Dual citizenship considered
The Ministry of the Interior is considering conditionally allowing foreigners to obtain Republic of China (ROC) citizenship without having to renounce their original nationality. Wanda Chang (張琬宜), head of the ministry’s Department of Household Registration Affairs, made the remarks after media reports that a US priest who has lived in Taiwan for the past 50 years is not able to obtain ROC citizenship. Chang said that some legislators have recently proposed abolishing Article 9 of the Nationality Act (國籍法), which requires foreigners to relinquish their original nationalities before applying for ROC citizenship. The ministry would prefer to keep the requirement, but add an exception for people who have made special contributions to the country or outstanding people who fit national development goals, Chang said. Local media reported early this month that a Malaysian woman who was left stateless when her Taiwanese husband died partway through the immigration process. She lived in Taiwan without any valid citizenship for 18 years before finally getting temporary travel documents to return to Malaysia.
Pingtung police raid hotels
Pingtung County police on Friday night raided hotels and guesthouses searching for illegal drugs ahead of several high-profile music events in the county. No drugs were found after 40 officers inspected hotels, inns and other locations that could be used to store drugs, the police station in Hengchun Township (恆春) reported. Nearly 100 people have been arrested for drug-related offenses at the Spring Scream and Scream Wave music festivals over the past three years, police said as they urged festivalgoers to obey the law during this year’s events. Hengchun Police Precinct head Chen Ing-fang said that about 500 officers from the Special Police force, military police and Coast Guard Administration will be deployed to maintain order and traffic control during the Spring Scream and the Spring Wave festivals, as well as rock and electronic music concerts at six other locations between April 3 and April 6.
Crash kills one, injures 16
A head-on collision on Saturday in Taitung County left a flatbed truck driver dead and injured 16 passengers on a tour bus, including 14 Chinese, police said. The accident occurred at about 4pm when a tour bus that had been carrying 21 Chinese tourists was traveling on the South-Link Highway between Greater Kaohsiung and Taitung, police said. The truck was coming from the opposite direction and crashed into a hillside following the collision. The truck driver was thrown from his vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The tour group’s Chinese leader suffered “relatively serious” injuries, while 13 other tourists, the Taiwanese bus driver and the Taiwanese tour guide were slightly injured, police said. The injured were sent to nearby hospitals.
Work-holiday program open
Young Taiwanese looking to gain work experience while traveling in Canada this year can submit applications for the program starting on Wednesday, the Canadian representative office in Taipei said. The annual reciprocal program allows 1,000 Taiwanese aged 18 to 35 to work and travel in Canada for up to one year in three categories: working holiday, one-year contract of employment and one-year internship for university students. The Taiwan-Canada working holiday agreement took effect in 2010.