Newe Malaysian temple to focus on charitable acts

By NOEL ACHARIAM, Source: The New Straits Times, The

The new Shah Alam Buddhist Society in Shah Alam is also a hub for charitable and motivational activities for folks of all ages

Shah Alam, Malaysia -- NESTLED in the quiet suburban housing area of Section 32, Bukit Rimau is the Shah Alam Buddhist Society.

<< UNIQUE: The main shrine is decorated with beautiful murals.

The society was founded in 1989, with the aim of promoting the teachings of Buddha. “We are open throughout the week and everyone is welcome to visit our new temple,” said the president of the Buddhist Society, Datuk Vincent S.C. Lim.

“We have been searching for quite some time now for a suitable place to build a Buddhist temple in Shah Alam. In April 2003, the society succeeded in acquiring from the Selangor State government one acre of land here for a legitimate and permanent lodge.

“Construction work started after the building plan was approved by the local authority in January 2005. It was only two months ago that the temple was fully completed. The consecration ceremony was held in April, 2007,” said Lim.

The four corners of the temple are adorned with beautiful colourful murals.

Lim explained that the murals represent the life of Buddha from the time he was born till his death.

The new four-storey building consists of a main shrine, multi-purpose hall, meditation room, memorial hall, seminar room, meeting room, administration office, quarters for the monks, dining hall, Dharma classrooms and a library.

“We plan to include a free clinic and dispensary which should be completed in December,” said Lim.

Throughout the week, various activities are held at the temple. There are tai chi lessons in the mornings and line dancing in the evenings. Talks on Buddha’s teachings are conducted daily. There is also Sunday school for the children.

“There are currently 500 children enrolled in our Sunday school. They have art classes, Chinese calligraphy, line dancing, wushu, yoga, motivation camps, workshops and choir practice.

“Most of our teachers are voluntary students from UITM.

Transportation is provided for the students to come here to help with the Sunday school. What we are trying to do is to create the opportunity for them to learn Buddhism,” said Lim.

Apart from organising daily meditation and Dharma classes, the Buddhist society is also very active in charity work.

“We have adopted the Padma Sambawan orphanage in Klang. We help raise funds at our temple. We also bring our students there to help with the various activities. We not only do a lot of charity work but we also group together our members twice a year for blood donation campaigns,” said Lim.

One of the highlights of the temple is their collection of the Kuan Yin statues.

“We have 33 different postures of Kuan Yin donated by one of our Taiwanese members. And we are the only temple in the whole of Malaysia that has this vast collection of Kuan Yin statues,” said Lim.

The new building costs about RM5 million (US$ 1.5 mil).

“While the fundraising activities have been successful, we are still far from our target. “This big centre will enable us to provide better services and facilities for Buddhist communities. With its serene and ideal environment, the Society can also ensure that the promulgation of the Dhamma for the benefit of all living beings can be achieved,” added Lim.

For more information, call the Shah Alam Buddhist Society. Tel/Fax: 603-5121 5182. It is located at No 9, Jalan Sg Congkak 32/41, Bukit Rimau.