By Malaysian Gurdwaras Council | MALAYSIA |
Subject: Gurdwara Sahib Sungai Lembing
- We refer to the above matter.
- This purported Gurdwara Sahib Sungai Lembing is about 35 Kilometers from Kuantan. Today it is a deserted place covered with some grown-up jungle. Photos of it have been shared in the Whatsapp groups in the last few days.
- The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council President together with other MGC officials had visited the site on 20/03/2016. The team was taken from Kuantan Gurdwara on 20/03/2016 at about 2.00 PM by one Ex-Sungai Lembing resident Sdr. Sukhbir Singh. On reaching the site, photographs were taken of the area. This abandoned Gurdwara Sahib site is at the foot of a ‘Jungle Track Route’ which leads uphill.
- Thus, Sungai Lembing is famous for its Tin ore mines and boasting of the largest underground Tin Mines. In Sungai Lembing, there are the largest underground mines in the world having many multi-tiered tunnels. This Tin mining activities started around 1920 and by 1986, the Tin-Mining industry was closed. The fatal blow to the Tin Mining industry had come in 1985 when the world market price had nose dived in the Sungai Lembing area and ending its boom. All this information was obtained personally from the Sungai Lembing Muzium.
- We were told by our guide that Sikhs began moving to the area from the 1920’s and mainly worked in the Tin Mines. Earlier in the 1920’s a Gurdwara was built near a river which after few years was abandoned due to the occasional river floods. The present abandoned site was then built in the 1940’s. Sikh families began moving out from Sungai Lembing from about 1986 and by the 1990’s most Sikhs had moved out mostly to Kuantan and today no Sikh family lives in Sungai Lembing.
- The MGC had in 2016 given responsibility to the Gurdwara Sahib Kuantan committee to trace ownership of the land, where Gurdwara Sahib Lembing used to be operative. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was taken from Gurdwara Sahib Lembing to Gurdwara Sahib Kuantan in the 1990’s and since then there has been NO installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji there. The ownership of the area in the early 1920’s to 1980’s was with the PCTL Mining Company. As there are no Sikh families in Sungai Lembing now, the matter did not go very far as there was no local Sikh available to take the lead.
- Since the matter has now risen again after 4 years, fresh initiative has been started to look into the viability of restoring the Gurdwara Sungai Lembing. An ad-hoc committee has been formed under our earlier Sikh Guide Sdr. Sukhbir Singh to look into the matter afresh and come up with some proposals to the MGC. Kindly be informed also that the Gurdwara Sahib built area is only about 17 feet X 24 feet. There are no rooms or any Langgar hall. A copy of site photo is attached.
- Meanwhile, kindly do not give any donation to anyone as there are no concrete plans about the restoration of the Gurdwara Sahib Lembing as yet.
Jagir Singh, President, Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC)
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