Malacca gurdwara has lodged a police report on allegations that someone may have pocketed cash donations during the annual programme in the memory of Baba Sohan Singh.
“We have lodged a police report,” Gurdwara Sahib Malacca (GSM) management committee president Karam Singh told Asia Samachar today in a brief telephone conversation.
Initial review of a camera in the GSM office, where the donation is usually counted, showed what looked like a volunteer helping himself to some cash from the collection during the event in May 2018, according to a source.
It is understood that the gurdwara management committee had tasked a team to review the video recordings after some members had raised suspicion on the issue.
Asia Samachar had received a number of calls on the issue in the last few days from well wishers of the annual Malacca programme expressing their concerns on the issue. A few of them had said that the committee must take appropriate actions to ensure the programme, probably the largest annual Sikh gathering in Southeast Asia, does not get impacted.
The Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji Salaana Yaadgar Semagam, or more popularly referred to as the Malacca barsi, is usually held towards end-May in the memory of the late Sikh granthi-parcharak Sohan Singh. It attracts thousands of Sikhs from all over Malaysia as well as neigbouring Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Some even come from Australia and New Zealand.
It involves the GMS and the Sant Sohan Ji Melaka Memorial Society Malaysia. The latter was formed after the death of Sohan Singh in Ipoh in 1972. He was cremated in Malacca on 25 May 1972.
“We are looking at how to improve the process of handling the donations,” one committee member told Asia Samachar.
When contacted, a GSM trustee said that the management committee must view the matter seriously as it involved the trust of the members and the general public.
Over the years, GSM s believed to have taken some measures to ensure that donations are properly channelled. Before the 2017 annual event, GSM had requested Asia Samachar to carry a statement encouraging donors to do it direct to the gurdwara and not to individuals ‘to avoid any misappropriation and random collection of funds’.
“Over the years, we have found out that there are also some who collect donations in the name of Barsi. Therefore, to avoid any misappropriation and random collection of funds, all those wishing to contribute in cash can bank in their contributions to the Sikh Temple Melaka Account,” it said in the statement.
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Donate direct to Malacca gurdwara to avoid ‘misappropriation’ (Asia Samachar, 26 April 2017)
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