Untold History of SSA
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.
Special Report on SSA Annual General Meeting - Part 1
On 29 May 2013, the Management Committee (MC) held its usual Annual General Meeting at Ikeda Cultural Auditorium located at the Headquarters building of Singapore Soka Association. The attendees of the meeting were typically handpicked by the MC, to meet its narcissistic objective. All these years, they hold tight to one aspiration and that is to ascertain that the AGM will proceed smoothly, without any question raised or interruption in any form. Any intervention by the attendee will be regarded as perpetrator attempting to cause disunity. This culture was not only practiced by the top seniors of SSA but also cascaded to every level of membership.
The rise of Unsung Heroes
The main portion of the meeting was bland and unadventurous. It was until issues pertaining to Soka Peace Centre (SPC), revealed by an ex-Redevelopment Project Committee (RPC) that started to arouse excitement and concern among the attendees. The ex-RPC member is Mr. Mano, the Vice MD leader of Ang Mo Kio Zone. He courageously took the podium to address his grave concern over the mismanagement on the part of RPC Project Team leader, namely Ong Bon Chai, the Management Committee (MC) and the Central Committee (CC). Mano works as a project director in the building industry and has 35 years of experience in construction. Based on his credibility and rich experience in the industry, he was invited to be part of RPC to contribute to the redevelopment of a land that previously sat TBSC. His involvement in RPC was solely hinged on a voluntary basis. However, his overzealous engagement in the redevelopment project could have ended him being defamed.
Few months ago, RPC Project Team leader, Ong Bon Chai maligned Mano for being uncooperative and encumbering. Ong slandered Mano and a few other members of ex-RPC for hindering because Mano and the others could not obtain the benefits, as promised by the current GD Tay. Only a handful of people, mainly the top seniors of SSA and its associates came to learn of this accusation. Obviously, some bootlickers chose to believe in the malign wholeheartedly, whereas others felt that there were more hidden facts pertaining to this matter than the one presented by Ong. Nevertheless, the truth was brought to light by Mano during the AGM.
Hosshaku Kempon Editorial Team wishes to express our pleasure to share the following facts. Mano started his disclosure by first doubting that SPC will possibly meet its March 2014 completion deadline, as stated in item 3.4 of AGM’s minutes. He inquired the MC whether they have worked out a recovery programme to meet its march 2014 deadline.
Mano said, “I want to take your attention to the minutes of the meeting item 3.4. It talks about the completion time extended to March 16, 2014. In the letter of award to the sub-contractor, there are 3 phases of completion. The MBR, MBM, CSR room to be completed by the end of June, the lift shaft and M&D hall to be completed by in end of August, and the overall project completion late of December, appreciate that you can give us an update.
The M&D hall requires six months to take up. That will take you to around 2014 January. I understand that the design and concept has to be cleared in SGI Japan. Would you let us know what is the status and what is the current recovery programme you have, to achieve the March 16 deadline.”
The fund that is utilized for the redevelopment of SPC was contributed by our precious members, it is an apparent fact that our members earn 100% right to be advised on the status and progress of the development periodically. Nevertheless, nothing came out from the horse mouth of SSA top senior management with regards to the status and progress of the redevelopment.
Haphazard Planning of Project Team leader
Mano revealed further that when the original model of SPC was published on Issue 481 of SSA Times February 2012, the design was not examined by RPC yet. It could be due to the fact that RPC was still not brought into existence. During the 6 months when RPC came on board, they discovered the original design of SPC to be dysfunctional. Numerous issues were not addressed and yet the building was approved by RPC Project Team leader Ong and his supporters. It is disheartening to learn that within this short period of review by the members of ex-RPC, the design of the building was revised seven times.
This was mainly due to the haphazard planning and sluggish attitude of Project Team leader and his assistance. At the stage after the tender was called and even after the tender was bided, the documents were laying in a state of dreadful mess. Concerning this point that was raised by Mano, he wanted the MC to register it and had it recorded in the minutes of AGM.
Poor Planning of MC led to Additional Cost Incurred
Mano continued, “On the issue of the closure of TBSC on Feb 12, we are of the view that it would have been a wrong decision. Because at that time of the closure, none of the plans were ready for construction, none of them were being approved by the URA planning. At that stage, for some reason that management committee decided, to manage this project based on 3 phases of construction – one the demolition, the second the piling and the third, the main construction work. Never in my 35 years of experience, for a 4.5 or 5 million dollar project, it has got to be broken into 3 phases.”
It is pretty clear that the ex-RPC members were not in favour of early closure of TBSC. When TBSC was closed on February 2012, none of the plan for construction was approved by the Planning Department of URA. Yet the MC and CC proceed to close TBSC. Not only such dopey judgments, on the part of MC and CC, brought serious inconveniences to our elderly members whom frequented TBSC, but it also incurred additional cost to the redevelopment of SPC.
Pertaining to this point, Mano explained, “Because this would have incurred more administrative cost, more professional fees if this decision have gone ahead. But I was there in that meeting and I want to put forth in this general meeting, I objected it. And I told them there is no necessity to go into this 3 phases of construction.”
Possible Breach of BCA regulations over URA planning guidelines
Despite engaging the expertise of Mano and other professionals to offer professional perspective in the redevelopment of SPC, SSA top management fails to exercise prudence and open-mindedness to receive precious advice, put forth by the professionals. The top management of SSA often explains that they hear the feedback, but in reality they do not listen. Numerous errors were committed in the process of redevelopment simply because they do not care to listen.
In relevance to the design of roof terrace, Mano strictly warned the MC of possible breach of BCA regulations over URA planning guidelines. In the letter of award issued to the contractor, it states that there is a provision to cover more than 100 openings in the roof terrace with glass. Mano took the podium to courageously challenge the MC for spending several million dollars of our members’ money to break the law. Without regard to the stern objection made by the ex-RPC members, the Project Team leader Ong went ahead with the decision that will possibly contravene the URA plan and BCA regulations. Ultimately, the top management of SSA has to take full responsibility.
To be continued..