Venerable Shi Ming Yi going the way of T.T. Durai? - Alvinology

Venerable Shi Ming Yi going the way of T.T. Durai?

Venerable Shi Ming Yi going the way of T.T. Durai? - Alvinology

Is the former head of Ren Ci Hospital, the Venerable Shi Ming Yi following in the footstep of jailed, former CEO of NKF, T.T. Durai?

According to various news reports in the local media, he has been charged with alleged forgery, conspiracy and misuse of funds and was slapped with 10 charges this morning.

Here’s the story via Yahoo news:

The monk faces four charges under the Penal Code involving two counts of alleged criminal breach of trust.

He also faces one count of alleged forgery for the purpose of cheating and one count of abetment for allegedly falsifying accounts.

He also faces six charges under the Charities Act for allegedly providing false information.

Two of his associates Raymond Yeung and Phua Seow Hua were also alleged to have gone into conspiracy with the Venerable and were also charged in court Tuesday.

Separately, a volunteer from Ren Ci was charged with allegedly possessing some 70 copies of obscene film.

Venerable Ming Yi, also known as Goh Kah Heng, is out on S$200,000 bail.

The case will be heard in court on August 4.

Venerable Ming Yi has been on leave for five months before his arrest on Monday night.

He had been under probe by the Commercial Affairs Department.

The Commercial Affairs Department was called in after auditors engaged by the Health Ministry highlighted possible irregularities in some of the charity’s financial transactions.

The Ministry of Health had said that several transactions, which involved several million dollars, could not be satisfactorily explained.

Ren Ci and 11 other large Institutions of a Public Character were subject to the Health Ministry’s general review in July 2006.

Ren Ci is believed to be the third largest health charity in Singapore after the National Kidney Foundation and SingHealth Endowment Fund.

The Commissioner of Charities has suspended Venerable Ming Yi from his office as Chief Executive Officer of Ren Ci Hospital & Medicare Centre with immediate effect.

He will also be suspended from his executive positions in five other charities: Foo Hai Ch’an Monastery, Foo Hai Ch’an Buddhist Cultural and Welfare Association, Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic and The Singapore Regional Centre of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, and the
Katho Temple.

He remains the religious leader of the Foo Hai Ch’an Monastery.

There are more juicy reports available on omy:

明义被控10宗罪:  公众读者纷来电 ‘他曾做不少好事!’


仁慈医院院监明义法师 明天上午被控上庭


To me, this whole scandal involving the Venerable Shi Ming Yi is making me cast serious doubts about charitable institutions in Singapore. First NKF, now Ren Ci… what’s next?

Then again, somehow, I can’t bring myself to hate the monk vis-à-vis T.T. Durai though… something about the bald head and the robe makes a man looks sincere and vulnerable. I do hope he can be cleared of his charges. Let’s wait and see how his case develops over the next few months.

Technorati Tags: vulnerable shi ming yi, shi ming yi, ren ci hospital, renci, nkf, national kidney foundation, singapore, charity scandal, t.t. durai, durai, abbot shi ming yi, renci monk

  1. nope… not the same… the durian got backing…. “just peanuts” remember?
    Durai got away with far more and receive far less in punishment …. The actual of time he spent in a jail? Less than half a year if I remember…

  2. Durai was charge for a 20000 dollars which was given to someone who have did alot of thing to NKF .No cent was taken by Durai.He was clean.The charges on him was the 20000 dollars which was not files properly thus he was charge.If it was done in the properly procidure he will not be jail at all.

    Did anyone know about this?Golden tap was never found.Even if there is a golden tap it the company property not his.

    Durai have help NKF alot of thing.He work hard for this and this is what singapore give to him.

    People may argue that law is law.However if you are working outside doing business you should know that we do make mistake.Buecause of one mistake people are comdame forvever.No matter how many good thing they have done it useless.

    Is this the singapore you all want?


    The NKF objected to the first six paragraphs of the article, which carried an account from a plumber who worked on the attached bathroom of Durai’s private office suite. The plumber said he “lost it” when he had to install, among other things, “a glass panelled shower, a pricey German toilet bowl and a gold-plated tap”. The article said the taps were “scaled down” after his outburst.

    Durai was formally accused of having submitted false invoices between 2003 and 2004 to the NKF to make claims for various consultancy services which were never rendered. One invoice was for $20,000 and the other, $5,000. Durai was said to have misled the charity by using the false invoices “knowingly . . . with intent to deceive (the NKF)”. Anyone who uses a false or erroneous document, which to his knowledge is intended to mislead, is guilty of an offence under Section 6(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Durai was released on bail of $100,000 which was posted by his wife.

