Public warned of bogus monks
Faridah Begum & Hwa Mei Shen
-- Before you dip into your pocket to donate to a saffron-robed monk who approaches you at
restaurants, coffeeshops and night markets, be warned.
not monks, they are con men.
MCA Public Service
and Complaints Department head Michael Chong has urged Malaysians to be wary of bogus
"If you want
to be generous in cash or kind, please go to the temples and donate.
been too many of these 'monks' in the city and, from experience, they are not what they
lead you to believe," said Chong.
He was responding
to complaints that men dressed as monks had been seen at night markets in Petaling Jaya
and Kuala Lumpur asking for alms and selling strings which had been "blessed."
Malaysian Buddhist Association secretary Lim Tien Phong said the people should be aware
that real monks do not approach the public for money.
He described the
presence of bogus monks as a "big problem," adding that the association had
taken the matter up with Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung and the police.
Association of Malaysia president Chong Hung Wang said it was not common for monks in
Malaysia to ask for alms, unlike in Thailand.
Malaysian Buddhist Co-ordination Committee was coming up with a poster to educate the
public on identifying bogus monks, he said.