China media seek probe into al­le­ga­tions against scan­dal-hit ‘CEO monk’

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Lurid al­le­ga­tions against the head of China’s Shaolin tem­ple — renowned as the birthplace of kung fu — must be in­ves­ti­gated by the gov­ern­ment, state media said Mon­day, af­ter for­mer monks ac­cused him of phi­lan­der­ing and cor­rup­tion.

The ab­bot, Shi Yongxin, has long been known as the “CEO monk” for trans­form­ing the an­cient Bud­dhist tem­ple into a global com­mer­cial en­ter­prise.

For­mer monks have ac­cused Shi of liv­ing a lux­ury lifestyle com­plete with a fleet of fancy cars, em­bez­zling money from a tem­ple- run com­pany and fathering chil­dren with two women.

“A nail stick­ing up gets ham­mered, as the say­ing goes, and what this monk has done has been con­tro­ver­sial from the very be­gin­ning,” the gov­ern­ment- pub­lished China Daily said in an ed­i­to­rial.

Shi has been a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure for more than two decades af­ter he be­gan de­vel­op­ing com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties af­fil­i­ated to the tem­ple, but the mount­ing pres­sure may in­di­cate he can no longer fend off crit­ics.

“An in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the rel­e­vant cen­tral author­i­ties is nec­es­sary,” the pa­per added. “How the rev­enue from the tem­ple’s com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties has been spent needs to be made public.”

So far only the lo­cal re­li­gious af­fairs bureau has said it will in­ves­ti­gate the claims. The tem­ple has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, call­ing them “vi­cious li­bel.”

The Shaolin tem­ple was es­tab­lished in 495 A. D. and is known as the birthplace of Zen Bud­dhism and Chi­nese kung fu.

One tem­ple pro­ject in Aus­tralia is slated to boast a house of wor­ship, kung fu academy, ho­tel and golf course — and pro­jected to cost AU$ 380 mil­lion ( US$ 281 mil­lion).

Shi, the first Chi­nese monk to earn a master’s de­gree in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion, has long de­nied the busi­nesses are profit- mo­ti­vated, in­sist­ing that the tem­ple was sat­is­fy­ing an over­seas in­fat­u­a­tion with “Shaolin cul­ture.”

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