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July 2021

In This Issue

From SGM General Director

Constructing a New Era with the Passion and Power of Youth
This July, we welcome the 70th anniversary of the young men’s division and young women’s division.

Membina Era Baharu dengan Semangat dan Kuasa Belia
Bulan Julai ini, kita meraikan ulang tahun ke-70 penubuhan bahagian belia lelaki dan bahagian belia wanita.

From SGI President

Shine Brightly as Youthful Treasure Towers! by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda


The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu: Learning from The New Human Revolution Commentary on Volume 27 by SGI Vice-President Hiromasa Ikeda

Chapter Summary for Volume 27 of The New Human Revolution from the Seikyo Shimbun

“Unforgettable Scenes” – Key Episodes from Volume 27 from the Seikyo Shimbun

Excerpts from Nichiren’s Writings Found in Volume 27 from the Seikyo Shimbun

Making a Fresh Advance from the 70th Anniversary by Dinesh Chandren

Develop a State of Life As Vast As the Universe by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Shining a Light in the Darkness – The SGM Beacon Group Interview with Prof Dr Christopher Boey

Ten Questions about Coronaviruses and COVID-19 Compiled by Dr Bee Boon Peng and SGM Beacon Group

From Our Readers

My Personal Role in Stemming the COVID-19 Pandemic by Dennis Tan


Little Women (film, 2019) by Irani Basu

Halaman Kanak-Kanak

Panglima Su Wu yang Kuat Tekadnya


Walking the Victorious Path of Mentor and Disciple Jimmy Tam Kok Chian, Kuala Lumpur


A Walk on Both Sides of the Fence by Andrew Pok Chong Boon



Editor’s Note


In his 39th Peace Proposal issued on January 26, Value Creation in a Time of Crisis, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda addressed major issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, building a global culture of harmony and human rights, the need to get rid of nuclear weapons and the climate crisis. He proposed solutions for overcoming these challenges and called on the global community to together build a society realising “happiness for both oneself and others through bringing into full play the human capacity to create value.” [1]

When we look at the world today, people are only concerned about their own interests. Most people only care about themselves and their own families, placing their personal concerns above all else. People even resort to unethical methods, even damaging and sacrificing the needs of others in order to fulfil their own interests.

Looking at our pandemic-stricken society as an example, we can see that many people have had their spirits crushed and livelihoods destroyed – they are in dire straits. But the cruel reality is that they are ignored or discriminated against, – even excluded – leaving them isolated and helpless.

Even where the supply of vaccines is concerned, we see that countries only take care of their own needs and turn a blind eye to the needs of other countries.

On this, President Ikeda stressed that we must have the determination to never leave behind those struggling in the depths of adversity, lending them a helping hand, and shine the warm glow of concern in their lives. We must enable them to bring forth the strength to live with dignity and strive to build the foundations for a society where the word “misery” is eradicated.

In “The Three Virtues of Food,” Nichiren Daishonin writes: “If one gives food to others, one will improve one’s own lot, just as, for example, if one lights a fire for others, one will brighten one’s own way.” (WND-2, pg 1060) This teaches us that when we contribute to the wellbeing of others, we ourselves will receive benefit too.

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings states: “‘Joy’ means that oneself and others together experience joy.” (OTT, pg 146) True joy is when we and others enjoy happiness.

On this, President Ikeda says: “Happiness is something that we must each achieve for ourselves and experience in our own lives. But at the same time, one’s own happiness to the exclusion of others is not true happiness. Just being content with one’s own welfare with no concern for others is selfish. By the same token, brushing aside one’s own happiness and caring only about the happiness of others is not sufficient either. True happiness is a condition when both we ourselves and others are happy.” [2]

He also points out: “We cannot steal happiness from someone or attain it by sacrificing others for our own gain. It is something that must be shared – which is why I have always insisted that our happiness must not be built upon the misfortune of others.” [3]

We cannot live alone and isolated. Humankind has always been a community where we share joy and sorrow together. The thinking that helping others will only hurt our interests is the main reason for the terrible state that society is in today.

There is no life more noble than one dedicated to caring for and helping others, and enabling people to become happy.

