One of the earliest Sikh arrivals in Labuan was Sardar Bhagat Singh Sandhu who joined the coal company security service in 1868 and passed away in 1923. His gran son, the well-known Towkey Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu founded the first Indian Association ofNLabuanin 1936. He was later made the chairman of the Labuan Gurdwara Sahib building committee.
In the 1950s, there was a wooden Gurdwara Sahib, which existed on the site of the present Gurdwara. Unfortunately, there are no records to indicate when this Gurdwara Sahib was first built. This Gurdwara Sahib was destroyed in a fire in 1967. However, the Holy Book, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, was left unscathed by the fire and only the cover was slightly damaged.
The Sikh Sangat built a new double storey wooden building with a zinc roof on the same site, which is 0.75 acres (32,670 square feet) in size. The foundation stone of this second Gurdwara Sahib building was laid on 9' December 1967. The Gurdwara Sahib was officially declared opened on 9th March 1969. This Gurdwara Sahib was used by the Sangat until early 1996 when it was demolished to make way for a new building.
The new Gurdwara Sahib is a double storey brick building with a tiled roof. There is a large dome on top of the building with two smaller domes on the left. The ground floor consists of the langgar hall and kitchen, three rooms for Sikh visitors and Granthi's quarters. The first floor consists of the Darbar Sahib. This building was officially declared open by the Panj Piyarae on 2nd April 2000. The cost of this new building came to RM1,500,000.00 out of which RM200,000.00 was donated by the Sabah State Government and RM50,000.00 by the Federal Government.
There is a Sikh Assistant Registrar of Marriages in this Gurdwara Sahib who officiates at Sikh marriages when called upon to do so. The actual marriage is conducted by the Granthi in accordance with Sikh rites.
The Management Committee comprises of the President, Vice president, Secretary, Treasurer, and nine committee members. The present Trustees of the Gurdwara Sahib are Sardar Dahlif Singh and Sardar Surjit Singh. There are about 16 Sikh families who participate in the religious activities of this Gurdwara Sahib. There are presently 15 students who study Gurmukhi in the Gurdwara Sahib on Saturday.
The twice weekly prayers are held on Saturday evening from 6.00p.m. to 8.00p.m. and Sunday morning from 6.30a.m. to 7.30a.m. The Isteri Satsang programmes are held on Wednesday from 2.00p.m. to 4.00p.m.
Sikh Gurudwaras in Malaysia&Singapore
Saran Singh Sidhu AMN,PNM,FRNS