Malaysian PM says he is touched by spirit of Sikhs

May 3rd, 2011 - 2:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, May 3 (IANS) Three new gurdwaras will come up in Malaysia on plots of land allotted by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who says he is “touched by the spirit of the Sikhs”.

Najib said Sikhs in Malaysia had played a pivotal role in the development of the nation, especially as they defended the country against the Japanese invasion during World War II.

He said he was touched by the spirit of the Sikhs, many of whom had then entered the police and armed forces.

Najib announced allotment of the plots at a Vaisakhi Open House Monday as a show of appreciation to the contributions of the Sikh community to Malaysia.

But the prime minister did not say where the plots of land were located, The New Straits Times said.

“There are three important values which I can relate to the Sikh community. They are renowned for their courage, loyalty and the ethics of being a hardworking people.

“And for that, I thank them for their contributions to the country.”

Najib invited Sikhs to work with the government to transform Malaysia by 2020.

Najib said the government would help the community fulfil its needs, such as through the allocation of the plots of land to build gurdwaras.

“This is an example of how if we work as stakeholders with the government we are able to bring benefit to the community.”

Najib, accompanied by his wife Rosmah Mansor, participated in a special cake-cutting ceremony at the event.

Highlights of the event included bhangra performances and a showcase of Sikh culture and heritage, the newspaper said.

Also present were Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia chairman Amarjit Singh and Human Resource Minister S. Subramaniam, the senior-most ethnic Indian minister in Najib’s government.

Malaysia is home to an estimated 100,000 Sikhs, part of the 2.1 million ethnic Indians who constitute eight percent of the 28 million multi-racial population.

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