The Sikhs have been a small but vibrant component of our Singapore community from very early Singapore. Their Temple is their community centre to sustain their culture, values, faith and identity.
The Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) is the most important institution of the Sikhs. Both men and women have rights and equal say in religious matters.
The Scriptures of the Sikhs are contained in a 1430 page book called the Sri Guru Granth Sahib which is found in all the Gurdwaras. It forms the basis of Sikh meditation, their understanding of God and their world outlook.
The first Sikhs numbering 165 from Punjab, India, came to Singapore to he employed as policemen in the Straits Settlements Police Force in 1881.
Eventually they became members of the 500 strong Sikh Contingent of the Straits Settlements Police Force. These policemen worshipped in the Police Barracks on Pearl's Hill.
After World War II in 1945 the Sikh contingent was disbanded and the equipment of their Gurdwara was transferred to the Central Sikh Temple in Queen Street; the books were handed to the Sikh Missionary Society of Malaya.
The original Central Sikh Temple, a bungalow erected in 1912 stood at 715 Queen Street. It was reconstructed in 1921. In 1940 an Ordinance was passed to administer the Sikh Temple and it was known as 'The Queen Street Gurdwara Ordinance'.
As a result of urban re-development the site was acquired by the government and the Temple was vacated. The government provided a new site for the Central Sikh Gurdwara at Towner Road. The new and large Temple built by donations from the Sikh Community was officially opened by President Wee Kim Wee on 16 November 1986 on the occasion of the 518th birthday of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh Faith.