Singapore—An acting abbot has been appointed by the governing board to head the Leong San See Temple at Race Course Road. He will be assisted by a senior abbot. The appointment is in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct against the former abbot Venerable Tuan Boon.
The former abbot, who is 58 years old has been diagnosed with diabetes, and is facing allegations of sexual misconduct. He is also in poor health at present and is confined at Farrer Park Hospital, where is undergoing dialysis.
It was also reported by The Straits Times (ST) on Friday, November 15, that the abbot is currently recovering from a stroke and that he had come from Poo Thor Jee Temple in Tanjong Pagar before becoming abbot of Leong San See Temple.
In a statement dated November 17, Sunday, the temple said, “Given Ven Tuan Boon’s serious medical condition, the governing board of the temple held a management meeting on Friday and with immediate effect appointed Ven Chuan Wu to be acting abbot and Ven Wei Kang to assist.
We are doing this in the interest of corporate governance and to ensure the smooth running of the temple. Internally, we will also be looking at this case and address any concerns that may have arisen.”
Ven Chuan Wu has been a trustee of Leong San See Temple for more than six years. He is at present the abbot at the Beow Hong Lim Temple in Penang. Ven Wei Kang has helped out regularly at the Temple for a number of years now and is from another Buddhist temple in the country.
On Thursday, a Facebook user put up a post containing pictures and descriptions of the Venerable Tuan Boon allegedly having sexual contact with different men.
The temple, which is 102 years old, has denied these allegations and has also filed a police report against the Facebook user, who claimed to have been a temple devotee who wanted to tell the truth about the inappropriate acts in order to protect the religion.
According to the governing board of Leong San See Temple, a report has been filed as well with the Commissioner of Charities, and that it takes the situation seriously.
“We note with anguish and sadness several media reports about Ven Tuan Boon involving some unflattering allegations,” the statement said.
“Firstly, we wish to say the Ven Tuan Boon is very distressed by all these reports especially since it comes at a time when he is taken ill. We seek that his privacy be respected and wish him a full recovery.”
The board first heard of the post concerning the alleged sexual allegations on the day of its posting.
“We’d like to emphasise that this Facebook account is not created by the temple and is created by an unauthorised person,” the statement added since the Facebook user carried the temple’s name in Chinese.
The police have confirmed that an official report was filed, but said that no further action would be carried out after a consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
On November 17, the police said, ”Where the conduct in question is between two consenting adults in a private place, the position generally is that prosecution will not be in the public interest.” -/TISG