SSA Untold History
The purpose of this page is to keep for posterity the untold history of SSA in associating with the actions of certain central leaders.
1. All contents and information should not be misused or misquoted against Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and its affiliates in any forms.
2. All contents and information exist for the sole purpose of education.
1. All contents and information should not be misused or misquoted against Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and its affiliates in any forms.
2. All contents and information exist for the sole purpose of education.
Flow of Events
(This is an extract from Stanley Chua's facebook thread titled "Big Sweep".)
The Big Sweep
Disclaimer: Dear readers, please do not post any comments onto this thread so that we can continue the flow of events without any disruption. We reserve the right to remove any comments or postings of this nature. Thanks for the support and understanding.
Buddhism talks about the simultaneity of cause and effect. Whatever that happened definitely had a cause that was created.
- What makes a group of dedicated YMD leaders rise up against these powerful authorities?
- When these powerful authorities make their claims against them, why aren't they giving them a chance to state their claims too?
- Are there really dialogues that were rejected?
- Have we been deny of the real truth that happened?
When I was the YMD Executive Advisor, this group of YMDs works alongside me closely. We went through thick and thin. I remembered how we spent nights outside planning how to win every campaign that GD had proposed.
However, when I was graduated as a MD, it came to me as a shock that this group of YMDs were side-lined in many SHQ planning. It was also painful for me to know that the YMD Formation Day was a great defeat with only less than 300 YMDs. Hence, I started the FaceBook to seek grievances for these YMDs.
The objectives of BIG SWEEP were to let everyone know the truth and all the facts that are happening in the organisation. Please bear in mind that we are not here to overthrow these top leaders or destroy the organization. We need the organisation to practice the correct spirit of our mentor, Ikeda Sensei.
It is time to know what really happen!
It is time to fill up the missing pieces and put the pieces in the right place!
See Soon Leong
During the SHQ YMD meeting on 25 Jul 2011, the accusations against this group of YMD were first heard. Since June 2011, GD and VGD OKY started to join in SHQ YMD meetings held fortnightly. The previous 3 meetings went well. We discussed about the situation of the frontline YMD leaders and how to motivate them to fight the Lion King District Campaign.
Since this meeting was right after the failed YMD formation day, we assume it will be a session that we would do a review and map out action plans to address this failure. However, this turned out to be an interrogation.
See Soon Leong
The following points were raised:
1. GD mentioned about the Malacca Trip in Dec 2009. GD, Youth Chief, Vice Youth Chief and YMD Chief accused us of plotting to go against the organisation during the Malacca trip. They branded us as a “clique” and further accused us of planning “our career path” during the trip.
The truth is that all the participants of the Malacca trip were involved in some operational activities to protect the organisation throughout the year. Due to the sensitive nature of the operational activities, we could not disclose its details without consulting and seeking consent with the rest of the people involved. Therefore during this session, we could only admit that we had gone for the trip and it is in no way going against the organisation.
2. Next, GD questioned us whether we were still in contact with former YMD EA Stanley Chua. He mentioned that Stanley was cunning, shrewd and had committed an evil act that was tantamount to trying to destroy the organization. This was due to the previous Stanley Chua’s Facebook post commenting on the YMD Formation Day mentioning that “Great Defeat is the time for Great Reflection”. GD mentioned that the comments Stanley Chua had made in this FaceBook thread was insinuating and instigating the ground and was detrimental to the organisation. Any contact with Stanley was deemed as plotting against the organization. These pointers shocked the YMDs.
Why did the trip cause such an alarming reaction from these authorities?
Why was Stanley deemed as an evil person?
Is he really trying to destroy the organisation?
See Soon Leong
Let's look back at the whole event... …
About 3 years ago, there was information of a scheme that could possibly threaten GD and the organization. With that information and having the intent to protect GD and the organization, we started an operation on our own accord so that we would not implicate GD and the organization. GD and VGD OKY knew and approved of these operational activities. Through this exercise, we managed to collect and collate some evidences that were submitted to them.
During 2009, the YMDs fought hard for the shakubuku campaign. It was the maiden campaign for the new YMD Chief and they went all out to achieve a victory for YMD Chief. The few of us were concurrently doing operational activities and fighting actively in the YMD Shakubuku Campaign. We can still remember the hectic but fulfilling days where we had to go and conduct dialogues, attend shakubuku meetings and then continue with the operational activities after that. During that period, we would reach home only after 2 or 3 am in the morning and had to wake up early for work the next day. This went on for months.
Around September 2009, in the midst of these hectic schedules, the few of us casually suggested a year-end leisure trip to motivate and reward ourselves. We started to apply for leave, book hotels and make other arrangement for the trip. After we had confirmed our arrangements, there was an announcement from the organization that there would be a SSA General Meeting not in the activity list. Coincidentally, it clashed with our trip! As arrangements were already made, i.e. leave from work approved, we decided to go ahead. We could not inform YMD Chief about this trip because the people going on the trip were those involved in the operational activities. All of us did not want to implicate YMD Chief and the organization.
See Soon Leong
In November 2009, after GD came back from Japan kenshu, he told us to stop the operational activities and we did. Although the Melaka trip was meant to be a recreational one, we thought we could take this opportunity to educate these YMDs who were involved in the operational activities. Sharing on the history of these people targeted in the operation were done in order for everyone to understand and be ready to stand up to protect the organization when the situation arises. We also discussed on the potential threats to GD and the organization.
The trip was rewarding. Besides learning about the history, we also brainstorm on how the YMDs can help GD to achieve the 50k membership. Among them were a YMD Shakubuku Campaign for 2010 and a District Discussion Meeting Campaign which we targeted to increase 2 YMD new friend attendance every month per district, thus achieving 10,000 YMDs Leaders/Members/New Friends by the end of 2010.
We also surfaced potential YMDs that can be fostered for senior leadership positions based on their fighting spirit during the recent campaign which included family members of Youth Chief. Our intention was to assist and give full support to the then newly appointed YMD chief.
See Soon Leong
Upon returning, we presented our proposals to YMD chief who was in agreement with the proposal. Everyone agreed that these plans would definitely bring the YMD to greater heights.
Which of these actions tantamount to betraying the organisation?
How is it possible that sincere efforts to support YMD Chief turned out to be an act of betrayal?
Just a month before the trip, we protected GD and the organisation in the operation. Is it even possible that we turn against the organisation in the Malacca trip?
