The Culture and Art of Soka post has about 7 comments from our readers. If you haven’t read them yet, you can go to the bottom of that article and read. Thank you to our readers for submitting their views.
We are compiling them here because these public comments were very valid and we’d like to share it with you.
J.Ling said: “Yes everyone in SGM has a right to demand answers for the sensible questions raised here.
Most of the time leaders have use own transport to carry visiting members from other states of malaysia from airport and take them to dinners or lunch before sending them to hotel. Next two days ferry them to and fro to meetings and sent them off to airports when events finished and we have fork out our own money for these expenses.”
W.Lotus said: “I’m a leader and I agree with you, James. Many times when we have nationwide or State wide meetings, the expense responsibilities lies with the leaders in the states to take care of the visiting members. Leaders are willing to fork out because they thought SGM does not have the funds. Instead of using the funds for these kosen rufu activities involving members, SGM used it for other unrelated matters.”
T.Heart said “For many times , SGM top leaders will use “good fortune” as the reason to explain why we should use our own money for kosenrufu expenses within our respective areas. Even when cultural groups went for performance , at times they need to fork out their own money and expenses including SGM students in high schools. Like what other commentators mentioned earlier, we thought SGM doesn’t have the money and willingly we would spend the money to ensure that these activities will be smooth and successful in its operation. Let us not forget that many families in SGM are also struggling financially and our SGM top leaders daringly , without much guilt , would tell the members that they are accumulating good fortune by spending money cos it is for the sake of Buddhism.
In many Gosho and Sensei guidance , we were taught that our daimoku daimoku and strong faith in the Gohonzon are the reasons we are able to change our karma and never about contributing money being a factor to change our life. SGM should start to subsidise partial/full expenses for our district /community/ national level activities. Why is that ? Because it’s Rakyat’s money. Hmm… I should say it is “40,000 of Rakyat Soka’s” money. All of the money should be spend to develop the faith of Rakyat Soka. Every Rakyat Soka should be getting return of investment of the ‘tax’ that they’ve given to SGM as a Buddhist organisation such as better facilities in kaikan, sponsors for 4D seminars including youth and student seminars , and the list could go on and on in which I presume SGM top leaders would know what else the members could benefit from (I hope).
In the era , the leadership style that conveys “just trust us. We’ve known each other for a long time. Don’t ask so much. Sensei appointed these top leaders and we should trust them” isn’t going to work. This type of leadership belong to the 1970’s and 80’s. We need SGM National top leaders and every State Top leaders that has the mindset of the 21st century that practices transparency , accountability , and willing to listen , accept and be criticised by others in the face of crisis. We want top leaders both national and state level to have the attitude of “embracing all species ” as mentioned by Nichiren Daishonin in the Orally Transmitted Teachings of the Lotus Sutra.
If any SGM national top leaders or any State top leaders were to ask me on aspects that top leaders need to change or do human revolution , I would reply that they need to do human revolution in aspect of “Embracing all species ” as mentioned in the Orally Transmitted Teachings of the Lotus Sutra.”
ringgit said “The puzzling thing to me, is that many leaders are aware of this now, I am sure, and yet, many are just keeping quiet and suffering in silence. Why? Do they fear cause & effect for speaking up against Gakkai? If they do, then, their understanding of Buddhism fundamentals is already wrong. How can anyone look at wrong doings and then just allow it?
I really do not understand this mentality!”
Libra said: “My thought goes to those sincerely dedicate their life for Kosenrufu when I read this article.
I spoke to a MD recently and he shared about an ungrateful attitude of his encounter with a top leader in one of the state (K) where he and I come from. The leader asked this MD to ferry some members from another state (D) where this MD works one day on the way back to K.
When this MD arrived at the restaurant back home with the members, a top MD took over the responsibility to bring the members for dinner. He just said coldly to the MD who had ferried these members back “there is none of your business here from now on, you can leave now.” Is this the right attitude of a centre figure? Is this not like burning the bridge after reaching the other end? This didn’t happen once or twice. Mind you because of this kind of attitude of many top leaders there, the wife of this MD (it took many years for him to Shakubuku his wife), stopped coming out to attend meetings and stopped chanting. She channels her energy and time towards helping in another charitable organization where people there are warm and friendly.
How long would it take for these arrogant leaders to be awakened that their character and attitude is turning people away? Can our kosenrufu movements expand with these bunch of arrogant leaders?”
We encourage everyone to come forward and share more stories like this. Previously, our spam filter was too aggressive and marked comments in Chinese language as spam. We turned that off. If you have previously commented in Chinese before, please submit again. We apologize for the inconvenience.
