Three Malaysians to get gift of sight

by Tan Yi Liang, The Sun, May 4, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Three Malaysians will receive the gift of sight – thanks to corneas donated by the Sri Lankan government.

The corneas, which will benefit a Malay, Chinese and Indian, are part of the Buddhist Maha Vihara’s annual Caring and Sharing programme to commemorate Wesak Day.

About 1,000 underprivileged individuals were invited to the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields yesterday to take part in the celebration, which included food, gifts and entertainment.

Said the Buddhist Chief High Priest of Malaysia, K. Sri Dhammaratana: "This event will help foster unity among the races. It extends beyond race and religion."

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, who was the guest of honour, received the corneas from Sri Lankan High Commissioner Dr D. Ranasinghe.

He thanked the Sri Lankan government for the donation.

Of yesterday’s celebration, he said: "It is truly an honour to witness a gathering of different cultures, religions and ethnicity in one place rejoicing in the act of giving, caring and sharing."

Ong also called for the concept of giving and sharing to be revived.

"In today’s hectic and changing world, the simple thought of stopping and observing our surroundings and extending a helping hand is long forgotten. We need to revive the thought of giving and sharing in each and every one of us," he said.

The cornea transplants will be carried out at Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital.