Biography Of Chau Kun Chan

Posted in Biography on November 29, 2009 by tokraja

The late Than Chau Khun (Chan) was born on the 15th day of May, 1909 in the village Teresek, Repek, Pasir Mas, State of Kelantan. He was the 3rd son in a family of three boys and four girls of the late Mr. Suk Pisngam and Madam Thiak.

He received his formal religious education from the monks in the village monastery when he was 15 years old. The monks taught him to read and write in the Cambodian and Thai alphabets in the monastery, but there was no school which conduct Malay language classes at that time and because of his self reliant attitude, diligent and hard working he had mastered the Malay language within such a short period of time. By the time he reached the age of twenty(20), he was already very proficient and had a very good command of Pali language thus not only enabled him to recite but also to translate and write the Patimokkha and Sutras from the Holy Dhamma books.

It is a good practice and exalted tradition for the Buddhist Thai Youth to enter into the monastery and began their serious practice to become a monk at the age of twenty one (21). Like others, Than Chau Khun Chan became a monk at age of twenty two(22) upon taking full ordination on the 7th day of July 1931 at Wat Uttamaram, in a ceremony solemnised by the well-known Abbot Phra Khru Ophasputtakhun (Kiew) of Wat Kampung Dalam Tumpat, Kelantan.After ordination, he was known as Phra Chan Kesaro.

Knowledge is a potential power and it is one of the important source in achieving wisdom. Therefore, in seeking for better and in-depth knowledge Than Chau Khun Chan then travelled to Thailand. This is because Thailand is very well known in Buddhist culture and has many monasteries that cater for Buddhist teachings.

In Thailand, he had enrolled himself in the Buddhist Institute of Thailand from year 1934 till 1949. In this Institute he was taught by two teachers who were also his mentors and they were Phra Khru Pipat Samanakic and Phra Khru Pibul Samanawat. Upon completion of his studies in 1949, he again furthered his studies in the prestigious Buddhist College of Wat Muclintawapi Vihara, Nongcik, Pattani in Southern Thailand. This Buddhist College has since been upgraded into a University of Buddhism. At this prestigious Buddhist College, he had studied the Pali language, the Tripitaka, Philosophy, Pali canon and amongst other secular subjects to equip himself to become a Buddhist teacher and to carry out the missionary works.Upon graduation from the Pali language and the various religious disciples he become a Maha.

In the year 1962, he was appointed as an Abbot of Wat Uttamaram and the subsequent year in 1963 he was conferred the ecclesiastical title of Phra Vicaranayanmuni Nayaka Maha Thera by the Buddhist Sangha Council of Thailand. Due to his enormous and invaluable contributions and services to the society of Buddhist teachings in the state of Kelantan, he was elected to be the Lord Abbot of Kelantan by the Royal Highness, the Sultan of Kelantan.

On the 30th day of November 1992 at 6.45 am, Phra Vicaranayanmuni Nayaka Maha Thera passed away peacefully at the age of eighty four (84). Even though his physical body may have perished but his immense, immeasurable, invaluable and ever lasting meritorious deeds and his untiring dedication and service to the religion, country and to all sentient being will always be remembered deep in the devotees’ heart.


The Rise & Fall Of Botak Chin

Posted in Botak Chin on November 29, 2009 by tokraja

BOTAK Chin or Wong Swee Hin, was a cold-blooded killer who terrorised Kuala Lumpur in the mid 1970s with a series of robberies, bloody inter-gang rivalries and run-ins with the police.

Botak Chin was born in 1951 in Kuala Lumpur.His father was a railway department pensioner who sent him to a Chinese school in Sentul Pasar and later, to an English language school. He quitted school at 15 and start to work at the wholesale market assistant in Jalan Tun Ismail for a year.

It was then that he became exposed to the underworld and joined Gang 306.His first armed robbery was on April 19, 1969.After obtaining his first gun, a 0.22 revolver, he assembled & formed his own gang and committed 8 robberies.He was eventually caught and sentenced to 7 years jail & was released in November 1974.

