Jatiluwih rice terraces in Tabanan, Bali.(shutterstock.com/ALINAT17/File)
On Bali, building height is measured by coconut trees because locals believe that anything taller would anger the Gods. Plans to renovate a decades old hotel and turn it into a bigger six-star resort, complete with a tower and an upgraded golf course, are causing some anxiety. It is not only because plans include purchasing some of the land in Tabanan pictured above.
From the lobby of the current resort, guests can look out to the 16th-century Tanah Lot temple, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, perched precariously on an offshore rock, said to have been built as a shrine by a traveler who founded a Hindu priesthood in Bali.
Donald Trump’s company has paired with MNC Group founder Hary Tanoesoedibjo to build the Trump International Hotel and Tower Bali which they say will be the largest resort on the island.
Tanoesoedibjo was on the guest list for Trump’s inauguration in Washington, DC, and has touted his friendship with Trump’s children.
He also has his own political party, and his smug countenance and that of his Stepford wife, regularly interrupt programmes with party political infomercials.
The country’s press law includes an article specifically guaranteeing newsroom independence, but it is never enforced. Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) runs several TV stations and two newspapers and producers working in MNC’s newsrooms say Tanoesoedibjo regularly summons them to meetings to ask for favourable coverage of his business interests.
As national and local newspapers and TV stations have been conglomerated there is less room for independent investigative journalism. Jakartass is but an opinionated observer, quoting reliable sources such as this one.
So I offer the above as a public service.