Loke Yew crematorium makeover gets moving

Sanatam Dharam Sabha Kuala Lumpur, which manages Shree Lakhsmi Narayanan Mandir, pledges RM500,000 donation, Anuar Aziz Architect to absorb architecture cost

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The Jalan Loke Yew wood-fired crematorium for Sikhs, Gujrati, Sindhi and other North Indian communities — located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur — marked a major milestone today (5 Aug 2018) with the laying of the foundation stone for its planned complex.

Sikh and Hindu representatives were invited to perform the ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur crematorium which is believed to have started operations in the 1890s.

Malaysian Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo performed the ground breaking ceremony for the complex.

TO SEE LIVE COVERAGE OF THIS EVENT, GO HERE

The Sanatam Dharam Sabha Kuala Lumpur, which manages the Shree Lakhsmi Narayanan Mandir Kuala Lumpur, pledged a RM500,000 donation towards the project which is expected to cost RM5 million.

The temple trustee Naveen Chander Bhanot announced the pledge in his speech at the ground breaking ceremony at the crematorium.

“This is an important milestone because it marks the accomplishments of a social responsibility to the members of our community,” he said. The temple is located at the Kampung Kasipillay, Kuala Lumpur.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the antim sanskaar, or last rites, are done with dignity, decorum and respect.

“For over a century, this shamshan bhoomi grounds has been managed as a collective responsibility…Never have they thought of themselves as Sikhs first or Hindus first, Punjabis first or Gujratis first. Its a north Indian cremation ground for both Hindus and Sikhs. We must ensure that.

“They say dharam jorthaa hey, dharam thorthaa nahi (faith enjoins, faith does not divide). We must also ensure we remain united to ensure that this projects its objective,” he said in his speech.

In his speech, Gobind noted the strong bond and working relationship between the Sikh and the Hindu community to manage the crematorium.

“I will speak to the Prime Minister to see if the Federal government make a pledge to help the project substantially,” he said.

Gazetted in 1921, the Loke Yew crematorium is managed by the Shamshan Bhoomi Parbandak Society (Selangor & Federal Territory).

The event, attended by about 200 people, was followed by a small tea party. The mood was jovial, with the crematorium committee members encouraged by the developments so far.

Society president Pretam Singh told Asia Samachar many parties have come forward to extend their support, including the architecture work by the Anuar Aziz Architect.

“They are absorbing the cost. That’s a huge saving for us,” Pretam said in his speech.

The architect firm, led by Saiful Anuar Abdul Aziz, is one of the companies that make up the boutique multidisciplinary design group Arte Axis Design Group (AA).

“We will proceed in stags. We will start with the main hall. Next will be the administrative building, and later the furnace building,” he said, estimating the initial phase to cost RM1.7 million.

“We also thank the contractor for knocking down their price. They were RM30,000 lower than the next closest bidder,” he said.

The project contractor is Becwell Resources Sdn Bhd.

 

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Asia. How to reach us: Facebook message or WhatsApp +6017-335-1399. Our email: editor@asiasamachar.com. For obituary announcements, click here]

1 COMMENT

  1. ……… The initial step for the crematorium was at the initiative of the Punjabi community of Gombak Lane viz. the Sangat of Gurdwara Sahib , Gombak Lane ( now Gurdwara Sahib , Titiwangsa ) and Shree Lakhsmi Narayan Mandir , Gombak Lane ( now located at Kampung Kasipillay ..
    They also had a hearse and hearse driver .. The driver stayed at the crematorium grounds in the wooden house at the crematorium entrance together with a caretaker .. The hearse was also parked there ..
    It was free service to the community .. Costs were borne with donations from the two houses of worship ..
    Gombak Lane area , in the vicinity of the two houses of worship , has a history of the Punjabi community who were among the early settlers of Kuala Lumpur ..
    I hope someone can write the history of this place while the old timers are still around .. As it is the pioneers have passed away and their children are still around .. Many would still remember their days in Gombak Lane area .. The Hindus and Sikhs got along very well ..
    I would be happy to share my memories ..I lived there until the big fire that finished almost the entire kampung .. The two places of worship were safe ..

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