Datuk May Phng

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Director of Kechara House

Having enjoyed many privileges in life, I have always considered that all aspects of my life were perfect; that I could live life in a way that was with the privileges and a few good friends that I would be comfortable with. In short, I felt I could live my life in a selfish manner, with everything going my way and without any thought of the greater part of the world. Instead, I stayed in a cocoon of smallness and coziness.

However, when I hit 40 years of age, there was a growing sense of restlessness and dissatisfaction with myself and I began to feel an emptiness within. I read books and attended courses on adult experiential learning and started to realise that I desired spirituality in my life. And that, despite the material successes I had gained, I would never be happy with who I was.

Fortunately one evening in 2007, a friend took me to listen to a Dharma talk with H.E. Tsem Rinpoche and I was totally inspired with the Dharma that was taught. After the talk, I asked Rinpoche whether spirituality could be obtained without religion and that I was resistant to the restriction imposed by most religious orders.

Rinpoche’s reply really rocked me into stupor! Rinpoche’s answer was, “Yes spirituality can be cultivated without a religious order but why do I chose to do so with so many difficulties when there are Buddhist orders with proven track records that can assist one to attain spirituality in a much easier manner.”

From that moment onwards, I knew that I had found, in Rinpoche, my Root Guru and the purpose of my life. Once again, I am privileged to have found my Guru after searching for 20 years and am honoured to be a Director to Rinpoche.

I am very committed to my role as one of Rinpoche’s Directors because I believe in Rinpoche’s work to spread the Dharma, to bring benefits and happiness to all.

My challenge is to learn to accept changes and not to be stuck in my belief that the world needs to evolve in my fixed way of seeing how things should be.


  • Board of Directors, Kechara Organisation
  • Executive Committee Member, Kechara World Peace Centre


I am married to Phng Hooi Siang with four adult children and eight grandchildren. I am a businesswoman who used to own and operate the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise in China, with over 40 outlets in Shanghai and Suzhou over 8 years between 2004 and 2012. I served on the Board of Trustees of the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council for 10 years and as an Executive Committee Member of the Malaysian Rubber Products Manufacturers’ Association for 15 years. I ended my service in both organisations in 2013 while maintaining position as Director of Malcorp to date.

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