Perai is a small industrial town located opposite the Island of Penang on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It was at one time the hub of the Malayan Railways and the Police Force.
In the early years of the 20th Century, there were a few Sikh families in Perai. Some of these Sikhs were in the Police Force while others were employed by the Malayan Railways in various posts. A few of them were dairy farmers, bullock cart owners, watchmen or port workers.
These Sikhs built the first Gurdwara Sahib on the main road in Perai around 1927. This was a small single storey wooden building with an attap and zinc roof. Over the years, this Gurdwara Sahib was repaired and renovated. It served the religious and cultural needs of the growing Sikh community for nearly 70 years before being demolished in early 1997.
A new double storey Gurdwara Sahib building was built on the present site, which is 10,000 square feet (900 meters). The Panj Piyarae from the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia laid the foundation stone on 20th June 1999. The cost of this Gurdwara Sahib building was RM627,500.00 which was donated by the Sikh Sangat of Penang and other States in Malaysia and Singapore. This Gurdwara Sahib was officially declared open on 23l July 2000 (8 Sawan 302 Samvat Khalsa) by the five highest donors and the Sikh sangat.
The first floor of this Gurdwara Sahib comprises of the Darbar Sahib where the Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is kept. This Darbar Sahib can accommodate about 500 people. The ground floor consists of the langgar hall, kitchen, Granthi's quarters, office and one room for Sikh visitors.
The Management Committee comprises of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, their assistants and seven committee members. The present Trustees of this Gurdwara Sahib are Bakshish Singh PJK Akhara, Jegir Singh, Bir Singh and Mendar Singh.
Presently, there are about 35 Sikh families who reside in and around Perai who participate in the religious activities in this Gurdwara Sahib.
The usual weekly prayers are held on Sunday afternoon from 4.30p.m. to 5.30p.m. The Isteri Satsang programme is held on Saturday from 5.00p.m. to 6.00p.m. The Sangrand day prayers are also held in the evening from 4.30p.m. to 6.00p.m. after which Guru Ka Langgar is served. Other religious programmes are held as and when necessary at the request of the Sikh Sangat.
Sikh Gurudwaras in Malaysia&Singapore
Saran Singh Sidhu AMN,PNM,FRNS
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