| Puchong, Malaysia | 16 July 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Good news for the Sikh campsite at Kuala Kubu Bharu (KKB) and gurdwaras in the state of Selangor.
The Selangor state government gave RM200,000 to 18 gurdwaras for their upkeep and rehabilitation, the second consecutive year for such funding.
At the same time, Selangor has also approved to drastically slash the RM1.9 million land conversion premium levied on Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia’s (SNSM) campsite in KKB called the Khalsa Land.
“Here’s an example of where the state government sat down, listened to us and understood why we need this piece of land…This is a celebration for all Sikhs, not just in Selangor,” Puchong Member of Parliament (MP) Gobind Singh Deo told a press conference in Puchong today.
Also present was Selangor state exco member V Ganabatirau, who chairs the state permanent committee for poverty, caring government and estate workers. He sits in the Selangor exco headed by Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali.
In 2015, The Selangor state government allocated RM130,000 to nine gurdwaras and one Sikh association.
The 16 gurdwaras that received their cheques today were from Ampang, Kalumpang, Serdang, Sunway, Batang Berjuntai, Klang, Rawang, Port Klang, Rasa, Bukit Beruntung, Selayang Baru, Putra Heights, Kajang, Petaling Jaya, Setia City and Shah Alam.
Gobind said he would also discuss with the Selangor state government on an annual funding for Sikhs in the state.
On the Khalsa Land approval, Gobind said the move comes after an approval from the Selangor state exco, for which he thanked Ganabatirau for his ‘personal attention’ to the matter.
Now, SNSM would only have to pay RM1,000 each for the four plots of land, and another RM192,650 for statutory requirement for drainage and related matters.
On the future development at the camp site, he said: “We are not looking at the next year or two, but the next 10 or 20 years. I think, we as Sikhs, have to start appreciating the fact that we are growing in numbers.
“If we can have an institute of learning, that bring our people together, and enrich them in terms of our cultural and religious history, that is something that all of us should work towards, and should support,” said Gobind.
SNSM, an organisation set up in early 1960s and officially registered in 1967, bought a 22 acres piece of land in KKB, about 80km from the Kuala Lumpur city centre in 2002 for RM1.7 million.
In 2010, the Selangor state approved the conversion of the land status from an agricultre to commercial, though they applied for institutional use.
A levy of RM1.9 million was charged for the move. A team from SNSM has been at work since then to obtain a waiver, which would allow the organisation to use its funding towards developing the camp site.
Camp Report: Seremban Naujawans ‘awesome’ time at Khalsa Land (Asia Samachar, 12 July 2016)
Malaysian Sikh NGOs urged to tap Federal Govt funding, deadline 11 April (Asia Samachar, 19 March 2016)
Naujawan Sabha is broke (Asia Samachar, 14 March 2016)