Sikh individuals and various Sikh organisations in Malaysia are joining hands with the rest of the nation to assist the victims of the nation’s worst flood situation.
Gurdwara Sahib Kampung Pandan — a Kuala Lumpur gurdwara with the Petronas twin towers within eye sight – has turned into one of the operations centres.
The United Sikhs, a UK-based humanitarian relief and advocacy organisation, has made the gurdwara its base to mobilise the distribution of food and other relief items.
Also on the forefront is the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Academy.
“The Malaysian Community and United Sikhs are collecting aid, rice, dried and canned food, water, blankets, medicines in Kg Pandan wadda Gurdwara to be sent to east coast of Peninsula Malaysia for immediate flood relief,” read a messsage on the Facebook of Rishiwant Singh, one of the key officials of the United Sikhs.
Yesterday, a combined mission by United Sikhs and the SGGS Academy flew a helicopter to Kuala Krai to bring back copies of the Guru Granth Sahib damaged in the flood. It was flown by Capt Bhagwan Singh from Helistar.
Gurdwara Sahib Kuala Krai, housed in a wooden double-storey building in a small town about 70km from Kota Bharu, Kelantan, was in the direct line of rising tide, being completely sub-merged for a few days at the height of the floods earlier this week.
The Sikh families staying there were unable to move the Guru Granth Sahib as the flood waters rose quickly and the electricity supply was cut-off. On top of it, there were limited rescue vessels.
The ride also took some 200kg of food and water, as well as equipments for clean up operations.
“The locals were awed looking at the heli landing right at the back of their homes….They told us they had yet to receive any assistance,” said Sunil Singh, a trustee of academy. “We took along buns, water and some noodles. We also had a water pump for them to clear their homes.”
At this juncture, the combined missions have send some 10,000 kg food and water via air to Kota Bharu, the state capital of the flood-ravaged Kelantan.
They had also sent a truck-load of food and drinks to Temerloh, Pahang.
“We parked our truck at a couple of spots, and distributed food. It was gone within a short period of time,” said Sunil.
The United Sikhs has made Gurdwara Sahib Kota Bharu as its distribution centre for north, with Sargeant Savraj Singh, a serving policeman, as its coordinator.
Tomorrow (Jan 1), Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) and a group from the Punjabi Bikerz are riding to Kuala Krai to assist in the clean up of the gurdwara.
The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) has initiated a fund raising effort to assist the repair and restoration of the gurdwara, estimated at RM60,000.
The last time such a ground swell of humanitarian work was seen in Malaysia was when the tsunami slammed into Aceh, Indonesia, in December 2004.
The incident saw the spontaneous formation of Global Sikhs, helmed by the SNSM.