Petaling Jaya, Malaysia | Asia Samachar | 26 April 2015
The Selangor state government has agreed to make the Vaisakhi open house an annual state-sponsored event from 2016 onwards.
The decision, supported by the Selangor mentri besar Azmin Ali, was announced at the Selangor Vaisakhi Open House in Petaling Jaya last night.
“We are commitment to support minority religious places. If you have issues, come see us,” said Selangor state exco member Ganapathy Rao.
He represented Azmin who could not attend the function organised by the Coalition of Malaysian Sikh Organisations (CMSO) and supported by various NGOs and gurdwaras in Selangor.
Among others, the state governments in Penang, Perak and Johor have also in the recent years provided financial support for their respective state level Vaisakhi open houses.
At the Federal level, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture this year sponsored the Festival Vaisakhi 1Malaysia, with the minister announcing that it would include the event in Malaysia’s tourism calendar.
The Selangor open house yesterday was earlier disrupted when strong winds in a late afternoon thunderstorm blew away a few tents pitched for the event. Some exhibitors suffered losses when their merchandise got wet in the rain, including musical instruments of the Kuala Lumpur-based SGGS Gurmat Sangeet Academy.
In his speech, Ganapathy outlined some of the assistance given to the Sikh community in the state. Among others, the state had resolved an issue involving the Shah Alam gurdwara, and provided extra land for Puchong and Kuala Kubu Bharu.
He also announced a RM50,000 allocation for Punjabi education in the state channelled via the Punjabi Education Trust Malaysia, a wing of the Punjabi Education Trust Malaysia (PETM), which in turn is the education wing of the Khalsa Diwan Malaysia.
“I am thankful and grateful to the efforts of all gurdwaras. The show of unity humbles me. The same goes with the Selangor NGOs, they all came forward in full force,” CMSO secretary general Autar Singh told Asia Samachar.
The food prepared for guests of the open house were prepared and delivered by some of the gurdwaras in Selangor.
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