By Hb Singh
The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) is hopeless when it comes to the social media. This is one of the biggest challenge before the new council leadership, half of whom are probably clueless as to how to make social media work for the organisation and the community at large.
Another challenge before the present team is to work out its leadership succession and attract fresh talent into its fold.
The council, an organisation that can play a significant role in the lives of Sikhs in this nation as it provides leadership to 110 member gurdwaras, needs to do some serious work on both counts.
One key item that should be on the agenda of the newly elected leadership must surely be deploying social media into their spooks and wheels, and they need to act fast.
When the council launched its website and an e-newsletter in August 2016, it was a major achievement for the organisation. Now, now, celebrating a website? That’s like so yesterday. See here. They should have had a website more than a decade ago.
MGC RESPONSE, SEE HERE
The council tasked to talking to and working with some 100 gurdwaras nationwide does not even have a Facebook page. Beat that!
You can appreciate their fears. A Facebook page, for example, has to be actively managed. There would be comments and brickbats. There would be sharing and yet more comments. There would be queries. Managing the avalanche can be a gigantic task, more so if you are not savvy in negotiating your way on the social media.
The fears are real. There are many out there who would not bat an eyelid before attacking others. We have seen in the past how some Sikh organisations and individuals have been incessantly attacked, rightly or wrongly. There are some Sikhs – we’re sure you will find the same for the other faiths – who have made it their mission to spew venom online.
The MGC was under intense fire as it waded into issues like the Dasam Granth and Sikh Rehat Maryada. Tempers flayed and emotions went into overdrive during online discussions of these and other topics.
Managing the online clutter is no easy task. Like many Sikh outfits, the MGC leadership is made up of volunteers. Jagir Singh, who was reelected as president for another two-year term, for example, is a lawyer. After family and work, they set aside what little time they have for community work. Handling the social media noise can be seen as precisely that – noise.
But that is no reason for them not to have a presence on the social media front. Any organisation worth its salt must have a decent presence online, and a social media strategy.
Now, onto leadership. When Asia Samachar interviewed Jagir before the 2015 annual general meeting of the MGC, he declared on record that that would be his last term. But he’s still around, and still heading the organisation.
Before we proceed, let us state this much. There is nothing wrong with Jagir personally. He has devoted much time and energy to the MGC as well as the national interfaith movement. He has done a tremendous job.
However, leadership transition is a key responsibility of a sitting team. He has failed on this count. Now, he has to make the next two years count. Sort the leadership succession.
For a start, attract new faces into the leadership of the MGC and gurdwaras nationwide. Do this and you would have presented the organisation a perfect parting gift.
[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] 16542
MGC president Jagir, team elected unopposed (Asia Samachar, 11 Nov 2017)
MGC rolls out e-magazine, revamps website (Asia Samachar, 24 Aug 2016)