An inaugural UTAR Buddhist Society theatrical performance (登嶝澄燈”舞台剧) was successfully held at Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, UTAR Perak Campus on 13 June 2015.
Aimed to cultivate loving kindness towards the community at large and raise funds for charity, the mega event was co-organised by Young Buddhist Association Malaysia (YBAM) Perak State Liaison Committee and saw an encouraging turnout of 2,000 people comprising UTAR staff, students and the public.
Present at the opening ceremony were Choong Shin Heng representing of Perak State Executive Council Member Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, UTAR Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Assoc Prof Dr Teh Chee Seng, UTAR Buddhist Society Spiritual Advisor Venerable Tong Ming, Chairperson for YBAM Perak State Liaison Committee Lau Seong Wah and Chairperson of Kinta Buddhist Society Lim Hoei Yien. They were accompanied by UTAR Buddhist Society Advisor Dr Tan Hung Khoon and Organising Chairperson Lim Hooi Shi.
Humbled by the unflagging effort and support from all parties involved, Hooi Shi extended her sincere gratitude to them for making the event a reality. “It is your kindness and support which allow this event to be a feat. The funds raised from this will be donated to orphanages in Africa under the Amitofo Care Centre (ACC) and also earthquake victims in Nepal,” she said.
Venerable Tong Ming lauded UTAR Buddhist Society’s down-to-earth effort in promoting the universal values of Buddhism as well as proactively aiding the unfortunate. “The heart-wrenching calamities worldwide serve as a wake-up call for us to reflect on impermanence and compassion. It is times like this we should shower the unfortunate ones with our compassion and loving kindness. May our sincere help and positive thoughts for their well-being allay their pain and sorrow,” she remarked.
Dr Teh congratulated the organising committee for their dedication and efforts. He said, “UTAR envisions its students to develop holistically. Such an event highlights the significance of religion and philosophy in our lives and encourages everyone, especially the students to look into themselves and know that there is more than being academically accomplished in life. Our students should be morally upright and be of great benefit to the community as well as the country.”
Choong was equally impressed by the organising committee’s creativity in spreading humanistic values via theatrical performance. “I’m amazed by UTAR Buddhist Society’s initiative to bring such spectacular performances to all of us here today. I’m also touched by the fact that the organising committee’s endeavour to aid the less fortunate ones,” he said, and announced that Dato’ Mah, on behalf of the Perak Health, Public Transport, Non-Islamic Affairs, National Integration and New Villages Committee will donate RM3000 to support the organising committee’s initiative.
The ceremony reached its highlight when Choong, Dr Teh and Venerable Tong Ming each struck the bronze bowl once to mark the opening of the performance. They were later joined by other VIPs and main sponsors for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The theatrical performance depicted five university students who lost their ways in the jungle but eventually shared closer bonds to overcome all odds, rendering them to also discover the way out with a lantern. The story was a representation of people being blinded with materialism that they soon “lost” themselves in a world of darkness which can only be freed if they discover the flickering lights (humanity) in their hearts.