Let us learn from this pandemic and transform this crisis into opportunity, and together build a society that realises happiness for both oneself and others!

[1] Pg 42 of this issue.
[2] FLOW No. 661 (01.10.2017), pg13–14.
[3] Ibid., pg 14.

This July, we welcome the 70th anniversary of the young men’s division and young women’s division. The month of youth shines with great brilliance.

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda regards young men and women as “treasures of the nation” and precious assets of the world. He deeply cherishes the youth and places high hopes on them.

He also believes that the youth of the Soka Gakkai are the hope of humanity. Not only does he trust the youth, he has also entrusted the most noble endeavour of kosen-rufu to them.

The youth shoulder great responsibility; thus, they must be true to and be strict with themselves, and fully hone and foster themselves. Only then can they rise up and fulfil their responsibility.

The first thing they need is to make a great vow for their own lives, as described by Nichiren Daishonin: “Here I will make a great vow,” (WND-1, pg 280) and “…make a great vow.” (WND-1, pg 1003)

Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda once said, “‘Too big’ is just about the right size for young people’s dreams. What we can achieve in a lifetime is always but a fraction of what we would set out to achieve. So if you start out with expectations that are too low, you’ll end up not being able to accomplish anything at all.”(1) Therefore, we hope that our youth will embrace great dreams, strive towards long-ranging goals and ceaselessly build oneself.

Further, Nichiren Daishonin wrote: “The ‘great vow’ refers to the propagation of the Lotus Sutra.” (OTT, pg 82) The greatest, most lofty goal of all is none other than kosen-rufu, the great endeavour of building human happiness and world peace.

If youth can dedicate their lives to striving tirelessly for the sake of realising the great endeavour of kosen-rufu, they will definitely create the greatest meaning and value for their lives, and live noble lives.

In order to shoulder the great endeavour of kosen-rufu, youth must strive tirelessly, as it is through hardship that they are forged.

Nichiren Daishonin further states in the Gosho: “Iron, when heated in the flames and pounded, becomes a fine sword.” (WND-1, pg 303) Similarly, people must be tempered by hardship before making something of themselves. Through such training, they develop firm determination and become people who can withstand the harsh trials of fate.

Youth must strive to study hard and grow through such efforts. Having the desire to learn and grow is the mission and characteristic of youth.

These efforts include studying the Gosho, and the guidance and works of President Ikeda. In these works, we find the greatest philosophy for humanity that will become the guidepost for our lives.

The Daishonin states, “Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism.” (WND-1, pg 386) Continue to learn and take action, while upholding Buddhist practice and study – this will become the core of a victorious life for youth. What they learn will also become the driving force for victory in life and society.

Our world is full of intricate and complex problems. Other than the current pandemic, there are issues such as climate change, nuclear weapons, war, environmental issues, poverty and racial discrimination. These are all grave issues that must be solved through the power of youth.

Dear youth! Take your place on the stage of this century, and construct a new era for humanity with your passion and power!


Bulan Julai ini, kita meraikan ulang tahun ke-70 penubuhan bahagian belia lelaki dan bahagian belia wanita. Bulan belia ini bersinar dengan cemerlang.

Presiden SGI, Encik Daisaku Ikeda menganggap belia lelaki dan wanita sebagai “khazanah negara” dan harta yang bernilai di dunia. Beliau menghargai belia dan meletakkan harapan yang tinggi terhadap mereka.

Beliau turut percaya bahawa belia Soka Gakkai adalah harapan umat manusia. Beliau bukan sahaja mempercayai belia tetapi juga telah mengamanahkan kebanyakan daripada usaha kosen-rufu yang paling luhur kepada mereka.

Belia memikul tanggungjawab yang besar. Oleh yang demikian, mereka haruslah bersikap benar dan tegas terhadap diri mereka sendiri, mengasah dan memupuk diri mereka dengan sepenuhnya. Dengan cara ini, barulah mereka mampu bangkit dan dan menunaikan tanggungjawab mereka.

