting skill and a better relationship to strengthen the family bond. Plans are underway to send teachers for training from time to time to keep them on par with the latest development in teaching skill.

Phor Tay Private High School
Similar activities are also carried out in the Phor Tay Private Schools emphasizing the teachings of the Ten Good Deeds as the foundation for character building for the lower secondary students. Various methodologies are employed to impart the Dharma to the students. Courses and talks are held to upgrade the teaching skill of the teachers involved. Parenting classes and gratitude gatherings are carried out for both parents, students and teachers while holiday and motivational camps are organized periodically.

2010 Branches Report

Than Hsiang Mitra Welfare Centre (KL & Sel)
With the support of well wishers and sponsors Than Hsiang Mitra Welfare Centre moved to a bigger premises with better facilities at SS2, Petaling Jaya in January 2010. There is a hall to run small scale activities in this new place. It is also equipped with Individual and Family Counselling rooms, a Play Therapy Room and telephone hotline counselling room. Both the number of Mitraline Telephone Counselling and Face to Face Counselling clients increased with the upgraded facilities.

Welfare group members also put in extra effort in serving the old folks at Wan Ching Yuen PJ & Tong Sin Old Folks Home KL besides regular visits to welfare clients.

The centre also successfully hosted the 8th Malaysian Chinese Community Counselling Conference on 10th to 12th December 2010 at Pearl International Hotel. This event attracted more than 260 participants from all over the country.

Wan Ching Yuen, PJ
Wan Ching Yuen PJ is now a happy home to 25 residents aged between 60 and 105 under the care of the staff and volunteers. Wan Ching Yuen PJ celebrated its 8th anniversary with a Vegetarian Fair & Blood Donation Campaign on 31.10.10, which attracted a crowd of more than 500 supporters.

Than Hsiang Buddhist Welfare Association (KL&SEL) /Tham Wah Wan
Than Hsiang Buddhist Welfare Association (KL&SEL) held many educational & cultivation activities this year. Pusat Jagaan Padma (Kindy) now has 40 students while 20 students attend the Sunday Dharma School. The centre continues to conduct the IBC MA Course in Buddhist Studies.

Cultivation activities include the chanting of “Da Jie Tuo Jing” every first Sunday of the month, “Amitabah Sutra” every second & fourth Sunday of the month, and “Eight Precepts Cultivation” every third Sunday of the month. The“Pu Men Pin” is chanted on every new moon and full moon day.

The “Purchase a Gold Medallion for Disaster Relief Fund” was launched on 14.11.10 to raise fund for the Thai and North Malaysian flood victims and the Indonesian Tsunami & Volcano Eruption victims. The response was encouraging.

Than Hsiang Kalyanamitra Centre , Pajam
Besides promoting Buddhist education and Dharma cultivation, the centre also engages in environmental protection and promotion of organic food activities with the goal of making the public more aware of the importance of caring for our mother earth and our precious lives in line with the Buddha’s teaching of compassion. Education activities of the centre comprise children and youth Dharma cultivation camps. We have also jointly organized undergraduate meditation retreats with Buddhist societies from UPM and UKM. Cultivation activities are carried out on Mondays and Wednesdays. Other activities include Buddha Statute Bathing Ceremony on Buddha Day, Refuge Taking Ceremony and Dharma talks for the national service students.

Than Hsiang Chan Yuen, BM
The centre conducts its cultivation/chanting session every Tuesday night and Dharma class for 30 students every Sunday. The Sunday Dharma class students paid a fruitful visit to Bodhi Lankarama Buddhist Temple of Ven. Anandajoti. The annual activities include one day retreats, birthday celebrations, and graduation ceremony as well as camps for children during the school holidays.

The centre also set up a collection point for a recycling project.

Sungai Petani Jing Yuen
The centre was officially opened in December 2010. Cultivation and education activities started the same year. Cultivation programmes include Friday Evening Chanting, One Day Amitabha Chanting Retreat, the Eight Precept Retreat, CNY Lamp-Lighting Dharma Assembly, Buddha Day Lamp-Lighting Dharma Assembly, Buddha Day Buddha Statue Bathing Ceremony and the Three Refuges and Five Precepts Taking Ceremony. Education events comprise the Friday Dharma Classes for Primary year one to year five students, Buddhist study class on the Lam Rim Chen Mo and Liberation in the Palms of Your Hands, one-day camps for secondary school students and pre-school children. Other activities include recycling project and blood donation campaign jointly organized with the Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital. The centre also jointly organized the Kedah/Perlis leg of the National Buddhist Hymn Singing Competition and the 25th Anniversary 'Night of Gratitude' concert cum dinner with the root organization.