After his release, he tried to selling vegetables to start a decent living but soon found that the earnings weren’t enough & he have thoughts of reforming a new gang to revive his old days.

In April 1975, he create new gang with Ng Cheng Wong (Ah Wong), Beh Kok Chin (Pangkor Chai) & Teh Bok Lay (Seh Chai).On July 20, the gang struck a bank in Jalan Imbi and fled with RM95,000.Out of that sum, a portion of that (RM25,000) was used to buy a Datsun car.

His next hit-list , a Chinese temple in Jalan Kolam Ayer where several mahjong players were gunned down and the gang grabbed RM10,000.By this time, Botak Chin’s crime spree had attracted the attention of then City Criminal Investigation Department deputy head, Deputy Superintendent S.Kulasingam who was first attempt was on Nov 22, 1975. He had stopped at a traffic light junction while driving alone when 11 shots were fired at him. One of the bullets shattered his right rib, piercing his liver, and grazed his lungs.

Being low on ammo, Botak Chin targeted policemen to bolster his ammo supply.He took three pistols belonging to three policemen during a robbery in Sentul. On Oct 26, 1975, he gunned down a security guard delivering money to a horse racing club, and escaped with RM218,000. With his share of RM40,000, he returned to Thailand and bought more weapons to add to his armoury of 19 guns, 5 grenades and 1,000 bullets (see items being confiscated by Malaysian Poilce & on exibit in the Police Museum)

Items seized by Malaysian police after Botak Chin’s arrest (now on display @ Malaysia Police Museum)

He then became involved in a war with another gang. As a result, the leader of the Five Finger Mountain gang, Tua Pui Lek, was killed. Botak Chin’s gang member, Ah Wong was also killed.

The gangster successfully eluded capture numerous times, surviving and escaping from gun battles with the police. In one incident in Segambut Dalam, his car was riddled with bullets and he managed to slip away unharmed into the squatter area. This led to many rumours claiming that his talisman made him invulnerable to bullets and knives, and enabled him to escape unseen.

Eventually, the police set up a 12-man task force with the specific objective of apprehending him. On Feb 16, 1976, the gangster was shot 6 times by police at a sawmill in Jalan Ipohbut miraculously he survived the shooting but was taken into custody (according to saying, he left home without his talisman that day; another story had it that the police approached the medium who issued the Phra Pidta amulet to Botak Chin for help).

He was sentenced to death by the KL High Court after being convicted on three charges under the Internal Security Act.

He was put on trial again in April 1, 1980. This time, he tried to glorify himself as a modern day Robin Hood who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor.

On Jan 1,1981, he made a desperate escape attempt from his death row cell at Pudu prison, stabbing three warders.He was unsuccessful, and was seriously injured in the process.

On June 11, 1981, at 3am, Botak Chin was hanged. He was only 28 then. , the man who terrorised the citizenry and police force finally met his end.His dying wish was to donate his organs for medical purposes but was rejected as he had not signed a written consent.

