Donald Trump maybe will contradict himself, right here in Bali, Indonesia : An Honest Opinion From A Traveller

Written by @Lan
Photos by curiostraveller.com team members

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Thought of the day-“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stifled. I want all the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.”-Mohandas K.Gandhi

Travel further up north or perhaps to the west of Bali, escaping that touristy and busy roads of Kuta and Denpasar, one may see drastic change in Bali’s landscape. There’s more green, beautiful villages and most friendliest people on earth, the Balinese. Ask any seasoned traveller about their preferred regency to stay in Bali, they will pin point Ubud or further north while some curios and curious travellers will opt to venture the west side, probably continuing their journey to Java via Gilimanuk and Ketapang. Amazing Bali of Indonesia but surprisingly Trump’s name is widely being mentioned here, not because of him being Mr.President but for he is about to contradict himself. That’s how I see it, from my perspective, a frequent traveller to Bali.

There’s one article that attracted my attention so much. It’s published by Jakarta Post and the Title of that particular article;

In Bali, Trumps Planned Six Star Hotel Risks Angering The Gods 
(Click the link to read the article by Jakarta Post)

Contradicting yourself Mr.Trump? Maybe but then I do respect you as the President of United States. I respect and understand all your decisions when it comes to the need of protecting your country. However, I think it’s funny to see that you are about to contradict yourself, sooner or later. Never mind that wall, it’s your right but have you ever consider others right or at least listening to what they have to say?

Nengah Santhi as in the article by Jakarta Post (LINK) said that, “When he comes to our island, then I will pay attention, if he asks me to sell my land then of course I will say no, this is my land, I grow my rice here and later my son will grow rice here.

Another interesting statement made by an ethnic village head, Sumawa is “If he comes here then he needs to follow our way of life.” (Jakarta Post-LINK).

On the other side of the world, ‘the wall’ is said to be effectively erected, fully secured, to forever segregate the United States and Mexico. Again an idea by Mr.Trump, I respect that decision, it is his right as the President. I can accept why he need to ban some migrants, though I personally don’t like it, I still ably to be in his shoes, understanding his world-views.

However, as a frequent traveller to Bali, I can’t stop myself from giving my support to the Balinese that pretty much concern about Trump and Hary Tanoesoedibjo plan to set up Trump International Hotel and Tower Bali. If you have no idea who Hary Tanoesoedibjo is, read this article by BloombergHERE. I believe, the Balinese are not against any development project, they know that it is them who will gain the long term benefits.

Property developments such as building Hotels and Resorts will bring in greater benefits; more jobs created for the Balinese themselves, not to mention indirect business opportunities as well as more rooms will be available for the tourists. There are many other benefits, economically speaking. It is the right of any business organizations to venture into the market that best suited their objectives as long as they follow the rules.

The plan by both Trump and Hary Tanoesoedibjo to build the largest resort in Bali Island complete with a tower as well as grander golf course is being protested by the Balinese themselves. Their worries are based on two factors, religion and land acquisition. This mega project is said to be located near to the famous Tanah Lot Temple, a sacred place for the Hindu worshipers. Though the Tower is still being drafted for its height, the locals are against any building that is taller than a coconut tree.

As highlighted by Jakarta Post, I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, the local chief of Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia said that; “I would strongly recommend against any new development that impact the temple.”

Laugh if you want but being a seasoned traveller, I respect their religion and belief, they prefer the buildings in Bali to be shorter than coconut tree or else the God Of Hindu will be angered. Ask any Balinese, they will say the same thing to you. A Tower is Tower, perhaps as grand as Trump’s Tower in New York. If a Tower is shorter than a coconut tree, is it a Tower? Remember, the resort is said to be nearer to the Tanah Lot Temple, Balinese or non Balinese must respect that sacred place.

Anything that is made of 2 or 3 floors is ain’t a Tower. Another factor being debated by some Balinese is land acquisition. The resort will cost up to $1 billion. It is indeed one big resort that will see an expansion from 106 to 140 hectares. Where will they get that extra 34 hectares? Logic will tell the locals in the surrounding area that the developers will have to resort to purchasing some nearby land. Interestingly, there are some paddy fields, villages and homes of the locals next to the proposed resort.

As in the article of Jakarta Post (LINK), Kadek Sudiasi said that he will not be selling his paddy fields to MNC of Hary Tanoesoedibjo, no matter how high the price is. He said;

“It’s the way of rich people to do whatever they want and to offer money to smooth the way for themselves. I plan to buy more land to give to my children instead of selling. Money you can make again, but land is finite, let alone fertile land.” (Jakata Post)

The controversy created is simple to understand, it’s about Religion and Land Ownership. These two things are the most fundamental and basic rights of the Balinese. Two things that money can’t buy. Two things that marks the sovereignty and dignity of a place, community and even a country. While Trump and Hary have their own rights as business people to build any resort that they want to anywhere in the world, they must first listen to what the locals have to say.

Trump plans to erect the wall to eradicate sporadic problems created by the Migrants from Mexico. That’s what he said. His plan is to protect the soil of United States of America, to protect the documented Americans from the problems caused by undocumented Americans, simply put Illegal Migrants. Of course that is his right and definitely the Americans right. One must protect his or her own country. I have no problem with that intention, it’s one noble effort.

Trumps sees that he needs to protect the economy by scrapping any International Agreements or Global Partnership that do not bring in any goods for the Americans. Understood. I will do the same thing if I am the President. I respect all that noble intentions. Though I am a bit against the sudden ban of incoming hopeful immigrants to United States, I do realize that it is the President’s right to do anything that he thinks is good for his people.

