What happens to gurdwaras with no Sanggat

| Letter | Malaysia | 6 May 2017 | Asia Samachar |
UNKEPT: The state of Petaling Jaya old gurdwara building – PHOTO / MOHAN SINGH

Petaling Jaya old gurdwara building in dire straits’ (Asia Samachar, 5 May 2017) is an example of what can happen to Gurdwaras when there is no Sanggat (congregation) or no one to manage.

Other examples include the Tumpat Gurdwara in Kelantan and Tapah Road in Perak. There may be others. The High Street Police Gurdwara in Kuala Lumpur may face the same future as the Sikh police personnel are just nominal. It may be difficult to manage two other Gurdwaras which have been accorded ‘heritage’ status: Jalan Parlimen and Pulapol. [Pulapol is short for Pusat Lathan Polis, or police training centre. There is a Gurdwara within the compounds of Pulapol Jalan Semarak in Kuala Lumpur].

SEE ALSO: Petaling Jaya old gurdwara building in dire straits 

SEE ALSO: Are our Gurdwaras Dysfunctional: The Root Causes

Titiwangsa in Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Krai in Kelantan may be next gurdwaras to be without Sanggat.

This fate may be of many others as the Sikhs continue to build more and more Gurdwaras whereas the number of Sikhs continues to decline except for ‘festival’ like crowds during Vaisakhi-Gurdwaras-Malacca Barsi.

It is suggested for consideration that the leadership of Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) examine the need of all the Gurdwaras in the country and make recommendation on their future. The little used Gurdwaras but standing on valuable lands may be considered to be sold and the proceeds used for benefit of the Sanggat if the need of the Gurdwara is not there. VIEWS OF SANGGAT SHOULD BE OBTAINED as those who object may include many who may already be at the door step to the next world and they should not be attached to the building as the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) teaches. A building is not a Gurdwara as a building becomes a gurdwara when the SGGS is installed.


Gursharan Singh,

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


[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]


Petaling Jaya old gurdwara building in dire straits (Asia Samachar, 5 May 2017)

Malaysia unveils 10-year blueprint for Malaysian Indians (Asia Samachar, 24 April 2017)

Parking at gurdwaras: As long as I’m OK, the rest can go to hell (Asia Samachar, 2 Sept 2016)

Managing gurdwara funds transparently, with accountability (Asia Samachar, 14 Feb 2016)

Are our Gurdwaras Dysfunctional: The Root Causes (Asia Samachar, 26 Jan 2016)




  1. Srd Gursharan u have your point .I was also in KB from 1981 to 1983 and 1984 to 1987 in Jerteh, Terengganu. I just want to bring to attention the efforts by the Sikhs there in running the affairs of the Gurdwara.
    Gur fateh.

  2. My apologies for any misinformation. My comments were based on the observed situation between 1976-1980 and again between 1993-1998 when I was KTM Audit Officer. The situation was same between 1981-1983 when I was the Head of the Int. Audit Dept of KESEDAR and based in KB. Supt of Police Sr. Shingara Singh with three other Police persons [all left KB on transfer later] and some other Sikhs including me decided to activate the non-functining Tumpat and K Krai Gurdwara Sahib Ji and started visiting them once a month.

    I am pleased that the two are having functions at these two Gurdwara Sahib Ji which stand on leased land from the then KTMB managed Government lands which were leased to Sikh soldiers in the British Army who were stationed there after WW2 and many of whom later married local women and made the places their permanent homes while most returned to Punjab.

    I have no comments on K Bharu Gurdwara Sahib JI which is also on State land as it has been active all the time. There were several attempts to demolish KB Gurdwara Sahib Ji building including again in 1982 but the demolition was prevented last minute by the efforts of Sr Shingara Singh and his colleagues even though the machines to demolish were at the gate of the Gurdwara Sahib Ji and this was enabled by their direct relationship with the then YAB MB.

    I also understand that Trengganu is the only State in Malaysia which does not have any Gurdwara as Trengganu does not have in sufficient numbers permanent local Sikhs and those who may be there may be from other States on short assignments.

    However it may be noted that Gurdwaras can only function effectively-efficiently-continuously if there are sufficient local interested/knowledgeable Sanggat and not when dependent on outsiders to organize periodical prayer and other activities or sessions. This may also apply to many other existing Gurdwaras in remote places when the young migrate to urban areas within and without the country while the elderly remain and wait for meeting their Maker and may not be healthy enough to keep the Gurdwara functioning.


    Apologies again for any misunderstanding.

    Gur Fateh

  3. Only yesterday the Sikhs from Kota Bharu, Kuala Krai and Tumpat celebrated Vaisakhi in Tumpat.Tumpat has a few Sikh families living around the Gurdwara. The Gurdwara is well taken care of by the few families living there. Last week the Sikhs there had gathered in the Kuala Krai Gurdwara to celebrate Vaisakhi. On Vaisakhi day all the Sikhs celebrated Vaisakhi in Kota Bharu. They even had a open house on Vaisakhi day. This has been going on for the past few years. Despite having a small group of Sikhs there they have done a marvellous job. Maybe the Gurdwara Committees in other towns should learn from them. Check out the Gurdwara Kota Bharu Facebook to know what’s going on there.they are an example of what Sikhs can do.