Following recent accusations of discrimination against foreign workers by Taipei Railway Station, another incident of alleged discrimination has surfaced, with about 1,000 residents in a Taoyuan County community petitioning to have 30 Filipino workers move out of the area.
Hanging up large banners that read “No to foreign workers in our community,” residents of Rueilian Community (瑞聯社區) in the county’s Bade City (八德) said they did not want the foreign workers from the nearby Ablecome Technology company to stay in the community because of safety concerns.
“We are concerned about our safety,” a resident, Lin Feng-mei (林鳳美), said in a video clip aired by Public Television. “There are many children living in this community. Most of the families here have children, and they are afraid of playing in the park because those foreign workers also spend their leisure time in the park.”
About 1,000 residents of the community signed a petition earlier this month, asking Ablecome to resettle the foreign workers as soon as possible.
While Ablecom general manager Liang Chien-fa (梁見發) said he disagreed with their views, he has agreed to find another place for his employees to stay by Oct. 6.
“They [the Filipino workers] have been staying in the community for only about two weeks, and there have been no problems at all,” Liang said, adding that foreign workers are no different from locals, but the company has agreed to relocate them because of the community’s opposition.
Taoyuan County Councilor Lu Lin Hsiao-feng (呂林小鳳), who represents the constituency, denied that residents wanted foreign workers to leave because of racial discrimination.
“It has nothing to do with discrimination,” she said. “With 460 households and more than 1,000 residents, Rueilian is a peaceful community. They are merely worried that clashes could happen because of these foreign workers, with their different skin color and different culture, going in and out of the community.”
The incident in Taoyuan is the second case of apparent discrimination that has surfaced recently in the nation. Earlier this month, Taipei Railway Station came under fire for cordoning off parts of its lobby on weekends after receiving complaints that gatherings of migrant workers to celebrate Eid al-Fitr last month were bothersome.
Taiwan International Workers Association secretary-general Chen Hsiu-lien (陳秀蓮) said that she was not surprised because discrimination has always existed, “it’s just a matter of whether it surfaces.”
“Last Sunday, a member of our association took a group of Filipino workers to Xinsheng Park in Taipei to practice drumming, and police officers appeared within 30 minutes, saying the Filipino workers were too noisy and could disturb people in a nearby library, and that they were violating the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法), because they did not apply for an assembly permit in advance,” Chen said.
“But there’s no library near the park. It’s already very noisy there because it’s close to Songshan airport, and, when have you heard of people needing to apply for a permit to practice drumming in a park? What about those who exercise and do aerobics dancing in the park?” Chen said.
Chen said what happened last Sunday was not an isolated case.
“We often have difficulties renting an office too, because some of our neighbors pressure the landlord since they don’t want ‘people with dark skin’ to be going in and out of the building,” he said.
Taiwan New Immigrant Cultural Exchange Association president Hoang Oanh, from Vietnam, said the government could create special areas for immigrants to exhibit their culture and sell merchandise from their home countries.
“Such places could be ideal for immigrants to spend their leisure time, and it’s also ideal for teaching locals about the cultures of these immigrants,” Hoang said, adding that increased exchanges between locals and immigrants would promote better relations.
EMBRACE CHANGE: Jensen Huang told NTU graduates that instead of worrying about AI itself, they should worry that people with expertise in AI would be taking their jobs Artificial intelligence (AI) is redefining the computer industry, and Taiwanese companies could play a major role in replacing the world’s traditional computers as they are the foundation of the industry, Nvidia Corp cofounder and CEO Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) said in Taipei yesterday. Huang made the remarks while giving the keynote speech at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) commencement ceremony. AI has created immense opportunities, and versatile companies can be expected to take advantage and boost their position, while less flexible firms would perish, he said. “In every way, this is a rebirth of the computer industry and a golden opportunity for the companies of
‘ARCHAIC’: An interpretation of a law that considered Chinese as Taiwanese nationals was scrapped after the death of a Chinese in Kaohsiung led to state reparations An administrative mandate to consider Chinese as Taiwanese citizens was outdated, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said yesterday, a day after the Executive Yuan ordered that agencies disregard the 30-year-old interpretation. Chen made the remarks at an event held by the Environmental Protection Administration in Taipei following changes to the administrative mandate concerning the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例). The previous interpretation of the law was archaic and contrary to the workings of laws and regulations, he said, adding that the order was made to avoid unnecessary problems created by the mandate. The Mainland
NOT BUYING IT: One of the goals of Beijing’s Cross-Strait Media People Summit was to draw mainstream media executives to discuss the ‘one country, two systems’ formula Taiwanese news media insist on press freedom and professionalism, and would never become a tool of China’s “united front” campaign, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said yesterday, responding to media queries about the lack of Taiwanese media executives at the Cross-Strait Media People Summit in Beijing. Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Chairman Wang Huning (王滬寧) was reportedly furious that no Taiwanese media representatives attended a scheduled meeting with him on Thursday last week. “Beijing should take Taiwan’s determination to pursue freedom and democracy seriously. We also hope that it will not use vicious means to interfere with Taiwan’s development into a
IMMIGRATION REFORM: The legislative amendments aim to protect the rights of families to reunify, and to attract skilled professionals to stay and work in Taiwan Foreigners who are highly skilled professionals, top-prize winners in professional disciplines, investment immigration applicants or have made special contributions to Taiwan can soon apply for permanent residency on behalf of their spouses and minor or disabled children after the legislature approved amendments to the Immigration Act (入出國及移民法). The amendments, which were proposed by the Ministry of the Interior and approved by the Executive Yuan on Jan. 12, aim to attract foreign talent to Taiwan and encourage them to stay. They would take effect once they are signed by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). The amendments involved changing 63 articles, making it the biggest