| Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 23 Nov 2015 | Asia Samachar |
Maintaining a harmonious working relationship with the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and not wanting to get embroiled in the Indian and Punjab politics.
These were among the reasons cited by leaders of Sikh organisation that attended functions in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (22 Nov 2015) to honour Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who made his maiden visit to Malaysia.
“By accepting the invite, we are keeping the relationship going with the Indian High Commission in Malaysia. We have benefitted from the relationship in the past,” Parti Punjabi Malaysia (PPM) president Gurjeet Singh Rhande tells Asia Samachar in a phone conversation.
“The pengeh (shenanigans) in Punjab is becaue of Badal, not Modi,” Sikh Welfare Society Malaysia (SWSM) president Dr Jaspall Singh tells Asia Samachar in a separate conversation.
He was making reference to the Punjabi chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
These were among the dozen or so Sikh organisations that ignored a call by a group of Sikh NGOs, which came together under the name of a Task Force, that had earlier ‘advised’ Sikh NGOs and individuals not to attend functions or programmes held in conjunction with the Modi visit ‘due to PM Modi’s failure to issue a statement condemning the attacks on the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the violations of human rights against the Sikh protestors’.
It was one of the four resolutions passed by at least 26 organisations, including Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC), an umbrella body of gurdwaras in the country, at a meeting in Petaling Jaya on 16 Nov.
The task force had also expressed its disappointment that there had been no response to a memorandum sent to Modi, via the High Commission, earlier.
Gurjeet, who was re-elected as president for Perak Sikh Union (PSU) for a two-year term in July 2015, also said that he did not get an invite to the task force meeting which decided on the Modi visit.
He is also a deputy president of the Malaysian Singapore Sikh Sports Council (MSSSC). Its president Dr Kerpal Singh Pannu was also at the Modi function. In a message to Asia Samachar, Dr Kerpal said he was invited in his capacity as the president of the Malaysian Sikh Union (MSU).
SEE ALSO: MSSSC retains Dr Kerpal as president, Gurjeet made deputy (Asia Samachar, 17 Oct 2015)
Dr Jaspall, a dentist by profession, questioned what would be gained by boycotting the functions.
“In the past, we have met the High Commissioner many times to discuss issues. They have assisted with issues like land problems in Punjab or visa matters,” he said.
“We have also worked with them to assist Sikhs from India who are in the local prisons.”
The current Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia is T S Trimurti.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
PJ Resolution: Message from Malaysian Sikhs to Modi (Asia Samachar, 22 Nov 2015)
Let us engage, not boycott – SANTOKH (Kampar) (Asia Samachar, 20 Nov 2015)
22 Sikh NGOs to shun Modi events in Malaysia (Asia Samachar, 18 Nov 2015)
KL protest: Star TV runs video, front-page photo at The Malaysian Reserve (Asia Samachar, 28 Oct 2015)
STATEMENT: Sikhs nationwide gather in KL to hand memo to Indian authorities (Asia Samachar, 27 Oct 2015)
Punjab protest: What they are fighting against (Asia Samachar, 26 Oct 2015)
Full force at Hong Kong peaceful march (Asia Samachar, 26 Oct 2015)
30 orgs, 125 gurdwaras in Malaysia condemn use of lethal force in Punjab (Asia Samachar, 25 Oct 2015)
Beadbi issue ‘wake up call’ for Indonesian Sikhs (Asia Samachar, 23 Oct 2015)
Sikhs worldwide in 40-day prayer protest – STAR (Asia Samachar, 21 Oct 2015)
Hong Kong Sikhs to protest SGGS beadbi on Oct 25 (Asia Samachar, 20 Oct 2015)
CSGB urges Singapore Sikhs to do personal prayers for Punjab (Asia Samachar, 20 Oct 2015)
Malaysian Sikhs discuss action on Punjab issue, Singapore to issue statement tomorrow (Asia Samachar, 19 Oct 2015)
Lawyer challenges Akal Takht order on new gurdwaras (Asia Samachar, 27 Sept 2015)
Akal Takht approval for new gurdwaras worldwide edict comes under question (Asia Samachar, 12 Sept 2015)
The fallen amongst us (Asia Samachar, 22 Aug 2015)