Excerpts from the SGM General Director New Year’s message, January 2017
Please promise me to work hard over the next two years with our fellow members around the world to expand our network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth, and forge ahead with energy, wisdom and good cheer to make the triumph of mentor and disciple resound into the eternal future of the Latter Day of the Law.
We hear you. It is also our desire to expand the network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth. But then, we would also like you to promise us a few things. Not many, just a few.
Promise us that you will stop terminating and removing sincere and dedicated leaders of kosen-rufu. Even if they ask uncomfortable questions.
The recent termination in January 8, 2017, was not the first. Ten Johor pioneer leaders and one Vice GD were terminated in May 2016. And this round, you even terminate Honbu and Chapter leaders. No good reasons were given for such a drastic decision. When we ask the senior leaders, they simply read us the three points in our appointment letter, which are:
- Appointment is good for a period of two years
- Must accept any changes to leadership position
- Disciplinary action will be taken against those who behave in a manner that is injurious to the organisation.
We find this reasoning cold and foolish. First of all, it is clear for many leaders in general that you are ruthlessly removing all those leaders who disagree and perceived as not supporting you. You have a list, we were told, and that you are not done with it. Needed a few more rounds of cleansing.
Second, what have they done to warrant such a severe punishment? The leaders that you sacked were among the most dedicated and passionate. Some we known for their sincere and large monetary contribution, up to six figures, even shared their experience in IPA not too long ago. One WD encouraged more than 50 new friends to embrace this Buddhism. All of them have since enshrined their gohonzons and many were also leaders today.
Given the background of these individuals, we really do not see the need of such sledge hammer style, which is void of any compassion and consideration.
Promise us that you will carry out a forensic audit into the Johor accounts and settle the case once and for all. Give the much maligned ex-Region Chief justice, if this forensic audit clears him. Or removed him from the General Council if the audit found to be wanting. Justice also to the Rescue leaders. There is no other way to resolve and bring this issue to a significant closure without a forensic audit.
Your insistence on not carrying out the forensic audit and continual sacking of vocal leaders only fuel the thinking that you indeed have something huge to hide.
With all this sacking and termination, no forensic audit and no channels for leaders to voice their grievances, how can we wholeheartedly focus on the shakubuku target for the next two years? You expect us to simply look the other way, while you sweep everything under the carpet? We are not Boxer. And Sensei certainly did not teach us to look the other way.
Presently, many leaders are mulling resignation, while the pro-establishment leaders are busy colour coding each leader into black or white, and identifying those who were ‘influenced’ and who they need to ‘persuade’ or terminate. How are we suppose to expand our network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth, if we are all engaging in fighting one another and thinking of whether to resign now or risk being chopped in May?
Mr General Director, the chopping has to stop. It is not right. It’s Chinese New Year and let’s make a fresh start. There are too much hurt and unnecessary termination. Your actions and leadership has led to many (over 400) resignations and severely damaged SGM. It is unprecedented.
Accept responsibility, admit faults and move forward with fairness and humility. Please do the right thing. We promise to fully support you if you do the right thing.
Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai.