Raub Sikhs in 1951. Check out this rare photo

Raub Sikhs in 1951 – Photo: Courtesy of Gurmukh Singh, UK
By Gurmukh Singh | LETTER | MALAYSIA |

With reference to an Asia Samachar item, it is nice to see that the original Gurdwara building at Raub, Pahang, Malaysia, is still there.

SEE: Raub akhand path for #GuruNanak550 (Asia Samachar, 17 Nov 2019)

In 1947, there was a thriving Sikh community there and the first government-funded Panjabi School in Malaya. Our father, Giani Harchand Singh Bassian was the first Panjabi teacher for 6 years from 1947 to 1953 and also the Granthi and Kirtania-Parcharak.

Middle brother Baldev Singh Dhaliwal JP (Oz) and I started English schooling and youngest brother Dya Singh of Australia was born on the Vaisakhi Day on 13 April 1950.

Above a 1951 Sangat photo taken at the back of the Gurdwara Sahib on the occasion of a Gursikh leaving for India on long leave. Sikhs usually went to Panjab by ship for about six months after about five years to sort out family affairs and to visit Gurdwaras and Darbar Sahib.

The second image is that of our father, Giani Harchand Singh Bassian (1909-1975), used by Malaya Panjabi press in those days. He was well known to Sangats from Seremban to  Penang and Alor Star as a Kirtania-Parcharak. Dya Singh inherited his voice and Kirtan, albeit, his own East-West blend.

Giani Harchand Singh Bassian


Raub akhand path for #GuruNanak550 (Asia Samachar, 17 Nov 2019)


ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: editor@asiasamachar.com | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |


  1. I would like to make a correction on the statement made by Mr Gurmukh Singh that his late father Giani Harchand Singh was the first Punjabi Teacher and Granthi . I remember very clearly and so would the Punjabi old timers that the first Punjabi teacher and Granthi at Raub Gurdwara was in fact an old Sikh Gentleman from India. He was alone and not accompanied by his family .On why I distinctly remember him was his right hand from the wrist was missing. Inspite of his handicap he went about his duties very efficiently. He was very kind to young children and much loved by everyone young and old. I can’t remember his name and the exact dates but he there for a number of years. I am writing this just to put the records straight.

  2. Dear Lt Col Mohd Idris bin Hassan (retired) . Thanks for sharing the memories. We will be happy to receive the photos. You can email them (editor@asiasamachar.com) or send them via Whatsapp (+6017-3351399). We are especially keen to find older photos, like the one shared by Bhai Gurmukh Singh in this entry. Thanks!

  3. Sat Sri Akal . Raub Gurdwara is my immidate neighbour and I can still remember I Giani Harchand Singh Bassian and know both Gurumuk Singh and Baldev Singh as we used to play with them. Giani
    Harchand was a tall lean man, stern but kindly. We often enjoyed the Guru the langgar every Sunday. My Dad Hassan bin Musti JP was in Transport business. My other 2 brothers Yassin is now a barrister. My Youner brother Jameel is a business man . Yes the Gurdwara is still there in all its splendour. I can post a pix of it . We still maintain a excellent relationship with the Sangat but it has dwindled to a small number as comared to the fifties and sixties.