There is in fact no tenable defence for the inordinate indiscretion of Senior Pastor Rony Tan of the Lighthouse Evangelism church for his denigration of Buddhism and Taoism in his "miracle service". The pastor is in fact a charming and rational personality normally and exudes charisma in conducting his miracle and Sunday services at the Lighthouse Evangelism church. Attendees at the church were invariably mesmerised by his sermons which were delivered with his inimitable splendor. His genial disposition endears him to his parishioners. He has given so much of his life to the salvation of the seriously-ill who flocked to his miracle services for miracle cures. And this is a phenomenon which has to be witnessed to be believed. Even doctors who had been invited to attend such services were amazed at the "miracles".
Many people were stunned when they witnessed the incredible performance of Senior Pastor Rony Tan on online video clips when he ridiculed Buddhism in his disparaging comments about the religion. There was no doubt that these were insensitive comments which horrified and outraged the Buddhists. There was extensive public clamour for drastic action to be taken against Pastor Tan including detention under the ISA. The outburst of outrages was something to be expected considering the sensitivity of the issue. But it was up to the government security organisation, in this case the Internal Security Department (ISD), to assess the situation and take a rational view as to the type of action to be taken. In their professional assessment, they considered it adequate just be calling up Pastor Tan for a dressing down for his insensitive comments about Buddhism and a stern advice not to run down other religions in his preaching and proselytising.
Pastor Rony Tan should thank his God to be let off so lightly. He has posted an apology on the church's website, promising to respect other faiths and "not ridicule them in any way, shape and fashion". But some diehard Buddhists have maintained that posting an apology on the church's website is a lukewarm effort with its limited readership. It transpires now that TV Singapore has given quite comprehensive news reporting in all four languages of Pastor Rony Tan's apology and this should satisfy any lingering doubts as to the pastor's sincerity. Even DPM Wong Kan Seng has expressed his satisfaction with the final development.
Both the Singapore Buddhist Federation and the Singapore Taoist Federation have shown magnanimity in their response to this issue. This unfortunate polemic should now be considered closed.