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Developing Myself to Become the Light of Hope

Loo Wei Wen, Melaka

I was deeply moved by the member's actions in caring for and encouraging others. I resolved not to run away from my problems anymore.

Experience Melaka Loo Wei WenEver since I was old enough to be aware of my surroundings, my family lived in discord. My father was addicted to alcohol and did not have a secure job. Whenever he was drunk, he quarrelled with my mother and was abusive toward her.

I started to embrace faith after my aunty encouraged and brought me to participate in the SGM junior division meetings, and other activities. The attentive care and concern shown by the senior members of the young women’s division filled me with warmth and encouragement.

I did not get good grades in primary school but my seniors-in-faith encouraged me to persevere in my studies and to pray to be able to learn quickly and effectively. Through chanting, I found that my classmates were more willing to guide me and one of my teachers even allowed me to attend his tuition classes for free. I was very happy when I scored six A’s in the Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) examinations. This included the subjects that I had failed many times before. My teachers were proud of my transformation and awarded me a certificate of excellence.

In 2011, I enrolled in the Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours) programme at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Kuala Lumpur. At that time, my mother also started this Buddhist practice. However, many problems started cropping up. Since my parents couldn’t afford to pay for my tuition fees, I applied for a loan from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN). However, the five-year course proved more challenging than I had anticipated. Despite my best efforts, I often fell short of the required grades and was disqualified from receiving the PTPTN loan. As a result, my parents struggled to find ways to pay for my fees. Sometimes, they borrowed money from relatives and were extremely careful with their spending.

Feeling the weight of my parents’ sacrifices, I contemplated giving up my studies to spare them further hardship. However, President Ikeda‘s guidance resounded within me urging me not to be defeated and not to give up. I then summoned the courage to press on.

I prayed fervently to the Gohonzon for the opportunity to secure a part-time job and alleviate my parents’ financial burden. Some classmates, unaware of my struggles, said to me sarcastically, “Your grades are so poor and you still want to work?”

President Ikeda also taught that courage entails not only facing challenges bravely but also confronting them despite fear. Therefore, despite encountering numerous obstacles, I continued to pray earnestly and refused to give up.

Shortly after, I encountered a kind-hearted business owner who understood my demanding schedule. Not only did he offer a good salary, but he also permitted me to complete my homework during my spare time at work. As a result, I managed to raise more than half of the tuition fees, significantly easing my parents’ financial burden. I firmly believe that this achievement is attributed to the power of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Despite the demanding workload and fatigue, I was determined to take on the challenge, making sure to juggle school, work and kosen-rufu activities smoothly.

In 2016, I successfully passed all subjects, some of which with good grades. I was overjoyed.

After graduation, I worked in a glove factory. My supervisor was a perfectionist and even though I tried my best, I was still criticised for being inefficient. I gradually lost my motivation to work. Coupled with worries about romantic and interpersonal relationships and financial challenges, I isolated myself from other people, refusing to connect with them. Matters worsened to the point where I nearly abandoned chanting and participated in SGM activities only out of formality.

To escape the pressure at work, I resigned in 2018. I returned to UTAR to pursue a master’s programme under a scholarship, naively thinking that I could finally start a new life without facing trouble at work. However, to my surprise, my supervising professor was also a perfectionist. No matter what I did, whether it was an experiment or a research paper, she would harshly criticise me. What worried me most was that her assessment would determine whether or not I would receive further financial aid.

I hit rock bottom once again. At my most desperate moment, a young women’s division member offered me warm encouragement, saying, ‘I have faith in you.’ She encouraged me to not give up and also to join the culture group activities again. I gave her my promise but I wasn’t’serious.

Experience Melaka Loo Wei Wen
Joining the dancing group is an important stage of growth for Wei Wen (far left).


However, this member’s earnest support and sincerity touched me. She even prepared meals for me during every culture group practice. It was only later that I discovered she hadn’t received her salary for five months. I was deeply moved by her actions in caring for and encouraging others. I resolved not to run away from my problems anymore.

From then onwards, I chanted daimoku earnestly every day, practicing human revolution, and accepting my professor’s criticisms with an open mind while striving to complete each task to the best of my ability. At the same time, I actively participated in SGM activities, including taking up the responsibility as one of the persons-in-charge for the opening dance performance of the 2019 Run for Peace. Additionally, I took part in “The Arts and Culture of the Chinese” culture show in Negeri Sembilan in 2019. These experiences have helped enrich my personal growth, fostering a deeper sense of purpose and empowering me to make meaningful contributions to my community.

