Taiwan – After the inauguration of the Chairman of Muhammadiyah Special District (Pimpinan Cabang Istimewa Muhammadiyah/PCIM) of Taiwan on Sunday, the General Secretary and the Central Secretary of Muhammadiyah Central Executive Board, Dr. H. Agung Danarto, M.Ag and Drs. Marpuji Ali, M.Si had the opportunity to visit and had discussion with Indonesian ship crews (Anak Buah Kapal/ABK), the Chairman of Ship Owners Association (Pemilik Kapal Nelayan), and the local government authorities on Monday (5/12) in Port City Yilan, Taiwan. M. Adam, the Chairman of PCIM Taiwan, and Ahmad Hanif Firdaus, the Coordinator of Communication and Public Relation, also attended the discussion.
“Currently, there is more than 200 thousands of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Taiwan, 10 thousands among them work as fisherman (ABK), and about 2 thousands lived in Port City Yilan,” Adam said. The aim of the discussion, which went for approximately three hours, was to grasp the real condition of Indonesian ABK’s condition there, related to the problems they faced and of course win-win solution they could employ. In the discussion with Mr. Lyn (the Chairman of Ship Owners Association), he stated that overall, Indonesian ABK worked well, but they still lack of initiative of taking a job. This becomes the responsibilities of the government and Indonesian mass organizations in Taiwan to provide education and work training for the Indonesian Migrant Workers according to their specialization. Agung Danarto and Marpuji Ali also expressed their hopes for the ship owners that there are ABK’s rights, which they need to bestow, particularly in their freedom to practice their religion and the facilities to do so, especially for Moslems. “Thank God Mr. Lyn as the representative of the Ship Owners of Indonesian ABK welcomed our suggestions and hopes, he also promised to give the adequate facility for Moslems to practice their religion as they work,” Adam added.
For more or less 45 minutes of discussion in Mr. Lyn’s house, PP Muhammadiyah and PCIM Taiwan entourage went to the fishermen’s dorm, which is designated for Indonesian ABK since they have been living in the boat. On their way there, the entourage met Indonesian ABK who was preparing for their supply to the sea; most of them are from East Java and Central Java. They had small discussions and the fishermen welcomed the existence of PCIM in Taiwan.
As they arrived at ABK’s dorm, which is located approximately 1 km from Mr. Lyn’s house, the party was welcomed by Yilan Governmental authorities. Yilan government explained that they are currently building four-stories building which will be used by about 2000 Indonesian ABK there. This facility is specially provided by the government to Indonesian ABK as the number continues to rise annually and contributes greatly to Yilan’s economy growth. Representing Indonesian citizens, Ustadz Marpuji expressed his appreciation for the facilities given by Yilan government for Indonesian ABK. He hoped that by receiving the facility, it will ensure Indonesian ABK’s prosperity and raise their work ethics, and in the end it will bring advantage to all parties, including to the ship owners and Yilan government. He also reminded and negotiated with the government authorities to provide dorm for Indonesian ABK, as well as providing religious lecture for Moslems by inviting Ustadz from Indonesia who will also life in the dorm. Responding Ustadz Agung’s request, Yilan governmental authorities will try to fulfill his wishes, but it needs to wait until all Indonesian ABK occupy the dorm, which is now under construction. The discussion also talked about the dorm rent would not be a burden for Indonesian ABK. After they finished their discussion, the party surveyed the building interior, and the government had provided adequate facility; kitchen, dining room, bedroom with internal bathroom, TV, internet and wifi, musholla for Moslems, which was a chapel with a cross attached on the wall when we went there. In order to design and complement the musholla facility, the governmental authorities will request for help from Taiwan PCIM, especially for qibla direction.
Thus, for the blessings and mercy of God, the enlightenment spirit of Muhammadiyah reached port city, Yilan, Taiwan, a faraway country to where Muhammadiyah first established. The spirit to fight for the citizens’ right in Formosa country, because the best men are the ones who bring benefits to others, as taught by Rosulullah. It seems that Rosulullah’s message, which was interpreted from Al Ma’un verse, inspired K.H. Ahmad Dahlan to do and bring advantages to people. We asked for your prayers for our struggle and the establishment of our religion, Islam rahmatan lil alamin in Formosa land, Taiwan. Aamiin. (hanifird) (dzar)