An article published by American business magazine Forbes reaps criticism.
That article encouraging readers to “quit that day job” and “move to an island that’s so cheap you don’t have to work”.
And now, it has become the subject of online ire on Twitter, much of which is coming from Indonesians.
The piece, published on April 30, rehashes a new report from International Living — a US-based publication devoted to global travel, living, retiring, and investing — that shows how it’s possible for people to spend their lives “on permanent vacation.”
The report features 15 “cheap islands around the world” where people can live on as little as USD1,200 a month, such as :
- Penang (Malaysia),
- Koh Samui (Thailand),
- Phu Quoc (Vietnam),
- Bali (Indonesia).
The report also reignited scrutiny on privilege, gentrification, and colonization.
Quoting the report, Forbes wrote that people can find a villa in Ubud for USD 500 ( IDR 7,3 million ) a month, while a couple can live well in most towns in Bali for USD 1,900 ( IDR 27,5 million ) a month.
These numbers may be affordable for foreigners from a developed country who can travel to other of the world on a whim, but let us remind you that the provincial minimum wage for Bali is only around USD 172 ( IDR 2.480.773)
Following the heated debate surrounding Kristen Gray, it shouldn’t be surprising then that the Forbes article has been met with backlash, as many pointed out its indirect suggestion for what is viewed as modern-day colonization.
“No, are you insane. What is this? Please get rid of this type of obsession, back then your ancestors straight-out colonized many countries, now all of you indirectly seek to take people’s land in the name of “looking for an exotic place to live?”
It’s true that Bali, for its part, still has a lot of work to actually realize a model of sustainable tourism that benefits its local residents.
But, it’s 2021.
From this side of the world, people are no longer keeping quiet about how westerners’ decisions to pack their bags and move to their islands will affect their lives.
Authorities of Indonesia must step up to address tax-related concerns with foreigners who stay in Indonesia for prolonged periods, such as the case of Kristen Gray.
The citizens of Indonesia are more cognizant of the real issues now than ever, and they’re not afraid to stand up to ignorant foreigners.