In order to make more people aware of the correct Buddhist teachings, a group of enthusiastic Buddhists was formed under the initiative of Mr. Tan Hock Siang, a Buddhist monk. The group was officially registered with the Perak State Registrar of Societies in 1984 and was named Persatuan Buddhist Ju-Shi-Lin Bidor, Perak, Malaysia.
The Council was established with thirteen members, namely a President, a Vice President, a General Secretary, an Assistant Secretary, a Treasurer, a Deputy Treasurer and seven Council members. In 1986, the quorum of the Council was increased to 18 members.
In the early days of the Society, the President and most of the members studied with the Southern Venerables in Thailand, and the scriptures were mainly in Pali, and the religious advisor of the Society at that time was also an old Thai Venerable. However, inviting Southern teachers to come and teach and teach the Dharma faced the obstacles of language and cultural communication and distance, so the Buddhists also began to invite Northern teachers to come and teach Buddhist doctrine and recite sutras, in response to the majority of the Chinese-educated residents. Later, Venerable Jue Chung was invited to serve as the Society’s Northern Religious Advisor.
Since the meeting was held at the residence of the monks, the space was not ideal for receiving the public, so another meeting place was found and the second floor of the store No. 5, Jalan Bidor Raya, 35500 Bidor Perak was rented for the event.
In this larger space, the Buddhist Association organizes more frequent and larger events, such as the annual Wesak Festival celebration, vegetarian food for the faithful on the day of Wesak Festival, Buddhist lectures, pujas, etc. The Buddhist Association has also set up a chanting group and a Buddhist youth group.
The membership of the Buddhist Association has increased from 40 to over 100. In order to cope with the increase in membership and activities, the Buddhist Association has once again moved to the downstairs of the Mero Fujian Association 1 Jalan Persatuan 3500 Bidor Perak. The space downstairs is more convenient for activities and communal retreats. At that time, we also invited Mrs. Hui, the cooking teacher of Hoa Phong Buddhist Association, to teach vegetarian cooking, and Mrs. Yen, the floral teacher of An Soon Ha Perak Buddhist Association, to teach floral art. At the same time, we also got the help of Ms. Cai-Lark Lin and Ms. Cai-Ping Wu to set up a Sunday children’s Buddhist class. The Buddhist Association has also set up an award for the children of its members who excel in examinations as an encouragement.
In view of the limited space in the store downstairs, the directors of the Buddhist Association began to raise funds to build a more spacious clubhouse. On May 25, 1991, the first fundraising party was held to raise funds for the construction of the clubhouse. With the spirit of Dharma protection, the directors worked together, the local community contributed money, and the cultural program was taught by the teachers of the local Chinese High School, Chinese Primary School (I and II), Chinese Kindergarten, Ba Kieu Pei Success Kindergarten and Happy Children’s Home Kindergarten, and the performance of the children, the evening was a success.
In 1991, a local celebrity, Mr. Chow Tin Siew, proposed to offer a piece of land to the Society for the construction of a clubhouse, but after studying it, the managers decided that the location and topography were not suitable, so they declined Mr. Chow’s offer. Later, a better site (Lot 9425, Kampung Baru, 35500 Bidor, Perak) was found for the establishment of the congregation. After confirming that the site was suitable for a place of worship, the Society purchased it for RM35,000 in cash.
Once the land was purchased, the Board of Directors of the Buddhist Association started fundraising activities to build the clubhouse and hard space as soon as possible. The board members raised funds from outside and invited Buddhist friends to make offerings of Buddhist tiles. Later on, the then Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Dato’ Loh Yim Yew, helped to obtain a government grant of RM30,000 for the construction fund.
In 1994, a local contractor, Mr. Ho, won the tender and invited a Thai monk from the Little Sai Tin Cave in Ipoh to officiate at the ground breaking and foundation laying ceremony. The clubhouse was completed in about a year’s time. A certificate of occupancy was obtained and the new clubhouse was officially moved in on September 6, 1995, and a Thai monk was invited to officiate at the moving ceremony and the elevation of the Buddha statue on the same day.
The opening ceremony of the new clubhouse was held on December 15, 1996. The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Nadu Lwin Yew, was invited to officiate at the opening ceremony, and our religious advisor, a disciple of the Venerable Master of Thailand, came from Thailand to recite sutras and pray for the public.
The regular activities of the Buddhist Association include chanting and reciting sutras together, vegetarian meals on the first and fifteenth days of the year and at Buddha’s Christmas, monk offerings, Sunday children’s Buddhist classes, Buddhist youth group gatherings, monthly Dharma talks on average, opening the Buddhist Association library, assisting and hosting Buddhist classes in and around the three nearby national service camps, the Mero Chinese High School Buddhist Society, one-day chanting and meditation classes, Chinese New Year alms for the elderly, family social education talks, and family social education classes. We have also organized a number of activities, such as: one day chanting retreat, meditation retreat, Chinese New Year charity for the poor elderly, family social education lectures, Chinese New Year tour to Kuala Lumpur and Tung Chan Temple, Lantern Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival, Life Camp, Buddha’s Day lighting ceremony and vegetarian food reception, blood donation, chanting and blessing, etc.
Outlook of Persatuan Buddhist Ju-Shi-Lin Bidor