Sister Gong Xiu Juan of Kuantan was very impressed and touched by Master Cheng Yen’s spirit of great compassion and vowed to follow the Master’s footsteps. However, as there was no Tzu Chi Office in Kuantan, her burning desire to do charity could not be realized.

In November 2001, when she learnt that Tzu Chi Melaka people were coming to Kuantan to give a talk on “Well Blessed Life” the following month, she was very excited. She immediately contacted Sister Echo Chien and offered to help in the promotion of Tzu Chi’s missions in Kuantan. Then in December 2001, many parts of Pahang experienced severe flooding. Tzu Chi people from Melaka and Kuala Lumpur went to Kuantan for the scheduled talk and, at the same time, took the opportunity to assess the flood situation, together with the local brothers and sisters. They then distributed emergency relief to the flood victims. That was how the Tzu Chi volunteers brought the spirit of great love to Kuantan; and later with the kindness and efforts of the locals, the foundation of a pure stream in Kuantan was laid.

Through the encouragement of Sister Gong Xiu Juan, Tzu Chi volunteers from Melaka and Kuala Lumpur went frequently to Kuantan to support the promotion of Tzu Chi’s missions there. As such, and within a period of just a few months, fifty-two volunteers and more than 300 donating members were recruited. In February 2002, the contact point in Kuantan was officially set up to promote the missions of “Helping the poor and educating the rich”.

In order to have a bigger base and to grow further, Sister Gong Xiu Juan successfully convinced her family members to let out a double-storey bungalow in town to be used as the office for the new contact point.

Then, with the support of some active members, she planned and organized more activities which have successfully brought in more members. That was how they started the missions in helping the poor in the streets as well as supporting other charitable organizations. Sister Gong’s commitment and dedication in the promotion of Tzu Chi’s missions made the culture of great love a reality.

With the rapid expansion of Tzu Chi activities, the existing space was found to be inadequate. As a result, at the end of 2002, Kuantan Tzu Chi people rented a three-storey shoplot from the Kuantan Town Council, This 3,200 square metre shoplot became the office for the contact point; which was officially open on 17 November. Though the space is limited, the office managed to house the Buddha Hall, AV room, Meeting Room, Pantry and a corner to display Jing Si books.

With a place to call their own, Kuantan Tzu Chi people began to organise more activities in the hope of recruiting more members to join Tzu Chi’s great love missions. On 1 February 2006, Kuantan contact point was officially upgraded to a Liaison Office, thereby marking yet another milestone achieved by Tzu Chi Kuantan.

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Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia (Kuantan)

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