There is a virulent debate underway about the direction that Bali is heading as it becomes ever-more heavily developed and welcomes rising numbers of tourists. A portion of this important discussion is taking place on the website of this newspaper, where this week “Dewi” posted her thoughts; they are worth sharing here:
I am Bali-born and bred and it breaks my heart to see my home in its current state. At least as a tourist or foreigner, you get to leave Bali once your holiday is over; but as locals, we have to live with the situation.
All the visa money the tourists pay to get in has no effect on the island because all of it goes to Jakarta. I know for a fact that a small community in the Kuta tourist area is trying to do something about Kuta because it is not even safe for the locals that live there anymore.
Greedy non-Balinese are trying to take over and the local government is letting them to do so. The tourists are just as annoyed as the locals. I do hope the local government is reading this and takes it into their thick skull what they’ve done to Bali! Otherwise I believe the tourists won’t return.
This mounting frustration over rampant construction across southern parts of Bali that is decimating the natural landscape that, after all, people from all over the world come here to enjoy, runs the risk of social unrest if left unresolved. Governor I Made Mangku Pastika’s moratorium on hotel construction, widely ignored, would be a start.
Additionally, there is discontent among those living here and visiting over the high levels of pollution now found everywhere, from tourist beaches to rural streams. The government needs to urgently form a taskforce to clean up what is fast becoming known, here and beyond our shores, as an island of filth.
Right now, there are many dissenting voices. If this continues it could become ruinous, leaving a ravaged paradise destroyed by our own gluttony.
Filed under: Editorial