Singapore PM opens renovated Silat Road gurdwara

By Asia Samachar | SINGAPORE |

The Silat Road Sikh Temple, the first Singapore gurdwara to be built with a dome, has been renovated and now ready for programmes. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong opened the newly renovated gurdwara in a scaled-down gathering today.

“It remains one of the most popular gurdwaras in Singapore. Devotees believe that an Akhand Path performed at this gurdwara, next to the Bhai Maharaj Singh shrine, will earn the devotee great merit,” he said in his inauguration speech which was also streamed live.

Bhai Maharaj, believed to be the first Sikh in Singapore, arrived in 1850 in chains as a political prisoner. Acknowledged as one of the most prominent freedom fighters of Punjab, he was arrested by the British in India – which was then a colony – and exiled to Singapore for fear that his presence in India would cause unrest there.

The Silat Road gurdwara is the same gurdwara used by the early Strait Settlement police used for worship and community gathering in the early 1900s. It also served as a staging post for early migrants who came to Singapore as well as migrants transitioning to other Southeast Asian nations. The gurdwara had also served as shelter for widows and children of Sikh soldiers, many of whom had died fighting for Singapore.

In his welcoming speech, Central Sikh gurdwara Board (CGSB) president Baljit Singh said the newly renovated gurdwara has been redesigned for better ventilation, congregation flow and food hygiene. It also incorporates skylights for natural lighting and power-friendly fans consuming low energy.

“Today, the Sikat Road Sikh Temple not only continues with religious and educational programmes for community, but has also embarked on an outreach programme which enables us, as a Sikh community, to contribute to Singapore’s racial and religious harmony,” he said.

For the unveiling ceremony, Lee was accompanied by Baljit, CGSB secretary Dr Narinder Kaur, Silat Road Sikh Temple chairman Jaspreet Singh and building committee chairman Jasminder Singh.

At the same event, Lee also launched the commemorative publication on Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 550th birthday celebrations.

Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong at Silat Road Gurdwara – Videograb from live streaming

SIWEC, more Singapore gurdwaras offering Covid-19 support (Asia Samachar, 1 April 2020)


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