When benevolent minds congregate, there is confluence of goodness and positive energy, the world will be selfless and virtuous. Peace, prosperity, and harmony will dawn on society.
The start, participation, blessing, encouragement, and mutual support is simple yet elegant. Is plain yet solemn. It is worthy of respect, encouragement, and persistence.
I chose Sian Chay because of compassion.
I chose to accept because I have let go,
I chose to undertake because of destiny,
I chose to dedicate because of gratitude,
I chose universal love because of life.
From the time of the opening of Singapore till before World War II, i.e., from 1819 to 1942, Chinese medicine primarily operated on a charity basis. After Singapore became a trading port in 1819, Chinese immigrants flocked to Singapore to earn a living, but the poor led a hard life especially, when they fell ill.
In 1901, on Victoria Street in Singapore, (known as “small hill”), a group of benevolent people in the community acted to start Sian Chay Medical Institution to provide free medical consultation and medicine. It became a place for many needy people to seek medical help. After more than one hundred years of hard work, Sian Chay Medical Institution has stayed true to its mission and spare no effort to help the disadvantaged and benefit society.
In 2002, my good friend, Mr. Teo Kim Chuan invited me to join Sian Chay Medical Institution as a volunteer. At that time, the century-old Sian Chay Medical Institution was on the verge of closure. Since 2008, I have served in Sian Chay as full-time volunteer executive chairman and come to work punctually every day. I have never received any remuneration from Sian Chay, nor have ever reimbursed for transport or entertainment expenses, etc. In the same year, I organized a team of like-minded Directors and colleagues to uphold the mission and vision of our predecessors, yet innovate by keeping pace with the times by entering the low-income neighbourhood and communities in Singapore, and setting up branches successively to serve the people! At the same time, Sian Chay also actively participates in charity work by societies, promotes health awareness, educate the elderly and the public that prevention is better than cure in health, promoting the spirit of giving back to society and advance the spirit of “Charity of Sian Chay”.
In 2008, Sian Chay Medical Institution had only 4 staff and served 26 patients every day at its Geylang headquarters. By 2020, Sian Chay has a total of 120 staff. Currently, Sian Chay Medical Institution has 13 branches across the island serving approximately 1,400 patient visits every day and approximately 400,000 patients a year or approximately 41,000 patients a year.
Sian Chay Medical Institution is a social service agency registered with the Ministry of Health. It provides free TCM consultation and low-cost treatments to the public regardless of race or religion.
In the past 7.5 years, from 2014 to June 2021, Sian Chay has served a total of about 2,476,876 patient visits and had issued about 4,894,239 medical prescriptions. In the next 5 years, from 2021 to 2025, an estimation of 2.5 million patient visits and medical prescriptions issued to be 4.8 million.
Use a truthful heart towards life.
Use forgiveness to handle grievances.
Use compassion to face life.
Use gratitude in your livelihood.
Use universal love to face the world.
Use empathy to face the future.
To help Sian Chay develop for a better future of philanthropy in Singapore I have integrated Sian Chay’s century-old spirit with my own life experiences to crystallize the five core values of Sian Chay, They are: Forgiveness, Universal Love, Compassion, Gratitude and Blessings. We align ourselves with our nation building policy to create a harmonious society by actively promoting Sian Chay’s belief, they are: Nation Progresses, Family Prospers; Family Harmony, Successful Endeavours. Forward with the Nation, Bonding with the People.
To uphold the fine Chinese tradition of mutual help, regardless of race and religion, we provide free traditional Chinese medicine consultation and low-cost treatment to the public; we strongly support charities & welfare undertakings, actively give back to charities e.g. communities, civic groups, community centres etc, to give back to society and help the people.
In reality, forgiveness, compassion & universal love is an inner cultivation, a life perspective & philosophy, an attitude of gratitude and a bright disposition towards life. These can solve many problems affecting physical and mental health, social harmony, interpersonal relationship, conflicts and ignorance.
Gratitude and public spiritedness shall keep the world in peace and harmony. Better to share joy with others than joy alone. Better to share joy with all than to share joy with some. Contentment is happiness. Contentment in your heart will give happiness to all.
A man’s success is not about his wealth, his assets, his power, or his reputation. But rather about what he has done for the society, how many people he has helped, changed and how many people have gained happiness because of him.
Charity is a form of true love. It is sincere, compassionate, grateful, bright and priceless. It is sincere, a connotation, a touching moment, a learning experience, and a self-cultivation. It enriches life with power and embodies the value of life. In charity, it does not matter who you are.
Everyone can do charity. Charity requires one’s maximum effort, not a half-hearted effort.
Every 50 donated to Sian Chay can help 1 patient of a low-income family to receive free consultation and medicine. A sick family member will affect the other family members. So, helping one person, helps one’s family to be relieved from suffering, and create a happy, harmonious, and peaceful society.