    On June 11, 2007, Durai was found guilty of misleading the charitable organisation with a falsified invoice of $20,000 which was allegedly for interior design consultancy work done by David Tan, director of the design firm. The invoice, dated December 29, 2003, was meant for work done for various dialysis centres. For this, Durai was sentenced to three months in jail on June 21. He could have been jailed for up to five years and fined $100,000.

    if he was that bad why would people want to pull him immidely after his jail terms.We loss a good CEO.Someone that can do great thing.Our country cannot hold great people.We can only hold obedience people.This is how much we can hold.Why so many great people have leave?

    In an affadavit submitted to the high court on September 7 2007, he revealed that has secured a high paying job. He had accepted the position of CEO of a new subsidiary company under Singapore-based real estate management firm Property Facility Services (PFS) – a job which will pay him $25,000 a month.

    Durai will be based full-time in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates after his sentence is over.

  4. The charity situation in Singapore; ven Ming Yi’s case.

    As a Westerner (Dutch) I lived some time in one of Singapore’s temples. The charity situation in Singapore is markedly different from that in Holland.
    I was informed that a temple or a Buddhist institution is allowed to operate, provided this institution conducts charity activities, which activities are authorized and audited bij the Singapore authorities.
    Furthermore the mood in this city-state is very much towards academic degrees; a religious person who does not hold an academic degree is percieved as a bit of a second rate monastic. Foreign (Western) monastics wishing to settle in Singapore only receive permanent residenceship when holding a degree of some sort – a study in chemistry would be just fine to make one a knowledgeable Buddhist Master.
    It may be that ven Ming Yi conjured up his degree(s) just in order to be taken serious by both the authorities and the general public.

    A religious institution being forced to operate charities is to my mind questionable, though accepted by the Singaporeans I met.
    A monk or a nun is not necessarily a good CEO just because of having the tonsure. Such a person, in Singapore, is torn between two extremes.
    On one side there is Buddha’s admonition that monks and nuns should not be “the king’s man”, and furthermore he/she has to make the vow of not being financially tied up to “the world.”
    On the other side there are authoritarian state’s expectations, plus bodhisattva vows according to which one should assist “the world” in whatever way possible.

    The authorities’ wishes to operate charities has these last few decades led to a body of young monks-entrepeneurs some of whom told me in private that they too “will study Buddhism as soon as business is settled.”
    To my mind this is undesirable, both because these charities are not necessarily well operated, and because a monastic should first and foremost be the spiritual wayfarer and advisor he/she wished to be from the start.

  5. ok im doing a review on ming yi. i think that he is very bad, embezzling money from a charity organisation. he has always been taking part in charity shows, and getting most support from the audience. however, due to his greed for money, he resorted to pilfering money from the organisation. it may not be used for him to enjoy the time of his life, but the money was still not his and he had no right to take it. if he needed money, he should use his own, earn it by himself, not to steal others hard to get money. he has betrayed the trust of all his devoted supporters, cheating them of their money, which could have helped the needy and giving hope to others once again. however because of his selfish act, he smeared the hopes of the plentiful people out there. i cant understand how he managed to just take the money without batting a single eyelid, even though he knew that the money was important to others. now because of him nobody would want to donate money again because it is hard to trust them. ming yi is a wolf in a sheep’s skin!! sorry if offended anyone.. anyway, u cant judge a book by its cover. even though the bald head and the vulnerable look makes him look holy.. but a rose has thorns. u dont noe when the thorns might just prick u, as well as many others. so we must not be too gullible and follow others blindly. also i hope people will not be blinded by money anymore. hope that there is no more people who will betray our trust again. 🙂

  6. Thank you for the insignt feedback from your Westerner’s view.
    You may wish to trace the history of Buddhism reaching China and how much it was being changed and practiced. It is part and parcel of the control mechanisms done by the Chinese people.

    The same had happened here as the authority has intervened the Buddhism to be the way the authority wants to be existed in Singapore. I am afraid a lot of Singapore monks and nuns are not able to explain in layman term to us when we question them about Buddhism. By the way, I was told many times by Singaporean friends not to ask question or to accept what I was told in seminars, churches and temples. Come on, I am not bornt to live like that and who is the authority to control us or our lives in this internet age.

    It is un-believable that the fate should rear its astonishing outcome on Ming Yi action of going along with the authority to help to run the Ren-Ci Hospiltal when part of the responsibilty lies on the authority. Man seeks the high publicity or fame will have to face its ugly facets – its double headed sword. Man seek to control will have to live to see it went out to its unlawless or un-manageableness way. Ming Yi has not reach the depth of his Buddhism belief and he has to struggle to come term that his ablility and capability has being in conflict and he got to accept it that he willing let him to be make use of ….

    In due course, the religious and/spiritual of Singaporeans will undergo its soul searching course – doubtful and painful. For it allow the emergence a new life, new thinking and new belief.