Why is the Malacca Trip which happened in 2009 not questioned from the time when Meng Chang distorted since August 2010 last year until now?
After a relaxing trip, there was no longer any task that needed immediate attention. Everyone was relaxed but such days were short-lived.
However, during the process of SYM in February 2010, we experienced great challenges as well. During that time, Meng Chang, who was the Show Chairman, approached Stanley and Vincent and requested them to help in settling some issues that SYM was facing. Meng Chang was also one of the YMDs who went for the Malacca trip.
Meng Chang came to Vincent a few months before the show, complaining and trying to make Vincent believe that the Show Advisor, which was a SHQ YWD Vice Chief, was influencing the Show Vice Chairman to create disharmony within the Show Committee. Vincent roped in the EXCO Advisor, Stanley Chua, to listen to Meng Chang’s side of the story. After the discussion, Stanley told Vincent that he did not believe the story from Meng Chang as Stanley felt that the SHQ YWD Vice Chief will not do something like that. They felt that there was something amiss. Therefore, they had to take a closer look to understand what exactly was happening inside the Show Committee. That was about 1 month before the actual show and we realized that the SHQ YWD Vice Chief was right. William Tan
The musical was far from ready. The disharmony of the show com was glaring. Instigated by Meng Chang, the Show Comm Vice-Chair was badly ostracized by the rest of the Show com members.
Going into details of the SYM, there was no training schedule planned out. During the first few rehearsals, the Admin Chairman had to go to show director to ask what he wanted to train the following week; go to Meng Chang to ask which songs were ready for training the coming week. The Admin Comm had to schedule all these so that the trainings didn’t clash, seek Meng Chang and the Director’s approval and announced it before the end of the rehearsal on Sunday night so as to reduce the last minute calling load of all the admin ICs. It was because of such last minute scheduling that it became difficult for 100% attendance.
When Stanley was asked to come in, he saw what the real issue behind the disharmony after talking to each of them. At his first session with the Show Comm and Admin Comm at West Coast McDonald, Stanley came fully prepared with dates and all 17 scenes plotted on a paper. It was then that he assigned the Show Assistant director to come up with the training schedule of the next 4 weeks toward the first show within 2 days! He also tasked the Show Vice Chair, whom Meng Chang ostracized, to look into the 2 dances’ choreography. The Show Vice Chair, a YWD, was the best person to look into it, because of her dance background and also because she was not given any specific task till then by the Show Chairman.
Stanley also suggested using Gakkai songs for all the transitions which would bring out the Gakkai feel since it is a show about Sensei, instead of spending additional time looking for good music as time is not on our side, which was the initial plan of the Show Director. There were also suggestions to shorten and edit some of the long monologues which the cast has problems memorizing.
After the WCT McDonald session that Stanley put his feet down to get things moving, Meng Chang and his clique started to avoid and gave Stanley, Vincent and the Admin Chair the cold shoulder as they viewed them as betrayers and not standing on their side. There was an incident where the Show Assistant Director shouted at the Admin Chair over the phone. The night’s training was changed in the afternoon because one of the main casts for the scheduled scene could not make it and the admin was not informed of the changes. When the admin ICs reminded the previously scheduled cast in the evening to get confirmation for their arrival time, it created confusion. When the Admin Chair wanted to clarify that that was not in line with the structure of communication, she received angry words from the Show Assistant Director.
Every time when we conducted a review with the Show Committee, the committee members were black faced and nonchalant towards the EXCO Members, which consisted of YWD Chief and YMD Executive Advisor. Seeing such and others incidents that showed that Meng Chang is influencing the rest of the show com, Stanley and Vincent decided to once and for all get to the root of the problem and initiated to ask Meng Chang out for a talk on a Sunday night after a rehearsal. However, that session completely turned him against them and caused him to bear a grudge. In the dialogue, they found out that it was his ego and anger at especially the YWD Chief and her assistant for coming into the Show Committee to scrutinize. In his exact words, “You see what I’ll do if they come in to the Show!”
Hearing that, they were very worried; how can such a threat be made on the musical showcasing our mentor’s life. They felt that there is a need to prepare for contingency in the event that Meng Chang influence the rest of the Show committee to walk out of the Show as it was only weeks to the actual performance. They arranged for YMD leaders to shadow all the Show Committee roles and responsibilities just in case the worst happened. This arrangement was also made known to the YMD and YWD Chief.
Thankfully, we did not need to activate the contingency as yhey remained vigilant and strictness towards the Show Committee. The show went through and it was a great success. All the credit went back to Meng Chang and his team. They were exhausted and drained, headed off after the final show was completed, feeling relieved that a show displaying the spirit of Sensei was successfully completed.
However during the period while they were being strict to Meng Chang, they realized that the YMD Chief and Youth Chief started to get closer to the Meng Chang and shower him with pity. With such comfort from the 2 chiefs, the Meng Chang started to distance himself from them though they were formally very close due to the operational activities and the Malacca trip.
Was the strictness shown to Meng Chang in SYM wrong?
Was the anxiety for the success of such an important show as the show is about Sensei, wrong?
What kind of behaviour and character did Meng Chang portray?
Was the claims made by Meng Chang during the one-sided meeting valid?
Was there an ulterior motive, creating double standards or fuelling his resentment towards those who were strict to him, for YMD Chief and Youth Chief to get closer to Meng Chang, knowing Meng Chang’s resentment?
After the SYM, many were touched by the show. Waiting excitedly to reach out to those touched by our mentor, they were expecting the next shakubuku campaign to launch. However, shocking news came.
On 1st and 2nd May, the authorities held an all leaders meeting. The meeting was held to announce the 20k discussion campaign and further mentioned that there will be no other individual divisional plans and campaigns. These goals changed so fast without proper communication and no reason mentioned. This created major confusion for all of them and the frontline YMD leaders who were still embarking on the YMD plans of helping GD to achieve the 50k membership. To our great shock, the 50k membership was shelved and GD even shelved the SD plan of achieving an award for Sensei because GD said it should be a combined effort of the youth and SD should just focus on the 20k discussion meeting campaign.
Further dismal news came when the way to calculate the attendance for 20k discussion meeting were based on the highest attendance throughout the year for each district. Due to this, there were many questions on why SSA was so figure-oriented and why such figures were significant.
Is such counting method (e.g. based on the sum of the highest) used in for the 20k discussion meeting campaign meaningful in the light of true growth or expansion within the organization?
