These are questions that SGM leaders frequently ask during dialogues. They are good questions and often you tend to agree with them. But when you think further, these questions only serve to confuse you further. The purpose of this page is to keep you informed in your search for the truth.
Q. If the Justice Group have proof of mishandling of funds in Johor and also proof of similar misconduct in KL, why not report to MACC?
A. Most of the time, SGM leaders will challenge the Justice Group to go to MACC with proof. And the reason the Justice Group have not is because they loved Gakkai too much. Going to MACC will cause the assets of SGM to be frozen and will deter the future of kosen-rufu activities (and future of Nichiren Buddhism) in Malaysia.
That’s the reason they declared themselves as Justice, to call for SGM to right the wrong doings internally. On the other hand, it seems that the SGM leaders who challenged the Justice Group to do this does not put SGM nor kosen-fufu in their mind when they said this.
Q. You demanded for the dissolution of the ECC. ECC was set up to take SGM towards the path of governance and transparency. Why ask for dissolution?
A. Firstly, the fact that 6-man ECC was set up in the midst of a crisis gave the impression of a consolidation of power. The ECC was not elected by members. This gave them a lot of power over an organization that was extremely cash rich.
Secondly, look around you. Look at how comrades became enemies. Look at all the infighting in SGM. Look at the mistrust among each other and the gossips and the finger pointing. The ECC and GD have failed in their responsibilities to manage the situation. The establishment of ECC made things worse. Just looking at the current situation, we feel that the ECC has done a lot of “wrong”. One of the 4 pillars of change that SGM wanted to put in place is Responsibility. Then, take responsibility for ECC actions (or inaction), which caused SGM to be such a chaotic place.
Q. GD and many top leaders are not corporate people. We don’t expect them to be able to react so swiftly in a crisis like this. Give them time.
A. We agree to this and many of our Johor comrades agrees too. But 2 years have passed and still no swift action. How long more to wait?
Also, this crisis is a good lesson to us, that a faith leader (giving Buddhist guidance) and an administrative leader (running the organization) should be two separate people. Are there plans to separate these duties? If not, will these incidents repeat itself in future?
Q. SGM needs contribution to grow. In order to grow, we need Kaikans. Kaikans need money. We cannot stop gokuyo, otherwise how can we expand kosen-rufu?
A. SGM have more than enough fund to build SGI SEA Training Centre in Johor. Please refer to Annual Report if you need to know the detail. Why do we still conduct 4 special gokuyo sessions when SGM already can afford to build this center? We should only turn to gokuyo when we don’t have the fund to build a center. If we already have money due to contributions from members over the years, shouldn’t we use the money on hand? Why ask for more? What is SGM doing with the existing money? Buy antiques? In Pure Stream (New Human Revolution 34), Toda Sensei wanted to build a Headquarter for Soka Gakkai.
“Since he could not afford to build a headquarters on his own, doing so would require asking members for donations. At that time, however, most Soka Gakkai members were so poor that they could barely make ends meet. Not wanting to increase their burden, Mr Toda decided to hold off on the construction of a headquarters until a later date.”
Why doesn’t SGM have this spirit portrayed by Toda Sensei? Why do we still run special campaigns to encourage members to contribute? We already collected more than we need from all these years.
Q. People who contributed have seen benefits. You cannot deny that. Do you want to stop people from seeing benefits?
A. Agreed, people who contributed sincerely have seen benefits. However, there are also those who contributed but did not see benefits. It all comes down to faith, practise and study, as well as human revolution, not just because of contribution.
Secondly, are you also implying that people who did not contribute money but they contribute to the Law (through daimoku) are not getting benefits? I am sure you are not implying that. So, if members can get equal benefits through contributing to the Law, then why do we keep on pushing for monetary contribution?
We have a bad habit of asking people to “sai lang” (go all-in). I still remember the video that SGM played in district discussion meetings during SEA TC special gokuyo in 2014. The video was about a young woman who saved so hard to buy a house for herself but because of SEA TC, she contributed her savings to SGM and continue to rent a room and “eat sweet potatoes for lunch.” Now that we know SGM has a lot of money (see Question above) and that SEA TC is just a fraction the available funds, why do we push so hard and add additional burdens to our members?
Q. I know you are not happy that SGM terminated many senior leaders. They were terminated because they started talking to leaders about Johor incident, which SGM saw as creating disunity and gossips. Don’t you think these are valid reasons for termination?
A. Perhaps SGM should start to inform grassroots leaders on the reasons for terminating these senior leaders. And on the same subject, we should clarify on why SGM did not terminate Mr. X. He was the ex-State Chairman of Johor. He was the cause of the Johor incident, it all started with him. In fact, he was found guilty for misappropriation of fund and was terminated as State Chairman of Johor. And yet, he remained in SGM top leadership as a member of the General Council and a Vice MD Chief. Is SGM system selective on who to terminate and who to keep? Don’t we need to review the system then?
Also, history have also shown that there were senior leaders who had molested YWDs. SGM leaders are aware of these leaders who had done wrong. But they were not terminated (and yes, we can put their names here if need to. Again, the system seems selective of who to terminate and who to keep.
Lastly, in May 2016, in a recent leader meeting, certain top leaders in SGM made statement publicly that if you don’t follow GD and you are not following Nichiren Buddhism and you can leave the organisation. We follow the Law, not the person, don’t we? Where is the spirit of compassion? His statement caused many heartache among the audiences and some were in tears. How come this leader was not terminated?
What were the offence that these senior leaders do that caused them to be sacked but those who broke the 3 SGM golden rules are kept at the top organisation?
Essential Readings (Table of Content):