tWO-TIME SEA Games gold medallist Semret Singh has donated a vehicle to the Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya (GSPJ)
Semret’s mother Mohinder Kaur presented the MPV to GSPJ president Harphajan Kaur on Vaisakhi Day which marks the formation of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.
The vehicle will be used to transport the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib.
According to Semret, the holy book is more than a scripture — it is the Sikhs’ living guru. It must therefore be treated with utmost care and respect.
“The Guru Granth Sahib must be at a level above our heads at all times, or placed on the manji sahib — a raised platform covered with a beautifully stitched cloth known as rumala, underneath a chandoa or canopy,” explained the father of four.
“Previously, whenever the Guru Granth Sahib was taken to different locations from the gurdwara, it was placed on a person’s lap,” said Semret, 60.
“Although not wrong, it is better and more respectful to have it placed either above our heads, or on a manji sahib.”
Semret, the son of the late Ghenda Singh — also a former national hammer thrower — donated a Hyundai Royale Starex to GSPJ.
The MPV’s spacious interior has been modified to meet the requirements of transporting the holy book, with the two middle row of seats taken out to make room for a manji sahib.
“It had always been my late father’s wish to help upgrade the facilities for our community, starting with a vehicle that’s clean and suitable for transporting the Guru Granth Sahib,” he said.
“Apart from having the manji sahib installed for the Guru Granth Sahib, those who wish to travel in this car will be asked to remove their shoes in order to maintain the cleanliness of the interior.”
The MPV is available for use by other gurdwara in Malaysia.