A taxi driver revealed that he could not resist when a traveler becoming his passenger asked to be taken to a ‘red light’ location. By all means, to meet the request of his guest, the meter of his taxi can increase. Besides, he can also possibly get a tip for his services. “It’s a dilemma for me. If I refuse the request of my guest, there’s possibility if I will not earn money. To be frankly, I need to support my family,” said Mr. Putu, supposed so, in the interactive talk show aired by BaliTV some time ago.
Incidentally, I was the host of the interactive talk show entitled ‘The Voice of Legislative.’ At that time, the theme highlighted was the hazards of drugs and prostitution in Bali tourism. Many comments, inputs and facts were revealed by informants and viewers who wanted to interact. In essence, though Bali strictly remains to uphold the cultural tourism corridor, what is feared namely the prostitution and drugs really exist and can explode any time unless they are not properly handled integratively either by the government, police, customs office, public or related institutions such as the National Narcotics Agency (BNN).
For Bali, cultural tourism is non-negotiable. However, it needs revitalization in terms of the commitment by all parties to maintain the integrity. So, what was disclosed by Mr. Putu, the taxi driver, should be made into a reflection. Amidst the tourism business, there still remain many problems. Other than welfare issues, there are also social, cultural and environmental issues. There is something like a dilemma faced by Mr. Putu, the taxi driver. When he said there was no prostitution in Bali, he would surely deny the facts in the field. He lied. Moreover, if he said no in accordance with his honest confession, he could not get additional earnings and perhaps a tip.
Many noble nicknames are given to the island of Bali. There are the Island of Thousand Temples, Morning of the World, Last Paradise and so forth. However, do not be mistaken and we may not be intoxicated by such predicates. Do not fall asleep, lose and misstep. Do not be drunk due to such praise. Meanwhile, conditions in the field have started to shift by degrees. Cultural tourism begins to be shifted by the power of individuals that just wants the business alone. This one should be alerted.
Strength of Bali indeed lies in the cultural uniqueness, beauty of nature and socio-cultural conditions of the population. Make no mistake, it can change when Balinese human is not serious and alert. Prostitution and drugs are rampant while crime increases. It should be found a solution, not to mention the problems we are facing today. They are related to socio-culture, spatial disorderliness, traffic congestion, waste, provision of clean water and a multitude of other problems.