Why Bali Still Needs YOU Despite the Bali Nine Executions
Australians woke today to the news that two of our own, from the Bali 9, were executed overnight by a 12 man firing squad, on the island of Nusa Kambanghan, Indonesia.
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were the ring leaders of the infamous Bali 9, arrested at Denpasar in Bali, 17th April 2005. It was deemed that they would be sentenced to death by a firing squad, while the other 7 people were sentenced to life imprisonment, with some having that overturned and are serving just 20 years.
When you fly into Denpasar airport it is obvious that Indonesian law does not take lightly to drug smugglers, as signs are plastered on the walls of the airport letting you know, in no uncertain terms, that drug smuggling is a criminal offense. Before the Bali 9 arrest, Schapelle Corby, another Australian, was charge with the importation of 4.2 kgs of cannabis 6 months previously.
Yes I have my own beliefs about this case, yes a criminal needs to do the time and rehabilitate. Should they be shot after 10 years of rehabilitation? No. Were they totally stupid for strapping 8.3 kg (18 lb) of heroin to their bodies to bring to Australia? Absolutely.
That’s pretty much where I’ll leave my comments as Australians divide on their opinions and the political debate has already turned into a circus. As we all know the media loves a story and will milk this one until it’s completely wrung out with no more to give. You won’t be able to turn on your TV, radio or look at your Facebook feed without reading all the up-to-minute details of the Bali Nine Executions.
Yes I understand the grief, the anger and disbelief, however, you, nor I, can change the past and what is done. We must look to the future and it’s the future, Bali’s future, that concerns me.
It’s started already on Facebook this morning, comments about the 7th Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, his harshness and cruelty towards Chan and Sukumaran. Many people have stated they “will never set foot in Bali again” because of the Indonesian law and decisions made today to execute the 2 men.
This is the worst possible outcome for Bali if this were to happen. The after effects of the Bali bombings in 2002 and again in 2005 were felt for years, throughout the community and it’s people. Tourists stayed away in their 1,000’s. I spoke with many Balinese in 2003, 2006 and since, the ripple effect was staggering, with many families unable to provide the most basic of needs.
Bali is Indonesia’s number 1 revenue raiser. the economy is built from the tourism in Bali. Does Bali receive the full effects of the money raised? No, however it does boosts the economy, living conditions and standards for her people.
The majority of Balinese people (88.5%) are Hindus, beautiful, gentle people with the biggest hearts. They love to serve and can teach us westerners a thing or two about living life. I have discussed this previously in several of my posts here and here.
Many people cross Bali off their Bucket List because they think it’s unsafe. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bali is one of the safest places to take a vacation or holiday. Security is fairly high, however, not intrusive and no different to any western country with a presence of police on the streets.
Bali is more than just nightclubs and beer swilling Aussies. It’s beautiful beaches, rice paddies, ancient ruins, volcanoes to explore, has a healthy restaurant scene, dive sites, islands, and has some of the best surf breaks in the world.
May I suggest to you that IF Bali was on your bucket list, leave it there! Go and experience the wonderful Island of the Gods, don’t let the Bali nine executions cloud your judgement.
Would the overnight chain of events stop me from traveling to Bali? No! In fact we are booked to fly to Bali in September this year for two weeks and I am still looking forward to it. The Bali nine executions aren’t stopping me, would it stop you?