Charity and philanthropy are distinct in form and substance. Charity has a choice and is optional. One can donate today but discontinue tomorrow. It is not permanent. Philanthropy is permanent, responsibility and compassion. It is not a matter of choice or interest. It is about passion. Philanthropy is to continual contributing and continual gratitude.
Sian Chay Medical Institution,
Sian Chay Medical Institution is grateful for the contribution and dedication of the Pioneer Generation and the Merdeka Generation to the country. The Pioneer Generation can enjoy free consultation, medicine, acupuncture, tuina and cupping at all branches of Sian Chay Medical Institution.
Sian Chay also allows more non-Chinese residents understand Chinese medicine and Chinese culture by promoting Chinese culture; through mutual exchanges, deepening of friendship, mutual interaction, sharing of resources, improve together and promoting racial harmony, patriotism, and love for the people. The nation’s stability and social prosperity is the responsibility of every person.
Sian Chay Medical Institution not only uses Chinese medicine to treat physical diseases, but also helps the public with effective healing of the soul. Because loneliness of the mind is a more terrible disease than physical illness, but it can be cured through kindness and care. We hope that every patient of Sian Chay can be happy and healthy both physically and mentally. By changing negative thoughts to positive energy, life can be brighter and healthier. Therefore, Sian Chay Medical Institution has recently started 3 new projects:
Sian Chay Share A Good Read
Sharing from the content of my latest book
Sian Chay Care and Share Tour
We take our patients on an outing together. We treat every patient including the elderly senior citizens as our brothers and sisters, as our family members. Every resident and friend who comes to Sian Chay Medical Institution for consultation can feel the warmth and happiness of home.
Sian Chay Charity Haircut
Sian Chay Medical Institution specially organized a charity haircut session for patients of Sian Chay to receive free haircut service. So that the public can become more beautiful, handsome, more sunny, more confident, more energetic, and more positive!
One who is grateful knows how to cherish,
One who cherishes knows how to be compassionate,
One who is compassionate knows universal love,
One who has universal love knows to give back
One who gives back knows to let go,
One who let go knows to be free,
One who is free knows happiness and joy.
When others are suffering, invoke your responsibility and brightness. Whoever has money can contribute money. Whoever has strength can contribute their effort. By contributing to the country, providing for the country, and serving the people, we are helping each other to tide over the difficulties together.
Later, I changed perspective. Combining my best experience in running a company, I realized that an enterprise must be vibrant and have the spirit of enterprise. Isn’t this the same with Sian Chay as a charitable organisation? So, after thoroughly understanding the history of Sian Chay for one hundred years and combining with my personal experience, I crystallized the cultural values of Sian Chay into: “Forgiveness, Universal Love, Compassion, Gratitude and Blessing”. To support the building of our country and create a harmonious society, Sian Chay Medical Institution actively promotes the beliefs of “Nation Progresses. Family Harmony, Successful Endeavours. Forward with the Nation, Bonding with the People.We support charitable causes by actively participating in activities organized by communities, groups and community centres to contribute back to society.
At present, Sian Chay has 14 branches serving more than 1400 patient visits per day. Sian Chay also supports 4 wellness centres drawing tens of thousands of residents every year for all kinds of healthy activities for the body and mind. Many patients and kindhearted people widely endorsed and praised this initiative.
In the past six years (from 2014 to 2019), Sian Chay has served a total of approximately 1,926,338 patient visits and dispensed 3,634,566 dosages of prescriptions. In the next five years (2020-2024), the estimated number of patient visits will reach 2.5 million and the number of dosages of prescriptions dispensed will be estimated at 4.8 million.
Moving ahead on this road of charity, we have received the support of our Patron, President Halimah Yacob, our advisers, senior government officials, the general public, government agencies (Housing Development Board, Ministry of Health and People’s Association), citizens’ consultative committees, town councils, the media, various civic groups, entrepreneurs, benevolent individuals, performing artistes, volunteers, directors and colleagues. I would like to express my sincere respect and gratitude to them. For me and my stakeholders, the road travelled has only been a short journey so far. We will continue to travel persistently to let this road of love make inroads into the deeper hearts of more people and brighten their way forward.
Toh Soon Huat JP, Sian Chay Volunteer Executive Chairman Life
*Tossed between enigma and enlightenment in life.
* Many things in life are predestined. You can’t choose. You can’t change things even if you wanted to, so just let it be. Since you can’t do what you wish, just live with the situation.
* Life is like riding on a one-way ticket. There is no return trip. There is no rehearsal in life, every moment in your life is like a live broadcast. So grasp every single performance. Your best memories are the best moments you cherished in your life.
* Everyone has the right to survive, but everyone chooses to survive differently.
* Do you wish to live in your dream or wake up from your dream?
* Learn every single day, be enlightened every single day, find hope every single day.
* In the process of learning, know yourself and appreciate yourself.
* Learn to reflect on yourself to go far.
* Grow up through learning and better yourself through failures.
