Store le Point
Reading time: 3 min
Bewers of beer and broken plastic chairs litter the fairways of the golf course on the tourist island of Bali in Indonesiain which laid-off workers lament the unfulfilled promises of a six-star resort. Donald Trump.
It's been almost a decade since the former real estate magnate signed an agreement to give his name to the Nirwana Golf Resort. The resort, which offers idyllic views of the Indian Ocean, was even described as a "dream project" in 2019 by Donald Trump Junior, the son of the former American president.
But today the weeds have invaded the golf course-another fiasco for Donald Trump, whose six casino and hotel bankruptcies have racked up billions of dollars in debt and affected thousands of lives.
"There was nothing clear about our future. We'd heard they'd take us back, but it never happened," laments Ditta Dwi, formerly a "caddie" in charge of accompanying golfers with their equipment.
The deal struck in 2015 between the Trump Organization and Indonesian developer MNC has turned into a mirage for Indonesian workers.
The project was to renovate Nirwana, then considered one of the world's finest golf courses. It was also Trump's first project in Indonesia, the world's largest economy.Asia in the Southeast.
But in 2017, the complex was closed, and hundreds of employees dismissed.
Five years later, the course has been abandoned, the hotel demolished and the paths deserted, with the exception of a janitor who drives around the site on a cart, keeping tourists away from the bushes that grow here and there.
The ghost site is a far cry from the luxury real estate empire Trump built before he set his sights on the White House.
But the real estate tycoon, who recently made it known that he would be running for the US Presidency in 2024, had already experienced other colossal failures.
Between 1991 and 2009, six of his hotel and casino projects on the US East Coast went bankrupt.
To cover the losses of his first fiasco, the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, a city renowned for its casinos south of New York, the billionaire had to sell his yacht, his private jet and half his shares.
His partner, MNC boss Hary Tanoesoedibjo, blames Covid. The project had never got off the ground, years before the pandemic broke out.
Edwin Darmasetiawan, director of MNC's real estate department, doesn't see "this project as a failure, but as postponed".
At theAFPHe explains this postponement by "financial problems", and hopes to see completed within two years work that has not yet begun.
He also says he is "now concentrating" on the Lido tourism development project, south of Jakarta, which has already attracted its share of controversy for exhuming ancient Muslim tombs without the permission of the local population.
When asked about the Bali project, the Trump Organization declined to comment.
On the island paradise, a large number of workers lost their jobs after the billionaire's decision to abandon the land.
"It was hard when I lost my job," says Ditta Dwi, 26, "and a lot of people were angry.
The hotel employees received severance pay, but nearly 150 "caddies" responsible for transporting the golf clubs received no compensation when their fixed-term contracts were terminated.
The young woman earned a monthly salary of 1.3 million rupees (82 euros), but some months she could pocket up to 900 euros thanks to tips from wealthy golfers.
She now only receives a salary of the same amount, as a waitress in a small nearby restaurant.
Their lives have been profoundly affected, but the former employees are trying to forget.
"I've just given up. It's time to move on," says the young waitress.
"We have to go on living," says Pita Dewi, 52, who has worked in the hotel spa for 18 years.
This mother of one "stressed out" a lot when she lost her job. "I was 48, how could I find a new job?" recalls the 50-year-old, who now runs her parents' café.
But with typical Bali indulgence, the locals decided to put aside their resentments towards the billionaire.
"If we hated him, would he give us money" for it?" asks Pita Dewi.
09/12/2022 07:45:11 - Tanah Lot (Indonesia) (AFP) - © 2022 AFP
Newsletter international
Every Tuesday, get the best international news and exclusive previews from Le Point.

Newsletter international

You can consult our Privacy policy.
Report abusive content
Please enter the reason for your alert.
This field is mandatory
This field is mandatory
Wrong code
Continuous news
On newsstands
Why Iran is targeting France
See articles in the InternationalFollow the news in real time and access our news analysis.
Cocaine: Europe overwhelmed
Elizabeth II, the last queen
Capital letters

Experience Le Point
The store
Mobile applications
Our partners
We are OJD
Le Point forums

Personal data protection policy
Manage my cookies
Tax credit
Language courses
PER Comparator
Transparency portal
Video tutorial
Contact us
Site map
Terms of use
Customer account terms and conditions
Moderation charter

* Required fields
With a account :

Create an account to access the digital version of the magazine and the full contents of Le Point included in your offer.

To do this, enter
your subscriber number in the account creation parameters.
Do you have a Facebook account?
Connect faster
Do you have a Facebook account?
Create your account faster
Please give us the e-Mail address, which you used to create your account at
This item has been added to your favorites.
To support Le Point accept personalized advertising.
Already a subscriber? I identify myself


Categorized in: