In August, the Trump Organization announced a deal with one of Indonesia’s largest investment groups, MNC, to manage an upcoming “six star” resort and golf property in Bali “atop the incredible southwest coast and set against the Indian Ocean and renowned Tanah Lot temple,” which dates back to the 16th century.
The prime piece of land, on a sheer cliff along the coast, reportedly cost MNC 1 trillion rupiah ($72.3 million). Trump and MNC plan a second resort in West Java, due to open in 2019.
But Donald Trump’s presidential run, and particularly his recent statement that Muslims should be barred entry from the US, is raising questions about these deals.
Today (Dec. 10), a prominent member of Indonesia’s United Development Party (PPP), HM Romahurmuziy, issued a statement (link in Indonesian) that if Trump doesn’t apologize for saying Muslims should be barred from the US, then the Indonesian people should reject his investments in the country. “The PPP calls for the rejection of Trump’s investments in any form in Indonesia,” he said.
The PPP, with a handful of other parties, is part of the nation’s ruling Outstanding Indonesia Coalition. While the Trump Organization will manage both of the upcoming Indonesian resorts, the investment is coming from MNC, local news reports say, so it is unclear what the impact of this statement could be.
Indonesia is a secular country, but nearly 90% of its 250 million people are Muslim. Trump’s comments have angered local religious groups and activists as well. The Trump Organization has long courted wealthy Muslims as tenants and customers, and businesses in the Middle East and elsewhere helped build the presidential candidate’s empire.
The PPP is not alone in denouncing Trump in Indonesia, but it appears to be the first group to bring up his business deals there.
Earlier this week, the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, a group of local Islamic clerics, accused Trump (link in Indonesian) of having “no brain” and making “primitive statements.”
“I think the perspective of people here in Indonesia is that they see Donald Trump as a loser,” Yenny Wahid, Islamic activist and daughter of the late Indonesia president Abdurrahman Wahid (or Gus Dur), told the Guardian. “We don’t really take his comments seriously.”
Another influential daughter of Gus Dur, Alissa Wahid, told Quartz that Trump “uses Islamophobia as a political commodity, and it shows his true colors. The joke is on him, but he plays a dangerous game. If he wouldn’t retract his words, I would support a campaign to boycott his business in Indonesia.”
MNC Group and the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment.