Gobind Singh Becomes First Sikh Minister In Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR – Gobind Singh Deo, who was sworn in as a Malaysian federal government minister today (21 May 2018), made history as being the first Sikh minister for Malaysia.

But it does not stop there. The second generation politician, who hails from a family deeply involved in the nation’s politics, is also the first Sikh minister in Asia outside India.

In fact, the only other nations that have Sikhs as ministers at the national level are India and Canada.

India is the home base for the majority of the Sikh population, mostly in the state of Punjab. Canada is home to a large Sikh population.

Gobind now joins the ranks of Harjit Singh Sajjan from Canada and Hardeep Singh Puri from India.

Harjit is the famed Canadian defence minister under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Harjit has three other Sikhs colleague ministers: Navdeep Singh Bains, Amarjeet Singh Sohi and Bardish Kaur Jhagger.

SEE ALSO: Gobind makes history as first Sikh minister in Malaysian Cabinet

Hardeep, India’s former permanent representative of India to United Nations (UN) and now a retired ambassador, joined the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a Cabinet reshuffle in September 2017.

The 65 year old retired diplomat had joined the Indian Foreign Services in 1974 and held ambassadorial level assignments in London and Brasilia.

Gobind, 45, took oath as the Minister of Communications and Multimedia under the new government led by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

His fellow party man, M. Kulasegaran who took oath as the Human Resource Minister, also donned a turban for the swearing in ceremony at the Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur.

His father, the late Karpal Singh, is a household name in Malaysia, having struggled on the Opposition side of the Malaysian federal politics all his life. He died in a car accident in 2014.