Indonesia Freezes Taiwan Intern Program after Report Alleges Mistreatment of Students

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Indonesia suspended its college internship program in Taiwan after a media report alleged that a whole bunch of scholar individuals have been made to work in factories and eat meals containing pork, the overseas ministry mentioned Thursday.

Indonesia’s Financial and Commerce Workplace (IETO) in Taiwan was asking Taiwanese authorities for clarification concerning the media report, mentioned Arrmanatha Nasir, spokesman on the Indonesian overseas ministry. A lawmaker in Taiwan had alleged that the Indonesian college students have been compelled to work 4 days every week as an alternative of attending lessons.

“Indonesia will quickly cease sending college students below the study-internship scheme till there’s an settlement on higher preparations,” Arrmanatha mentioned in an announcement despatched to BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated on-line information service.

In the meantime, Indonesian legislator Martin Hutabarat urged the federal government to analyze the allegations.

“I feel the Taiwanese authorities will significantly verify the veracity of the information for the sake of excellent relations with Indonesia. Our authorities should transfer rapidly to seek out the reality,” Martin advised BenarNews.

In 2016, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen launched the New Southbound Coverage (NSP), an trade program to advertise cooperation between Taiwan and 18 Asian nations.

About 6,000 Indonesians are learning in Taiwan, together with 1,000 individuals of the internship program enrolled at eight universities, in response to the overseas ministry.

IETO has urged Taiwanese authorities to take steps to make sure that the welfare and pursuits of Indonesian college students have been protected.

Final week, Taiwanese legislator Ko Chih-en mentioned that six universities had despatched college students below an NSP program to work in factories, in response to the report in Taiwan Information, the oldest English-language newspaper in Taiwan.

Ko cited a case the place 300 Indonesian college students enrolled at Hsing Wu College have been compelled to work 4 days every week at a manufacturing unit the place they packaged contact lenses for 10 hours per shift. They have been allowed to attend lessons two days every week and have sooner or later of relaxation, the report mentioned.

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Kendra Chen, a spokesman for the Taipei Financial and Commerce Workplace in Jakarta, dismissed the report as false.

“What we wish to emphasize right here is Taiwan at all times takes care of the welfare of members of the Indonesian diaspora in Taiwan – be they college students, staff or their spouses,” Chen advised BenarNews.

Officers from Taiwan’s Ministry of Schooling and the IETO visited Hsing Wu College on Thursday to hunt clarification, Chen mentioned.

“The Indonesian college students there denied there have been issues because the report prompt. A complete of 217 college students at Hsing Wu College even co-signed a letter and made a video to indicate their help for the college,” he mentioned.

Chen mentioned the scholars believed allegations have been made by folks with dangerous religion, including that the Taiwanese commerce workplace in Jakarta would maintain a information convention on Friday to deal with the difficulty.

Ko had additionally alleged that the scholars have been fed meals containing pork – which is forbidden by the Muslim tradition. Indonesia has the biggest Muslim inhabitants on the earth.

The Indonesian Council of Ulema urged Taiwan to respect non secular freedom.

“It’s best to keep away from insurance policies which might be detrimental and opposite to worldwide regulation,” mentioned Muhyiddin Junaidi, chief of the council’s overseas affairs division.

Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated on-line information service.

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