Why did that GD changed the 50k membership target, which is in line with Sensei’s expectation of achieving 1% of the country’s population?
Is GD afraid that we cannot achieve the 50k membership target and thus change to an achievable 20k discussion meeting target?
Is declaring victory over such achievable target meaningful or is just self-gratifying?
Tan Teck Beng
Some of us who were in the SHQ approached YMD Chief and questioned about the change in plans and why we were not informed. He told us that it was not his idea and the Youth Secretariat was the one who come out with the proposal. During then, the Youth Secretariat was a newly formed team spear-headed by a kaikan staff who is a Zone Chief. The group involved Youth Chief too. Based on YMD Chief’s explanation, the Youth Secretariat was tasked to look into the plans and direction for the whole organization. We further questioned whether or not we will still embark on the plans that were already passed down to the ground in the beginning of the year. He did not make any stand and claimed that all these plans were scrapped so as to follow the plan by the Youth Secretariat. We ask whether our initial plans have been taken into account when the Youth Secretariat plans on the organization goal for the discussion meeting. YMD Chief responded that he would get back to us after checking with the Youth Secretariat and urged us to explain and convince the frontline leaders to follow the directions spelt out in the May Kenshu. We were disappointed by YMD Chief lack of direction and commitment. All of us then went back to our respective frontline to explain to the YMD Leaders that there was a change in plans and encourage them to do their best in their respective area.
After this meeting with the YMD Chief, the few of us were seemingly isolated. For almost 3 months, from May to Aug 2010, there was no SHQ YMD meeting or dialogue with the YMD Chief. It was as if we were left out. There were only periodic text messages and phone calls from him informing us of some organizational activities.
It was amidst all these confusion that SGI South Asia Chief, Mr. Ushioda came to Singapore in August 2010. He met up with all of us in HQ and conducted a dialogue with us during dinner. Mr. Ushioda congratulated all of us for the effort in the SYM and also the YMD Shakubuku efforts in the previous year. Then he continued to ask us questions.
Mr. Ushioda’s first question was: “What has the SSA YMDs done so far in 2010?” YMD Chief responded that we were all going to fight for the 20K Discussion Meeting Campaign.
His next question was: “What about shakubuku? What are the results for shakubuku so far?” A Vice YMD Chief feebly responded that the YMDs had achieved 19 shakubuku for the year.
His 3rd question was: “So, what are all of you going to do about it?”
YMD Chief suddenly responded that the SSA YMDs would embark on a shakubuku campaign right after August 2010.
It was YMD Chief who told us a few months ago that all the YMD plans were scrapped. It was also YMD Chief who told us that there would be no other campaign for the year except the 20K Great Discussion Meeting Campaign. Now it was also YMD Chief that suddenly came out with additional shakubuku campaign out of nowhere. We could not help but felt that he had just blurted out in panic.
Tan Teck Beng
After Mr. Ushioda departed from Singapore, YMD Chief suddenly called for a SHQ YMD Meeting, saying that there was something urgent to discuss. During the meeting, he announced that the YMDs would be embarking on a shakubuku campaign. We took this opportunity to clarify with him the following:
1) Why is there no YMD SHQ meetings for the last 3 month?
2) Why the sudden shakubuku campaign when he has already announced that there will be no shakubuku campaign for the year?
He answered that the lack of meetings was due to him staying in America for close to a month and also because most of the youth plans were already plan by the Youth Secretariat. He further denied that the shakubuku campaign was a sudden impulse and felt that it was time that YMDs should embark on a shakubuku campaign.
However, he clearly indicated that despite fighting for the shakubuku campaign, the YMDs cannot lose focus of the 20K Discussion Meeting Campaign and further stated that the efforts for the 20K Great Discussion Meeting Campaign should take precedence over the shakubuku campaign.
We feedback that it was not possible to be fighting 2 campaigns concurrently based on our current YMDs situation and the ground will not be happy about the change of plans at the last minute, not forgetting that the YMD shakubuku campaign was cancelled due to the 20K Great Discussion Meeting. However he was adamant to proceed as he desired.
It later came to light that it was never YMD Chief’s true intent to wholeheartedly fight this shakubuku campaign as he was never interested in the results or rallying of the YMDs towards shakubuku. During the midst of the campaign, he mentioned several times that the YMD should focus more for the 20K Discussion Meeting Campaign. In the end, there was only 1 region that truly showed results in the shakubuku campaign.
Why did the YMD Chief call forth a shakubuku campaign out of nowhere?
Is the shakubuku campaign initiated in order to cover the inadequacy of the 20K Great Discussion Meeting in the presence of Mr Ushioda?
On one hand, YMD Chief was perceived to be promoting the Shakubuku Campaign but in actual fact trying to channel the efforts to the 20K Great Discussion meeting. Isn't such an act causing confusion to the Ground?
Tan Teck Beng
On the ground there was much confusion, there are many questions feedback to us that we are not able to answer. We felt that something was really wrong and there was a need to clarify all this doubt with the Youth Secretariat, hence we requested for a dialogue with Youth Chief and YMD Chief.
In the meeting, we clarify the following :
1) What is the counting method of the 20K Great Discussion Meeting? How was the target derived and basing on what criteria?
It was announced in the May Kenshu that only the highest Zadankai attendance will be considered for the 20K computation. The district was also given a numerical target without knowing how the target was derived. The ground was confused and we, ourselves, including the RHQ YMD chiefs were unable to answer them satisfactory. The ground is unhappy with the counting method and feels that the counting method of the Great Discussion Meeting is all about figure playing game. Some districts also feel that the targets are being shoved down their throat as they are not being consulted. All these are feedback to the youth chief.
2) What is the purpose of the Youth Secretariat and how the YMD SHQ should be working with them?
It is quite evidence that there was serious communication lapse between the Youth Secretariat and the YMD SHQ. Our feedback to YMD chief and our plans earlier were not seriously taken into consideration when the Youth Secretariat do their planning.
3) Why was the YMD plans initiated in the beginning of the year, which can be in line with the organisation plans, being scrapped and we are told to pass down to the ground to focus on the 20K Great Discussion Meeting, which we did. But now, there was a reversal to it again. We are initiating a Shakubuku Campaign again. How will the ground react to this? The explanation now is that all along we did not stop shakubuku so they should not be surprised. Who are we kidding, why are we twisting our own words? If we continue like this, we will loose all credibility as a leader.
