Penang temple to build RM16mil retirement homes

The Star, May 4, 2005

PENANG, Malaysia -- The Than Hsiang Temple here is planning to build the country?s first retirement village costing RM16mil at Berapit in northern Seberang Prai. 

<< Anniversary celebration organising chairman Ong Kok Leong (left) and Wei congratulating the Wan ching Yuen cnetre's oldest resident Chong Seong, who turned 101 recently, during a celebration at the centre in Penang on Sunday.

Temple abbot Venerable Wei Wu said the village, modelled after a similar one in Australia, would be located on a 1.6ha site and would have apartments, hostels and nursing homes. It would take about six years to complete.

?We hope to start work by early next year. Plans for Phase One, a two-storey building to accommodate about 80 senior citizens, were submitted to the Seberang Prai Municipal Council last month,? he told reporters at the open day of the temple?s Wan Ching Yuen centre for senior citizens which celebrated its 11th anniversary on Sunday.

Wei said construction work would be divided into four phases, with the first phase costing RM4mil. 

He said the apartments were for the elderly who were independent while the hostels were for those unable to move around on their own.

?The nursing home is for those who need intensive nursing care,? he said.

He said the Than Hsiang Temple management would turn its Wan Ching Yuen centre in Bayan Lepas into a day care centre for old folks once the retirement village was set up.

On the temple?s International Buddhist University in Klong Ngae, southern Thailand, about 36km from Bukit Kayu Hitam, Wei said there would be an opening ceremony on July 17. 

Those who wish to donate to the retirement village project can send cheques, payable to Wan Ching Yuen Centre, to 132, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11900, Bayan Lepas, Penang. For details, call 04-641 4904.