RM6mil restoration work on 122-year-old gurdwara in Penang to take 24 months

Jagdeep (third from left) showing the 122-year-old Wadda Gurwara Sahib that is undergoing major renovation. With him are (from left) Santok, Malkit, Mahinder and Surinder. — Courtesy of Buletin Mutiara

THE restoration of the century- old Wadda Gurdwara Sahib in Jalan Gurdwara, George Town, is scheduled for completion in 24 months.

During a site visit, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Jagdeep Singh Deo said the restoration project would cost about RM6mil.

He expressed gratitude to the state government for contributing RM1mil towards the project.

Buletin Mutiara reported that the conservation and restoration committee was headed by Datuk Seri Mahinder Singh Dulku who said that so far RM2.6mil had been raised for the project.

Jagdeep said the state government had lent its support to places of worship.

“This heritage building is 122 years old,” he said.

“It is not easy as we must adhere to requirements outlined by Unesco even for matters like changing tiles. But we will get it done. That is my promise to the Sikh community.

“Apart from this project, the state has also spent RM11mil on other places of worship across all five districts. It may not be much, but we will continue doing that,” said Jagdeep.

He said restoration work inside the gurdwara building had commenced before the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, due to circumstances, the project was delayed.

The project also holds special significance for Jagdeep, as his father, the late Datuk Seri Karpal Singh, lived down the road at the nearby Cecil Street.

Jagdeep had frequented the gurdwara when he was a young boy.

“I am undertaking this project in memory of my late father,” said Jagdeep, who was previously involved in successful restoration projects for gurdwara in Seberang Perai and Bayan Baru as well as other initiatives.

He was later invited to affix a hoarding using a drill to mark the start of the major restoration project.

Also present were Mahinder, conservation and restoration committee co-chairman Datuk Malkit Singh, Persatuan Wadda Gurdwara Sahib president Santok Singh and committee member Datuk Surinder Singh.

Mahinder said a golf tournament in Hatyai, Thailand, and a fundraising dinner in Penang would be held in November for the restoration project.

He said the committee planned to collect between RM2.5mil and RM3mil during the dinner.

He also thanked the late Karpal’s wife Datin Seri Gurmit Kaur for her guidance as the committee’s adviser in getting the project going.

“We want to thank everyone who has contributed financially to preserve this historic building.

“It is over 120 years, and we must be proud of preserving this building,” said Mahinder.

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