Locals in Bali riled by construction of Trump’s ‘six-star’ resort on sacred site
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s new “six-star” resort in Bali has angered many locals for its location across a sacred site in Tanah Lot as well as its towering structure, said to be taller than a coconut tree.
Hindu locals believe that any building taller than a coconut tree could stoke the ire of the Hindu Gods who inhabit the island.
Bloomberg reported: “Plans to renovate a decades-old hotel overlooking a 16th-century temple and turn it into a bigger ‘six-star’ resort, complete with a tower and upgraded golf course, are causing some anxiety.”
Made Sumawa, ethnic head of the village where the project is located, said, “If he forces his bling bling decoration here then it just won’t work. If he tries to force his style upon us then of course we will give recommendation against it.”
Meanwhile, Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, local chief of the religious organisation Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia, said, “These things are sensitive in Bali. The Balinese don’t tend to speak up, but these things related to the sacredness of the temple are very sensitive, only the enforcement is too weak.”
Local Kadek Sudiasi told the publication: “It’s the way of rich people to do whatever they want and to offer money to smooth the way for themselves.”
The report added that the hotel will be flanked by views of the Indian Ocean and will bring “a new level of luxury” to Bali.
Trump collaborated with an Indonesian tycoon to build what will be the “biggest resort on the island” covering 140 hectares. Construction is projected to begin in 2018.
Tanah Lot is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to have been built as a shrine by a traveler who founded a Hindu priesthood in Bali. More than 80 percent of the Balinese community identify as Hindu.