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Indonesian honored for efforts to establish mosque

2018/12/09 20:49:27

Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇, fifth left)

Taichung, Dec. 9 (CNA) Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) on Sunday honored an Indonesian migrant worker whose fund-raising efforts over a 10-year period helped establish the first mosque in Pingtung County earlier this year.

At celebrations in Taichung to mark International Migrants Day, Hsu paid tribute to the worker known as Muksin, the founder of the An-Nur Tongkang Mosque (東港清真寺) in southeastern Taiwan.

Muksin, who has been working as a fisherman in Pingtung's Donggang Township since 1999, embarked on a goal to establish a mosque in the township for the many Indonesian Muslim fishermen there, Hsu said.

After years of fundraising and trying to find a suitable site, Muksin and his compatriots in Taiwan managed to obtain NT$7 million to establish the An-Nur Tongkang Mosque on Xingyu Street (興漁街), which can accommodate 120 worshipers, Hsu said.

The mosque, located on the third floor of a 3-story residential building, was officially opened on Feb. 18, becoming the eighth one to be established in Taiwan, said Hsu , whose ministry organized the International Migrants Day celebrations in Taichung Park.

Celebrated annually on Dec. 18, International Migrants Day was designated in 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly in recognition of the large and increasing number of migrants around the world.

In his address, Hsu said government statistics showed that the number of foreign spouses in Taiwan has surpassed 540,000, with mainland Chinese making up about 66 percent.

He said a large number of foreign spouses in Taiwan are also from Southeast Asian countries, totaling more than 150,000.

"We are extremely thankful for these new immigrants who have joined us to become Taiwanese," Hsu said. "They are bringing new energy and rejuvenating the country."

Against the backdrop, he said, the government has drafted a New Economic Immigration Law, which is aimed mainly at addressing a shortage of mid-level technicians by attracting more foreign professionals.

(By Hau Hsueh-chin and Joseph Yeh)