Perkara pertama yang belia perlu lakukan ialah mempunyai ikrar yang kuat untuk kehidupan mereka, seperti yang dijelaskan oleh Nichiren Daishonin: “Di sini, saya ingin melafazkan ikrar yang besar,” (WND-1, hlm. 280) dan “… melafazkan ikrar yang besar.” (WND-1, hlm. 1003)

Presiden kedua Soka Gakkai, Encik Josei Toda pernah berkata bahawa, “’Terlalu besar’ adalah ukuran yang tepat untuk impian anak muda. Apa yang kita boleh capai dalam seumur hidup ini selalunya merupakan apa yang telah kita tetapkan untuk mencapainya. Oleh itu, sekiranya anda mula dengan menetapkan harapan yang terlalu rendah, anda akhirnya tidak akan berjaya mencapai apa-apa.”(1) Oleh yang demikian, kita berharap agar belia kita akan mencapai impian yang besar, berusaha gigih ke arah matlamat jangka panjang dan tidak henti-henti membina diri.

Selanjutnya, Nichiren Daishonin menulis: “‘Ikrar yang besar’ itu merujuk kepada penyebaran Sutra Teratai.” (OTT, hlm. 82) Matlamat yang paling mulia dan luhur, tidak lain dan tidak bukan ialah kosen-rufu, usaha yang mulia untuk membina kebahagiaan manusia dan keamanan dunia.

Sekiranya belia sanggup mendedikasikan kehidupan mereka untuk berusaha dengan tidak mengenal penat lelah demi merealisasikan usaha mulia kosen-rufu, mereka pasti akan mencipta makna dan nilai yang paling besar untuk kehidupan mereka, seterusnya akan menempuhi kehidupan yang luhur.

Untuk memikul usaha mulia kosen-rufu, belia hendaklah berusaha dengan gigih, tidak mengira jerih perih, kerana mereka ditempa melalui kesusahan.

Nichiren Daishonin seterusnya berkata di dalam Gosho: “Besi, apabila dipanaskan dalam nyalaan api dan diketuk, akan menjadi pedang yang baik.” (WND-1, hlm. 303) Begitu juga, manusia haruslah menghadapi kesusahan sebelum membuat sesuatu dari diri mereka sendiri. Melalui latihan yang begini, mereka akan membina tekad yang kuat dan menjadi manusia yang sanggup menghadapi dugaan nasib yang getir.

Belia hendaklah berusaha untuk belajar dengan rajin dan berkembang maju melalui usaha-usaha ini. Mempunyai keinginan untuk belajar dan berkembang maju adalah misi dan ciri-ciri belia.

Usaha-usaha yang dimaksudkan termasuklah membelajari Gosho, bimbingan dan karya-karya Presiden SGI, Encik Daisaku Ikeda. Daripada karya-karya ini, kita akan temui falsafah yang teragung untuk umat manusia yang akan menjadi panduan untuk kehidupan kita.

Daishonin berkata, “Tanpa amalan dan pembelajaran, maka tidak wujudlah Buddhisme.” (WND-1, hlm. 386) Terus belajar dan mengambil tindakan, sambil menegakkan amalan dan pembelajaran Buddhisme – ini akan menjadi inti pati kehidupan yang berjaya untuk belia. Apa yang dibelajari oleh mereka akan menjadi daya penggerak untuk kemenangan dalam kehidupan dan masyarakat.

Dunia kita penuh dengan masalah yang rumit dan kompleks. Selain daripada pandemik yang dihadapi sekarang, terdapat juga masalah seperti perubahan cuaca, senjata nuklear, peperangan, alam sekitar, kemiskinan dan diskriminasi perkauman. Semua masalah genting ini perlu diselesaikan dengan kuasa belia.

Wahai belia yang dikasihi, ambillah tempat anda di pentas abad ini dan binalah satu era baharu untuk umat manusia dengan semangat dan kuasa anda!


Dr BoeyInterview with Prof Dr Christopher Boey
Perhaps never before in our life has healthcare professionals become so important. They play indispensable roles in the fight against COVID-19. Within SGM, there is a group of members whose professions involve
protecting, saving and healing lives – the Beacon Group. In this interview, we speak with SGM Beacon Group leader Prof Dr Christopher Boey on the origin and mission of the group, and its members’ efforts in fighting COVID-19.
Questions by COSMIC are in bold.

