GURDWARA SAHIB NAVAL POLICE, SEMBAWANG, SINGAPORE
(No longer exists)
By the early 1930’s, there were many Sikhs who served in the Additional Police Force at the Naval Base in Senawang. These Sikhs converted a hall located in their barracks into a Gurdwara Sahib. In the absence of a Granthi, some of the Sikh Police personnel used to perform the duties of a priest. The civilian Sikh Sangat from the nearby areas of Senawang also used to come to this Naval Base Gurdwara for their prayers.
In mid 1936, the civilian Sikhs who worked and stayed outside the Senawang Naval Base area established the Guru Khalsa Sabha. This Sabha came into being due to a misunderstanding between the civilian Sikhs and the Sikhs of the Naval Base. Bhai Chanan Singh Dalla from the Additional Sikh Police did not read the Ragmala during the path bhog prayers, which he had been doing all along before this. The Sikhs from the Naval Base thought that the civilian Sikhs had influenced him. This was not true, as Bhai Chanan Singh had merely been following the Sikh Rehat Maryada. However, the civilian Sikhs were banned from praying at the Naval Base Gurdwara Sahib. Much later, a clarification letter was sought from the Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in Amritsar, which stated that the Ragmala should not be read. After this, relations between the civilian and the naval Sikhs were very cordial.
The Sikh Rehat Maryada (1936 Edition) had stated that the "Ragmala" bani in the Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, should not be read. It had explicitly stated that the "Ragmala" is not part of the Gurbani. The Bhog prayers should be recited at the end of the "Mudhaveni" hymn. This controversial decision is now no more in force. The "Ragmala" bani is widely read in all Gurdwaras today.
In January 1938, the Additional Naval Police Force was disbanded. The Naval Police Force in Senawang, which comprised of Sikhs, Punjabi Musalmans and Malays, replaced it. More than 200 Sikhs served in the Naval Police Force, which had a total strength of about 500 personnel. These Sikhs also established a Gurdwara Sahib near their barracks. Whenever the locations of the barracks changed in Senawang, the Gurdwara Sahib had to be reestablished in a new location e.g. 14th Mile Senawang, Canberra Lines, Royal Naval Armament Depot, Royal Naval Torpedo Depot and View Road. The president of this Naval Police Force Gurdwara Sahib used to be the senior Sikh Police Officer who usually held the rank of Inspector. The first President of this Gurdwara Sahib was Sardar Jangir Singh Pemay who was later succeeded by his brother Sardar Angad Singh Pemay. Sardar Bhagat Singh Chola was the last president of this Gurdwara Sahib.
During the Japanese occupation of Singapore (1942 – 1945), this Gurdwara Sahib was closed. With the arrival of the British in late 1945, the Sikhs once again commenced prayers in this Gurdwara Sahib.
In 1960, this Gurdwara Sahib was registered as "Naval Police Sikh Temple" with the Government.
In 1971, the British transferred the Naval Base at Sembawang to the Singapore Government. The Naval Police Force was also disbanded at this time.
On 1" December 1971, this Gurdwara Sahib was closed and its assets, kitchen utensils etc were transferred to the Gurdwara Sahib Guru Khalsa Sabha in Sembawang.
Reference: "Ithas Khalsa Dharmak Sabha Singapore" by Sardar Tara Singh Hathesi, Gujaranwalia, Singapore Page 226 – 227 (Published by Khalsa Dharmak Sahba, Singapore – April 1985)