Inspirational Malaysian: Dr Richard Chan

“Often times it takes a misfortune to bring about the realisation of what is most important in our lives. Back in 1990, my fiancé and I were travelling from Kuala Lipis to Kuala Lumpur when the car I was driving went out of control and collided head-on with a 10 wheeled trailer. Miraculously, we survived the crash but my right thumb was almost severed from my hand. I realised immediately that if the surgeons were not able to reattach my thumb, my career as a dentist would be over. Thankfully the skilled surgeons at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) were able to save my thumb.

After coming so close to losing my career and also my life, it dawned on me just how fragile and fleeting life is. The accident made me think about my life’s priorities and the significance of my existence. If I had died that day, what impact would I have made in the lives of people? What difference had I brought to my community and to this world? Had I placed the pursuit of material things over my loved ones? Had I chosen profession and possession over people?

Since then I have decided to reprioritise my life; choosing spiritual development over physical pursuits, placing relationships and people above work. I don’t want to just occupy space and fade into oblivion without making even a tiny dent in this world. I want to make a difference in the lives of the people around me.” – Dr Richard Chan, dentist

Dr Richard Chan married his above-mentioned fiancé, Cikgu Cheam Swee Poh in 1991. They have two lovely daughters. The Chan family hosted us for the entire duration of our visit and also provides a home-away-from-home environment for the IPG (Institut Pendidikan Guru) students in Kuala Lipis by caring for them and sharing with them.

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