Than Hsiang Fund Dharma Protection Committee

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Hong Yew Chye

Established in January 1990, and adhering to its four-fold conviction of the young to learn, the fit to serve, the aged to be taken care of and lastly the departed to find spiritual destination, The Than Hsiang Fund has since been vigorously promoting Buddhist education, charity and spiritual cultivation to fulfill its objective of turning the Dharma Wheel in propagating and maintaining the right teachings of The Buddha.

The three sectors in its drive of Dharma work are: education, charity and cultivation. Education encompasses a comprehensive range catering for tiny tot to tertiary level, which incorporates kindergarten, Sunday Dharma School, Than Hsiang Buddhist Research Center and The International Buddhist College. Charity sector includes Wan Chin Yen (senior citizen home), Mitra and Welfare Center (providing social and counseling services) and Metta clinic (free Chinese and Western clinic). Meanwhile, the cultivation sector organizes monthly eight precepts retreat, seven-day retreat, dharma assembly and Buddha-name recitation gathering.

Than Hsiang Fund has thus far been consistently achieving its target in the fields of education, charity and cultivation. Our success in Penang has led to the establishment of Than Hsiang Fund of KL branch in 1993, and The Klientiadharm Foundation, Thailand in 1999. The latest fold in its expansion is the Negri Sembilan Than Hsiang Fund established in 2003.

The Than Hsiang Fund committee comprises of a group of devoted laities who have been selflessly supporting and nurturing the development of the above-mentioned 3 core activities, namely education, charity and cultivation.

Membership of The Fund is through application and subsequent secondment by committee member of the welfare association or the fund committee members. Besides assisting in the core activities, the members also help in soliciting funds and spreading news of Than Hsiang Temple activities.

At the gathering with the committee members organized on 22nd of February, Ven Wei Wu, The Abbot of Than Hsiang Temple, presented an up-date report on the works, current status and the vision of the committee. Shifu also announced the change of name from Than Hsiang Fund to Than Hsiang Fund Dharma Protection Committee.

In his report, Shifu stressed the pivotal role of education in the propagation of Buddhism, failing which Buddhism will eventually be reduced to only a semblance of empty forms, leading to the failure to understand and experience the true intent and purpose of The Dharma. This has prompted the urgency to establish an international Buddhist college, in spite of the anticipated obstacles and hardship we faced.

He added that Than Hsiang Temple will temporarily suspend its fund raising campaigns for its activities this year and will instead concentrate on raising funds for The Phor Tay High School Building Fund. The school building is anticipated to be completed by October this year and in time for the coming new school term next year.

Shifu also explained that he held the meeting to discuss on the systemization of Than Hsiang Protection Committee. Once finalized, the same modus operandi will be introduced to the committees in KL and Thailand.

On the modes of fund collection, Ven. Wei Wu, who is also the committee chairman, disclosed that in future, fund raising will not be carried out on a one-off basis i.e. during individual department anniversary functions. Instead, Shifu suggested that it should be spread out on a continuous long term basis. The advantage of this method is that apart from relieving the pressure of the donors in lump sum donation, regular small sum donation will be more effective in inculcating the virtues of giving and loving kindness.

The committee members were each given an IBC commemorative medallion and the latest edition of Than Hsiang Dharma Propagation DVD.
In conclusion, it was noted that The Than Hsiang activities had enjoyed great blissful success because of the combination of the capable leadership of Shifu on the one hand and the tireless dedication and continuous support of the committee members on the other. Let work together to continue the good works and propagate The Dharma.