When Bali has lost its Balinese aura, is it still called the Island of Bali? When it has lost the cultural aura, the nature is damaged, the population is no longer friendly, degradation occurs in various fields, is Bali still worth calling the Island of the Gods?
Actually these are not new questions. I did not know they came to my mind after I met with General Manager of Maca Villas & Spa Bali, Agus Made Yoga Iswara. According to this native to Jimbaran, Bali had indeed started to lose its original identity by degrees. Further, the man who has worked in the hospitality field in Australia and the Maldives said that one of the causes was persistent exploitation to the island so that the social, cultural and natural balance began to be disrupted.
Again, what disclosed by Mr. Yoga, as he is affectionately known, is not something new. It has become a concern for many parties who really love Bali. Yoga himself admitted that what he revealed was a kind of repetition. It’s the repetition to make many people vigilant and really understand what and how actually the condition of Bali is.
Yes, we do have to frequently remind because people easily forget if they are greedy for wealth and power. People can fall unconscious and turn arrogant. No exception Balinese people who at this point appear as policy makers. Necessarily, they have to stand on the position of pro Bali when having a dialogue with the officials of central government or investors. They should stand at the forefront in keeping Bali.
Unfortunately, it does not always happen. So, it is true what Mr. Yoga said that Bali must be head-to-head with other countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia in the ASEAN region. It is really a matchless comparison. Comparing a small island to great countries only in terms of quantity is truly unfair and dangerous.
Comparing Bali to those countries will tend to make Bali look like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and so on. We have seen the evidence now. Bali is increasingly exploited. Original face starts not to look anymore. Many large projects are built. Everything is great like Megalomaniacal Bali. As their argument, they want to create a one-stop tourist destination. It is what they want. Then, what happens? The look of Bali is black-and-blue. “We have to keep reminding the government,” said Mr. Yoga. Yes, that’s right. Hopefully, they could understand.