By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |
The Malaysian government has approved allocation of RM4 million to the umbrella organisation for gurdwaras in Malaysia.
Prime Minister Muhyddin Yassin today (12 April) made the announcement at the Vaisakhi 2021 hi tea organised by the Malaysian Gurdwara Council (MGC) in Petaling Jaya.
The allocation included a one-off RM1 million for the establishment of a new Sikh centre.
In 2020, the government allocated RM2.18 million to MGC, with each of the 120 gurdwaras receiving RM13,000 each.
In his speech, MGC president Jagir Singh said the ‘religious, cultural, heritage and language Sikh centre’ would, among others, house around 10 religious experts who would assist gurdwaras in undertaking their religious obligations as well as train local granthis.
A granthi, literally, means a reader of the Sikh scripture called Guru Granth Sahib. The word also commonly refers to the person hired by gurdwaras to manage the Sikh religious affairs.
The MGC mooted centre, estimated to cost between RM10 million to RM12 million, will also showcase the rich heritage of classical music (sangeet), establish a national Sikh library, conduct traditional self-defence training and provide Gurbani discourse.
“This is a new centre, and will have its own building. We will form a professional committee for the setting up of the Sikh Centre as well as fund raising,” Jagir told Asia Samachar.
Once distributed, the funding will come as a much needed help to gurdwaras, especially the smaller ones, whose income have been depleted due to the prolonged closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Gurdwaras generally rely on funding from their congregation members.
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