Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Religious Cops

The Internal Security Department (ISD) of the Home Affairs Ministry listened in on the sermon of Pastor Tan, decided his comments were highly inappropriate and unacceptable as they allegedly trivialised and insulted the beliefs of Buddhists and Taoists, and hauled up the Christian leader for interrogation.

Senior Pastor Rony Tan, founder of the Lighthouse Evangelism church, was made to apologise: "I sincerely apologise for my insensitivity towards the Buddhists and Taoists, and solemnly promise that it will never happen again." Relishing with glee he had the support of the powerful secret police, Taoist Federation chairman man Tan Thiam Chye told the press, "When I saw him, he looked verry sorry and remorseful - frankly, he looked terrible."

But the Singapore Buddhist Federation wants blood and said it will still approach the authorities and have its voice heard in order to prevent similar incidents in future. "It is good that the authorities have looked at this matter, but this is a matter of national concern. We want to appeal to the public and the authorities to make sure there is no second time," said the federation’s secretary-general, Venerable Kwang Phing. Singapore Buddhist Lodge chairman Lee Bock Guan claims, "Lord Buddha taught us to be compassionate and forgiving, but repentance must be sincere and followed with deeds, lest this untoward event be forgotten and repeated."

The last time the Buddhist Federation made the headlines was when their Venerable Shi Ming Yi was been found guilty of fraud, falsifying documents, misappropriating funds and giving false information to the Commissioner of Charities. Venerable Shi neither repented of his wrong doings, nor followed up with deeds, such as returning the money conned from gullible followers.

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