No Taiwanese injured in Singapore's largest public outbreak of violence in decades

TAIPEI - No Taiwanese nationals in Singapore were injured during the city-state's largest riot in decades, which took place late Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

MOFA said staff members and their relatives at Taiwan's representative office in Singapore were all safe. The office has also made contact with all Taiwanese businessmen and other nationals in the country and no injuries have been reported, MOFA said.

Hundreds of South Asian workers rioted in Singapore late Sunday after being enraged by a fatal road accident. The riot, which left 18 people injured and police vehicles burned, is reportedly the city-state's worst outbreak of violence in more than 40 years.

A police statement said the disturbance started in the congested Little India district, when a 33-year-old Indian man was killed after being hit by a private bus.

A total of 27 South Asian workers were arrested on charges of rioting, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison plus a caning, Singaporean police said.

Asked to comment, MOFA said yesterday that the situation in Singapore has been stabilized by Singaporean police authorities and the representative office will continue to keep a close eye on political developments in the country.

Don't Bring Alcohol to Saudi Arabia: MOFA

Meanwhile, MOFA yesterday called on Taiwanese nationals not to bring forbidden items, including alcohol and pork, when visiting Saudi Arabia.

MOFA cited in a statement a recent incident in which a R.O.C. national was caught carrying alcohol when entering Saudi customs. The Taiwanese national was later given a fine for the violation.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a country that follows strict Islamic traditions, MOFA noted. Forbidden items in the country include alcohol, narcotics, weapons, ammunition, pork and pornography. All electronic devices, including computers and laptops, are also subject to checks before transitioning through the immigration section in Saudi customs. All devices containing nude pictures will be confiscated immediately with violators receiving a fine or even a jail term.

MOFA reminded Taiwanese tourists to double check their luggage and make sure that they do not bring forbidden items into the country and to follow local laws when traveling overseas.

In case of emergency, Taiwanese nationals in Saudi Arabia can call the emergency hotline of Taiwan's representative office in the country at 0505-223725 for help, it said.