Ipoh gurdwara president defends actions, says no more response from him

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| Ipoh, Malaysia | 1 March 2016 | Asia Samachar |
WGSI committee president Amarjit Singh Gill
WGSI committee president Amarjit Singh Gill

The Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Ipoh (WGSI) team is determined to push ahead with plans to purchase land and planned major renovation despite a minor fracas at its annual general meeting on Sunday on issues concerning membership.

The ‘immediate plan’ of the WGSI gurdwara management team (GMC) is to purchase the land which sits in between of the gurdwara and the Sikh crematorium and the darbar sahib renovation.

In a 900-word response today (1 March 2016) via his Facebook page, GGSI committee president Amarjit Singh Gill defended his actions to call for police presence at the gurdwara during the AGM and issues surrounding gurdwara membership.

SEE ALSO: Ipoh gurdwara president lodges criminal intimidation report, lorry driver held

SEE ALSO: Police show up at Ipoh gurdwara AGM

SEE ALSO: Are our Gurdwaras Dysfunctional? The Assessment

“I note that many innuendos and comments have been made against me and the Committee on social media and whatsapp. As a Jathedar and a humble sewadar of the Gurdwara Sahib and the Sangat, I am just doing the best I can for the Gurdwara Sahib and Sangat. Waheguru is my witness and my conscious is absolutely clear. I will not be responding anymore on this issue,” he says.

He had also detailed the alleged behaviour of one gurdwara member two days before the AGM, and an alleged attack by another member on the gurdwara committee member during the AGM.

In immediate réponses, one reader who claims he was present at the AGM have challenged Amarjit’s version of the events and queried what , questioning the GMC had done to urge members to update their membership fees called chanda.

“You could go around to sangat’s house begging for votes but now you can’t even inform them to pay up their dues,” said one Facebook user.

Another Facebook user with the handle Satish Dhillon claimed that when Amarjit ran for the gurdwara presidency for the first time in 2013, he had ‘come to my house saying you have paid up my grandmother’s chanda for 2 years…’

 

 

Here is the full text od Amarjit’s response: 

WJKK, WJKF.

Although I do not wish to bring the issue to social media on incidents relating to Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Ipoh (WGSI) AGM on 28th February, 2016, but due to the numerous and repeated request by the Sangat, I am issuing a statement to clear the air on the inaccurate & false information that has been circulating on the social media, whatsapp, etc.

Two days prior to the AGM (26/2/2016), when I was with 2 personnel from the Registrar of Societies at the WGSI office, a man in the name of Darshan Singh s/o Tarlochan Singh also known as Bithe whose membership had expired as per the Constitution for not paying the monthly subscription of RM 1 per month for 2 years had come to the office (which is situated below the Darbar Sahib) in a very disturbing and rude manner and had shouted at the top of his voice, using the most vulgar language (in Gurdwara Sahib) in Punjabi, English and Bahasa Melayu. He had repeatedly kicked, banged on the door of the office, and tried to force open the door including almost breaking the office door and counter shutter and threaten to come to the AGM with his people and break the head of the President and the Committee Members. The Registrar of Societies personnels who were present were shocked with the aggressiveness and roughness of him and they requested me not to open the door as they were also very afraid of their safety. After continuing his rampage for about 15 minutes, he left the Gurdwara Sahib. Thereafter, I immediately made a Police Report against him on the same day for the threat that he had made and for my safety and also the safety of the Committee, including the damage that he had caused. 

On the day of the AGM, the brother of this person, Ram Singh s/o Tarlochan Singh attacked a Committee Member physically when he was requested to sign his attendance before entering the AGM hall and the said Committee Member was injured. Some Sangat tried to stop the violence by him but he could not be controlled. When I tried to diffuse the situation, he barged towards me and attacked me as well including chocking me at my neck. This all happened even before the AGM began! Even in the AGM Hall, Ram Singh continued to shout and provoke. 

It was only after the physical attacks on me and the Committee Member that the Police were called and they arrived at the Gurdwara some 30 minutes later. If all this could have happen in the Gurdwara Sahib even before the AGM began, what could possibly happen at the AGM once it actually starts? 

If things go really nasty, do we have to wait for something most regretful to happen before we call for help? 

Any sensible or right thinking person would call the Police for the Safety of the Sangat as the Committee and Sangat comprises of senior citizens and ladies as well.

Any form of Physical Attack or Vulgarity must never be tolerated at a Gurdwara Sahib. As a Jathedar of the Gurdwara, it is very disheartening to see this happening. However, it is my duty to ensure the safety of the Sangat and my conscious is clear ! 

Fortunately, with the police presence, things were under control. All this anger is because of them loosing their membership due to their own default of not paying up their subscription of RM 24.00 for 2 years. They keep on hitting on me as though it is me who have removed them from the membership but in actual fact, it is they who had failed to pay up their Subscription not 1 but for 2 years. It is the duty of Members to pay for the subscription and not the Gurdwara to go chasing for collection of subscription. 

As much as I agree that the Gurdwara Sahib belongs to the Sangat, but the fact is every Gurdwara in Malaysia runs based on a Registration with the Registrar of Societies and therefore bound by its Constitution & Bye Laws. Under the WGSI Constitution, it states that ‘A member in arrears of subscription for two (2) years continuously shall automatically cease to be a member’. Therefore, due to that, several members had their membership lapsed due to non payment of subscription which is RM 12.00 a year (RM 1.00 a month) x 2 years= RM 24.00. 

As much as we want to reinstate their membership, but with due respect, there is no provision in the Constitution to allow an arbitrary reinstatement of a ceased membership. We have numerously requested them to fill up the form and send it to the office.

I note that many innuendos and comments have been made against me and the Committee on social media and whatsapp. As a Jathedar and a humble sewadar of the Gurdwara Sahib and the Sangat, I am just doing the best I can for the Gurdwara Sahib and Sangat. Waheguru is my witness and my conscious is absolutely clear. I will not be responding anymore on this issue.

With the blessings from Waheguru and after receiving an unanimous mandate from the AGM on a land purchase, our Committee’s immediate plan is to secure the purchase of the Land which sits in between of the Gurdwara Sahib and the Sikh Crematorium for the use and benefit of the Sikh Community and Sangat and also for the upcoming Major Renovation of the Main Darbar Sahib starting from 27th June, 2016 till early December, 2016. 

Gurfateh

Dato’ Amarjit Singh Gill
Jathedar
Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Ipoh

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Punjabi Sikhs are their own worst enemy. When Sikh elitist keep gurdwara and Sikhs at an arm’s length they are accused of being snobs. When they take an active part in Gurdwara they are still not spared from accusations.

    1. What can’t be denied is this family’s contribution to WGSI. How it looks today is a stark contrast to what it used to be. That is a step forward. Appreciate and give credit for it.

    2. I don’t see the issue of Sikhs being used for political purposes. It’s about time we got ourselves some political muscle and considering the number of Sikhs, I don’t see a better place to start than Ipoh.

    Give the current Jathedar a fair attempt to prove himself. Remember, je Sikh, Sikh nu na marre ta Sikh kaum Kade na Harre.

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