Please give an introduction of the SGM Beacon Group.
The Beacon Group is a group of healthcare professionals who practise Nichiren Buddhism in SGM. They include medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, traditional medicine practitioners and many other healthcare professionals as well as students of these professions.

What is the prime point of the group with SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, and what guidelines has President Ikeda given to the group?
When President Ikeda arrived in Malaysia on November 27, 2000 for his second visit to Malaysia, he proposed the formation of the SGM doctor’s division that very evening itself. At that time there were only 18 doctors in SGM. On December 2, the last day of his Malaysian visit, President Ikeda personally encouraged five representatives of the SGM doctor’s division just before he left his hotel for the airport.

Engraving President Ikedas expectations in our hearts, we continue to strive to actualise his three guidelines to the division:
1. Face all obstacles courageously
2. Become the standard-bearers of a health revolution to protect life which is so infinitely precious
3. Become a beacon of trust in society

On May 3, 2008, President Ikeda gave the doctor’s division a decorative card on which the characters were written in Japanese. This was translated into English as “Beacon Group” and into Chinese as 灯塔会.

Over the years, we have been carrying out training seminars which include not only medical doctors and dentists but also all healthcare professionals.

On August 9, 2008, three months after he gave us the name “Beacon Group.” President Ikeda gave guidance at a special training course for doctors and nurses, in which he said:

You are members of the Soka Gakkai, a gathering of people of foremost wisdom. Please uphold the vital path of mentor and disciple of Soka as you continue giving people hope in the sphere of health.”


Believing in the tremendous potential of life, you give the strength to go on living to those who are standing on the brink of life and death. Kosen-rufu begins with helping just one person become happy and then another. Never forget this eternal truth.”

How many Beacon Group members are directly involved in treating COVID-19 patients?
All Beacon Group members are considered frontliners. Among them, about a third are directly involved in treating COVID-19 patients.

In what other ways do Beacon Group members contribute to the fight against COVID-19?
Members of the Beacon group, in their interactions with patients and fellow members, strive to disseminate knowledge about the pandemic and ways to maintain good health. Most of all, they do their best to impart hope and courage to fellow members, their patients and their fellow colleagues in the battle against COVID-19.

They also try to contribute in practical ways. For example, in the early days of the pandemic, one doctor in the young men’s division who was directly treating COVID-19 patients also managed to develop an effective face shield to protect himself and colleagues.

How do Beacon Group members support and encourage each other?
Beacon Group members support and encourage one another through dialogues with one another as well as through seminars in which we study President Ikeda’s guidance together and receive encouragement from SGM leaders.

What has been the significance of this pandemic to you?
This pandemic is an important opportunity for us Beacon group members to strengthen our unity and return to our prime point as healthcare professionals who are disciples of President Ikeda. It enables us to refresh our determination to fulfil our mission as healthcare professionals of the Mystic Law to help ourselves and others to win over the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death.

Adapted from an article onginally published in the April 2021 issue of COSMIC (Chinese edition).

Compiled by Dr Bee Boon Peng and SGM Beacon Group

Coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 that began spreading in December 2019, cause mild to severe respiratory illness that may result in death. COVID-19 has since spread worldwide.

This article was originally published in the April 2021 COSMIC (Chinese), and has been updated with some current information.

What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause respiratory illness in humans. The name “corona” comes from the many crown-like spikes on the
surface of the virus.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Many who get infected are asymptomatic. The danger is they can spread the virus to others without realising it. Some may get fever or chills, congestion or a runny nose, headache, fatigue, muscle or body aches, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting and diarrhoea.

Why is COVID-19 terrifying?
Covid-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure or death, especially in elderly people and those with co-morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes.

