“Walk the Way of Righteousness, Bring Light to the World”
14th May 2020
This is a calligraphy work by the late local artist Cai Yixi at the start of spring in 1991. It is hung in the office of Chairman of Sian Chay Medical Institution Mr. Toh Soon Huat.
Chairman Toh’s philanthropic career for many years is like this piece of calligraphy work. Chairman Toh once said to people around him: the words are precious to him because it constantly reminds him not to forget his original intention – to bring light and positive energy to society.
In 2008, when the Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan Province of China struck, Toh Soon Huat and several of his friends launched the “Let Love Flow Forever” disaster relief fund-raising activity on TV. The event raised 10 million Singapore dollars. As a result, seven “China -Singapore friendship primary schools” and a bridge were planned and built in the disaster area, enrolling tens of thousands of new students each year to learn knowledge, appreciate charity and to reciprocate. This also strengthened the friendship between China and Singapore.
Speaking on charity, chairman Toh has so much feelings and experiences: “when I was young, as my family was poor, I started working at an early age to make a living to reduce the burden on my parents and to alleviate the financial difficulty of my family. Since then, I have realized very much that people in predicament need assistance and lending hand. I have been poor since I was young, so I know the taste of poverty.”
I chose charity out of compassion; I chose to undertake because I am willing to let go; I chose commitment because of karma; I chose to give because of gratitude; I chose universal love because that is life.
Chairman Toh said: “I have been doing volunteer work in Sian Chay for ten years. I have many learning experiences and feelings about it. I admire the values of Sian Chay: Forgiveness, Compassion, Universal Love, Gratitude and Blessing. In fact, with forgiveness, compassion and universal love, many problems can be resolved, including physical and mental health issues and conflicts between people. I also like Sian Chay’s beliefs that ” Nation Progresses, Family Prospers; Family Harmony, Successful Endeavours. Forward with the Nation, Bonding with the People.” because there is wisdom, brightness, great love, empathy and compassion in it.
Heaven will care for and treat well those who are able, sincere, and willing to work hard. They will have the opportunity to solve different difficulties slowly and cast off of poverty slowly. ”
He also said, “Will you still be around tomorrow? Cherish life, appreciate life! I think the rich should help the poor, the capable should help the weak. This will make society harmonious. It is reasonable and logical to help others. It is also a form of self-cultivation and way of life. ”
Definitely! To be a charity requires foundation of knowledge, systematic management, development strategy and professional knowledge. It is a long-term social cause. Charity leaders need a high degree of wisdom and vision.
I hope to set up a charity exchange centre and a charity training programme in the future, to share with you the experience and knowledge I have gained from charity work. I will move into research for the charity sector, talent training and management system and regulatory system development. At the same time, I will want to organize sharing sessions with people of different charity areas, so as to give friends from different fields to share good knowledge and exchange opportunities to build the charity sector and serve the society.
When we support and honor our own elders, we should not forget other elderly people who are not related to us. The elderly in the society have worked hard for their families and society. We should not abandon them because they are old. We should take up the responsibility and let them feel the respect, love and recognition from society.
When raising and educating your own children, you should not forget other children who are not related to us. Through the charity platform, they can learn the truth of life, respect for teachers, filial piety, respect, sharing, commitment, etc., so that more young people can participate in this great and bright charity platform.
The world is unpredictable. Many people suffer from unexpected accidents, or suffer from a serious disease, or have lost their ability to work. They need to timely help, relief, and support. This cannot wait or be delayed. Charity deeds cannot wait. We must act now. The first step is to give timely help. We must then follow up. There is still much follow-up work to do. We need to help them get out of trouble completely and live a sound life. So, charity is for the long-term, it comes from the heart.
Walk the way of righteousness, bring light to the world. Only then can goodness be with us forever. A family that does will be much blessed!