We have a seat at the table

Today’s swearing in also brings new responsibilities and expectations from the Sikh community

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By BB | OPINION | MALAYSIA

Today, Sikhs in Malaysia witnessed something many thought they would never see in this lifetime. They saw an impressive turbaned gentleman being sworn in as a Cabinet Minister by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

Mr. Gobind Singh Deo, Member of Parliament for Puchong, was sworn in as the Communications and Multimedia Minister today, ushering in a brand-new chapter for Malaysian Sikhs who have long been accustomed to being “dan Yang Lain-Lain” (and others) in census studies, forms and other descriptors.

The second son of the Tiger of Jelutong – the late Sardar Karpal Singh, and Madam Gurmit Kaur, Gobind who is a lawyer by profession, has for long fought for the rights of the less privileged and marginalized.

From today, he is tasked with managing the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, in an era where social media has flipped Governments, conglomerates have been brought to their knees and millennials have ruled. His challenges are significant as he has to undo the damage of the old and ensure a level playing field for the Malaysia we are just beginning to get accustomed to.

SEE ALSO: Historic moment. Gobind becomes first Sikh minister in Asia outside India

SEE ALSO:Lessons for Singapore from Malaysian elections

Today’s swearing in also brings new responsibilities and expectations from the Sikh community. We have a seat at the table. And we do not need to thump the table to our voices heard. We have a legitimately elected professional who is at the main table. And we are so incredibly proud.

We, however, expect more. We expect to be recognized. We expect to be respected. And we expect to see our young thrive in a new Malaysia where we are all Malaysians and treated equally. We expect to see new initiatives for the youth to address unemployment; resurgence in sports supremacy sans the alcohol fueled after-parties and cheering squads; training and assistance for single mothers; Punjabi language drive amongst the young and mentoring activities for the idle elders to name a few. You will undoubtedly have a list of your own but a few suggestions from some segments of your community won’t hurt.

We are proud of you Gobind. Like your namesake who fought valiantly for the Khalsa, we stand alongside you as the sole representative for our community in the Parliament and look forward to seeing you move onward and upward.

[BB is a proud Malaysian who intends to write more often for Asia Samachar] 

* This is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.

 

[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] 

 

RELATED STORY:

Historic moment. Gobind becomes first Sikh minister in Asia outside India (Asia Samachar, 21 May 2018)

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Dya Singh comes across original, practical in his latest work (Asia Samachar, 12 Aug 2017)

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