YBAM 45TH Anniversary ‘Strive On with Boundless Affinity’Appreciation Dinner

Date: 9 January 2016

Time: 6.30 to 11.00pm

Venue: Multipurpose Hall of SJK (C) Sungai Way, Selangor.

Special Guest for Opening Ceremony: Y.B Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan, Second Minister of International Trade and Industry

Attendees: 1020 participants, 100 Organising Committee members and Volunteers

In conjunction with YBAM’s 45th Anniversary, YBAM has jointly organised an appreciation dinner with the theme “Strive on With Boundless Affinity” with Kelab Sungei Way. YBAM would like to take this opportunity to express gratitude to those who have helped YBAM in any ways throughout these 45 years and to raise funds for administration expenses.

When a person reaches 45 years old, perhaps the life of that person is already complete with own family, a stable job and able to lead a calm and steady life. YBAM has just passed its 45th anniversary. It possesses a physical space, but is insufficient to accommodate all youngsters to use it as an activity hub. YBAM has the mission of promoting Buddhism in Malaysia, yet it does not hold a stable income. YBAM is just like a child who takes up responsibility of the whole family at a very young age. Throughout these 45 years, YBAM is well-trusted by the public and received generous funding through a variety of ways. Throughout these 45 years, YBAM is like a child running at increasing speed in a storm without an umbrella, striving forward in times of difficulty without fear. Throughout these 45 years, everyone has one single faith at the bottom of heart: to bring people out of suffering, to prevent the weakening of religion, to march forward with the aim of protecting dharma and do not step backwards in times of struggle.

YBAM has invited Y.B Dato Seri Ong Ka Chuan, the second Minister of International Trade and Industry as the honourable guest for the Opening Ceremony of the dinner. Other special invited guests included Lee Tak Keung, Phua Lai Kit, Cheung Ten Seng, Chong Siew Chen, President of Kelab Sungai Wey, Yap Keong Seng, the Honourable Chairperson and representatives from various major Buddhist associations. The performance of the 24 Festival Drums marked the commencement of the dinner.

In the opening speech by Honourable Guest, the Second Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato Seri Ong Ka Chuan, he pointed out that religion is not a faction, it does not separate people. Religious organisations of different origins should work together, exchange thoughts and complement each other. He feels that there is conflict between moral and personal preference in the society today. In order to solve this problem, we need to go back to our origin, which is religious education. He also shared his own dharma-learning experience, and the amount of time he has spent before coming to realise the true meaning of religion and meaning of life and death.

The performances during the appreciation dinner consisted of a vast varieties, including line dance, Buddhist hymns, sign language performance, street dance and etc. All performances have been carefully planned and designed by committee members. The variation of traditional dances to song performances to the modern street concert, indicated that YBAM is consistently making adjustment as the era changes. It welcomes new era, but at the same time strives to preserve the originality of Dharma.

During the dinner, appreciation video clips of YBAM ex-national council members were also played. They shared with us their past efforts for YBAM and at the same time expressed their expectations towards the future of YBAM. In conjunction with the New Year, a prayer ceremony was also carried out.

It is often said ‘save the best for the last’. The organising committee has prepared many attractive prizes for the lucky draw session. Towards the end of the dinner, the famous local singer Christopher Lay was invited on stage to perform several popular Chinese New Year songs to welcome the arrival of Chinese New Year. The ambience was happy and warm, especially when everyone sang the Chinese New Year songs together.

During the speech of YBAM President, Goh Qing Song, he mentioned that it has not been an easy path for YBAM for the past 45 years. Apart from thanking all YBAM seniors for never leaving this family, he also showed his gratitude towards all donors who have greatly supported YBAM in every way they could, so that YBAM has no worries to concentrate on gathering the strengths and efforts of Buddhist youths to organise activities to nurture the younger generation in the path of Dharma learning. He also thanked Dato Ong Ka Chuan for his promise of sponsoring RM 50000 to YBAM as activity fund, besides always being there to lend his helping hand to YBAM whenever needed.

Last but not least, YBAM sincerely thank all parties who have rendered continuous help all these while. It is the unconditional support that encourages all Buddhist youths to continue to organise more activities and promote Buddhism in Malaysia.

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