15 Jun 2010

Sikh MP dismayed at club's lack of respect

10:45 am on 15 June 2010

The only Sikh Member of Parliament says he has never before encountered so little respect for the Sikh religion as has been shown by the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club.

The Human Rights Commission arranged mediation last year after the club refused entry to Sikh community leader Karnail Singh because he was wearing a turban.

The mediation failed to convince the club to change its rules, and it voted on Sunday to reject a proposal that exceptions be made for people who have headwear because of significant religious beliefs.

National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi says the club should have been more respectful of religious sentiments.

The secretary of the Sikh Council, Verpal Singh, says the next logical step is to seek a ruling from the Human Rights Tribunal.

He says he will look at all the ways in which the club's rules can be tested - including becoming a member of the club - without aggravating its members.