Youth Chief indicated that the Youth Secretariat was a planning group and not the decision maker. All the plans were endorsed by the Central Committee Meeting (CCM) involving the 4 Chiefs, VGDs and GD. There was no satisfactory answer to our questions. Youth Chief then declared that the Youth Secretariat formation and 20K Discussion Meeting Campaign were all GD’s plan and fully endorsed by him. If we had any qualms about the plans, we should seek out the General Director.
Tan Teck Beng
After the dialogue with Youth chief and YMD chief which fail to clarify the many issues, Teck Beng met up with General Director at West Coast Park Macdonald for a dialogue. Even though Teck Beng was not around due to his travelling, he too felt that something was not right. Several questions were being asked:
1) Why was there no longer SHQ YMD leaders meeting?
2) Why was SSA becoming more like a corporate entity as many information passed down were not being discussed? E.g An Assistant YMD Chief was being removed as SD advisor without first informing him and made known to him only for the first time together with the juniors present.
Teck Beng asked GD further if he was agreeable to have a dialogue with the rest of the YMD SHQ leaders as the previous dialogues with YMD Chief and Youth Chief did not yield much result. And there was a need to clear the air, and it is best that GD be around. GD agreed and commented that he should have spotted these issues earlier. GD reassured Teck Beng that we were all comrades and that we had fought together during year 2005 campaign and that Teck Beng could trust him. Teck Beng assured him again that we trusted him, which was why we wanted to clear up and hope GD could hear from us.
Tan Teck Beng
During the session with GD, we shared on all the past differences and dialogue with the YMD Chief and Youth Chief. The following points were covered:
1) The lack of SHQ YMD planning meetings and abrupt changes in plans and direction throughout the year.
2) Why the Assistant YMD Chief was removed as a SD advisor without informing him.
3) Why were the YMD plans that were proposed at the beginning of the year, being scrapped.
It came as a surprise to GD, when we shared on the initial plans meted out for the YMD in the beginning of the year. He, too, agreed that if we had followed through those plans, they would have greatly supported the organization movement towards the 20K Great Discussion Meeting that year.
However, there were a few topics that GD brought up which came as shock to us. When we were discussing about what Sensei wants Singapore to achieve, namely on the 50,000 membership, GD mentioned that we must read Sensei Guidance between the lines. We always thought that Sensei’s guidance had always been so direct and as disciples, we needed only to actualize Sensei’s guidance straight to the letter, but GD mentioned that Sensei gave his guidance to all countries and thus, might not be able to follow in respective countries as the guidance might not be relevant to some of the countries.
Also in the light of the explanation of the 50k membership campaign, GD mentioned that there was a limit or threshold for kosen-rufu and we must be careful not to cross this limit especially in Singapore. If this limit was crossed, then we would invite unnecessary attentions from the authority
After the session with GD, he urged us to move on together. We agreed to his call to move on with Youth Chief and YMD Chief, and worked together with them for the sake of the YMD and organization.
Is it right to read Sensei's guidance between the lines? Isn't it right that we should read Sensei's guidance directly?
Is there such a thing as threshold in kosen-rufu?
Isn’t it crystal clear in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism that meeting the 3 powerful enemies is a concrete proof of the validity of our practice?
What does it say of a person who mentioned of such matters like reading between the lines of Sensei’s guidance and threshold for kosen-rufu?
Tan Teck Beng
After the dialogue, everyone continued in anticipation of the coming SIS event. For the SIS event, it had been shared that all of us should pray that Sensei could come to Singapore and attend the celebration. Later, when the news that Sensei was not coming to Singapore and was not attending the celebration were made known, it has then been shared that live feeds of the SIS celebration would be provided and Sensei will be watching the celebration with us via the live feeds.
On 17 Dec 2010, a few SGI leaders came to Singapore and conducted a dialogue with the zone and above leaders. In one of the dialogues with the YMD, the SGI South Asia Chief mentioned that since June 2010, Sensei had no longer attended large meetings in Japan and it was Sensei’s wish that the disciples should stand up and shoulder the full responsibilities for kosen-rufu, and Sensei would be supporting and watching over the disciples from behind. Hence SGI South Asia Chief mentioned GD should be aware of this and he would personally talk to GD about this. In this light, we realized that we should not be requesting for Sensei to travel to Singapore and caused him to strain his health in the process of such travels.
What is the intent of using Sensei’s name in the light of the SIS event?
Is it appropriate or right for the top leadership to make use of Sensei’s name to promote this event?
See Soon Leong
The organisation concluded 2010 with the SIS celebration. Finally in 2011, to answer to GD, YMD chief started holding monthly SHQ/RHQ YMD meeting. These sessions were held on the Sunday morning of the discussion meeting weekend. It was obvious that the SHQ session were held for the sake of holding. The SHQ YMDs would start their meeting at 9am with the RHQ YMDs joining in at 10am. After morning gongyo and daimoku, the less than half an hour left was spent in dissemination of information. No time was catered for discussion as the RHQs leaders were already waiting at the door to enter the room. Even if there were any concern or feedback raised, they were often brushed aside by the YMD Chief telling us that he would look into it. There was never any concrete grounded action plan to submerge to the frontline to execute the nationwide plans.
See Soon Leong
Nonetheless, we wanted to response to GD's call and made effort to be at every single one of these YMD SHQ/RHQ meeting. However, the incidents that followed made it obvious that we were sidelined! The April's YMD SHQ meeting was cancelled with all other SHQ YMD leaders aware of the cancellation EXCEPT the few of us. We arrived at HQ and could not find the rest of them. It was only when we called YMD Chief that he told us it was cancelled and that the SMS that he wanted to send out were stuck in his outbox! Why only us?
See Soon Leong
In April 2011, another incident surfaced! Vincent, who was the SHQ attached to a region, received an SMS from Meng Chang, the region chief, asking for a meeting to discuss about the RHQ YMD Chapter and above leadership plan for the year. Teck Beng and Vincent, the SHQ attached, and William Tan, the assistant YMD region chief, happily went for the meet-up with the other two region chiefs and YMD Chief, wanting to share what they understood about the ground leaders through their homevisit and reachout.
