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Moral character is the only way for progressive change July 22, 2009

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, ethics, faith, human quality.
Tags: , , , , ,
Venerable Monk Shi Ming YI

Venerable Monk Shi Ming YI

Recently, there has been a new slew of dishonesty cases, not just stemming out from commercial areas, but ironically from religious establishments. That often makes me often wonder how all these could happen and why they have happened. It is actually no new news about people being hypocritical about deals and ideals. But what I am really dismayed is that my observations have proven true of a monk here who is now currently undergoing trial for embezzlement of funds.  Basically he abused his power by actually appearing to serve the disadvantaged community at large, while  committing a number of  hideous crimes that a highly professional criminal would do.  It was a stab in the heart for many who had a lot of respect for him as an humanist.  Before Mingyi monk, T.T Durai had committed similar crimes at NKF (National Kidney Foundation) before.  If you start to ponder about the cases in depth, you would wonder what actually happen behind the scenes.

These are high profile crimes which involved highly educated people who appear to be ‘good’. We may expect terrorists and former criminals to do such acts but crimes from  these people appear to be even more hideous & upsetting. My first suspicion came a few years ago when I saw his unusually posh office in the papers, which no one appeared to question then. My next suspicion came when I attended some of the NKF activities and I asked why they had a string of repeated donations that often, when  they have already gathered millions of dollars. Since then, I’ve stopped donations despite people kept  telling me that I was too suspicious about the entire scenario. Years later, my observations proved I was right. (And I am not proud of it.) Singaporeans have always been known to donate generously when asked to. After these incidents, it will somewhat dent donations in the future. And if I’m  right again, we need to clean up the way we continue our culture of materialism and capitalism before we get ourselves to a point where nothing/nobody can be really trusted; and that the entire society would risk rolling into huge abominable moral decay.

Mingyi Monk committed more than stealing money from the patients who needed them more. Kidney dialysis is by no means  a simple and painless procedure. Most of these patients usually wait in vain for a kidney transplant. The agony of waiting and living on the dialysis is not a small matter. While he had done good deeds in accepting some of the most unaccepted  patients (dying and very difficult to care for)  in the past, I would question if these kind acts were to cover the planned crimes he had done. Should he be whipped for all that ?  He has a list of luxuries that he has been enjoying –from keeping a thoroughbred in Australia, owning posh cars, to suspected womanizing.And the list goes on as the trial continues to reveal his greed and crimes. To add to the list, even his Doctorate degree was a fake.

Thinking about his case, I cannot help but to appreciate people like  Mother Teresa and Teresa XuZhe for their pure desire to help the disadvantaged and the needy. These great people fortunately live long enough to have us acknowledging their deeds, which they have dutifully done at the expense of their lifetime without any kind of material compensation they deserve.  XuZhe has fortunately live well over 100 to be finally noticed. Whenever I see or read her in the papers, I cannot help but to pity that she did not marry and have children, whom she could pass her genes along. We need people like her and we need her teachings to pass along too. We have way too many parents who instill the wrong teachings/ideas to children to get ahead in their studies for the wrong reasons. We have children these days who think that material success as the most important. It is dangerous to think in that way to get ahead in life, when  being  a good world citizen is way  more important to ensure a peaceful world.

Moral character is by far, IMHO, the most critical aspect in human progression. Without it, we cannot aspect positive change to the surroundings that we are living in. Can you imagine a world with people who have all the skills and knowledge, bearing a mask to hide all their sinister deeds,  doing all the important tasks of the world ? Personally I can’t and it would be a perfect nightmare if I could.  Some people have forseen  doomsday within the next 50 years, but is it all that we could do ?

Ironically and scarily true is that many people have multi-faceted personalities.  They could do one thing, and act differently in the other. Unless we rectify this very hideous human flaw, we cannot expect to save the world and the human race from extinction. Call this a natural retribution. We surely do not need to be this stupid to drool on materialism to the point to permanent self destruction.


Ming Yi Monk’s crime:

  1. http://blog.simplyjean.com/2007/11/19/ren-ci-probe-venerable-ming-yis-doctorate/
  2. http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_366848.html


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