Bali Governor Disavows Photo with Benoa Bay Developer – Tommy Winata
As reported by Kompas.com and various media, Bali Governor Wayan Koster has taken special pains to disavow a photograph circulating on the mainstream media and social network showing him sharing a table with the Chairperson of the PDI-P Party, Megawati Soekarnoputri, and Tommy Winata, the businessman endeavoring to build a highly controversial large housing and recreational park on reclaimed land in Benoa Bay.
The picture was reportedly taken on June 5, 2019.
The picture precipitated widespread commentary and criticism from many quarters in Bali who are adamantly opposed to the revocation of the protected environmental status on a large tract of Benoa Bay done by Past President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in the final days of his presidency in order to allow Tommy Winata’s to move ahead with plans to reclaim a lagre portion of the Bay for his planned mega-development.
During his recent successful candidacy for Bali’s Governorship, Koster stated his absolute pledge that plans to reclaim Benoa Bay would not take place during his term of office.
Insisting his position on no reclamation of Benoa Bay remains steadfast, Governor Koster explained to the media that his attendance at a dinner table with the owner of PT Tirta Wahana Bali International (TWBI), Tommy Winata, was coincidental with attendance at a post-Lebaran gathering (Halal Bihalal) hosted by the former president, Megawati Soekarnoputri. Adding, “I came and offered my greetings to Ibu (Megawati) and he (Winata) was already sitting at the table.”
Koster ask the media not to link the Halal Bihalal Gathering with the problem of the reclamation of Benoa Bay. “I have said that the problem of reclamation has been settled, it won’t happen. It’s no longer relevant to discuss reclamation further,” emphasized the Governor.
Continuing, Koster said that after briefly greeting Ibu Megawati, he chose a table removed from the former President and her guest, Tommy Winata.