  7. Monks aren’t holly after all. Some monk is wolf in sheep’s clothes.
    Pretending to achieve enlightment but was actually a gay…….
    They are pretty much enterprenuer making a very decent pay package and living a high life. ( or a double life ). burn in Hell…..

  8. Pagan: Yeah, frequently it is not the religion that is bad, but a minority of humans that cheat others by misusing the religion.

    By the way, he is (supposedly) a Buddhist, not Taoist or Christian.. so he won’t burn in Hell, he just gets bad karma and maybe get a unfavorable reincarnation hahahahaha.

  9. He is a just a mock monk… Looks at the grin on that arrogant face….
    Monk should not be getting that kinda of pay package… Their duties is to help the needy and spread buddism. Living on very basic needs of life. Probably living in the monastary with mini luxury enjoyment. Importantly, with no unwholesome attachments….

    Monks needs no PA! Probably thats the gay friend whom watch porno together

    Burn in helll……

  10. From the way he talks and keeps crying, I’ve no doubt he’s gay. And the guy he protected, looks like one too!

    What bullocks of trying to defend himself by saying “he should have….” by covering a mistake with more mistakes. there’s no excuse for a high standing monk to give in to worldly pleasure temptations.

    Well if he’s so considerate to think of others, the he should stop wearing that monk’s robe!! He’s smearing the image of Buddhism. Obviously this man only thinks of himself.

  11. Hi Hamster,

    In my humble opinion, Durai is a great businessman and good luck to him and his new company that obviously sees the value in him, if not the company employ him with such a good package. How I wish companies are more open-minded, let the yellow ribbon thingy be a success!

    However, Durai is definitely not the right man for NKF or any other charities. Even if he hasn’t broken that many law, what he did damaged NKF seriously. You can’t just promote someone anyhow and jet around by business class (or was it first class?) when there are many other patients denied of subsidises and treatment. Has anyone try to calculate his (and his “lackeys”) carbon footprint?

  12. I do agree what Ming Yi did was wrong. Sadly among all religions, there will always be those who are tempted. However in the midst of pointing fingers and casting stones, may I ask everyone to take a minute and look into themselves. Is this a mob mentality? Have you contributed to charity or charitable actions in any way in the past week? Let us seek to correct what is lacking in the world in ourselves, instead of spending time casting stones from our high perches. I am sure there are those rare few who have contributed selflessly.

    About Gay people being weak and crying, that is a laughable statement. Please google stonewall, they could stand up for their sexuality and many are in fact strong pillars of support and charity in their own societies. There is nothing wrong with liking to live well, in fact in a consumer driven society, many aspire too… Singapore of the 5 Cs?

    Just that it is important while enjoying fruits of your work, to spare a thought for the needy, and be kindly in your words to your fellow men.

  13. TT is corrupt means corrupt. If i rob someone and give to 100 others does this make the act of robbing right? ( no robin hood scenerio in singapore )

    As for Ming Yi is a monk, what is a monk doing buying properties, cars, etc? Tot monks supposed to have already given up on worldly possessions. Using a defence of “i’m a modern monk” cuts no ice.

    Being a “modern monk”, does it mean Ming Yi is also allowed to drink, lie, gamble, procreate, etc?

    Character and integrity is important, why do things which will allow others to cast a shadow on oneself? All i can say is that they are not perfect, true they have done some good but still, one answers for ones mistakes and accept the consequences – meaning : earn back the trust thro actions if one can, dun ask people to turn a blind eye.

  14. From what i know, in order to achieve enlightenment, one has to detach itself from all the worldly possession, feelings and thoughts in order to be in one space. This is why “real” monks will rather spend time alone in a remote location where he has the space to achieve his enlightenment through meditation.

    All evidences seems to point towards him and it seems that there is no way he can get himself out of that…

    the term “modern monk” mean to him might be able to use a hp, drive a four wheel car, own properties and perhap have some leisure activites..and all these lead to convienence to him..but i can accept all that but cannot accept he went on a diving trip instead of camping in the deep mountain!!

    We will all fall prey to the worldly possesion as long as we are still human. He is still a human after all…but anyway i don’t really respect d monks in singapore because i know some of them are fake.

  15. Its no point debating on who is a greater evil… Both Durai & Ming Yi had done wrong… they let their greed got the better of them.

    The difference between the two is not in the original intention of these wrongful act… but in the way they handle these issue when it surfaced… While Durai took it like a real man and accepted his fate in court, Ming Yi kept the lies going…

  16. TT smart, accept fault (afterall 20k small ikan bilis) so no washing of linen in public, plus who knows if full trial maybe they dig out hidden skeletons then how???

    MY think he smart plus think we wear holy robes got extra protection garang refused to admit and went through full trial allowing all the dirty underwear to be exposed not only hurting himself but Ren-Ci, his other institutions he used to lead, his followers, other monks, Buddhist in general as well as all those people who contributed to his monkey shows

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