When I read the news that Trump won the election and will become the President, I guessed he must have plan to separate himself from business matters (related to his business organization). He will focus on his job as the President, looking after the United States Of America. He will surrender (for a while) many of his positions in various companies of Trump Organization. That was my thought until I read an article by Bloomberg;

Trump To Step Down From Business But Won’t Divest Ownership
http://www.bloomberg.com (LINK)

There’s a debate whether he is ably to adequately addressed conflict-of-interest concerns (as discussed in Bloomberg’s article). I have no intention to prolong the issue, it is again his right to maintain his position(s) in his business organization while at the same time serving the Americans as their President. Only Americans will have the right to judge about this matter, not me as citizen from other country.

I am just being concern for his and Harry’s plan in regard to the proposed Resort in Bali. Though the partnership is between Trump’s Sons and Harry, Trump Organization is still owns by Trump himself. They have the capital to proceed with the plan, so no one will stop them unless the Indonesian Government decide to halt the project. Until there’s an official intervention, I guess the project will go on.

So let them because it’s for Bali prosperity anyway. However, I do hope that Trump and Harry will give consideration to the two debated issues, Religion and Land Acquisition/Ownership. Address these two matters properly then the project will sure to get blessing from the locals.

Wait! I personally think Trump (through his business organization and partner) will contradict himself if he choose to ignore the Religion and Land issues. If he ignore the locals request to respect their demands, then Trump is soon to contradict himself. Let me remind you that he is fighting for the Americans, protecting their soil, dignity, sovereignty and so on.

Fail to address the Religion and Land issues faced by the resort project in Bali and he will be seen as one selfish man. It is mandatory for him to make people respect his principles in fighting for the Americans right but it is also all right for him to ignore the dignity of other communities in another country. He dare to build the wall to stop unwanted people coming to America but he might be willing to take others rights, well indirectly, in a form of business deal with his Indonesian business partner.

He can stop anyone at the USA border but he will make himself clear that no one will be able to stop him from his business ambitions. This is a reality IF he proceed the project without giving attention to the Religion and Land issues. It is all right to build any resort and a Tower to remind everyone of his existence, being built somewhere outside the US soil, but no immigrants can come in to USA without his approval.

I am a Malaysian. I do have high hopes to come to USA as a traveller. I have no intention to stay permanently in the USA as I only want to have my great time seeing New York City. I have been saving up all this while and was extremely happy to know that AirAsia will be allowed to fly the USA (LINK). It means cheaper fare. I have the intention to visit a cousin in Wichita, Kansas and a good friend of mine in the south. I have also prepared myself to go for that ‘little interview’ at the embassy in order to apply for the Visa.

With things being uncertain for now in USA, should I proceed with the travel plan? My Chief Editor said put on hold the plan, better visit another country until it is all right to visit USA. It is so hard for foreigners (even for me as a tourist) to get into America Soil (except for people who comes from countries, exempted from applying visa) but it is definitely easy for Trump to penetrate to other country market and suddenly creating all unnecessary remarks from the locals (as in the resort project in Bali).

Mr. Trump, me being a frequent traveller to Bali and being an Asian have no ill intention towards your business plan in Bali. Please do proceed, who knows I will become one of the paying guest in the resort. I do hope, however, that you will respect the locals as much as we respect you as the President. Respect the locals belief and sentiments as much as I do towards them. We respect your immigration policy, your wall, your political and economic views. It is not so hard to respect the Balinese Religion and Land rights.

I regard Bali as my second home. I wish Bali remains the same in years to come, not having so many changes in terms of having many modern buildings around. Development is all right but not that sporadic. I hope to see the Balinese ably to maintain their tradition, belief and most importantly their simplicity, friendliness and hospitality. I agree to their concerns in regard to the proposed resort near to Tanah Lot Temple in Bali, Indonesia. The reason, I love Bali and its people. That is why I keep coming to Bali.

The project is said to start in 2018 and if it is going to be really implemented, I do hope Trump and Hary will respect the locals demands, requests and hopes. Last but not least, please do not contradict yourself Mr.Trump. You are the chosen one to be the leader of the most powerful country in this world, so start by giving good examples to the world, perhaps starting by protecting the sovereignty of the Balinese living near to your business project. 

Note:

The argument in this article (apart from quoted references) is of my own thoughts. I take the responsibility of my own opinion(s) in this article and wrote it in my capacity as freelance writer/blogger/traveller. My hope is to see the best for Bali, my second home.

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Me, @Lan in Bali, Indonesia

References/Reading List

Ashley Kirk (2017, January 20). Trump Inauguration: Donald Trump’s policies in seven charts. Retrieved from: www.telegraph.co.uk

Caleb Melby, Ben Brody and Jennifer Jacobs (2017, January 12). Trump to step down from business but won’t divest ownership. Retrieved from: www.bloomberg.com

Jennifer Newton (2017, January 2016). Trump’s planned six-star hotel ‘risks angering the Gods because it will taller than a coconut tree’. Retrieved from: www.dailymail.co.uk

Karlis Salna, Yudith Ho and Fathiya Dahrul (2017, January 26). In Bali, Trump’s planned six-star hotel risks angering the Gods. Retrieved from: www.thejakartapost.com

Wikipedia (2017, January 15). Balinese Hinduism. Retrieved from: en.wikipedia.org

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