It’s been more than a year since the Balinese along with groups of volunteer activists fight against the government’s plan to create a new land (or known as land reclamation) in the sea area of Benoa Bay. The result of the planned project will be a 800 hectares man-made island, in which a Formula One race track, theme parks (like Disney Land, perhaps?), horse race track, hotels and restaurants, and of course art center will be built.
In 2013 Bali’s Governor told the public about the objectives of this project, which is t
o gain a lot of money for him to create a new tourism spot, to expand Bali’s land area, to protect Bali from Tsunami, and a lot more that I will of course counter against it in the next sections of this post.
When I read the statement released by the Bali’s Governor, I was like “This guy can’t be serious, right?” And a year later, I realized, he IS serious. I mean thousands of Balinese already went down the street and held a demonstration about how they are not for it. But the Governor seemed like
Does he even bother to watch this?
Improving People’s Standard of Living
In one part of the released statement, the Bali’s Governor (I don’t even bother to say his name) said that this project will help improving people’s standard of living around the Benoa Bay. And I was like, “Sir, you basically are just going to kill their career!”
Most of people around Benoa Bay are either a fisherman or an owner of water sport activities. Bali’s Governor logic: Let’s just replace the sea with a brand new shinning flawless land so they can improve their standard of living.
But let’s just say that it IS his intention to make people around the bay to change their occupation from fisherman to
slave I don’t know: manager, bartender, cashier, or even janitor in the new land. But wait, why does he think those people have the qualification to do that thing? I mean, just because you’re Balinese doesn’t mean you will get a job in the new land.
The “improving people’s standard of living” excuse is tiring. The government really needs a new excuse if they just want more money in their pocket. What is their definition of standard of living? Living with hardship 24/7 around a sparkling new island? The money they put into this project can improve people’s standard of living easily without having a new land built in the sea area that is considered sacral by the people!
Creating A New Travel Destination
Sure, it would be great for many people when they go back to Bali, they can experience a new travel destination such as Universal Studio, Disney Land, or F1 Circuit that they obviously can’t find in another country. Good idea, Sir. But I doubt most of tourists who visit Bali haven’t even heard about the other part of Bali like Negara, Lovina, Amed, and even Menjangan.So why don’t you improve those which already exist and then promote it so you can actually improve people’s standard of living?
There are a lot to improve, Sir!
Be at least as innovative as these two sisters:
And was he serious about building another art center? Last time I check the one in Denpasar is just… empty. I bet this one will even be emptier.
Protecting Bali From Tsunami
If I’m not wrong, to build the Bali Mandara Highway and also the new island, the mangrove forest around the area must be destroyed. And after they successfully create the new island, they will grow a new mangrove forest around the new island. But I don’t really catch the logic here: You destroy one thing, to build the same thing?
And wait, did he really say the new island will protect Bali from Tsunami?
Something Fishy And It’s Not A Fish
The plan actually violated the presidential decree number 45 year 2011 but then a year later there’s a new presidential decree which then allows the plan to build the new island in the sea area of Benoa Bay.
And there we go with the pro-reclamation people. They started making surveys, videos, etc.
Call me if any of these pro people come out with something like the first video that I posted or something artsy-fartsy like this
Tri Hita Karana
Joko Widodo, our president, must as soon as possible, delete that presidential decree that allows Benoa’s reclamation and Bali’s governor needs to go to elementary school and start relearning about Tri Hita Karana which teaches us about the harmony among people, with nature and also God.
And Which Side Am I On?
And of course you can sign thousand of petition out there, but I doubt it will help us to stop the plan. What we can do is only to spread the word about this plan!