We spent the evening discussing till 12.30am, going into all possible plans and potential promotions to strengthen the leadership. Meng Chang brought up the proposal of 2 YMD Zone Chiefs’ appointment to be completed in May 2011. There were no objections to these proposal but we thought it is too hastily proposed as the appointment date was only 1 week away. We also wanted to make sure these potential leaders were not promoted at the expanse of weakening their current chapter. Various alternatives of transfers and promotions were brought up to make appointments more wholesome across the entire RHQ.
As the discussion went on past midnight, Teck Beng proposed to fix another session to further discuss into this before confirming the plan and approaching the potential promotees. However, to our dismay, YMD Chief said that he had already informed and confirmed the 2 appointees that they would be appointed in May 2011!
See Soon Leong
Feeling disgusted by such behaviour, Vincent asked how YMD chief could do such a thing - collude with the RHQ Chiefs to deceive and override his SHQ team, whilest we were making effort to rebuild the trust and collaboration based on GD's call to move forward. Vincent asked if YMD Chief expected him to swallow such behaviour, pretend nothing happened and continue to work together with him.
“Yes, you have to swallow it!” was YMD chief’s reply.
The incident prompted the three of us, Teck Beng, Vincent and William Tan to seek out GD in June 2011 at his house. We shared in detail with GD about the entire incident. We requested for GD to join in the YMD SHQ meetings from then on as we had no way to move on with the YMD Chief after what he did, without any help from an objective 3rd party.
See Soon Leong
We were elated when we saw GD and VGD OKY at the following SHQ YMD meeting. GD initiated prayers for the SHQ YMD to be united. However, something that GD mentioned in this meeting made us feel very uneasy and even angry. GD mentioned that everyone make mistakes, even Sensei. Sensei made a mistake by appointing Yamazaki and nearly caused the downfall of Soka Gakkai. He also mentioned that the late Mr. Koh was too indecisive in handling the danto issues and did Mr. Koh stifled his growth.
How could GD say such things about Sensei and misinterpret Sensei’s compassion for Yamazaki!
How could GD show such disrespect to his late predecessor who was known to everyone for his compassion and heart-warming demeanour?
See Soon Leong
During this SHQ meeting towards the end of June, GD urged YMD Chief to arrange with the rest of the SHQ leaders to plan for the YMD Formation Day. The haphazard manner of how the planning and execution of this important 60th Anniversary commemorative meeting was done was scary. The agenda and reach-out campaign for this commemorative meeting were planned out by the small committee with minimal SHQ YMDs and were only passed down through email and text messages one week before the meeting with the clause that it is still “not cast in stone” yet. We had only one week to encourage and rally our leaders and members to attend the meeting.
See Soon Leong
However, due to the poor planning and lack of sincerity put in, the turnout at the formation day commemorative meeting was unexceptionally bad with the entire Singapore YMDs leaders and members only filling up half of ICA. When I ask for the exact turn-out, I was scrutinized for mocking the attendance.
Why a SHQ leader request for the attendance was be considered as mocking?
Why did the YMD chief treat his division’s formation day so lightly?
Why was the youth chief still wearing a grin on his face when GD asked the YMD chief to take responsibility of his formation day’s attendance in his YWD formation day’s speech?
I was utterly disappointed when I learn of the attendance and the spirit of the YMD formation day. It was apparent that the spirit and strength of the YMD have greatly worsen. I thought such a clear cut failure will definitely serve as a reflection for YMD and Youth chiefs!
Never would I know that a wake up call posted on my Facebook wall would invoke sentiments from some YMDs and eventually led to their interrogation and eventually the expulsion and removal!
All the above postings had provided a good flashback leading to the posting which we begin with in this thread, from 25 Jul 2011. Let us once again continue from there…
On 31 July 2011, we requested on a dialogue on 12 Aug 2011 with GD and VGD OKY to clarify the whole matter. GD agreed and indicated that he was looking forward towards this dialogue. GD also requested the attendance of the 4 divisional chiefs and this arrangement was agreed by us.
We were shocked that in the HQ All Leaders’ Meeting on 4 Aug 2011, both Youth Chief and GD insinuated in their sharing that there were some leaders going against the organisation. The following 2 points were mentioned:
1) Posting in social media is an act of evil.
2) Posting Sensei's encouragement is injustice to Sensei.
Without any dialogue, we were already branded as evil and betrayers of the organization. The meeting also mentioned that we were a clique. Furthermore, GD mentioned that there were out-of-bound markers that we had breached within the organization.
On 7 Aug 2011, Youth Chief held a dialogue with Soon Leong and was immediately accused as part of a clique at the beginning of dialogue. Youth Chief even stressed upon the confirmation he was a clique and in the context of the organization, clique meant to go against the organization. Youth Chief also claimed that he had proofs but could reveal it now. The dialogue lasted only about 10 minutes.
On 12 Aug 2011, the dialogue with GD took place. Feeling annoyed but yet hoped to clear our doubts, we attended the dialogue. To our greatest shock, there were altogether 13 senior leaders waiting in the room for us. Youth Chief started the session indicating that minutes of the session would be taken and we were not allowed to do any recording. He further added that there would be questions which are posed to individuals and only that individual was allowed to answer that question. Some of the questions were posed to us as a group and anyone of us could answer the answers. After this announcement was made, we were thrown with tons of questions. Every question was an accusation against us but all the questions were without valid evidences. Unable to prove that we were going against the organization with the above accusation, Youth Chief finally asked whether we were still have contact with Stanley. It seemed that Stanley was the key issue here.
Teck Beng then asked them what was wrong about Stanley. In the previous meeting, Stanley was being labelled as evil, scheming and insinuating. Therefore, was being together with Stanley an act of evil and going against the organization? Was this the official stand of the organization? There was a moment of silence…
GD then mentioned that they only wanted to listen to our side of the story in this meeting and he was not going to pass any judgement because Stanley was not present there. Why was the person making the accusation in the first place flip flopping that he was not going to pass any judgement because Stanley was not there? He further mentioned that since Stanley was not here, it was unfair to talk about him. Then why was it fair in the first place to make the accusation on Stanley in the previous meeting when Stanley was not there also?
