Coconuts Bali Politics

If you want to be engaged in politics and live in a place where people love chatting about the latest election or bill to go through, then get the heck out of Bali and pack your bags for the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. Bali, the Island of the Gods, is really not known for political activity and has a very laid-back, island mentality. That said, there is one big political, hot-ticket issue in Bali that we have been regularly covering since launching here: the controversial proposed reclamation of Benoa Bay. The reclamation would turn 700 hectares of the bay into a “special” tourist area, filled with artificial islands, complete with hotels, restaurants, and even an F1 track. The usually apolitical people of Bali have made it exceedingly clear they don’t want the reclamation to go through, with activist movement FORBali at the helm of the “Tolak Reklamasi” (anti-reclamation) campaign. However, when there’s so much money and power involved, there’s never an easy out and this issue has been dragging on for years. One of the other political issues that gets talked about in Bali is the death penalty. This has especially been big in Bali with a number of death row prisoners locked up in Bali, most notably Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan of the Australian Bali Nine. Sukumaran and Chan were ultimately executed in April 2015 as drug traffickers, but Bali is very still much waiting to see how the death penalty will be imposed in the future in Indonesia.

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