By Asia Samachar Team | PENANG, MALAYSIA |
Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Penang (WGSP) is all set to undergo its first conservation and restoration as part of efforts to keep the shine on one of the oldest gurdwara in Penang.
On Saturday (23 Feb 2019), Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow launched the fundraising drive for the restoration project of the gurdwara estimated to cost RM3 million over a two-year period.
On day one, the fundraising effort managed to raise RM670,000. These include a state allocation of RM200,000 and an additional RM20,000 from Chow’s allocation as the Member of Parliament of Tanjong.
At the same function, Penang state executive member Jagdeep Singh Deo announced a RM50,000 allocation from the state Non-Islamic Houses of Worship (RIBI) fund and another RM20,000 from his state executive council allocation.
The gurdwara also contributed RM250,000 to the project. The gurdwara Conservation and Restoration Committee is chaired by Mahinder Singh Dulku.
“The aging structure is giving way now and need much attention. We hope that the Penang government and the community can support us to restore this gurdwara,” said WGSP management committee president Daljit Singh. “This gurdwara is a legacy to be preserved.”
Also present were Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi and Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang.
Then known as the Diamond Jubilee Sikh Temple, its foundation stone laying took place on June 3, 1901.
In a report, Buletin Mutiara qouted Jagdeep as saying that since 2008, much attention was given to the Sikh community.
“The state government supported the construction of the new building, located behind this gurdwara when it was built in 2014. We also supported the gurdwara in Bayan Baru and in Seberang Jaya on the mainland,” he said.
Jagdeep, who is the Penang Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman, also assured the Sikh community that the temporary occupation license (TOL) for the crematorium would continue as long as the Pakatan Harapan government remains the state government.
On land titles of the gurdwara, he was quoted as saying: “The gurdwara is situated on a land with two land titles – one part is freehold and the other, leasehold. The lease is expiring in 2023 and the premium is very high; RM1.8 million according to the valuation made.
“This is because the location is prime and in George Town. I feel that the valuation, which was conducted based on market rate, was not justified. This is a place of worship for the community.
“I spoke to the Chief Minister and he agreed for the gurdwara to only pay a nominal fee of RM10.”
Jagdeep added that the state was planning to convert the leasehold title to freehold, and amalgamate both into one freehold title for the gurdwara.
Penang state government will continue to support the Sikh community, says Jagdeep (Asia Samachar, 27 Oct 2018)
Gobind to request for federal funding for Jalan Loke Yew crematorium (Asia Samachar, 6 Aug 2018)
Cancer survivor Daljit to lead Penang gurdwara (Asia Samachar, 7 June 2018)