Taipei mayor urges citizens to be considerate to foreign workers
By Lauly Li, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday urged people to be more considerate to foreign workers, a statement which comes after a Tainan prosecutor's recent controversial comments on Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan at the Taipei Railway Station last Sunday.
August 14, 2013, 12:10 am TWN
Over 30,000 Indonesian workers packed into the Taipei Railway Station on Aug. 11 to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, also called the “feast of breaking the fast,” an annual religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide, marking the end of Ramadan.
Huang Chao-kuei (黃朝貴), a Tainan prosecutor who was at the Taipei Main Station on Sunday, took a photograph of Indonesian laborers, posted it on his social network page, and commented that “the Taipei Railway Station has been captured by foreign laborers.” Huang's comment has raised heated discussion.
Taipei Mayor Hau told the press yesterday that he was at the Taipei Railway Station for another event on Sunday, and noticed that there were a lot of Indonesian workers celebrating the festival at the concourse.
Hau said commuters transiting in the station might have been “slightly” obstructed by the crowds, however those foreign workers were just celebrating their festival. Hau added that “the celebration was peaceful, rational, and joyful.”
Hau said this is an annual religious event for those foreign laborers, and a chance for them to gather together, adding that people should respect their culture and be more considerate to them. “After all, those foreign workers have traveled away from their homes to Taiwan, and help us to make the city better in many ways. We should treat them like our families,” Hau said.
Taipei City Holds Events to Ease Congestions
Taipei City Department of Labor Commissioner Chen Yeh-hsin (陳業鑫) said that in order to ease the crowds at the Taipei Railway Station, the city government on Sunday held two other celebrations for Indonesian workers — one at Daan Park and another at a square northwest of Taipei Railway Station.
Chen said over 15,000 Indonesian workers attended the event in Daan Park, noting that without these events, it would have been more crowded at Taipei Railway Station.
Chen said the reason the event took place at Daan Park is that the Taipei Grand Mosque is across the park. This way, he said, it would be convenient for Indonesian workers to attend the celebrating event after their worship service at the mosque.
“The Taipei Main Station is packed with people when we celebrate Chinese New Year,” Chen said, noting however that people do not use the word “capture” to describe the congestion in the station. Chen added that to those Indonesian laborers the importance of the festival is just like Chinese New Year, therefore we should have empathy for them and be more considerate.