Venerable Kong Hiap was born Huang Runzhi in Luo-Dong, Nan -An County, Fujian Province , China , on 4 January 1900 to the Huang family. In 1921, Venerable Rui Deng of Nan Pu-Tuo Temple in China, ordained him. He practised the Nan-Shan precepts under Preceptor Master Venerable Gu Xing in Nan-Shan Guang Hua Monastery, Pu-Tien.
During the early years of the Sino-Japanese War, he sailed to Singapore and stayed with his teacher, Venerable Rui Deng, at Leong San Temple. In June 1952, with the passing of the Abbot of Leong San Temple, Venerable Zhuan Feng, Venerable Kong Hiap was appointed as the new Abbot. He dropped the plan to establish Mee Toh Temple in 1954 and initiated the building of Mee Toh School instead. Venerable Kong Hiap was truly concerned with the social and moral education of the public, especially the young.
In 1956, heading a team which included Phor Kark See, Pu Tuo See, Fa Hua See and Chiam Pok Ee, Venerable Kong Hiap appealed to the Government of Singapore to gazette the fifteenth day of the fourth month in the lunar calendar as Vesak Day in Singapore. Venerable Kong Hiap also personally looked into the raising of funds which was donated to the poor, sick and the needy, regardless of race, language or religion. Records of his contributions can be seen in Mee Toh School Heritage Centre.
Besides contributions to education and society, Venerable Kong Hiap’s love for the arts and culture was also evident in his devotion to the late renowned artist Master Feng Zikai’s works. He held an exhibition in 1987 to showcase many of Master Feng’s masterpieces.
Over the last thirty years, Venerable Kong Hiap held top posts in various Buddhist organisations in Singapore . He was awarded the Public Service Medal (BBM) in 1988 on National Day. In 1990, the Ministry of Education awarded him the Meritorious Award for his dedication and committed efforts towards promoting education and in establishing Mee Toh School.
On 24 February 1994 , our beloved founder, Venerable Kong Hiap passed on peacefully at the age of 94. By knowing the founder’s story, Mee Tohians understand the values that guided our founder to contribute selflessly and help make life better for others.
May the memory of our founder be lived through the positive values and contributions of generations of Mee Tohians.