The selection and training process of Kechara’s Pastors is rigorous. After years of personal observation and deliberation by H. E. Tsem Rinpoche, the following Kecharians were handpicked to become the pioneering Pastors of Kechara.
Life took a turn for the better after meeting H.E. Tsem Rinpoche where Chia found a guide in life and now in turn becomes the guide for others in need.
Growing up was not easy for Chia Song Peng. Together with his nine older siblings, he led a difficult life in Muar, Johor where he was almost given up for adoption the moment he was born.
However, his eldest brother did not want them to be separated, hence took on the responsibilities of keeping the family together. It was a continuous struggle to make ends meet.
At 19, Chia started an engineering course in Singapore, under government sponsorship. One semester later, he felt that it was not right for him and left to become a factory production assistant for 3 years.
He then became a chef in a Chinese restaurant hoping for better opportunities. His first task was to learn how to kill fish and other seafood, which continued for 6 months. Conscience kicked in and eventually, Chia went to a temple to confess to Kuan Yin. The future looked unpromising until a year later when he met H.E. Tsem Rinpoche in Singapore.
Life has taken a turn for the better after that fateful day 14 years ago. Chia has changed from a stubborn, demanding, angry and possessive man to being calm, soft-spoken, and patient. This was the very first noticeable difference in Chia amongst his family members.
Currently holding a core role within the Kechara Paradise retail outlets, Chia’s Dharma career is rich and varied. He served as a personal attendant to His Eminence, embarked on various pilgrimages and received initiations into higher yoga tantra practices. He is accomplished in many pujas and has a deep understanding of the Dharma.
Having found self-improvement and a new start in life, Chia has made Kechara his spiritual home. As a pastor, he will tirelessly dedicate his life to benefitting others by spreading the works of His Eminence and the Dharma to many people; through pujas, rituals, consultations and the sharing of true knowledge.
A lifetime of pursuing education, training and the betterment of others finds true purpose when Susan met H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.
Susan Lim was born and raised in Penang. With a close knit family, frequent family vacations and success in sporting activities, her childhood and teenage years were idyllic. At 17, she went to Toronto for higher education and to volunteer in missionary works.
Susan completed a Bachelor’s degree in Music Technology and a Master of Science in Instructional Systems Design. With this unique combination of study, she gained understanding in communication, technology, psychology and education; developing the necessary skills to train people to fulfill their potential.
Her career choices revolved around helping others, with stints in the rescue division of the United States Coast Guard and a prestigious role with Intel Malaysia to start up their e-learning initiative for South East Asia. However, it was her interest in understanding human behaviour and psychology which led her to Dharma.
Spirituality was not foreign to Susan. A Christian from an early age, she always had faith that there were higher, more powerful beings in existence and she would meditate quietly by herself. When Susan first met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche, she was fortunate to receive teachings that were applicable across all religions. These had a profound impact on Susan; the teachings became experiential for her, and her understanding began to crystallize.
When a precious opportunity arose to be His Eminence’s personal assistant, Susan jumped at the opportunity. She then continued to Kechara Media & Publications where she has played a significant role in its growth. She is also a Liaison to His Eminence and a member in the Kechara Education Committee.
It has been a journey of self-development, realisation, understanding and peace for Susan. As a Pastor, Susan’s passion for Buddhism and for helping others through education is perfectly placed to find its highest potential. Dharma is the greatest gift she can give.
Pastor Yek Yee
Naturally an introvert, Yek Yee has transformed what was once her weakness into her strength; making what was once impossible now eminently possible.
Independence was forced upon Kok Yek Yee from the tender age of nine, when she had to juggle between work and school to make ends meet. Always the introvert, Yek Yee had few friends and had difficulty expressing herself. So it was unexpected when she chose a career in journalism.
Yek Yee excelled as an award-winning reporter with Guang Ming Daily and Nanyang Siang Pau. Her articles garnered her a fanbase, and in writing, she found an outlet for the thoughts and feelings that she could not verbalise.
However, despite her success, Yek Yee was not satisfied. Temporary happiness was not what she was looking for – success, money, relationships, or fame was not the key.
In her search for happiness, Yek Yee met H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, who told her “don’t retaliate with your speech, but use your power of writing to express yourself”. This led her to join Kechara Media & Publications as a writer; subsequently she was appointed Senior Editor as well as a Liaison to His Eminence.
Yek Yee now holds a core role in Kechara Care, giving advice, tours, counseling and teachings to whoever walks through their doors. Through courage and determination, she has transformed what was once her weakness into her strength; making what was once impossible now eminently possible.
As a Pastor, her patience and open-mindedness developed through her journey with Kechara will bring comfort and solace, and her new-found ability to nurture and teach others will bring hope to many.
