As the Year of Developing a Youthful SGI is coming to a close, the SGI organizations across the globe advance powerfully towards 2013, heralding the theme of 'Year of Victory for the Youthful SGI'. What constitutes the starting point of a Youthful SGI? It has to be traced back to the first youth division study seminar, which was held 60 years ago, in 1952, the year following the establishment of the young men’s and young women’s divisions.
In ‘The Teachings For Victory’, President Ikeda shares:
At the meeting, youth were called on to answer a total of 20 questions that had been drawn up on a wide range of topics, including the relationship between science and religion, the fivefold comparison, and the principle of “casting off the transient and revealing the true.” One speaker was chosen from the audience for each question, with the length of the response limited to five minutes. Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda happily watched the spirited efforts of the young men and women—some struggling with nerves— as they presented their answers and demonstrated the results of their day-to-day studies. When they had finished, he praised them for being so well versed in various subjects.
The Soka Gakkai was then still a small organization, but President Toda was focusing on the question of what kind of values and ideas should be promoted and how to build a truly peaceful society. He taught that the youth’s stage was the world and that their mission was to dissolve the conflicts of opposing ideologies and narrow national interests and unite people all over the globe. His youthful listeners were thrilled by his grand vision.
At that meeting, he also said: “I will pass on the third presidency to a member of the youth division. . . . If you support the third president, kosen-rufu will surely be achieved.” Declaring that the Soka Gakkai alone offered hope for resolving the problems facing Japan and for opening the way to happiness for all humanity, he called on his listeners to rise to that challenge. The 400 youth present, profoundly moved and inspired by his words, affirmed their determination to do so.
The mentor making wholehearted efforts to foster the youth, and the youth shouldering full responsibility for kosen-rufu—this solemn united spirit of mentor and disciple is the starting point of a youthful SGI.
[‘The Four Virtues and the Four Debts of Gratitude’ – Pg3 &4]
In the Year of Developing a Youthful SGI, numerous SGI organisation across the globe, which are aligned to SGI’s theme, are soaring high with capable young Bodhisattvas of the Earth, emerging in ever-increasing numbers. What about our Youthful SGI organization in Singapore? Our beloved top leaders of SSA are creating movements to continue their persecutions towards the youthful leaders, whom were somehow linked to the removed and expelled.
As these events, which were uncalled for, were not mentioned at all, in our recent leaders conference, Hosshaku Kempon takes this as our personal mission to list out the persecutions befalling our frontline leaders in Year 2012. In the aftermath of the unjust removal and expulsion of 5 YMD senior leaders and a MD member, the so-called ‘witch hunt’ ran rampant in SSA. The events unfold as follows:
- Mr. David Tan’s bitter encounters – Mr. David Tan was ambushed by a group of SSA top men division leaders while reporting for his Soka Knight duties. Under the pretext of dialogue, he was ordered for an immediate stop of his comments on the Facebook posting. The top leaders, represented by Jerry Tay, snubbed completely on the subject of ‘freedom of speech’ in spite of the sincere efforts, put forth by David Tan, to rationalize his actions.
- The Ordeal inflicted on the Chua family – Due to the propaganda perpetrated by the top leaders in using falsified fact and opinion to justify their wrongful actions in the removal and expulsions, it incites the anger and hatred in the heart of the general leadership towards the removed and expelled. It, somehow, ignited anger in Keith Soh, a YMD Chapter chief, to harass the Chua family by writing a poisonous letter stating that Stanley’s Facebook is disrupting the unity of the organization, henceforth committing the fifth offence of the Five Cardinal Sins. He further urged the Chua family not to fall into the 3 evil paths.
- Forced removal of role of Study Facilitator and Gajokai – Ivy Chua(WD Zone leader), Aaron Chan(YMD Chap leader), Melvin Tan(YMD Chap leader) and Albert Chua(YMD Zone leader) received a rude shock when they were informed abruptly of their removal of their organizational responsibility without prior notice or discussion. Both Albert Chua and Melvin Tan were only informed of their removal via SMS. Aaron Chan’s situation seemed to be better. At least he received a phone call from his MD Chapter leaders informing him of his removal. However, he was no better than the rest. He received a second phone call from the YMD chief, Ghee Han, informing him that he was removed from the position of Gajokai too for not removing his Facebook postings. The worst treatment went to Ivy Chua. Despite her prolonged weak constitution, she traveled a long journey to Senja Soka Centre to attend the Study Facilitator’s Lecture and it was only in then that she came to know of her removal of her responsibility of Study Facilitator.
- The home of Mr. Tin Wai Leong, an ex-YMD Region leader, was removed from housing the monthly Discussion Meeting, without prior notice or discussion. The change of venue was announced to the members one month prior to the next Discussion Meeting. It was then that he and his family members came to realise it. When their MD leaders were further enquired of the genuine reason for the change of venue, it was explained that it was due to Mr. Tin’s posting on his Facebook. The MD leaders further reiterated that the decision was made from the top and they have no choice but to execute it.
In addition to persecuting the Youthful leaders, the top leaders busied themselves preparing their defense for our infamous Leonard Koh, Youth chief of SSA for his Facebook saga. Several meetings, in different levels, were conducted to defend his shameful acts after they reckoned with the facts that these saga, as comparable to the raging fire, which spread beyond proportion. The Youth chief saga was published not only in most popular web portals but in the Main Stream Media and was on the famous MediaCorpCh 8 morning talk show too.
To add a little spice to such an eventful year for SSA, these events finally reached a summit when our newly appointed General Director shouted at a group of youths to wake up their ideas and the pioneers of SSA will not allow the youth to destroy the organization. In another occasion, the same General Director declared total victory for the youth in the Youth General Meeting, which left several youth, to puzzle over his sudden change of temperament. Seriously on what basis does he ride on to declare a sudden total victory for the youth, under the leadership of our infamous Youth chief? If this sudden declaration came with the intention as an encouragement to address the current status of our youth division, it will appear to be more of a humiliation than an inspiration.
After all, we sincerely hope that the top leaders will not, once again, deviate from the SGI theme of 2013 and continue to persecute the youth…