By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |
Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) took a giant leap when it decided to send trained preachers to gurdwaras nationwide to teach Gurbani in a systematic manner.
Until then, there had not been structured teachings of the finer points of the Sikh teaching at the various gurdwaras. Not much structured learning could take place with the visiting raagi jathas and parcharaks (preachers) who are speaking from gurdwara stages due to the very nature of the set-up.
Hence, MGC would have made a dent in the understanding of Sikh amongst the Sikh masses when it sent the trained preachers to 44 gurdwaras on a weekly basis to cover specific portions of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Perhaps this project, as well as its activities (see list below), ensured Jagir Singh and his team continued leadership of the council which covers more than 100 gurdwaras nationwide.
Jagir was elected unopposed, along with the rest of the executive committee, at its annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (30 Nov 2019).
“The gurbani viakhia sessions at the various gurdwara was a major effort. But it also requires funding,” MGC vice president Darshan Singh told Asia Samachar. “We were fortunate to get donations from individuals, including Jagir himself.”
Seventy-five representatives from various gurdwaras attended the meeting, with most gurdwaras sending two representatives each.
At the last elections in 2017, Jagir, who runs a law firm, had told Asia Samachar that it would be his last term.
“It’s not easy to get someone with his caliber and dedication to take over. Jagir has shown tremendous dedication to the council, showing up at the office almost daily. And he has also dedicated so much time and effort for the interfaith matter,” said an MGC executive member.
When asked what are some of the activities carried out by MGC over the last two years, Jagir shared the following list:
1. MGC co-ordinated the requests from gurdwaras for employing Granthis and musicians and obtained approval from Putrajaya. The success rate was 100% approval.
2. Carried out more than a dozen seminars in various states on marriage counselling, Youth Empowerment and Sikh Rehat Maryada.
3. Ran tuition classes in a few gurdwaras to prepare students for national examinations of PT3, UPSR and SPM.
4. Carried out Garbani Viakhia classes in 44 gurdwaras simultaneously every day from December 2018 until October 2019. The Gurbani viakhia covered for JAP, SO DAR, SO Purakh and Sohila banis.
5. Assisted gurdwaras in obtaining funding.
6. Provided legal advice in various cases including for Malaysian gurdwaras.
7. Organised and carried out a seminar for Malaysian gurdwaras.
8. Liaised with states and federal governments in protecting religious rights, including leading a delegation of interfaith communities to meet executive committee member of Negeri Sembilan with regards to a directive that all non-Muslim places of worship must register with Register of Societies (ROS). The order was rescinded.
9. Liaising with colleges in India from time to time to obtain names of qualified people who can serve as Granthis.
10. Attending to daily routine correspondence from gurdwaras.
11. Issued about 20 statements and circulars to gurdwaras including six to Akal Takhat over the last two years.
12. Carried out Sikhi Paarchar. In the last year, MGC brought in four Jathas on Sikhi parchar tour including Parwana.
The new executive committee elected unanimously for the 2019-2021 period is as follows:
President: Jagir Singh
Dato Baldev Singh
Secretary: Jagjit Singh
Treasurer: Balwinder Singh
Wilayah KL – Dato Rajpal Singh, Balwinder Singh
Selangor – Ashdeepak Singh, Amanjeet Singh
Perak – Jagdev Singh, Tejinder Singh and Manjit Singh.
Malacca – Tirath Singh
Pahang – Dato Jasvir Singh
Perlis – Pritpal Singh
(The exco will appoint representatives for Sabah/Sarawak, Kelantan, Kedah, Penang and Negeri Sembilan)
MGC statement on 550th Parkash Divas of Guru Nanak (Asia Samachar, 2 Oct 2019)
MGC president Jagir, team elected unopposed (Asia Samachar, 11 Nov 2017)