| Ipoh, Malaysia | 25 April 2016 | Asia Samachar |
The Perak state government has allocated RM100,000 towards the 13 Punjabi Education Centres (PECs) operating in the state.
Perak Chief Minister Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir had earlier committed a minimum sum of RM65,000 for development of Sikhs, particularly in the area of education, when officiating the Vaisakhi Open House for the third consecutive year.
The funding amount was later increased to RM100,000, the organising committee chairman Dr Jasvinder Singh confirmed when contacted by Asia Samachar.
In February 2015, 13 Punjabi Education Centres (PECs) in Perak received funding of RM5,000 each, totalling RM65,000, from the state government. The funding was carved out from the RM500,000 budget allocated for the Sikh community by the state government.
In the Johor state level Vaisakhi function, the state government had committed an allocation of RM200,000 for the administrative and maintenance costs of the six gurdwaras in the state.
At the Vaisakhi function, Dr Zambry lauded Sikhs, despite being small in numbers, for helming commendable positions across professions such as doctors and lawyers, citing that Sikhs play an integral role in contributing towards the larger development.
The open house, now in its third edition, is collectively organised by the State Government in collaboration with the local gurdwaras and Sikh non-governmental associations in Perak, according to a statement released on behalf of the organising team.
Open house is a Malaysian tradition where communities hold a free food and fanfare like programme open to everyone. Usually, people just walk into the programme without requiring an invite or prior confirmation of attendance.
Highlights of the event included performances by children from various Punjabi schools in the state, traditional folklore featuring the giddha, bhangra and dhol, scrumptous spread of Punjabi delicacies and exhibitions on the Punjabi culture as well as martial arts or Gatka.
Sikhs students who achieved exponential results for the SPM examination were given recognition, whereas about 70 underprivileged children received goody bags during the event.
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