By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |
The Kuching gurdwara received a solid booster to its development plans with an injection of RM3.5 million from the Sarawak state government.
Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg presented the cheque to Sarawak Sikh Temple Association (SSTA) at a function in Kuching today (3 Aug 2019).
“It is RM3.5 million, so we are giving you RM3.5 million just like what we have done for other religions through Unit for Other Religion (Unifor). I’m sure with the contribution from the government, you can proceed with your project and your vision for the future, particularly for the young Sikh community,” Abang Johari said in his speech.
SSTA manages the Gurdwara Sahib Kuching.
Abang Johari added: “For the Sikh community, this is not new to me because I also (used to) live in the kampung nearby. I saw the photograph of your first temple with the veranda, I used to pass through this road (back in the days) looking at the veranda and today we have this new the present building, and Dr Khaira wants to improve it with the new extension.”
When contacted, SSA president Dr Kalwinder Singh Khaira said the new building had been completed and they were waiting for approvals from the relevant authorities.
“Hopefully, we can start by year-end or next year,” he told Asia Samachar.
The proposed extension includes a floor for the Punjabi school, a multipurpose hall, a library, residential rooms and other amenities for the congregation and community.
In 2017, at a similar Vaisakhi related function organised by the SSTA, Abang Johari had announced that the Sarawak state government had allocated Sikhs in Kuching land adjacent to the gurdwara for its expansion, as well as another plot of land to build a new crematorium site.
In his speech then, he had said that SSTA could can still maintain the existing gurdwara as their heritage site as it is strategic and tourists.
Meanwhile, Sibu gurdwara also saw a pleasant development with the declaring open of the Sibu Sikh Temple Association’s gurdwara hostel.
Sarawak Education and Technological Research Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee, who is also Housing and Public Health Assistant Minister, was at hand to declare it open.
“This also helps other religions, particularly the development of churches and temples in the whole of Sarawak,” he said in his speech.
Sarawak state gives Kuching gurdwara land for expansion, crematorium (Asia Samachar, 21 May 2017)
Sibu gurdwara builds hostel for outstation worshippers (Asia Samachar, 27 May 2019)