Date
27 April 2017
Mary Jean Reimer (right) confronts a "Buddhist monk" soliciting donations from pedestrians near the East Rail station in Tai Po on Wednesday. Photo: YouTube
Mary Jean Reimer (right) confronts a "Buddhist monk" soliciting donations from pedestrians near the East Rail station in Tai Po on Wednesday. Photo: YouTube

Solicitor uncovers fake Buddhist monk in Tai Po

Solicitor Mary Jean Reimer, who played a key role in uncovering a donations scandal at the Ting Wai Monastery last year, is pursuing her campaign against similar shenanigans, this time exposing a fake Buddhist monk and stopping him from soliciting donations in the streets.

In a video she uploaded to her Facebook account on Wednesday, Reimer confronted a man dressed in Buddhist monk habit who was seeking donations from passersby near the East Rail station in Tai Po, thestandnews.com reports.

Asked for his identification papers, the man produced the document.

However, she revealed that the man only had the equivalent rank of a cadet and therefore could not be called a monk.

“You are not yet a monk and you would violate Hong Kong laws by begging on the street as a tourist holding travel documents,” she told the man.

The man tried to defend himself by saying he is indeed a monk and could collect donations from the public in Hong Kong, like what he was doing in the mainland. 

Reimer then challenged him to recite the Great Compassion Mantra Song to prove that he is a monk.

The man confessed he did not know the Buddhist song, which every monk should be very familiar with.

Reimer then offered to teach the man the Buddhist song, but the man decided to leave instead.

On her Facebook page, the actress-turned-lawyer said such incidents point to the need to establish a recognized Buddhist organization in order to protect the reputation of the religion and prevent fake monks from pulling scams on the public.

Reimer also called on law enforcers to increase their presence in Hong Kong’s tourist districts.

In October last year, Reimer revealed that an abbess running the Ting Wai Monastery in Tai Po had mishandled donations and lived an extravagant lifestyle, leading to the latter’s arrest.

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