The ensuing backlash following President Joko Widodo’s revocation of a Presidential Regulation (Perpres) that placed alcoholic production in the country’s positive investments list has begun in Bali, with one lawmaker arguing that the province should get special treatment.
“Bali should get special treatment, because Bali is a tourism area. Alcohol in Bali has a local facet. The people of Bali have produced alcohol even before this republic became independent,” I Nyoman Adi Wiryatama, chairman of Bali’s Regional Legislative Council (DPRD), said, as quoted by local news outlet Radar Bali.
Jokowi revoked the regulation yesterday, after the largest and most influential Islamic groups in the Muslim majority country lambasted the Perpres, as they rejected the idea of alcohol tarnishing Indonesia’s image in the Islamic world.
The Perpres itself was signed on Feb. 2, initially opening up the local alcohol industry, specifically those in Bali, Papua, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), and Sulawesi, to domestic and foreign investment.
With the industry previously a closed business sector, the change was much welcomed in Bali, as officials expressed optimism that it will further development of the traditional liquor arak and thus in line with the province’s push for the beverage to gain more commercial prominence.
“If possible, it should be suggested that Bali gets a special treatment,” Adi said.
“The purpose is to bring more prosperity for the people in Bali and tourists can get something unique when they come visit.”