‘North-east Indians' skin colour matches ours’: Taiwan's minister apologises for ‘racist’ comments on Indian migrant workers : The Tribune India

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‘North-east Indians' skin colour matches ours’: Taiwan's minister apologises for ‘racist’ comments on Indian migrant workers

Taiwan could become the second country after Israel to recruit tens of thousands of Indian workers in recent times

‘North-east Indians' skin colour matches ours’: Taiwan's minister apologises for ‘racist’ comments on Indian migrant workers

Photo credit: english.mol.gov.tw/website



Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, March 5

Taiwan’s Labour Minister Hsu Ming-chun has apologised for saying that Taipei would prefer to recruit workers from North-East India because “their skin colour and dietary habits are closer to ours.’’ And they are “mostly Christians’’.

In a TV interview aired on February 29 and reported later by the Taiwanese media, this was the second time in recent months that there has been a political controversy over plans to recruit Indian workers en-masse to make up for the labour shortfall.

Earlier this month, Taiwan’s Ministry of Labour had said Taiwan and Indian governments have signed a MoU-via video to strengthen bilateral labor cooperation relations. The MoU will be signed in physical form soon, Ge Baoxuan, Representative to India, had said.

Taiwan could become the second country after Israel to recruit tens of thousands of Indian workers in recent times.

But a controversy was generated when Hsu said the plan to recruit more Indian workers from the North-East was based on an assessment by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Legislator Chen Kuan-ting from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party said, “Taiwan's recruitment of migrant workers absolutely cannot be based on race or ethnicity. Period.’’

At a legislative hearing, Hsu has apologised for her "inaccurate" comments that caused misunderstanding. Taiwan's labour policies, whether directed at local or foreign workers, are crafted with equality in mind and are never discriminating, the Minister said, reported Taiwan’s CNA.

The MOFA also apologised for "not entirely appropriate" narratives regarding the planned recruitment of Indian workers.

Last December Hsu said there were no plans to recruit one lakh Indian workers after this news became a political controversy in the run up to Taiwan Presidential elections.

“The Chinese-language media reported on vicious and abusive social media comments, accusing Indians of being dirty and uneducated and the men of being rapists and molesters. Some netizens were calling for a march against them early next month. Unlikely to occur, but appalling nonetheless,’’ wrote a long-time expat in “The Taipei Times’’.

#Israel #Taiwan


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