Dear Mr Tan Kiang Howe
I don’t know you personally. But did hear a lot of things about you recently, both good and not so good things. People say you were a kofu pioneer in Johor. Through sheer dedication, you have built SGM Johor into what it is today. There is truth, I believe, in this statement.
At the same time, I also hear that the real heroes behind the rapid development was the Women’s Division leaders. It’s always the case every where, isn’t? But there is no denying that you played no small role in the history of Johor kosen-rufu.
At the same time, you also have many detractors. Allegations of corruption, abuse of power and arrogance are abound. You are not fit to be a top leader, they claimed. The attacks came from a group of top leaders in Johor, your compatriots.
In the heat of all these controversies, you were seen pacing up and down behind the gokuyo money collection counter during the last round of SEATC gokuyo. Why do you do things like this? Are you totally innocent and insensitive of the impact of your presence? Or do you do it in purpose to demonstrate to those that oppose you that they can’t touch you? I don’t think you have official duty like issuing receipt or a computer runner, do you?
What I am interested is not whether you did, or did not, commit wrong doings and benefited yourself in the process. What interest me is the effect of this crisis on SGM, on the members and also the future of Johor’s kosen-rufu, as well as Malaysia. A deep concern for me. It is precisely this that I am writing this open letter to you. I believe you also share the best interest of the organisation in your heart.
Your detractors have lost, basing on what had happened so far. They were sacked and those who disliked you left. A few hundreds in total. You retain your positions at the General Council and the Vice SGM MD leader. The ECC and the General Council did not, or dare not, make any suggestion to remove you. If this is a war, you have won. With the fragmentation of the entire state, is the victory meaningful to you?
In the interest of the our beloved organisation, one that is of the Buddha’s will and decree, I earnestly urge you to consider resigning from all positions of leadership immediately. By doing so, it will certainly make a big step towards stamping out some of the fire that has been spreading and destroying the organisation.
I don’t understand why do you still want to hang on to these positions in Gakkai? Are you afraid that if you resign, then your detractors will say that you are admitting to your faults? If that is the case, then you will be putting your personal pride over the welfare of the members and SGM. That’s not right, is it?
At this point of the crisis, it is really unnecessary to think what others will say. Those who support you will continue to do so, and those who hate you will continue no matter what. The key is how does this action helps to reduce the tension and problems that SGM is facing today. Do you think that by retaining your position in the General Council actually serve kosen-rufu and SGM more than resigning?
Or do you think that since you were a pioneering member and built this Johor state, you are the rightful owner. A private property of Tan KH? I hope your head is not that big and your eyes not that blind to know that SGM has always been, and always will, be an organisation of the member, an organisation of Ikeda Sensei. Leaders are all servants.
Is it because of power, that you still want to influence the big decisions inside the General Council? Power is dangerous and when one is addicted to it, it can easily undo all the good deeds of the past few decades. President Ikeda often said that a leader’s position is Gakkai is one of responsibility, not power or authority. ‘Differences of position in an organization are temporary and provisional. They are no more than an expedient means for enabling all members to practice joyfully and become truly happy’. We are all equal before the Gohonzon, nothing more, nothing less.
I believe for a person like yourself, your experience and eloquence, you will be able to contribute a lot more at the grassroot, away from the limelight, encouraging members one by one. Let go. At this point, there is really no point hanging on. Nothing to proof.
To hang on to your current positions and disregard the feelings of the members in general will only make you look like power crazy, thinking that SGM Johor belongs to you personally and a totally selfish person who only wanted to maintain face at all cost.
Please consider what I say. I will pray for the happiness of you and your family in my morning gongyo.
A friend in SGM