Temple nets RM211,000 (US$ 57,027) for CANCER fund

BY CHRISTINA TAN, The Star, December 19, 2005

Malacca, Malaysia -- THE Seck Kia Eenh temple in Malacca has collected more than RM211,000 (US$ 57,027) for its Cancer Fund from the sale of lotus shaped candles during its recent grand mass blessing ceremony.

<< AUSPICIOUS DAY:  Devotees lighting candles and at the same time contributing to the cancer fund at the Seck Kia Eenh Temple in Malacca.

Organising chairman of the blessing ceremony Joy Chan said the temple sold 10,212 candles during the ceremony on Dec 9.

“Many paid more than the RM20 amount fixed for each candle. The candles were then lit during the blessing ceremony at the Pay Fong Secondary School hall by devotees who wish to seek blessings for themselves, their family members, relatives and their friends.

“They were also led in the chanting of suttas by about 300 monks who came from 26 countries to attend the event,” said Chan. 

He said it was the first time such a large amount of money was collected in a single event organised by the temple.

“I sincerely wish to thank the public for their generosity in responding to the needs of poor cancer patients,” he added.

The cancer fund set up by Chan, a cancer survivor himself on Wesak Day in 2000, had since benefited more than 150 patients from various races and religions.

A mother, known only as Lui, brought along her two young children to light candles for her family after learning about the grand mass blessing ceremony at the very last minute.

“We believe that if the candle flame is strong, the person offering it will be in good health,” said Lui.

Lui and her children, like many other families and devotees at the ceremony, also offered cash donations to make merits for good health and prosperity.

The grand mass blessing ceremony was held in conjunction with the second World Buddhist Sangha Youth (WBSY) conference held at Wisma Seck Kia Eenh in Jalan Gajah Berang from Dec 9 to Dec 11.

According to president of WBSY W. Munindawansa Thero, the conference was started in February last year in Katmandu, Nepal, with the aim of giving leadership training to young monks to manage the challenges of the future.

Monks from 26 countries including United States, India, Nepal, China, Australia, Korea, Japan, France, England, Thailand, Mongolia and Malaysia were present at the conference.

Besides the two main functions, the Seck Kia Eenh temple also organised an opening ceremony for its new building costing RM3mil located opposite the temple.

Seck Kia Eenh had relied on public donations saved over 30 years to build the four-storey building with classrooms and a multipurpose hall.

Chan, who is also Seck Kia Eenh management committee member, said the main use of the building was as venues for kindergarten classes.

“Six kindergarten classes with 182 students will shift from the temple, which has limited space for the number of students, to the new building,” he said.

With this new building, Seck Kia Eenh could provide support and facilities to 18 schools' Buddhist societies in the state to run camps and training, he said, adding that the temple committee was also considering to rent out the multi-purpose hall for private functions.

Chan said the building would be expanded in future according to the needs and funds available.