Yayasan Pema Norbu Vihara (YPNV) or the Pema Norbu Vihara Foundation was set up in December 2015 by sisters Susan and Rita Sim. Practitioners of the Palyul lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, Susan and Rita became aware of and concerned about the confusion, myths and misconception surrounding Tibetan Buddhism and the lack of access to teachers and therefore the right practices, especially in their home country Malaysia. Susan shared these concerns with her friend Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, who suggested that she start a Tibetan Buddhist centre in Malaysia. He even suggested a name for the centre: Pema Norbu Vihara. Susan and Rita then got blessings from the late HH Penor Rinpoche to set up the YPNV and the blessing of the centre was conducted by HH Karma Kuchen Rinpoche.
Rita and Susan, with the help of two other trustees, run the YPNV under the wise guidance and leadership of Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche, who is also the Patron and Chairman of the foundation.
Born in South Tibet in 1954, Khenchen fled to India with his family in 1962. At the age of 10 he took on the robes of a monk. He was enthroned as a Khenpo (Buddhist Professor) by HH Penor Rinpoche in 1983. Today he is one of three senior Khenpos at the Nyagur Nyingma Institute at the Namdroling Monastery in South India. He is also the spiritual director of numerous Palyul centres around the world. Read more about Khenchen here.
Rita Sim’s list of accomplishments is remarkable in its number and diversity. On top of managing the family hardware business, she worked on developing Malaysia’s first generation of Independent Power Plants, merged 3 companies for dual primary listing on the Malaysian and Hong Kong stock exchanges, authored a book titled Unmistakably Chinese, Genuinely Malaysian, and co-founded the think tank, Centre for Strategic Engagement (CENSE). She is also actively involved in corporate social responsibility activities in Sabah and is a trustee of Kwan Inn Teng Foundation and GAB Foundation. She also sits on the board of several companies.
Susan, like Rita, returned to the family business, and is now based in Hong Kong. Susan has had a long-abiding interest in Buddhism, graduating with a Masters of Art in Buddhist Studies from SOAS, University of London. There she met a young Tibetan man who would become a lifelong friend. She would later discover that this friend, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche (DJKR), is the third incarnation of the founder of the Khyentse lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. She is also involved in welfare work in India, working on a Hepatitis B vaccination project for a community of 2000 people in India from 2008 – 2010, and has organised a medical clinic for the poor in India since 2008. She is a trustee of Kwan Inn Teng Foundation.
Veronica Choong believes in continuous growth and lifelong learning, evidenced by the enviably long list of certifications she has accumulated over the years. She has certificates in business management and marketing, and most recently got certified as a Master ABNLP in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. She is no stranger to leadership roles, having served as Regional Operations Manager at Hewlett Packard, Kuala Lumpur and Head of Department at ACE Synergy Insurance Berhad. She is now Director of the Talent Management Department of Beverly Heights Development Sdn Bhd.
Tan Ghee Yong is an engineer by profession and a philanthropist by nature. She is Managing Director of Ziadun-Leeng Sdn Bhd, a consultant engineering company. She is actively involved in community building, as evidenced by the posts she holds in many charitable organisations – Honorary Deputy Secretary of Tung Shin Hospital, Director of Chinese Maternity Hospital, trustee of Yayasan Sin Chew and Trustee/ Honorary Treasurer of Kwan Inn Teng Foundation.
YPNV’s auditors are KL Associates, a firm of Chartered Accountants founded in 2004 by Mr Lau Yoke Keen, Alvin and Ms Kok Mui Hong, Sarah. The firm currently operates from four offices in Damansara, Old Klang Road, Puchong and Labuan, and employs a staff force of 50. Its principal office is located at B-6-32, Block B, Ativo Plaza,No.1, Jalan PJU 9/1, Damansara Avenue, Bandar Sri Damansara PJU 9, 52200 Kuala Lumpur. KL Associates is also a founding affiliate of Integrita, an international resource network of professionals with affiliates in Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, India, Hong Kong and South Korea.
Background Photo Credit: Untitled via Pixabay