The Mystery of Botak Chin

Posted in Botak Chin on November 28, 2009 by tokraja

According to Malaysian high-profile criminal records, “Botak Chin” as he was widely known, was a notorious gangster and robber of the 1970s. He was criticized by the authorities for being a self-styled “Robin Hood”. It was rumoured that “Botak Chin” wore a BE2480 (ie: 1937 AD) batch Tok Raja pidtta and takrut( a kind of encased spell scroll, also made by Tok Raja). So whenever the police tried to arrest “Botak Chin”, he could always suddenly disappear or be able to evade their vision. It was believed this was because of the power brought by the Tok Raja Pidtta. Pidttas are known to provide great protection, avoid danger and the ability to run off from your enemy(Pidtta used 2 hands to close eyes and face). “Botak Chin” was bullets and weapons such as knives. After repeated failures to arrest “Botak Chin”, the Police had no choice but to seek Tok Raja for help. It was believed that with Tok Raja’s assistance, the police finally managed to apprehend “Botak Chin”. For his notorious crimes, “Botak Chin” was sentenced by the Malaysian courts to execution by hanging. “Botak Chin” had a final request: that he be allowed to wear his Tok Raja Pidtta during the execution. The judger denied his request but promised to return him his Pidtta after it is confirmed that he is really dead. After this high-profile incident of abuse, Tok Raja did not like to give out Pidtta amulets to the public. He did not want the public to abuse the power of this amulet. Tok Raja thus only gave the Pidtta amulet to whom he trusted. This remained so until Tok Raja passed away. Tok Raja’s Pidtta amulets are highly sought after by those doing ‘informal’ businesses like discotheques and pubs (for eg, the owners, managers and bouncers of discotheques and pubs), loan-sharking, drug-smuggling, running gambling dens and so on. The Pidtta BE2480 made by Tok Raja can said to be the Pidtta king of Pidtta amulets. Amulet collectors also eagerly seek this Pidtta amulet because this batch of amulets is reputedly effective for wearing (ie: it is powerful), and worth it to collect (it has amulet collector’s monetary investment value).

Biography of Tok Raja

Posted in Biography on November 28, 2009 by tokraja

Tok Raja of Wat Uttamaram Pasir Mas Kelantan Tok Raja of Wat Uttamaram Pasir Mas Kelantan .

Khron Ratchanaren (known as Tok Raja) was born on Thursday December 1, BE2419 (1876). He was sent to Wat Uttamaram by his parents when he was 12 years old to learn Buddhism and Thai language. He stayed with Archan Lok who was the temple Chief Abbot at that time. Tok had showed great interest in Buddhism and became a “Dek Jom” under the supervision of Bhikkhu (monks) in the temple. Besides, he also learned crafting and construction. He once told the devotees that even from an early age, he cherished the ambition of joining the monk hood and stay in the temple to learn Buddhism unlike his other kampung (village) boys of the same age who more preferred to stay in their homes in the kampung.

Ordination (Upasombot)

Tok Raja joined monkhood (Bhikkhu) on Jun 15, 2438 (1895) when he was 21 years old. The ordination took place at Wat Uttamaram and was ordained by the following monks:

1) Phra Upatcha Palad Chai of Wat Mai Suwankhiri

2) Phra Khru Ophart Phuthakhun of Wat Chon Prachumthart and

3) Phra Athikarn Phut from Wat Bangtakwa Silaloi who became Kammavacanusavanacarn

Tok Raja was then given a Buddhist name known as Punnaksuwanno.

 Seeking knowledge

After becoming a monk, he stayed at Wat Uttamatam for two phansa after that he travelled to Southern Thailand to learn Pali language and at that time is known as the big book. Tok was resided at Wat huaphom Nai in Songkhla and learn Buddhism in greater depth. He also learned “Phrakhatha vertmon” which consist of “Khamphi Mulkachai” and “Khamphi Thammadboth” in Wat Huaporm Nai as well as Vipassana Kammatharn technique in Songkhla for 15 years. In the year 2449 BE, Tok Raja was appointed Chief Abbot of the Wat for 10 years.

Due to the fact that Tok Raja needs to be back to Malaya, he stepped down as Chief Abbot of Wat Huaporm Nai. Once back from Thailand, he became the Chief Abbot of Wat Mai Suwankhiri for 6 years before been transferred back to Wat Uttamaram and became the Chief Abbot of the Wat in year 2468 BE. He taught Vippassana meditation and ubasok ubasika Buddhaborisat to the kampung folks Buddhist fundamentals as well as Vertmon Katha to his pupils.

Positions hold by Tok Raja

  1. 2470 BE (1927) – appointed by Phra Khru Ophatbudthakhoon as Phra Palas Thananukrom
  2. 2476 BE (1933) – Tok Raja became Upatchaya
  3. 2484 BE (1941) – appointed as Phra Khru Vicarn
  4. 2488 BE (1945) – became the Chief Abbot of Kelantan State known as Phra Vicaranayanmuni

His role in the deployment of Dharma knowledge and spreading of Buddha’s teachings When Tok Raja  came back from Songkhla Thailand, he stressed a lot on knowledge skill. He worked very hard in order to expand the knowledge skills to devotees in Kelantan but did not meet his expectation since the Society at that time did not realise the importance of education and as such, was unable to achieve his mission to the fullness.

