Sunday, December 04, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

GURDWARA SAHIB POLICE, KUALA LUMPUR

No. 6 Jalan Balai Polls, 50000 Kuala Lumpur

The Gurdwara Sahib Police High Street, as it was originally known, is the second Police Gurdwara to be built in Kuala Lumpur. This Gurdwara was built in 1898 by the Federated Malay States Police (F. M. S. Police). At that time, more than half of the F. M. S. Police were Sikhs. All Sikh Police recruits had to undergo baptism (partaking of the Amrit) under the supervision of their senior officers.

The Gurdwara Sahib Police building is a single storey semi-permanent structure constructed of brick, concrete and wood. There are double storey blocks of quarters for married police personnel, priest's quarters, office, stores and a large kitchen at the rear of the building. The built up area is about 7000 square feet surrounded by a 7 feet high wall. There have been no major changes to the original structure of the Gurdwara Sahib Police.

The maintenance of this Gurdwara and the salary of the Granthi were initially, partially subsidised by the F. M. S. Police and later by the Malaysian Police Department up to 1969. Since then, the maintenance of the Gurdwara Sahib and the salary of the Granthi have been paid from the funds of the Gurdwara Sahib Police.

From 1898 to 1910, the Gurdwara Sahib Police was looked after by the serving Sikh personnel of the F. M. S. Police Force as a Granthi was not available. They collectively conducted the daily Parkash and Semapti of the Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. On Sundays, all off duty Sikh Police personnel were duty bound to go to the Gurdwara Sahib Police for prayers and Karah Parshad was prepared and served.

In 1910, the late Baba Sham Singh from Gurusar Jelalka village in Nabha, Punjab was appointed as the first Granthi in this Gurdwara Sahib. He served as a Granthi in this Gurdwara Sahib for nearly 56 years from 1910 to 1966.

Baba Sham Singh taught Dharmak Vidia (religious knowledge) to the Sikh children at the Gurdwara Sahib. In 1930, Gurmukhi classes were also started for the Sikh children. Giani Gian Singh Amargarh, Giani Bachitar Singh and Giani Mohinder Singh Chakarwarti taught Gurmukhi to the Sikh children. In 1948, the Punjabi classes were transferred to Tatt Khalsa Diwan Punjabi School in Jalan Raja Alang (formerly Perkins Road) in Kuala Lumpur.

This Gurdwara Sahib is registered under the Society's Act vide Registration Number 624/59. It is also gazetted under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164) for the purpose of conducting Civil Marriages amongst the Sikhs.

Serving Police personnel and those who have retired or been honourably discharged, their spouses and children including relatives above 18 years of age and residing in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and the State of Selangor are eligible to be members of the Gurdwara Sahib Police. Other Sikhs residing in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor are also accepted as Associate Members.

The present Trustees of this Gurdwara Sahib are Dato G. S. Gill, Sardar Pritam Singh, Sardar Surinder Singh Cheema and Sardar Jagdev Singh Deo.

The Management Committee comprises of the President, Secretary, Treasurer and their assistants and nine-elected committee members.

There are presently about 200 Sikh families who participate in the religious functions held in this Gurdwara Sahib.

Various types of religious ceremonies and social events commemorating births, engagements, marriages and deaths are held at the Gurdwara Sahib Police. The birthdays of Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the Birthday of the Khalsa (Vesakhi) are celebrated with the holding of a Sehaj Path Bhog as well as the Akhand Path. The Parkash day of the Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Shahid days of Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Guru Teg Bahadur are commemorated with the holding of a Sehaj Path Bhog. Similarly, the Police Day (24th March) and Malaysia's National Day (31St August) are also celebrated on a grand scale with the holding of prayers followed by the Guru Ka Languor.

The normal weekly prayer is held every Sunday morning from 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m. with the recital of the Asa Di War Kirtan. Other religious programmes are held as and when necessary upon request from the Sanuot.

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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