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2019 Eid al-Fitr Celebration in Taipei

* When attending the 2019 Eid al-Fitr Celebration in Taipei and Muslim Festival on June 9, Mayor Ko Wen-je commented that Taiwan’s government has proactively promoted the New Southbound Policy, and there is tremendous Muslim market potential in many Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. In particular, there is a large Muslim population in Taiwan, allowing locals to become acquainted with their countries and cultures.

Ko added that Taiwan was ranked as the 3rd most attractive non-Muslim destination among Muslims in the world by the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) in 2018 – second only to the UK and Japan. This demonstrated an improvement of 2 places compared to 2017.

Continual efforts are being made to transform Taipei into a Muslim-friendly city. There are 57 Halal restaurants and hotels in Taipei, constituting approximately 1/4 of the overall hospitality industry in Taiwan. Ko also mentioned that Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation has installed bidets in accessible toilets at key MRT stations for the convenience of Muslims who need to perform istinja before praying.

The mayor elaborated that the Taiwan Adventist Hospital (TAH) has obtained Halal certification to become a Muslim-friendly hospital. Aside from a Muslim prayer room equipped with prayer blankets, there are Quran and bidet spray, among other facilities. The hospital also offers over 200 Halal dishes to thoughtfully cater to the needs of Muslim friends. With regards to the facilities at TAH, Ko has instructed the Department of Health to continue increasing the number of Muslim-friendly hospitals. According to him, among the 700,000 migrant workers in Taiwan, more than 270,000 of them come from Indonesia, and there are at least 30,000 Indonesian migrant workers serving as senior care providers in Taipei City alone, so he also expressed his gratitude towards them for looking after the senior citizens of Taipei.

Following the success of the “prince of romantic songs” Pasha’s performance at the event last year, the organizers invited the highly popular singer Fildan from Indonesia to perform for his compatriots in 2019.

Since last year, the venue of choice for the Eid al-Fitr in Taipei has been Daan Park; Ko said that he hopes the public will enjoy the location, and ongoing efforts will be made on improvements so as to make attending the Muslim Festival more convenient for everyone. Besides meeting new Muslim friends, they can also befriend Taiwanese people in the friendly city of Taipei.

After his speech, the mayor handed out commemorative Eid al-Fitr picnic blankets to members of the audience, and he also visited the marketplace with an Indonesian blogger to enjoy mango shaved ice and interacted with international celebrities.