Sikh family battles to save century old bungalow in Rawang

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Maljindar talking about the imminent demolition of his family bungalow in Rawang – Photo grab from The Mole

A 97-year old bungalow belonging to a Sikh family – said to be one of the first to receive electricity in Malaya – is about to be demolished, unless the Selangor state government intervenes.

It’s a story of a long, hard battle between the family and the mighty corporate world.

The bungalow is located in Rawang, a fast-growing township about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur.

There is a sizeable Sikh population in Rawang and it’s surrounding areas like Kuala Kubu Bharu, Rasa and Bukit Beruntung, many of them going back to more than a century ago.

“The bungalow was built in 1920. My family moved into it in 1959,” Maljindar Singh Sidhu Brar, popularly known as Jimmy Sidhu, told Asia Samachar. “The matter lies entirely in the hands of the Mentri Besar of Selangor.”

The story of the bungalow in distress was highlighted today in a report by The Mole, a Malaysian media portal.

The bungalow was built by British mining company Rawang Tin Fields, which was later known as Berjuntai Tin Dredging Bhd, in 1920 for their management staff.

“My Dada Ji (paternal grandfather) bought it for RM3,500 in 1959,” he tells Asia Samachar.

The bungalows were sold when the tin mining industry collapsed. The last company occupant of the bungalow was a British accountant.

Maljindar’s grandfather, Nika Singh, came to Malaya in the 1920s.

“My dada Ji was a jaga in the mines after retiring from the police force,” he said. Jaga is a Malay word for watchman. It literally means to guard.

Rawang house set for demolition – Photo grab The Mole

In the report entitled ‘Last hope for century old bungalow’, The Mole said Maljindar has gone through a 10-year long legal battle to save his family’s century old bungalow from demolition.

In the end he lost in court and the Sino-Malay-Palladian bungalow at No 4, Jalan Kuala Garing, here was ordered to be demolished on September 20. Maljindar, however, is not giving up his fight, the report said.

In what was described as his last resort, Maljindar is asking the Selangor government to intervene and approve his eighth land alienation application, it added.

Maljindar told The Mole that only the state government can prevent cement manufacturing companies, Associated Pan Malaysia Cement Sdn. Bhd. (APMC), and La Farge Cement Sdn. Bhd., from demolishing his family’s bungalow.

See full story here.

See video report here.

[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]

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