December 5, 2016 at 8:09 pm
An organization such as SGM is no difference from any religious organization or NGOs. Each will have a cycle of Foundation, Progress, Decline and Destruction, unless the organization is able to make progressive changes in all areas of its religious and organization structure to suit the time and people.
Then again, it boils down to the person or people that is helming the ship of that organization. If those people are upright in character and have integrity consistently, and always keeping in mind the temptations of falling into the trap of financial riches or power and having checks, the organization will do just fine. If not, the organization will head for a decline.
Greed, Power and Control will always be the devil that lingers atop us, waiting to pounce and rear its ugly head when we give in to them. In recent times, we have seen all this being played out in many religious organization and NGOs, from financial scandals to sexual abuses. And its still happening, sadly. If leaders do not have check and balances on themselves, they will be tempted by desires of the 3 sins above, putting themselves above all others.
After reading all the articles and opinions on this blog, it seriously shows that SGM is heading for a decline (may already be in decline) and may self destruct, if the current leadership do not dig deep into their humanity and really see what is happening and make a progressive and humane changes to their attitude and running of the organization.
if not, authoritarian rule will be the order of the day, black listing dissidents, ensuring conformity to strict rules and all things that will ensure total submission to the leadership – means, no questions asked, just follow.
This saga smells almost similar to a certain current financial scandal that is rocking the country.
December 5, 2016 at 9:30 pm
Hi Drunkard, thanks for writing. In fact, these devils have shown their faces many years ago. Just that many leaders who knew kept quiet, didn’t want to rock the boat, so to say. And the result is a stagnant organisation for many years. If this continued on, then we could predict that the growth of SGM will be flat for the next 14 years.
As you rightly pointed out, it does smell like a scandal rocking our country. We do think that it’s a collective karma we are all facing now. We already seen that our Vision 2020 is failing, due to current country leadership. Do you think SGM’s 2030 vision will be any different if the top leadership does not change its behaviour? History does not lie.
February 27, 2017 at 3:30 am
I would like to share with readers the arrogant attitude of Leaders in the state I come from.
We have a so-called chairman who said one thing and did another and betrayed the trust of members. Not only this, he did not keep his word and acted callously towards a fellow leader. This so-called chairman told a fellow leader that he intended to have a committee meeting cum luncheon at a particular restaurant in town two weeks before the event. Now this fellow leader proposed that the event be held in another restaurant to which the so-called chairman replied that he would seek the opinion of the other committee members and get back to the fellow leader on the outcome.
Now imagine the shock of the fellow leader when he discovered that the luncheon cum committee meeting were not only held as decided by the so-called chairman in the restaurant of his choice but on a day earlier than planned and to make matters worse the fellow leader was not even informed about it. This callous attitude of the so-called chairman is not only unbecoming but insulting and an affront to the dignity of the fellow leader who felt very disappointed and let down. Now you see why SGM is facing so much problems. One of the reasons is because you have such irresponsible and callous behaviour of so-called chairman in the state. And he did not even have the courtesy to call and inform his fellow leader about it or apologise over his behavior. Such arrogance is totally out of character for leaders in SGM. He should step down if he cannot keep his word and act correctly as a so-called chairman. As leaders, our word is our honour. Such dishonourable `leader’ has no place in the organization.
Just want to share with my fellow readers on what is wrong with the organization. Part of it is this type of leaders that we have who hurt and offend other leaders feelings and do as they like. Your comments are welcome.
Then we have another leader who does not practice what she preaches – a hypocrite. Other leaders would be implored to make sure that they do prep meet for discussion meetings but she does not practice it herself. Also, she will make a one-woman decision on things without prior discussion with other committee members. These are some of the leaders we have who think they can do as they like. There is no longer any joy and warmth in the organization with such high-handed leaders in the organization. Now do you see why many leaders are feeling frustrated and do not feel like contributing any more.
February 27, 2017 at 12:34 pm
Is this State Chairman you are referring to is from Johor or another state? Just wanted to be sure it’s not the same bad apple, as we already heard many stories about him.
Also, your observations about many senior leaders are on the mark. I personally believe that many have forgotten their mission and allowed their fundamental darkness to take over.
February 27, 2017 at 11:46 pm
Sorry ‘Ùpset1980’, the irresponsible chairman is from one of the northern states and not from Johor. Guess they are all of the same ilk. Sad that SGM is full of such bad apples. How to progress in kosen-rufu when you cannot even set your own house in order.
And recently we have one Honbu leader who officially sent in his resignation letter as Honbu. More will follow suit bec there is a lot of frustration and lethargy in the ranks. Wake up SGM!! Get down from your Ivory Tower. Don’t be like the ostrich with its head under the sand!