After all the questions were asked, we asked if we were able to ask questions but were rejected because they claimed that this meeting was to clarify the Malacca trip and not for us to ask any questions. We were very shocked as we were not given a chance to ask questions. We started to ask ourselves if this was a dialogue or monologue. Astonished by them, we stated that this dialogue was initiated by us and asked for the reasons why we could not ask questions. In the end, they had no choice but to grant us an opportunity to clarify our doubts. Immediately, we clarified on the matters surrounding the Malacca Trip i.e. the person who revealed about this trip to them and the contents that this person shared about this trip. Their response was shocking. They told us that RHQ2 MC was the one who told them and they came to light about the whole trip since August 2010, close to a year had since passed without any clarification with us while holding on to the knowledge of this trip.
We have brought up to the attention of authorities that we felt threatened of being trailed. We mentioned that there was an occasion about one week before this dialogue, we realised that we were being trailed. Soon Leong started recounting that he was having dinner with Stanley in Punggol Plaza & saw 2 YMDs from RHQ 2 passing by them suspiciously. This immediately made Stanley & Soon Leong more alert. Stanley and Soon Leong then went to Punggol Marina & to their surprise, they saw YMD Chief driving as if, in a rush to Punggol Marina. Together with YMD Chief was another YMD. YMD Chief was dressed in shirt & pants while the other YMD was in T-shirt & shorts. Stanley and Soon Leong came into an alley where it was quite obvious that YMD Chief couldn’t have missed both Stanley and Soon Leong. YMD Chief straight away changed his gaze to a set of photographs that was posted on a fishing net. Both Stanley and Soon Leong felt strange because YMD Chief would have spotted them. Stanley approached YMD Chief to say hi and asked what YMD Chief was doing here. YMD Chief replied feebly & weakly that he was prawning there. Before Stanley and Soon Leong departed, they saw YMD Chief with 2 of his hands behind his back, scrutinising into the pub through the glass panels as if hoping to catch hold of culprits. We refuted the authorities’ claims of unable to reach out to Stanley or Stanley was avoiding their calls and messages. We ask the authorities why YMD Chief did not reach out to Stanley when he saw Stanley in Punggol Marina when the authorities repeatedly said that FaceBook posting was detrimental. There was a moment of silence…..
Is YMD Chief having the cold feet when caught by Stanley and Soon Leong which explains why his voice was weak and not confident?
After this 1st interrogation, we had repeatedly requested for the minutes but Youth Chief had denied the minutes by explaining that this meeting was not a committee meeting but a dialogue meeting, hence the notes taken would not be used as official minutes.
Why didn't they approach us immediately after they knew about the Malacca Trip since September 2010?
Why did they wait till a year later that this trip was raised against us?
Why was the minute of the 1st interrogation not allowed to be revealed to us?
Do they have any motives behind / Is this a conspiracy?
Tan Teck Beng
After the 1st interrogation, these powerful authorities arranged a 2nd dialogue with us on 25 Aug 2011. However, due to work and other personal commitments, many of us were unable to make it. Thus, Vincent request for a change of date for this 2nd dialogue.
At the same time, Youth Chief called one of the Assist. YMD chief and informed him that WD Chief was very concerned of his wife and wished to have a dialogue with him. Touched by WD Chief sincerity, he agreed to meet them at HQ. This incident was not revealed to us and we only got to know after being informed by him later. To everyone's shock, 7 of them were present at the session and started to coerce this Assist. YMD Chief. They mentioned that he was apologetic of his actions and they would arrange a big meeting for him to make a public apology. The Assist. YMD Chief refused to apologize in a big meeting, as he felt that he has already apologized to the authorities for missing the few important meetings and his involvement of going for the Malacca trip was not going against the organization. Furthermore, to apologize in a big meeting would mean to admit that all of us are guilty of going against the organization! This was never the intention.
Looking at the situation, we pursued further for another dialogue after we were unable to attend the dialogue on 25 Aug 2011.
Vincent continued to reach out to the YMD staff cum Assistant YMD chief from 27 to 29 Aug 2011, but there was no response from this YMD staff. Without further choices, we decided to call upon GD. Vincent sent an email to GD to request for a dialogue. Finally, on 30 Aug 2011, the YMD staff replied that this meeting would be postponed for another 2 weeks because VGD TEK was travelling and thus unable to conduct this meeting. However, Vincent requested the YMD staff for an earlier date and also pleaded him to proceed with GD fronting this dialogue because he knew everything very clearly too. Sadly, Vincent was informed that VGD TEK will front and handle this dialogue without any further explanation.
Tan Teck Beng
There was no arrangement made from them and 2 week later, Vincent initiated the meet up and at the same time sent an email again to GD to request him to be present for the dialogue. Vincent also proposed a few dates for this dialogue. Instead of receiving response from GD, the YMD staff cum Assistant YMD chief replied on behalf of VGD TEK and confirmed the dialogue on 19 September 2011. Vincent reiterated again for GD and VGD OKY to attend the dialogue but was told that these key personnel would not be attending and only the main personnel which they deemed fit would attend. One day prior to 19 September, we also sent an sms to request for the presence of GD, there was no reply from him even till today.....
Amidst this period, we started to hear many more accusations from the ground saying that we were forming a clique and going against the organization. Furthermore, our family members also told us that they also encountered scrutiny from other leaders and members.
On this 2nd meeting, our family members requested to join in as they also wished to hear from the horses’ mouth what transpired and the reasons they were being treated with false accusations too. In this meeting, VGD TEK accounted the absence of GD and VGD OKY by explaining that GD was involved in some events of Mercy Relief and VGD OKY was moving his place.
The following points were brought up during this 2nd meeting:
1) There were letters received by HQ accusing us of confusing the ground. Upon hearing this, we clarify that we were most willing to have a dialogue with the senders of these letters to clarify in their presence. If we have really misled or confused them, we would apologize to them without fail. They replied that it was not necessary to do so. We proposed for a number of times but were turned down.
2) We were also branded as a clique and heard that others were accusing us as a clique. However, they responded that they have not come to a conclusion that we are a clique and only people in this meeting knew about the clique.
3) They brought up that the postings in the Facebook were detrimental and caused confusion. We asked them to identify the exact posts that were detrimental so that we can discuss to determine about the areas of confusions, so that we could remove it and even apologize. However, they did not mention any detrimental postings but just kept repeating that posting on the Facebook was wrong. What's worse, VGD TEK also mentioned that he has not read any of the postings but felt that the postings were detrimental and wrong.
As a result, the meeting ended without any conclusion. Hence we had to arrange another meeting i.e. a 3rd meeting to be held on 30 Sep 2011.