At university, my earnest attitude gradually earned the approval of my professor. She did not just give me high marks but asked me to help other students as well. She also submitted my dissertation to an international academic symposium in Bali, Indonesia and my paper stood out from thousands of others and won the Best Paper Award!

Later, I was hired as a chemist in a glove factory in Melaka, with a salary higher than the market rate at the time. It was only later that my supervisor revealed to me that he was deeply moved by the significant changes in my life. He also shared my struggles with other colleagues, using my experience to inspire and motivate them. This experience has shown me that a person’s human revolution can truly be a beacon of hope for others.

When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in 2020, numerous work restrictions were imposed. Nevertheless, I had to return to the company to work on important projects, often extending my work hours into late nights. In recognition of my dedication, the company granted me additional perks and salary raises. I am genuinely delighted to have received such acknowledgment from the company, especially considering that I only started working there for about half a year.

Experience Melaka Loo Wei Wen
Wei Wen (back row, third from left)and her happy family.


As for my father, I’m happy to say that since he began earnestly practicing Nichiren Buddhism, he has stopped drinking and being abusive. Instead, he is working hard, and the family’s finances have greatly improved. In both my studies and work, I have achieved more than I expected, and I am truly grateful to this practice. I will continue to strive to be a beacon of hope for others as a way of repaying my debt of gratitude to my mentor, President Ikeda, and to SGM.

Adapted from September 2022 COSMIC

Siow Yoon Kee had a long-standing ambition to become a doctor since his secondary school days. However, his motivation to save lives had not taken deep root.

During his college years, he battled gastrointestinal diseases and sought medical treatment from numerous doctors but to no avail. Coupled with a demanding schedule, he experienced immense stress and despair, even contemplating ending his life. Eventually, through the power of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo (daimoku), he realised that his illness was a consequence of an irregular lifestyle, and acknowledged his own arrogance and negligence in his faith. This profound experience led to a shift in his perspective on the purpose of becoming a doctor.

After graduating, he was filled with joy and excitement on his first day of work, being addressed as a doctor. However, that excitement didn’t last. The overwhelming workload, long hours, and the constant fear of being reprimanded for mistakes quickly diminished his initial joy. As a result, the tough realities of the job made him less motivated and less excited about the work he had to do.

Yoon Kee reflected, “I would feel annoyed by patients, especially during night shifts when they complained of pain. I would question them with a skeptical tone. It seemed like I had become a terrible doctor, losing my passion for the job. During those unpleasant days, it was through repeatedly chanting the daimoku that I gradually reflected on my own attitude.”

“I recall a training session for the Beacon Group, a medical group within Soka Gakkai Malaysia, where our seniors encouraged us to face the Gohonzon with our most authentic selves. Inspired by their guidance, I wholeheartedly put it into practice and truly felt the profound joy that daimoku brings. Chanting the daimoku is indeed the greatest of all joys.”

Doctor Siow Yoon Kee

The power of daimoku awakened a profound sense of compassion in Yoon Kee, inspiring him to strive in his human revolution and towards becoming a doctor who could genuinely listen to his patients’ voices.

“After a change in mindset, it was incredible how I found myself wanting to treat patients like family and making an effort to truly listen to their words. My colleagues also noticed that I was more energetic and confident.”

However, transformation takes time and effort. Yoon Kee realised that the biggest hurdle for a doctor is their own sense of superiority. Therefore, his aim was to cultivate resilience and to serve selflessly without seeking personal gain. With the goal of becoming a skilled listener, step by step he made steady progress.

“Once, there was a patient in the final stages of cancer who told me he felt hungry and wanted something to eat. Although I was busy with work, I took a couple of minutes to feed the patient before tending to other patients and resuming my duties. Sadly, the patient passed away thirty minutes later. It was a moment that made me appreciate the power and significance of chanting daimoku, as it enabled me to be there at a crucial time and fulfill the patient’s last wish.

“On another occasion, there was a patient who complained to me, pointing out, “You see, my hands are still swollen, and the medication you prescribed is not effective!” In that moment, I patiently reassured the patient, emphasizing the importance of trusting in the medication’s effectiveness. I assured them that if they maintained their belief, they would experience improvement quickly. As a result, after a few days, the patient’s hand recovered, and the swelling subsided.”

Yoon Kee’s transformation became increasingly apparent over time. Through the practice of faith, he has been forged into becoming a doctor with a sense of mission who confronts the challenges of society with determination. While he humbly recognizes his own areas for growth, he consistently emphasises his resolute dedication to becoming a proficient listener and continuously improving himself.

Adapted from Cosmic May 2017