Controversial MLM founder now a monk - for a while

Controversial MLM founder now a monk - for a while
Embracing monkhood: Zhang clothed in a garb worn by monks at a temple in Thailand.

KUALA LUMPUR - Zhang Jian, founder of the controversial YSLM multi-level marketing business, has become a monk.

The self-proclaimed Chinese millionaire is undergoing a 100-day temporary ordination programme at a temple in Thailand.

However, the head shaving ceremony was only held on Friday, a month after the programme begun.

Zhang has been given the Buddhist name "Fo Yun" which means the words of Buddha.

The company's charity wing chairman Datuk John Lee Kim Tian told China Press that becoming a monk was Zhang's way of fulfilling the vow he had made.

"Like all monks, Zhang has to beg for alms from the public daily. He will read Buddhist scriptures and clean the temple during free time," said Lee, who returned from Thailand yesterday after witnessing the ceremony together with some 100 company members.

He claimed that Zhang donated RM394,330 (S$156,032) to the temple after his company's global revenue was said to have hit the RM50bil mark.

In early July, Zhang made headlines in the Malaysian media when billboards of him appeared in Penang, proclaiming himself as the "future richest man in the world".

He also awarded his lucky "distributors" with luxury cars.

The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry is also investigating YSLM - also known as Yun Shu Mao - of being linked to a get-rich-quick scam.

Soon after, Zhang left for Thailand.

The company later offered a refund to those who had not introduced any new member to the company.

Hundreds of people accepted the offer within a week.

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