Tan Teck Beng
However, before 30 Sep 2011 and a week after the 2nd meeting, an Assistant YMD chief LHS, and followed by Youth Chief called us that they wanted to hold individual dialogues instead of a group dialogue on 30 Sep 2011. We felt that since the accusations of a clique and other matters of this entire incident started and with targeted at us as a group, we should be address as a group. Shockingly, both of them said in consistency that we were rejecting dialogues just because we wanted the arrangement of a group.
After that, the arrangement between both parties became obscure and uncertain. Suddenly, on 10 Oct 2011, Youth Chief called some of us and insisted that we must go down HQ for the dialogue and this was the final dialogue that was granted to us on 14 Oct 2011.Youth Chief has also written a high handed email which states that we are the ones who reject dialogue and insisted on holding on 14 Oct 2011. We insisted that some of us would not be able to attend due to commitment at work and we should wait until 21 Oct 2011 when everyone was available. However, we were not given a second chance to postpone the dialogue as they were adamant on the fixed date that was proposed by them.
In the end, they started to take action against us. On 12 Oct 2011, Stanley Chua received a notice of expulsion but they gave only 3 days of notice for him to attend the hearings by these powerful authorities. On 15 Oct 2011, we received a few consecutive missed calls but there were no answer when we returned the calls. The next thing we knew was, sms were sent to us informing us to check our email. And right in our mailbox was the email informing us that we were removed from our leadership.
Why did these powerful authorities use such underhand methods in conducting dialogue e.g. the dialogue of the Assist YMD and the 7 of them?
Even when the dialogues were not conclusive, they took such actions. Why did they come to conclusion so fast?
Are the powerful authorities concerns directed at the organization or just protecting specific individuals?
Are the powerful authorities more concern of members losing faith in them than members losing faith in their practice?
Is it more important to create and protect a positive image of the organization which already has a rotting core or an organization with a strong and healthy core that will naturally lead to a positive image?
Are we too afraid to expose dirty linen resulting in cover-ups and sweeping genuine issues under the carpet?
The big sweep does not end with the expulsion and removal of the 5 senior YMD leaders. It is just the beginning of a bigger sweep. Just like you need more lies to cover up your previous lies. A senior YWD leader, who strongly spoke up for us, was immediately suspended from all leadership responsibilities. Leaders and members who expressed support in the name of fairness and justice of having a fair hearing to reveal the truth were being homevisited or dialogue. The messages sent to them were, their actions were casuing confusion to the ground and therefore can cause disharmony of the organization. Such act of disrupting the harmonious unity of believers is equivalence to one of the 5 cardinal sins.
THE BIG SWEEP has clearly unfolded the chronological events and flash back which finally led to the expulsion of a MD member and forced removal of 5 YMD senior leaders from their organizational leadership responsibility. This is unprecedented in the history of SSA, no...it should be unprecedented in other SGI organizations as well.
I would like to, herewith, quote a passage of WP MP Mr. Chen's parliamentary speech, "Differences are not divisions. It is the intolerance of differences that will be divisive.... An imposed unity is a false unity."
The YMD SHQ leaders were primarily made up of 2 schools of thought. One group, comprised of the removed leaders, deeply felt that SSA was critically deficient in the spirit of the 3 Founding Presidents. That is the focus on the happiness of individual YMD by elevating them from the stage of believer to the practitioner. In the other word, is to lead them back to the practice for the happiness of others based on one to one and heart to heart dialogue.
The second group's method are to manage the YMD leaders rather than on leading them by example. During LK's term as YMD chief, he did introduce MOE's management skill and style to manage the YMDs and it emerged in total failure. In the end, Leonard admitted his failure in introducing the wrong value in SSA during 2009.
Another case history was to emulate after the success of a fast growing church in Singapore by identifying a need for inspirational speaker(s). This had greatly deviated from the spirit of sincere one to one dialogue. Certainly the spirit of one to one had long been forgotten by them. The need for an inspirational speaker was introduced by a YMD contract staff heading the youth secretariat, who received directives directly from the Chief Executive Director who was also our GD OBC.
The removed YMD leaders had, for umpteen times, raised their concerns to the authorities to return to the correct Gakkai spirit but were either ignored or swept under the carpet. However, these courageous YMDs did not dodge a single step but continually pressing on. We believe this chronic act of proposals has caused the pain in the ass of YMD chief, Youth chief and even GD OBC. As a matter of fact, we can draw to close that it was the intolerance of differences on the part of the authorities that caused the divisions. The best way, we reckon, that the authorities would adopt was to silent these courageous YMDs once and for all.
From The Big Sweep, it was crystal clear that an intended leisure trip to Malacca could be falsified to become a plot to turn against the organization. Ironically, the trip took place one month after we halted the operation to protect GD OBC and SSA. Furthermore, the trip happened in Dec 2009 and was revealed fraudulently to the authorities by Meng Chang in Sep 2010.
Why did the authorities chose to reveal this incident to the removed YMD leaders in almost a year later???
The rationale could be one. It is obvious that they are looking for a convenient weapon to execute its plan and it's Facebook. This was similar in style which the clergy executed Operation C, a scheme to cut Sensei and SGI away from NS.
Yes, the authorities had, in some ways, explained that they were trying to contain this 'falsified' plot due to their compassion, hoping that these removed YMD leaders can move on. Was that really true? Were the authorities genuinely hoping that these YMD leaders can move on or to simply use this 'falsified' plot in exchange of their silence?!!
If it's truly the compassion of the authorities, why was this trip spread like raging fire to the ground??? Hence, it's of no exaggeration to reckon that the authorities had commenced the execution of the scheme since Sep. 2010.
The scheme was finally surfaced after the breaking point. It was when the removed YMD leaders escalated their concern on the differences of YMD SHQ team to GD OBC. In that event, GD OBC promised these YMD leaders to leave this entire matter for his to resolve. In the end, these courageous YMD leaders were removed by compulsion. Is this a betrayal of trust by GD OBC???
It was right after the breaking point that the authorities started interrogating these courageous YMD leaders under the pretext of dialogue, a word nobly used by people of utmost sincerity.
If the authorities were genuinely sincere in wanting these YMD leaders to move on, why would they resort to interrogations?
The authorities should have open each other cards and tabled them for discussion. This is the way sincere dialogue is conducted. On several occasions, when these YMD leaders requested the authorities to be open about their evidences in which they claimed they have, they would dodge the YMDs' questions and said that they will produce only at the critical moment. This was apparent that the authorities were reluctant to genuinely move on from the onset.
