Keeping of ‘long hair’, ‘facial hair’ and wearing of kara – MGC


MGC | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Asia Samachar |16 June 2015


[Letter from the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council, MGC, to gurdwaras and societies on a circular from the Malaysian Ministry of Education on keeping of ‘long hair’, ‘facial hairs’ and wearing of kara]



President/ secretary,

Gurdwara Sahib,


Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

Sardar/ Sardarni Jio,


Re: Keeping of “long hair” “Facial Hairs” and wearing of Bangle (Kara)


We forward herewith a copy of “Surat Pekeliling Ikhtisas Bil 9 Tahun 2015 – Panduan Berkenaan Rambut Dan Pemakaian Steel Bangle (Kara) oleh Murid-Murid Keturunan Sikh” dated 4.06.2015 which is self explanatory. (See Appendix “A”)

The circular is issued by Director General of Education Malaysia to all Division Directors and to all State Education Officers.

This Circular dated 4.06.2005 clarifies the earlier circular “Surat Pekeliling K.P.8543/vol ll(58) bertarikh 7hb. Januari 1976 ( See Appendix “B”) which earlier circular had created problems, and this new circular makes it clear that:

i) Male students teachers and staff of Sikh faith are allowed to keep unshorn hair and facial hair provided they are wearing turban and having jura (that is unshorn hair)

ii) that these students, teachers and staff of the Sikh faith are not subject to Surat Pekeliling Ikhtisas Bil 2/1976 bertarikh 7.1.1976 (i.e. Appendix “B”

iii) Para 6 of this new circular also makes it clear that students, teachers and staff  of the Sikh faith are allowed to wear bangle (Kara)

We also attach herewith the earlier circular “Surat Pekeliling Ikhtisas Bahagian 3 Tahun 2011” dated 27.04.2011 (Appendix “C”) for information.



The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council had written to the prime Minister’s Department in 2011 a letter dated 18.02.2011detailing the requirements of the Sikh faith including

keeping unshorn hair, facial hairs and wearing of bangle (kara) and highlighted the problems faced by Sikh students in Schools.

The Prime Ministers’s office then wrote letter dated 8.03.2011(Appendix “D”) to Y. Bhg Dato’ Abd. Ghafar bin Mahmud, Ketua Pengarah Pelajaran Malaysia forwarding a copy of our letter and asking for the matter to be sorted out.

The Ketua Pengarah Pelajaran Malaysia then issued “Surat Pekeliling Ikhtisas Bilangan 3 Tahun 2011 dated 27.04.2011 (Appendix “C”) allowing Sikh Students to keep long hair and to wear bangle (Kara). This circular was not clear as to the keeping of facial hairs by Sikh Students.

The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council then took up the matter again vide letter dated 27th February,2015 (Appendix “E”) with The Ministry Of Education and Director General of Education Officers.

At a meeting held on 4.03.2015 at the Director General of Education’s office, the officers requested the M.G.C. to put up the proposed amendments to rectify the matter.

M.G.C. then put-up the proposed ammendments vide letter dated 5.03.2015 (Appendix “F”) which were presented by hand at discussion on 6.03.2015. The M.G.C. was promised at this Meeting by the Director General of Education officers that a clarification circular would be issued in due course based on the ammendments sought.

This promised circular has now been issued as “Surat Pekeliling Ikhtisas Bil 9 Tahun 2015”. This circular has now further expressly provided that male Sikh Students can keep facial hairs.



The M.G.C. hopes that this New Circular 9 of 2015 dated 4.06.2015 will remove the confusion caused by earlier 2011 and 1976 circulars.

Appendix “A”, Appendix “B” and Appendix “C” are 3 circulars issued by the Director General of Education / K.S.U. on this matter. Appendix “A” is the latest circular clarifying the earlier circulars and allowing, amongest others, the keeping of Facial hairs by Sikh Students, etc.

The Gurdwaras are encouraged to keep a copy of this letter and attached circulars in Gurdwara’s office so that they are able to assist Sikh Students facing similar problems in Schools.

The M.G.C. believes that with the issue of this latest circular, dated 4th June 2015 the problems arising in the past relating to keeping of long hair by Sikh Students, keeping Facial hairs and wearing bangle (Kara) would be minimal in the future.

For any clarification kindly contact the M.G.C. office.


Jagir Singh, 

President, Malaysian Gurdwaras Council




[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE! Visit our website:]


Malaysian circular clarifies on unshorn hair, kara for Sikh students (Asia Samachar, 16 June 2015)

Peraturan rambut, pemakaian kara – CMSO (Asia Samachar, 11 Mar 2015)

School children asked to shave facial hair – GERAKSIKH (Asia Samachar, 11 Mar 2015)

Allow Sikh students to sport beard – The Star (Asia Samachar, 3 Mar 2015)

The Sikh’s PR problem – DAWINDER  (Asia Samachar, 8 Mar 2015)



  1. The letter does not solve the problems of the Sikhs if the Sikhs themselves to not follow their own religion.
    These questions or issues might arise later if we are not careful :
    1. What about a Sikh who just started keeping hair and beard after seen clean shaven and then started shaving it again say after a few months ?
    2. What of those Sikhs wearing only patka and does not know how to tie a turban or only goes to school with their jurra ?
    3. The circular stated wearing of kara must get permission from parents if if they cut their hair or not wearing turban. So now every sikh who does not keep hair must produce a letter from parents to wear a kara ?