Beginning March 18, the Malaysian government enforced the Movement Control Order (MCO) in order to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the MCO, numerous restrictions were imposed, including closing all non-essential businesses, prohibition of mass assemblies and shutting down all nurseries, government and private schools, as well as public, private universities and vocational training centres. In view of the gravity of the situation, SGM has decided to suspend all its activities and close its centres and facilities since March 5.
The sudden movement has caught many unaware and struck the economy hard. Being unprepared, many businesses were badly-hit and some are facing serious financial loss. Not only was the global economy affected but our personal lives were also impacted. .
In his wish to reach out to these members and alleviate their suffering, SGM General Director Koh Sia Feai delivered a study lecture titled “Open Up a New Age of Shared Coexistence and Prosperity through Fighting COVID-19” on March 22 via online streaming. First of all, to contain the virus, he advised strictly carrying out good personal hygiene, such diligently washing our hands with soap, gargling and wearing masks besides having a balanced diet, getting sufficient sleep and exercise to improve our immune system. He then called on the members to muster up a firm determination not to fall victim to the virus or infect others through irresponsible actions.
Mr Koh then stressed that as Nichiren Buddhism is a Buddhism of happiness for oneself and others, we must take fellow members’ sufferings as our own. In his hope-filled study, he likened this tragedy with the epidemic during the Daishonin’s time and reminded that the Daishonin’s Buddhism is also a Buddhism of the sun and of revitalisation which has the power to change poison into medicine and transform all difficulties into opportunities. He urged the members not to become discouraged, hopeless or retreat in faith, assuring us that we will never be deadlocked so long as we continue to have strong faith, cultivate an indomitable spirit and chant abundant daimoku.
He stressed that through fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we can open up a new age of shared coexistence and prosperity for humanity and the whole world.