The authorities were only eager to use this so-called evidences as bargaining chips in exchange of the YMD leaders' silence. In the end, the so-called evidences were not only intangible, but were just some fraudulent stories fabricated by some witnesses of baseless character. Be it that all the evidences produced by the authorities and the witnesses are groundless or be it that it was their deliberate intention to leak the falsehood to the ground, all these behaviours fitted well into Yamazaki's traits. Yamazaki is cunning at mixing factual informations with falsehood and engineering information leaks to elicit a negative response. I believe they will end up leading lives of eternal regret and spiritual defeat.
Furthermore, for a faith organization to resort to the mean of using interrogation instead of heart to heart dialogue showed one thing. That was the powerful authorities were no longer applying the spirit of the 3 Founding Presidents to resolve matter. They have to implement intimidation to evoke fear and demand these YMD leaders' obedience. Such actions befits the behaviour of NS Priesthood.
Hence, in order to further intimidate these YMD leaders, they demanded to meet the YMDs on individual basis. It could be a 6 vs 1 format. When the YMDs failed to comply to their order, it led the authorities to twist the facts that these YMD leaders rejected dialogue. Consecutively, the YMDs were given an ultimatum to comply, failing which had led to their removal of their organizational responsibility. This action is tantamount to aggression.
From the onset, it has never been the intention of the authorities to pursue dialogue, or else they will not succumb to implementing interrogation to intimidate the YMDs. As Daishonin's Buddhism teaches the belief of egalitarian, hence the act of aggression constitutes the practice of superiority over inferiority. It is pretty clear that the more the powerful authorities asserted its superiority, the more oppressive it becomes towards the members. It is truly saddening to witness this in the history of our organization.
Are you aware that the removal exercise was abruptly executed in the process of so-called dialogue; in the process when the YMD leaders were desperately requesting for GD OBC to be present in every dialogue? GD OBC had promised these YMDs to leave it to him to resolve this matter, but he failed to turn up in every session. Where was GD OBC during the execution of such order? is GD Ong part of the decision maker? As according to what GD OBC shared thereafter, the decision for the expulsion and the removal by compulsion was made by the 4 Chiefs. Is this another clever act of our dearest GD?
Concurrent to the removal of these YMD leaders, I received the notification on 12 Oct 2011, to attend the board of enquiry with regards to my expulsion. The enquiry was scheduled on 15 Oct, 3 days from the receipt of the notification. Since I received the notification by hand in the evening, I had basically 2 days to prepare my defence. In normal practice, the committee of any association will bestow upon the defendant a grace period of 7 days to 14 days to react. Furthermore, no content of accusations was furnished to me at all from the management committee for my preparation of defence.
What did it show?
I am certain it doesn't take a person of extreme high HQ to comprehend the motive of the oppressor. Can I say that they were out to kill? Probably YES!!!
What leads me to harbour such thought?
It was because not even one dialogue was conducted prior to my expulsion except a notification!
Is this session of summoning to HQ considered a dialogue?
For your knowledge, 15 Oct 2011 fell on a Saturday and usually half of the kaikan staff were having their day off. Nevertheless, all of the staffs were recalled back to work. Beside the presence of all staffs, 9 top leaders were awaiting my arrival.
Why did the authority react in this manner?
Unless they treated me with such hostility as they treated rebel or traitor. Therefore, summoning my presence was not meant to be a mere dialogue, but another session of intimidating interrogation - Oppression!
Such hostility was once again displayed in all leaders meeting, addressing the issue of our expulsion & removal. The kaikan that hosted the meeting was heavily guarded by MDs and YMDs. All attendee were sharply scrutinized to the extend that many who attended felt the hostility and coldness displayed by the meeting organizers.
Why would a faith organization succumb to create tensed, excited and restrictive atmosphere in the meeting?
That went on to strengthen the fact of the depth of animosity which the authorities directed towards us. In additional to its animosity, they were so fearful that if 6 of us would suddenly appear to defend ourselves. It will be be impossible for them to spread their malicious lies and rumours smoothly and conveniently, especially in their dramatic one-sided sharing. Devilish functions always spin lies. Devil invariably resort to fabrications and false accusation to discredit people.
The Chinese writer Lu Xun stated:
"There is also a weapon that kills without drawing any blood - false rumours."
It's the essential nature of evil people to spread defamatory lies and rumours. Although we did not learn the art of crying or weeping aggrievedly to the audience, our presence armed with truth would be enough to overturn their falsehood and convince the audience.
Ridiculously, those who raised question in the meeting were being escorted by the YMDs to the basement meeting room to meet the top leaders. Worst of all, their family members were denied entry. If the authorities were genuinely on the side of justice, why did they have to fear? All the tensed, excited and close scrutinized situations were the reflections of their own lives!
Base on the one-sided sharing by the authorities in this meeting, they conveniently pushed all the blames to us for causing confusion, thus committing the slander of 'Disrupting the unity of lay believers' (破和合僧). I would like to refute the authorities' misinterpretation of it's real meaning. Fundamentally, we do not lead members astray from the Gohonzon, Sensei and noble organization founded by our 3 successive Presidents. Hence, it's not tantamount to the slander of such.
On the contrary, what we have carried out was to bring to light, the treacherous behaviour of the authorities for oppressing a group of sincere and committed YMD Senior Leaders who fought to ensure that the top leaders practised the right spirit and values of 3 Founding Presidents. How could the assertion of truth be affiliated to the aforementioned slander?!! Unless the oppressor, once again, read the Buddhism between the lines!
Who we were directed in the Facebook are the Oppressors and not the genuine disciples of Sensei. The differences lie in its functions. If we did not appear in the Facebook to expose the wrongdoings and the falsehood created by the powerful Oppressors, their true ugly nature will be forever hidden from view. As a consequence, more and more practitioners will stand to suffer from their oppressive nature. It's the nature of oppressors to evoke fear and demand obedience. Ultimately, a once warm and radiant organization will disappear forever...
A faith organization that exercise punitive action to its practitioners constitute the practice of instilling fear to rule rather than in leading the practitioners towards absolute happiness. However, the fault doesn't lie in this noble organization that carries out the mission of kosen-rufu, but in the hand of fear evoking oppressors. Through this channel, we hope to leave this truth for posterity. We shall present the truth to you, our sincere readers, to judge...