Buddhist Centre's Wesak activities for the public

Daily Express, May 1, 2007

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Malaysia) -- The Guan Yin Ting Buddhist Centre (GYTBC) in Donggongon Penampang has lined up a series of activities at the Kian Kok Middle School's ceremonial hall here, today, from 8am to 3pm, for the public to take part.

It is aimed at making this year's Wesak Day celebration more meaningful, Besides the traditional "Lord Buddha bathing" ceremony, which is the highlight of the event, there will also be side events like blood donation in aid of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Blood Bank, free medical consultation and treatment for the poor by the Penampang Tze Her Khor Moral Uplifting Society and also registration of the hardcore poor.

Disclosing this was the Abbot of GYTBC, Shyh Sheng Lin, who was at the Kian Kok ceremonial hall to observe the preparation work carried out by its volunteers.

This was also the first time that the Centre is conducting such an event outside its Centre, in order to better reach out to the public.

He called on the public, especially Buddhists who live in Kota Kinabalu and its vicinity, to come forward to donate their blood for a good cause.

Touching on the hardcore poor registration programme, he noted that all races are welcomed to register as long as they are truly living in poverty and in need of Government assistance.

"Our officials will then submit their particulars to the State Welfare Department for the next course of action," he said.

This initiative was apparently prompted by the tragic death of 11-year-old student of SK Kinarut, Donni John Duin who committed suicide on March 20, due to the abject poverty of his family.

The Abbot emphasised that even though Wesak Day celebration is a Buddhist celebration but its activities transcended colour, creed and races, which is inline with the theme of this year's Wesak Day celebration sanctioned by the Malaysian Buddhists Association that is "Religious Harmony, Key to Nation Building".