In early year of BE2491 (1948), Thai Buddhism has spread out of the country especially to the neighbouring country like Malaya.Malaysia was formerly known as Malaya. In that year, the first Naktham school was established in the Kedah state of Malaya. Tok has waited for the opportunity to open up such school for long time and has establish the same Naktham school in the year BE2492 and the first school was established in Wat Uttamaram Bangsek itself.

It was a resounding success in establishing these schools and Tok Raja later handed over the management of the school to Phra Maha Chan Kesaro who possessed “Parian Tham 6 Prakyok” as a teacher master. Even though there was a shortage in teaching resources, there was a huge demand from monks all over Kelantan to study at Wat Uttamaram to seek knowledge and learn Naktham where the expenses incurred were manageable. It was not easy to go to Wat Uttamaram at that time where it took hours to reach by walking through the jungle. Such obstacles did not prevent these pupil monks from reaching the Wat and in the same year as it was established, the first Naktham examination was held at Wat Uttamaram in Kelantan.

The Miracles of Tok Raja (The Sacred Tongkat)

Tok Raja spent his non-meditation hours in research into ancient and forgotten manuscripts which revealed ceremonies and prayers for every occasion. He made searching enquiries into information gleaned from his readings. He never considered unlikely or as far-fetched the stories he had read or heard of how and where priceless documents had been hidden in times of peril. He explored caves which others fear to enter and seldom found his mission unfruitful. From these ancient writings he copied the prayers and chants which are the weapons he uses in his self-imposed war against Black Magic. He tried the effect of these prayers upon himself when sick, and at all times opportunity offered itself to test his Faith & Power. One day, a novice brought to him a very aged document which he knew was something precious as it has been zealously guarded heirloom. He found that the documents described how a sacred tongkat (wand) should be constructed and the ingredients that went into its making. The tongkat was too powerful for the novice who made no use of it. On his death-bed, the novice gifted the tongkat to Tok Raja. Since then, it has never been out of his sight for a fleeting moment. He carried it with him wherever he goes and when asleep, it rests beside him. He has put the tongkat to good use in effecting cures both physical and mental. No ordinary man can touch the tongkat without feeling its Power. He has attained so high a standard of perfection and he was no mere mortal. By a few seconds of association with someone, or at a glance, he can say if the person seeking his help is clean in heart, a genuine sufferer or a fake if he has come to him convinced that only prayer can save life.

Tok Raja had never refuse aid and preached Dharma to those fake instead. He won more and more followers to his philosophy of life. News spread widely from devotees and even strangers about the wonders he had performed for them. He certainly was a modern Miracle Worker who convinces you of the unbelievable stories from the recovery of a dying man to saving from been possessed of evil spirit and even non Buddhist experience similar wonders in resolving their problems.

Donations poured in to the temple from all corners of Malaya (including Singapore) and with adequate funds, Tok was able to built the Kelantan first Naktham school in Wat Uttamaram (2nd School in Malaya after Kedah) and constructed Ubosoth (Both) and Kutis surrounding the temple.

Tok Raja’s Last Days

Tok Raja enjoyed good health and always fresh and active even at the age of over eighty years old. His health only started to deteriote from July 2505BE (1962) onwards. Tok’s health was deteriorating significantly after his trip to Singapore. The bad news about his health was spread like wild fire and many people from all over Malaya (Malaysia) came to visit him, including the Royal Highness The Sultan of Kelantan. Due to old age, Tok Raja passed away on November 19, 2505BE (1962), 15 days before the conferment of “Chao Khoon” title bestowed to him by the King of Thailand, his Highness King Phumibol Adulyadeth where Tok Raja was invited to be present at the King Palace in Bangkok on December 5, 2505BE (1962)