Khalsa Land, a 20-acre Sikh campsite tucked at a lush jungle foothill just an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, received a massive boost from Sikhs in Malacca.
Gurdwara Sahib Malacca today (25 March 2018) approved a RM500,000 donation towards the community project undertaken by Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM).
“The Sanggat was unanimous in their support,” GSM committee president Karam Singh told Asia Samachar. “This is an important project for the community.”
The donation, believed to be the single largest donation from the gurdwara, was approved at the GSM annual general meeting today.
The Malacca gurdwara and SNSM share one thing in common – Baba Sohan Singh.
Baba Sohan, the former Malacca granthi and a respected parcharak (preacher), was made a patron of SNSM in early 1990s, about two decades after he passed away in 1972.
GSM and Sant Sohan Singh Ji Melaka Memorial Society, usually called the Malacca Vidyala with its headquarter adjoining the gurdwara complex, celebrates an annual programme in May in the memory of Baba Sohan. It is the largest annual Sikh gathering in Southeast Asia, attracting Sikhs from neighbouring Singapore and Indonesia.
On its part, SNSM organises what is believed to be the largest annual Sikh camp, which attracts close to 1,000 participants for a one week period. The camps, called Gurmat samelan, began in the early 1960s with Baba Sohan playing an instrumental role in encouraging them.
SNSM, an organisation set up in early 1960s and officially registered in 1967, bought a 22 acre piece of land in Kuala Kubu Bharu (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 agriculture to commercial, though they applied for institutional use.
In 2016, Selangor approved to drastically slash the RM1.9 million land conversion premium levied on the campsite.
Khalsa Land, though only partially equipped at this juncture, has already started to attract camps by Sikh groups from Malaysia and abroad.
The SNSM team is now preparing to kickstart the next phase of its development.
In 2002, GSM had donated RM160,000, or 10%, of the cost of the land. Vidyala had then donated RM60,000.
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