How is COVID-19 diagnosed?
COVID-19 is diagnosed with a laboratory test.
The test is performed on a swab sample taken from your nose or throat. Currently in Malaysia, there are two types of swab tests, namely the antigen rapid test kit (RTK-Ag) and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Ten Questions about Coronaviruses and COVID-19
Photo: Jeffery Lum


Should I worry and how can I protect myself?
It is important to understand that COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person. When a person with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes, the droplets produced can infect people nearby. Please remember that people (including children) may be infected with COVID-19 and have only mild or even no symptoms. Hence to protect oneself, you must:

1) Avoid close contact with others:
◊ Stay home, avoid going out unnecessarily, and avoid having visitors to your home.
◊ Practise physical distancing in public places.
◊ Wear a face mask whenever you are in a public place and avoid peak-hour crowds.

2) Practise good hygiene:
◊ Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
◊ If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol.
◊ Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
◊ If you cough or sneeze, do so in the bend of your elbow.
◊ Gargle with warm salt water twice a day, especially after coming back from places where there were many people.

3) If you feel sick, do the following:
◊ Stay home unless you are experiencing a medical emergency such as shortness of breath or a very high fever.
◊ Call your doctor and explain your symptoms over the phone.
◊ If you have to leave your home to get medical care, wear a mask.

When should I be tested for the COVID-19?
Call your doctor if you are ill with fever and coughing, or have breathing difficulties, especially if you have been in close contact with a person known or suspected to have COVID-19. Your doctor will tell you if you need to undergo a test.

If I tested positive for COVID-19, what should I do?
If you have been tested positive for COVID-19 by a healthcare facility:
Your name and address will be provided to the Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia off ice closest to you. A health officer will contact you to ascertain the severity of your illness. Patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms can be quarantined at home under a suitable home environment. The health officer will provide a self-assessment checklist and self-quarantine rules to you. If your home environment is unsuitable, you will be referred to a MOH facility.
Those who are very young or elderly, have comorbidities or suffer from more severe symptoms will be admitted to a designated hospital.
Your close contacts will be traced and notified by the health officer so that they can undergo screening and quarantine. The exact protocols may differ from state to state.
If you are experiencing worsening symptoms, please call the nearest health facility immediately.

Ten Questions about Coronaviruses and COVID-19
Photo: Jeffery Lum


Can the vaccine curb the pandemic?
Yes, there are several vaccines that are being used. In Malaysia, we are in the second (and third in some places) phase of COVID-19 vaccination, mainly
targeting senior citizens. No vaccine is 100% effective. Even after vaccination, standard operating procedures (SOPs) of physical distancing, wearing
masks and good hygiene must be practised. Available clinical studies showed that the approved vaccines are safe and effective in preventing as well as reducing the severity of the disease.

How do I know if COVID-19 vaccine information is accurate?
There is an enormous wealth of information being shared on social media daily, and it can be diff icult to differentiate the true from the false. Please seek reliable information from official websites and sources, such as the MOH and the World Health Organisation (WHO), or speak to your doctor should there be any doubt. Please do not share information or news that you cannot be sure is 100% accurate.

When will the pandemic be over?
It depends on two factors: the government’s efforts and citizens’ compliance. We must adhere to our government’s efforts to help the country stop the COVID-19 infection chain. We must adhere strictly to the Movement Control Order, SOPs like physical distancing, wearing masks and physical hygiene.
Malaysian Government’s aim is to achieve herd immunity by having 75-80% of the Malaysian population vaccinated by this yearend.
By achieving herd immunity, we can then control the infection rate in the population. Vaccine hesitancy is a problem, perpetuated by inaccurate information about vaccines and its side effects.
Commonly encountered side effects of vaccination are pain or soreness at the injection site (usually your upper arm). Others who have been vaccinated reported some fatigue, muscle ache, headache, chills, joint pain and possibly some fever.
Cases of allergic reactions (in recipients with a history of existing allergies) were reported. Hence, vaccination is not suitable for those with a history of severe allergy. If you have any queries, please consult your doctor. Prior to vaccination, each person will be evaluated if they are f it to be vaccinated by the MOH’s attending staff.
Let us support the Malaysian government’s vaccination programme to protect us and achieve herd immunity.

Prepared by Dr Bee Boon Peng with input from members of the SGM Beacon Group.