KUALA LUMPUR: Online radio station DurianAsean, which held a forum on cult issues last year, is organising another event on July 22.
The "Pure Stream of Dharma" Forum, which is organised with Buddhist organisations, will gather leaders and Dharma workers from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
DurianAsean founder Jamaluddin Ibrahim said this was their second forum on cult issues.
"Last year, we successfully held a forum to address these issues … and there was tremendous support from the public. It is a bigger forum this time with more than 20 Buddhist organisations joining us," he said.
In conjunction with the event which will be held at the Connexion Conference & Event Centre, Bangsar South, the radio station will be hosting several talk shows on the topic, such as ways to promote awareness of cult issues, how to handle them, and freedom of religion.
"We are also looking to launch a movement called iCAN, Integral Cult Awareness Network," said Sherab Wong, a translator and student of Tibetan Buddhism.
"It is happening here in Malaysia. We see new 'religions' or fake teachers. We want to create public awareness, so that we can deal with it collectively," he said.
Kong Keen Yung, an author and a former cult member, said with the freedom of religion, people could choose their beliefs.
"At the same time, cult leaders can also claim many things and this can lead to abuse. The public needs to be informed. They have to be mindful of when these leaders are overstepping boundaries by asking for financial or even sexual favours," he said.
Social activist Hishammudin Rais said a cult was not only limited to "religious" types.
"We usually think of cult leaders like Jim Jones. But there are also political leaders or multi-level marketing leaders who emulate cult leaders," he said.
Kong, Wong and Hishammuddin are some of the speakers of the talk shows.