PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced a RM4 million allocation for Sikhs in Malaysia this year, to help strengthen the community.
He said as a government subscribing to the principle of caring and inclusiveness, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration was committed to continue with efforts to strengthen all communities in Malaysia.
He said RM3 million would be channelled to 120 Gurdwaras while a RM1 million fund would be dedicated to establishing the first Sikh centre in the country.
“This is yet another effort which shows that in Malaysia people are free to practise their own religion, culture and language regardless of who they are,” he said in his speech at a high tea in conjunction with the Vaisakhi Day celebration here.
Last year, the government allocated RM2.18 million to Gurdwaras throughout the country.
The prime minister said in line with the objective of the National Unity Policy, religious institutions like Gurdwaras play an important role as agents of unity in the local community.
He urged Gurdwara and other local community leaders to play a more proactive role to get people especially in the rural areas to sign up for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
Muhyiddin said the government appreciated the big contributions made by Sikhs in national development, including in the economic, social and education sectors.
“This Vaisakhi Day celebration is a time to celebrate the important contributions of the followers of Sikhism to our country, and to know the traditions and teachings of the Sikh religion which is rich in unity, noble family values and social justice,” he added.
He said the Vaisakhi Day celebration on April 14 also symbolised the diversity embraced by the people of various races and religions in the country.
Muhyiddin stressed that the PN government’s policy is based on the principles of mutual respect, inclusivity and justice.
“As such, it is very important for all of us to know and try to understand the uniqueness of each other’s cultures and history,” he said.
Muhyiddin said the principle and spirit of the Federal Constitution clearly showed that other religions can be practised freely and harmoniously although Islam is the religion of the federation.
Also present were Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan and Gurdwara Council of Malaysia president Jagir Singh. – Bernama