TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Twitter-sphere was suddenly enlivened by a United States citizen currently living in Bali, Kristen Gray, who called for other foreign nationals to live in the Indonesian tourist haven known as Pulau Dewata (Island of Gods).
What mostly caused the uproar was the fact that Gray claimed to have started staying in Bali throughout the Covid-19 pandemic even though Indonesia had restricted its doors from tourists to suppress the possible spread of the virus.
The aspects that twitter users had trouble with was that Gray had promoted heavily on Bali’s cheap living costs, lavish lifestyle, and the existence of a black community where she currently resides. Fearing foreign visitors would potentially exploit the welcoming nature of the tourist destination.
This issue has also grabbed the attention from the Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno who implied that international visitors must understand that Indonesia is a lawful nation.
“What we need to assert is that Indonesia is a lawful state, we must ensure that international or domestic tourists adhere to Covid-19 health protocols and they must also respect the law,” said Sandiaga Uno on Tuesday, January 19.
Despite acknowledging that Bali has been one of the main options for international tourists, especially as a destination to conduct remote work due to Covid-19 restrictions, he reminded that visitors must respect Indonesia’s law.
Indonesian immigration is currently reportedly looking for Kristen Gray who is believed to have stayed in Indonesia since March 2020.