On behalf of the Malaysia National Sikhs Movement (GerakSikh) and the Sikh community, I request Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and the federal government to urge the private sectors to give unrecorded leave to Sikhs to celebrate Vaisakhi day.
As we all know, Vaisakhi is an important day in the Sikh calendar which falls on April 14 annually and is celebrated by Sikhs throughout the world.
The Sikh community is part and parcel of the one big family called 1Malaysia. This would also be in line with the government’s commitment to recognise all communities equally for their contribution towards the development of the country.
The contribution of the Sikhs is well tabulated and one cannot deny that Sikhs who first arrived in this country had served in the security forces and fought hand in hand for the independence of the country, not to forget contributing immensely towards the economic development of Malaysia.
Currently, all Sikh government servants are given a day off during Vaisakhi. However, the numbers in the government sectors are relatively small.
If this allowance can be extended to the private sectors and a directive be given by the government, it will benefit a large number of Sikhs, taking into account that the majority of the Sikhs are working in the private sectors.
This will ensure that Sikhs will be able to perform their religious obligations including going to the Sikh Temple for prayers during the day and also at the same time receive visitors into their homes on the auspicious day.
AMARJIT SINGH GILL is secretary-general, Malaysia National Sikhs Movement (GerakSikh)-cum-president, Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Ipoh (Central Sikh Temple).