Dozens of students from the Indonesian Islamic Students Movement (PMII) West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) staged a rally in front of the governor’s office in Mataram on Monday. They urged the provincial administration to push the central government to intervene in the development of Mandalika Resort, a tourist site in Central Lombok.
Since the laying of a cornerstone by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the end of 2011, construction of the project, which is managed by PT Bali Tourism Development Corporate (BTDC), has stagnated.
Mandalika Resort is aimed at supporting the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development (MP3EI) in which NTB, together with Bali and East Nusa Tenggara, is in the fifth economic corridor centering on tourism and food security.
“We urge the central government to intervene in the Mandalika Resort development. NTB residents are very disappointed with BTDC as there have not been any construction activities in the Mandalika area,” said the rally’s coordinator, Lukmanul Hakim.
Mandalika Resort, which will stand on 1,275 hectares of land in Central Lombok regency, is considered strategic as it is close to Lombok International Airport, which opened just last year.
According to the students, the development of Mandalika Resort would have a positive affect on the economy of local people because it would offer employment opportunities.
“BTDC has signed a lot of agreements with various investors to develop hotels and even a Formula One race circuit. But none of the agreements has become reality,” they said.
During the rally, the students also delivered a written statement to Governor TGH M.Zainul Majdi, urging both the central and local governments to cancel BTDC’s right to oversee the development.
Home Lombok: Protest over Mandalika’s slow pace