Having found a purpose in life and made Kechara her spiritual home, Choi wishes to spend the rest of her life serving others.
Choi Kim Yok was born in Sungei Besi, Selangor and graduated from the University of Malaya in 1974 with a degree in English Literature, after which she became a tutor at the English Department there. While tutoring, she also pursued a Master of Arts degree in English which she obtained in 1978.
In 1976, she was offered a French Government scholarship to study French and French literature at the Sorbonne University in Paris. After spending three years in France, Choi returned to Malaysia with a Masters and began to teach French at the University of Malaya.
In 1983, Choi went back to Paris with yet another scholarship, this time to study linguistics at the University of Paris III, also known as the New Sorbonne. After obtaining another Masters and a Doctorate in linguistics, she returned to the University of Malaya to teach French and linguistics. Choi was awarded her professorship in 2000 and served the university until her retirement in 2010.
In December 2006, Choi visited one of Kechara’s Dharma outlets in Kuala Lumpur and was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism, Gaden Monastery and the lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa. Since 2007, she has been involved in Kechara’s activities such as pujas, soup kitchen, and Dharma classes. She has worked in our retail outlets, led the Manjushri Kids Class, and is also the head of Kechara’s Dharma Library.
Meeting His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche and the Dharma has made Choi’s life more meaningful. She is very grateful to His Eminence for his guidance and encouragement from the very outset of her spiritual practice. In March 2007, His Eminence advised her to “use this precious human life to be of benefit to others”. Having found a purpose in life and made Kechara her spiritual home, Choi wishes to spend the rest of her life serving others.
Pastor Han Nee
It was not until she witnessed how Rinpoche brought peace and comfort to her dying mother, that she realised she also wanted to touch others with the Dharma.
Lim Han Nee, a mother of two, is a retired secondary school principal. She retired in December 2000 after a 30-year career in education. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Education at Leicester University in the UK, at the end of 2001.
After gaining her master’s degree, Han Nee considered further options of embarking on a doctorate in education or spending her years in retirement, travelling and visiting family. At the same time, she was also in search of her spiritual path. She had begun exploring Theravadan and Chinese Mahayana Buddhism for answers to questions she had.
In December 2004, Han Nee attended a teaching retreat on the topic of the Lamrim and White Tara held by His Eminence Gelek Rinpoche. As the retreat proceeded, she found her questions were being answered. Then in June 2005, Han Nee was introduced to Kechara by her sister, where she met her spiritual guide, His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche, who has recently told her that she must go all the way in the Dharma for the benefit of others.
Han Nee had been a school guidance counsellor for nearly twenty years. However, it was not until she witnessed how Rinpoche brought peace and comfort to her dying mother, that she realised she also wanted to touch others with the Dharma.
A member of Kechara’s Puja Team, who conduct sponsored pujas in Shabten Khang, Han Nee is also a member of the Education Division with the portfolio of Content Development. Apart from this, Han Nee is also a member of the weekly Kechara Chat Time team.
She felt that her work in Dharma could lead to a greater contribution for the sake of all sentient beings in a deeper, spiritual sense.
Lanse graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from Jinan University in Guangzhou, China in 1999. She became a part-time lecturer for several years, teaching western medicine in a traditional Chinese medical college in Kuala Lumpur.
For a long time, Lanse remained an atheist, subconsciously searching for a spiritual guru as she sought answers to questions she harboured in her mind, questions that had led her into a state of depression during her time at university. As such, she would often read philosophical books in her search for answers.
Lanse first came to know of Kechara in 2007, through her friend of over 10 years, Pastor Yek Yee. She was surprised to see a complete transformation in Pastor Yek Yee, whom she had always known as a non-spiritual person. The first book by Kechara that Lanse chanced upon was the Chinese version of ‘Be Greedy’. Lanse was skeptical at first, so she read the book in an attempt to find mistakes with the philosophy. However, she couldn’t find any and was left impressed by how logical the explanations were.
In March 2009, Lanse joined Kechara’s publishing house part-time to carry out Chinese translation and help with transcription. The following year, she contemplated upon whether to pursue a full-time medical career or a Dharma career, finally deciding on the latter. Lanse came to realise that, although both careers share the same motivation of easing people’s sufferings, she felt that her work in Dharma could lead to a greater contribution for the sake of all sentient beings in a deeper, spiritual sense.
Lanse now finds herself being calmer and more affirmed in her passion for benefitting others. She aspires to make more hospital visits in her capacity as a pastor, as this is all the more apt with her medical background. Lanse is a Liaison to Rinpoche and is currently Kechara’s senior translator and Chinese editor.