Taiping Sikhs to elect new leadership for 103-year old organisation

"I'll be delighted to continue to serve the Sanggat if they so decide. It has been a wonderful journey in the last few years," Balraj Singh tells Asia Samachar

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Balraj Singh (left most) and local Sikhs at the Taiping Vaisakhi event – Photo: Nishal Khalsa Photography
By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |

Taiping Sikhs have been an active lot in the past few years with activities that captured the interest of Sikhs and folks from the other communities far and wide.

In 2016, they organised on grand scale the centennial celebration of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Taiping (SGSS Taiping) which manages the local gurdwara. They had a federal minister attending the function.

In the next two years, the had large scale Vaisakhi open houses.

In 2017, the gurdwara fixed a lift to the delight of the large elderly Sikh community in the town about 270km from Kuala Lumpur. In the same year, a solar panel was installed for  the gurdwara to earn a constant income.

Tomorrow (17 Feb 2019), SGSS Taiping will hold its 106th annual general meeting to elect its next set of committee. Outgoing president Balraj Singh, who came on board as the president in 2016, is all set to continue if the he gets the mandate from the community.

“I’ll be delighted to continue to serve the Sanggat if they so decide. It has been a wonderful journey in the last few years,” Balraj told Asia Samachar.

The 38-year old Taiping-born has been instrumental in organising the many programmes under the SGSS Taiping banner.

They have also been running the Taiping Soup Kitchen, local religious programmes as well as sporting activities like badminton, futsal, hockey, bowling, golf and telematches. They also have the weekend Punjabi classes under the Punjabi Education Centre (PEC) banner.

In 2017, Taiping Sikhs organised two golf events, one each in Perak and Johor, as part of their efforts to promote the spirit of muhibbah or harmony. The programme was tied to the Vaisakhi celebrations.

When asked his primary goal, he said it has always been about bringing the local Sikh community together.

“In a town like Taiping, the younger generation moves out after Form 5 (i.e. 11th year of education). Even in my batch, there are only two of us (left in Taiping). There were about 30 of us during school days. They tend to leave due to lack of opportunities in Taiping.

“But we have a good number of senior members. But we have a few leaving us every year. It’s important to get whoever is in Taiping to join in all the activities,” he said.

He said the current committee have made various changes keeping in mind the ‘safe,systematic and simple’ principles.

Ranjit Singh secretary , Harbhajan Singh Vice President , Dalbir Singh, Balraaj Singh president, Kalwant Singh,Minister, Gurnam Singh, Awtar Singh (gianiji), unknown desi ?, Manjit Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Balwant Singh, Suckdzir Singh ( treasurer) and gian kaur – – PHOTO / NISHIL KHALSA PHOTOGRAPHY

On the 2016 celebration of SGSS Taiping’s 100th anniversary, Balraj said it was simply an ‘amazing’ event.

“The best part was seeing those who had left Taiping coming back to be part of the celebration. It was a heart warming event,” he said.

In 1916, SGSS Taiping was formed by local Sikhs who then successfully build a gurdwara (at the current location) in 1921. A new double story building was built in 1971.

Taiping Good Will Walk, led by the late Rishiwant Singh from the United Sikhs, posing in front of the Masjid India in Taiping

RELATED STORY:

Taiping Sikhs plan golf events to celebrate Vasakhi (Asia Samachar, 2 March 2018)

Minister Nazri launches Taiping Sikhs’ 100 year celebration (Asia Samachar, 17 Oct 2017)

New lift perks up Taiping elderly Sikhs (Asia Samachar, 22 Sept 2017)

 

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