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An Alien Invasion?

Bali Official Says Ungasan Peninsula Largely Now Controlled by Foreign Interests.

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DenPost reports that rapid development on the Ungasan peninsula in Bali's far south is causing concern over the future sustainability of that area. A local official (Perbekal) of Ungasan, Made Duama, told DenPost that almost all land in his area is now controlled by foreign investors who have used a variety of tactics to seize control of what was once primarily agricultural lands.

Duama explained that foreigners were purchasing land in the names of local nominees and building commercial villas for rent to third parties. This widespread practice has caused land shortages in the Ungasan area.

The Ungasan official does not, however, hold foreign land purchasers to blame for scooping up available real estate, but, rather, the lack of local rules and regulations limiting such activities.

Duama freely admits that the purchase and development of land by foreign interests results in higher tax revenues, but also believes such activities will eventually result in the disenfranchisement of the people endemic to the Ungasan area. "Frankly, I am very worried that Ungasan will eventually all be owned by foreigners," lamented Duama.

Duama commented separately that the people of Ungasan are not opposed to investment in their area. At the same time, he insists, that not all the local land in Ungasan should be dedicated to tourism, with large tracts retained for the use and enjoyment of the local community. He also admitted that a Special Committee established by the Regional Government to study zoning and land use issues have yet to address the issue of limiting foreign ownership/control of land in Bali.

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