* It’s normal to meet setbacks in life, in work, and in business, so don’t be overly concerned by these.
* Pay attention to sudden change in emotions, find ways to adapt to changes in your life, respect your feelings, and avoid self-conflict.
*No one understands you better than yourself. Your future and your happiness are in your own hands. You must learn to have self-respect.
* Our worst fear is when we have no expectations for ourselves, we lack self-confidence, we set no goals for ourselves, we are not striving for any goals, we give up on ourselves, and we do not give ourselves any chance. If you don’t give yourself any chance, who will want to give you any chance.
* You know much when you realize you know truly little.
* The difference between the possible and the impossible is your determination
* Paths are created by man. The end of the road is the true beginning.
* Don’t always think that others have failed you. In fact, you have failed yourself. Don’t keep thinking others treat you badly.
* Complaining is superfluous. It cannot solve your problem.
* Ambiguity is sometimes better. Don’t try to be smart.
* If you don’t know how to conduct yourself, how can you do things well. If you don’t know how to do the trivial well, how can you accomplish big things.
* Accomplish big things by think for others all the time. Doing everything for self’s sake is to concern with petty things.
* Never try to gain the world at the expense of friendship and kinship.
* Don’t be so “poor” until what you only have for yourself is money.
* If you don’t know to be satisfied, you don’t understand what happiness is.
* Often, we don’t cherish the things we have, and we only regret when we lose them.
* Able to live is success.
* Finally, what we really need is health and happiness.
Lastly, gratitude, blessing and thanks to everyone!
Public fundraising and voluntary work to serve the public are key issues concerning the world with major responsibility. We shall maintain a clear conscience to do widespread benevolent acts with compassion, forgiveness, gratitude and universal love.
To serve the public interest and humanity cause, we must be selfless with long term commitment. Such dedication can only be achieved by more endurance; more devotion; and more gratitude. Chairman does not receive any remuneration for his full time work at Sian Chay. He even pays for his own refreshments. When Chairman approaches his friends and corporations on behalf of Sian Chay for donations, he will pay for the expenses incurred. Even when enterprises and societies which donated to Sian Chay seek mutual donations, Chairman will personally make the donations in return, not using any fund from Sian Chay’s account. Being a volunteer is kind of devotion. It is sincerity, compassion, gratitude, and priceless. Being intrinsic in nature, its touching, learning and self-cultivation; thereby expressing the value of life.
Charity is Devotion and Compassion. Magnamity determines its scope. Charity and Philanthropy are distinct form and substance respectively. Charity has a choice and is optional. One can donate today but discontinue tomorrow. It is not permanent. Philanthropy is permanent, responsibility and compassion. It is not a matter of choice or interest, it is about passion. Philanthropy is contribution and more contribution, gratitude and more gratitude.
We cannot decide the length of life, but we can decide its width, to make it more meaningful. In the process of life, for every moment, every occurrence, every experience, we should change whenever we encounter bottleneck and enhance ourselves so as to make life distinctive and benefit the world.
Chairman was approached by his friend, Mr Teo Kim Chuan, who was then the Director of Sian Chay Medical Institution. Mr Teo shared with Chairman the history and difficulties faced by Sian Chay:
Growing number of aged patients, the operational costs going up correspondingly and also the leadership succession problem. All these challenges made the Board seriously consider whether to continue the operation of Sian Chay or to close down Sian Chay and relegate it to history. Mr Teo Kim Chuan approached Chairman four times to invite him to come on board. After much consideration, Chairman accepted the challenge and become part of the Sian Chay family.
In 2006, he joined as the Secretary of the 77th term of the Board of Directors (2006 – 2008) and thereafter assumed Chairmanship of Sian Chay in 2008 till today. Chairman mooted the 5 Core Values, “Forgiveness, Universal Love, Compassion, Gratitude, Blessing” as the service motto of Sian Chay in support of the nation building and social harmony. Sian Chay also embraced the beliefs, “Nation Progresses, Family Prospers. Family Harmony, Successful Endeavours. Forward with the Nation, Bonding with the People”, while engaging in social welfare, community services and various charitable activities to serve the society.
Racial harmony is the cornerstone of social cohesion, social consciousness, social progress and social development. Everyone should treasure and contribute to the racial harmony, building a beautiful nation, fostering loving care, friendship, sharing quality life and build a prosperous Singapore.
In order to get ourselves ready for rainy days and to provide quality services to the public, Chairman actively organizes and grooms the management team and staff of Sian Chay. He hopes all will adhere to the vision, values and philanthropic spirit of the pioneering directors, to further promote the Chinese tradition of mutual help and mission of compassion to serve more beneficiaries in the society, and encourage and influence more benevolent people to support Sian Chay’s cause.
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Contact: Joanne Ong 8823 9431; Xiang Hong 9638 0095
Sian Chay Medical Institution Head Office
610 Geylang Road Singapore 389549
Tel: 6565 3737