Sunday, December 11, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

GURDWARA SAHIB KUYOW, KUALA LUMPUR

Kampong Pinang Tambahan, 8 1/2 Miles, Sungei Besi, 57000 Kuala Lumpur

In the late 1880's, there were a few Sikhs residing in the Sungei Besi area. They were mostly employed in the Police Force or worked as cowherds, farmers and watchmen (security guards). Around 1890, a building committee led by its President, Sardar Lachman Singh, established the first Gurdwara Sahib in Sungei Besi. This Gurdwara was located near the Sungei Besi Tin Mines, which later became the largest open cast mine in the world.

In 1932, the Sungei Besi Tin Mines requested the Gurdwara management committee to move to a different site as the land was required for mining. A compensation of Straits Settlements $3,000.00 was paid to the Gurdwara committee led by Sardar Tara Singh, the President. The Gurdwara Sahib was moved to a different location nearby. This building was made of wooden planks with an attap roof. Unfortunately, this Gurdwara Sahib was located on a low area and used to get flooded during heavy rain.

In 1946, this Gurdwara Sahib was rebuilt on higher ground a few yards away from its former location. This Gurdwara Sahib was made of wooden planks with a zinc roof. In 1967, the Sungei Besi Tin Mines built a bund very close to this Gurdwara Sahib. During heavy rain, this bund used to overflow, causing the Gurdwara Sahib to be flooded. The President, Sardar Harbajan Singh, approached the management of the Sungei Besi Tin Mines regarding the flood problem. Finally in 1970, the Mines authorities allocated a piece of land on higher ground, but no monetary compensation was paid due to financial constraints.

In early 1970, a Building Fund Committee comprising of Sardar Harbajan Singh, Sardar Partap Singh, Sardar Harjan Singh, Sardar Tara Singh and Sardar Kernail Singh was formed to ask for donations. The Gurdwara Sahib was built on the new site at a cost of RM8,100.00. The design of this Gurdwara Sahib was a single storey wooden structure made of wooden planks with a zinc roof. At the same time, three rooms were also built to accommodate the Granthi as well as poor or needy Sikh families.

In 1988, a notice was received from the Sungei Besi Development Board requesting that the Gurdwara Sahib be moved to make way for the new interchange leading to the Selangor Turf Club, Palace of the Golden Horses and the Mint Hotel. By this time, the land on which the Gurdwara was situated belonged to the State Government as the lease of the land to the Sungei Besi Tin Mines had expired.

On 16' October 1989, a meeting was held at Dewan Bandaraya (City Hall), which was chaired by Tuan Haji Shafie bin Ahmad. The Gurdwara Sahib Kuyow was represented by Sardar Joginder Singh, Sardar Kernail Singh, Sardar Jangir Singh, Sardar Harnek Singh and Sardar Charanjeet Singh. SB Development was represented by Major (Rtd) Zulkifly. After much discussion, S. B. Development agreed to relocate the Gurdwara Sahib at their own cost to a new site about 100 yards away. The management committee was advised to apply for a proper land title for their Gurdwara Sahib.

Finally in 1990, this Gurdwara Sahib was relocated for the fifth time to its present location. The access road to the Gurdwara Sahib is on the left of the Kuala Lumpur - Seremban Highway, just before the Mint Hotel.

There are presently about 65 Sikh families who participate in the religious activities in this Gurdwara Sahib.
Over the years, several Granthi's from Malaysia as well as Punjab have served in this Gurdwara Sahib. Presently, Mata Joginder Kaur of Village Sultanvind, Amritsar is performing the duties of a Granthi.

The Management Committee comprises of the President, Secretary, Treasurer and their assistants as well as five committee members.
The normal weekly prayers are held on Saturday evening at 5.00 p.m.

Courtesy:
Sikh Gurudwaras in Malaysia&Singapore
Saran Singh Sidhu AMN,PNM,FRNS

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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