A leading professor at Bali's Udayana University, Professor Doctor Wayan Windia is calling on the provincial administrators of Bali to change their policy approach in order to address imbalances in the income of the Balinese and the rates of regional development.
As quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Dr. Windia (shown), who also serves as the chairman of the Center for Subak Research at Udayana University, said, "Gaps in the rates of development between regencies and cities in Bali and the income of the publics are widening."
The respected academic went on to warn that if the obstacles and weaknesses in development programs are not soon remedied he is concerned that the gap between the rapid rate of regional and metropolitan development and average personal incomes will only widen further.
Referring to the State ideology of Pacasila, Windia warned that the Indonesia's shared commitment to social justice will represent little more than lip service if gaps in an equitable distribution in the benefits of development in Bali is not soon addressed.
Windia says that unbalanced approach to development in Bali appears to be based on the liberal-capitalist model of the West that theorizes inequalities in social justice will eventually be addressed through a "trickle down" economic model that results, over time, in benefits to all levels of society.
Questioning the wisdom of "trickle down" economic models in Bali, Windia said, "There appears to be no plan to improve areas that are crowded due to the large influx of migrants."
At the same time, he observed, the southern regions of Bali, that include the capital of Denpasar and the regencies of Badung and Gianyar - continue to be inundated with tourism infrastructure development.
"Moreover, there is the plan to reclaim Benoa Bay. What ill happen? It appears that poverty will remain in Bali. There are about 125,000 impoverished families in Bali," he said.
He continue saying that the 40% of Bali's population categorized as low income receive only 16.21% of the Island's income. At the same time, the number of farming families continues to shrink in Bali while the number of small landholders increases.
The current situation in Bali demonstrates that the concept of unbalanced development and "trickle down economics" in Bali is failing to substantially improve the people's welfare.
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