Covid-19 is on the rise, breaking records daily. It is not likely to abate in the near future. The government has, and is, taking steps to bring the pandemic under some control. The Government efforts goes to waste if the public is not cooperating and following the rules and regulations.
Malaysia is made up of so many ethnic racial groups and the Prime Minister is paying attention to the basic needs of the races especially their SOCIAL and RELIGIOUS obligations.
As we observe, unfortunately, it is from these social and religious obligations that give rise to new to Covid-19 ‘clusters’.
Special rules apply to gatherings, especially religious festivals and marriages. It is here that I would like to draw the attention of the Sikh community towards these gatherings, especially marriages.
Pardon me if I say that at many places, we are bluntly flouting the rules endangering the community at large and, in particular, the young, the children and the aged. We see marriages taking place as grandly as was before the pandemic. Ceremonies like ‘geet’, ‘mayian’, ‘chooda’, ‘jago’ and dinners are in full swing.
The religious functions such as Gurpurbs are somewhat controlled.
Death is inevitable. It is regrettable that sometimes dear and near ones are unable to attend funerals and Phog ceremonies, being trapped in other districts or countries. These dear and near ones are miss the last rites. But we still see large gatherings of friends and acquaintances gathered at such ceremonies. We hear news of the spread of the virus from these places.
My fellow Sikhs. Let us cooperate with the Government, and the leaders to overcome this pandemic. The Malaysia Gurdwara Council (MGC) and Sikh Naujawan Sabah Malaysia (SNSM) and other organisations have provided guidelines. Keep the marriages as brief as possible. According to Sikh Rahit Meryada (SRM), the basic necessity are the ‘lavan“. Minimum numbers of both families can congregate at the Gurdwara Sahib to get the marriage performed. The families can postpone the dinners, etc, till better times.
Likewise, keep the death necessities among the very close ones. After all, it is the dear and near that bears the loss as Gurbani says: “Jis tan legeh sooi tan jaaneh.” Others can send messages and wait for better time to visit the bereaved family.
I am aware that the Sikh Community is in the fore front serving the needy at these difficult times. I am aware that the Sikhs brave themselves to rush to the aid of the unable. I am aware that Sikhs move to the front as the Bani says ‘Jis ko prem Khelen ka chao sir thar teli geli meri aao‘, At the same time, let us take care of ourselves first so that we live to help others.
Khalsa Diwan Malaysia is strictly following the rules to open up our Punjabi Education Centres (PEC). Except for students sitting for SPM paper, other students are attending ‘on-line’ classes. SPM students have face-to-face tutorials.
Ones the pandemic goes out of hand, there will be untold misery, catastrophe, pain and loss of life. Khalsa Diwan Malaysia appeals that the Sikhs be vigilant and take care of themselves.
Sarbat da Phalla.
Malaysia’s Panjabi language classes set to begin tomorrow (Asia Samachar, 15 Jan 2021)