| Puchong, Malaysia | 24 Aug 2015 | Asia Samachar |
The Selangor state government should formalise the distribution of grants to the Sikh community, preferably with an annual allocation to the 24 gurdwaras and selected Sikh associations in the state.
“I’m of the view that the Selangor state government should consider an annual grant for the Sikh community. The Sikh population in Selangor is growing, and we have a vibrant presence of the youth these days,” Puchong Member of Parliament (MP) Gobind Singh Deo tells Asia Samachar.
The Selangor state government has allocated a total of RM120,000 to nine gurdwaras, with each gurdwara receiving between RM10,000 and RM20,000 each, while the Selangor Sikh Association (SSA) received RM10,000 [CLARIFIED].
On Sunday, Gobind presented cheques to representatives from Gurdwara Sahib Kajang (RM10,000), Gurdwara Sahib Shah Alam (RM20,000), Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya (RM20,000), Gurdwara Sahib Serendah (RM10,000), Gurdwara Sahib Port Klang (RM10,000), Gurdwara Sahib Bukit Beruntung (RM10,000) and SSA (RM10,000). Gurdwara Sahib Sunway (RM20,000) and Gurdwara Sahib Selayang (RM10,000) are expected to receive their chequs next month.
Present at the ceremony was Selangor state exco member V Ganabatirau, who chairs the state permanent committee for poverty, caring government and estate workers.
Also present were representatives from the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) and the Coalition of Malaysian Sikh Organisations (CMSO).
The Selangor state government had earlier announced that it had 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 by Ganabatirau at the Selangor Vaisakhi Open House in Petaling Jaya on April 25. [See story here].
Gobind said he held initial discussions on the idea of an annaul grant with Azmin and hopes to submit a working paper before the year-end.
“In the past, gurdwaras and associations have been approaching the state individually for grants. The amount is not certain. A lot of energy and time can be saved if we have a concrete, yearly position,” he says.
Gobind said the next meeting on the issue will be under the chairmanship of Ganabatirau, and hopes to get the involvement of all gurdwaras and state societies. “We are open to ideas from everyone concerned,” he adds.
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