The 95 year old Kajang gurdwara has kickstart a process to draw up a master plan for the next decade with a view of positioning the place of worship as a focal point for the Sikh community where individuals and families can gather and flourish in Sikhism.
In drawing up the master plan for 2018-2030, Gurdwara Sahib Kajang (GSK) is looking at how it can attract a wider participation of the local Sikh community as well as more effective ways to reach out to them.
“For a start, we will gather comprehensive data on the Sikh population in Kajang and its surrounding areas. The brainstorming session today underlined the importance of proper data to better serve the congregation,” GSK committee president Ranjit Singh told Asia Samachar after the completion of a one-day brainstorming session at the gurdwara today (9 Dec 2017).
The session also discussed ways and means to enhance learning of Gurmat and the Punjabi language as well as preparing a succession planning for the gurdwara committee leadership.
“One of our goals is to be a centre of excellence for education,” he said.
The gurdwara committee last launched a master plan in 2004, believed the first such plan drawn up for the gurdwara in modern times.
SEE ALSO: Roles and functions of a gurdwara
“We were in a bit of crisis at the point of time. We were on the verge of losing the gurdwara land as the authorities were drawing up plans for other developments around the gurdwara,” Ranjit told participants of the session.
How things have changed. Since then, the gurdwara committee has managed to purchase a piece of land, measuring just under one acre, adjoining the gurdwara for RM833,000. Today, it is estimated to be worth some RM5 million.
The committee had also successfully built a four-storey building to house its Punjabi Education Centre which has some 80 students learning the mother tongue on weekends. The building also consist of the committee office, library, meeting room and 13 classrooms.
“We took a bank loan to build the building. We still owe the bank about RM2.2 million,” he said.
The gurdwara committee is one of the trustees for a road fronting land, just under three acres, between the towns of Kajang and Serdang.
Sikhs moved to the Kajang area in the early 1880s. The earliest Sikh pioneers who settled near Kajang were two brothers, Bhan Singh (later appointed the first Sikh Justice of the Peace in the state of Selangor in 1920) and his younger brother Dhan Singh.
They established their bullock cart transport service after obtaining a lucrative contract to fill up the marshy land where the present High Court building in Kuala Lumpur stands. By the early 1990s, the brothers had established the Guru Nanak Rubber Estate in Ulu Langat that was over 500 acres in size, according to a write-up on the gurdwara.
Due to their efforts, the authorities had allotted a land in Kajang, a town in the Ulu Langat district, as a Sikh Temple Reserve. It was gazetted on 4 Nov 1921. A single storey wooden structure with concrete pillars and an tiled roof was completed in 1922. In 1970, it was rebuilt at a cost of RM45,000, with RM25,000 funding from the state government.
The GSK welcomes input for the GSK Master lan 2018-2030. Please email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ranjit Singh at +6012-2811042
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