YOGYAKARTA – Muhammadiyah and Thai Muslims are ready to nail down cooperation including cultural and language exchanges. The idea came up during the visit of the Foundation of Islamic Centre of Thailand members to Indonesia.
Thailand delegation led by Prakairatana Thontiravong and Narong Vong, visited Muhammadiyah office in Yogyakarta on Friday. “Hopedfully, Muhammadiyah would send some teachers to teach Indonesian culture and language in Thailand,” Narong said.
The offer got positive response from Muhammadiyah. One of its leaders, Sukriyanto, said that the organization has the capacity including human resources needed in such cooperation. The Thailand delegation was also keen to learn about Muhammadiyah including its system and funding resources.
Muhammadiyah has 11,000 branches in 350 districts and 3,500 sub districts. Muhammadiyah has 162 universities and colleges, attended by Muslims and non-Muslims as well. In Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, and Sorong, Papua, for example, most of the students are non-Muslims.
In fact, cooperation with South Thailand Muslims has been started by some Muhammadiyah universities. About 42 South Thailand students were awarded scholarship from Muhammadiyah in 2010.