This is why I write

I published my first non-academic book, Pawprints on My Heart, in 2008. My friends had been asking me to write for sometime and that day, it was Earth Hour 2008 and the lights were all turned off. Being one who is so used to doing something all the time, I needed to do something while waiting for that one hour to pass. So I sat down, and wrote, under minimal light from the dynamo-operated portable lamp, the first three chapters in Pawprints.

That year,  I wrote three books within the span of two months. Yes, I do absolutely crazy things when I’m on a “mountain-moving” phase. But I’ve always been like this since I was young. We are all different in our own ways.

Interestingly I just heard over the weekend that a few people have been saying that I’m working far too hard in running AnimalCare so there must be something in it for me. What’s in it for her, they ask. Ah, sorry to disappoint you, but there’s nothing in it for me except for the joy of doing something I like and feel passionately about. For me, it’s about putting everything you’ve got into what you feel strongly about and doing all you can while you are on a mountain-moving phase. Life is impermanent, you’ll never know when your energy dies down and you cannot do as much as you’d like again.

And the truth is, I’m not working very hard – this IS the way I work. Ask my teachers at school, and they will vouch for that. In the bigger picture, I’m a firm believer of life being uncertain and that death can strike anytime, so if we’ve got a good idea, might as well do it before we die. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Why wait? Anytime is a good time to do something good.

So, coming back to why I write…ever since my first book was published, I have received numerous emails from people all over. They tell me how the book has changed their lives for the better. The book which I have received the most emails on is A Kite in the Wind. It is also the book that has been reprinted the most number of times by people. They just go on their own to the publisher and request the book to be reprinted. The animal books particularly reach out to children and the young-at-heart. I know they read because they can tell me all the details about every animal described in the books. Very often, children would ask me, “How is Indy?”. Somehow, they like Indy very much!

All my books are printed for free distribution, sponsored by friends and well-wishers. To date, a total of 54,690 books have been published and distributed free to the general public.

My latest book is Do We Have a Choice?

Here’s one of the emails I received two days ago, from a stranger by the name of Danny:

Dear Kah Yein

I happened to pick up your book when I was passing by the Buddhist temple at Jalan Berhala Brickfields.

I have read though your book “Do we have a choice” . It is a very insightful and meaningful principle to be applied for all lives especially we , human .

The only way to stop killing is to have 100% compassion .Honestly speaking , i am still holding quite of number of buffet voucher with me . I am just occasional vegetarian.

Towards today , I will be more alert and try to be better man who do not hurt any lives .

Once again , you have enlightened my inner heart , thank you .

Cheers / Danny


So, this is why I write.

All my e-books can be downloaded here.

And yes, it’s free. There’s nothing in it for me except for the joy of sharing.


6 comments to This is why I write

  • A-follower

    Dear Dr. Chan,

    I am shocked to read that there are people who think that there must be something in it for you because you are working so hard in running AnimalCare.

    These tongue waggers are simply jealous of what you have accomplished in such a short period of time and are spreading senseless lies to discredit you and AnimalCare.

    I have been following your blog for a long while and I know what you have done for the stray dogs and cats. Please do not be affected by these vicious people who can nothing except to discredit the good work of people like you.

    You have been a great example to the community showing kindness and compassion to the animals and you have our utmost respect. Continue your excellent work for the stray dogs and cats. We are behind you.

    Best wishes,

    A follower

  • W

    Kah Yein, tongues will wag because some people have very constipated minds. I have been accused of the same – that I’m doing what I do because there’s something in for me. When they say this I gather they are alleging that there is monetary gain. Now, don’t they know that I can write reports, do media monitoring, teach etc to earn extra bucks instead of shoveling dog crap and spending every weekend sitting in shopping malls waiting for people to adopt our dogs and puppies? And I owe 5 veterinary clinic almost RM100,000 – are they saying that I have screwed my life up by incurring huge debts for personal benefit? Crazy people. Don’t let whatever they say bug you. Your friends and those who know your work won’t buy their crap.

    • chankahyein

      Yes, Wani. Tongues will definitely wag. I’ve heard even more amazing stories about me (!) which is all news to me!

  • Seokthien

    Dear Dr Chan

    People will talk whatever you do so I hope you wont nasty remarks get you down. I have been following your blog and I have also read your article in the book Crystal in the Sand(i think)and I really admire what you do.I have not able to get hold of yr other books yet and hope to get them one of these days. I really wish I can be as compassionate and capable as you. Able to write, give dhamma talks, take care of animals and all for free. Unfortunately, the only thing I can do is donate some money when I get my pay each month to various charities. So carry on with your good work.

  • Seokthien

    Dear Dr Chan,

    Thank you for informing me of the ebooks. Will download and read the books. Actually i hv been wondering how to get yr books and now I am able to download them. Thanks.