Image: Kristen Gray’s comments on Twitter. Credit: Twitter.
A young American woman got herself in hot water with local netizens over the past couple of days after tweeting a post extolling the virtues of foreigners being able to stay in Bali during the pandemic. While the rest of the world is under some kind of lock down situation you would have to agree with her, Bali is not so bad, but many find it somehow offensive, much to the dismay of people involved in tourism here.
Meanwhile, the local Immigration office stated this morning that they already knew where Kristen Gray was residing in Bali. They told detik.com that they will summon Gray to ask for more information regarding her tweet inviting foreigners to move to Bali during a pandemic that has created quite a stir in the community.
“Yes, we have a plan, but the time’s not confirmed yet. We have her address and copy of the residence permit at the Denpasar Immigration. Her registered address is in Karangasem,” said the Head of Bali Immigration Office, Eko Budianto said this morning.
Budianto told the press that the woman’s residence permit was still valid until 2021 and Immigration will also question Gray about the special route to Indonesia she mentioned in her tweet.
“Because indeed we only have nine crossing routes. The point is that permission is only based on a letter from the Director General of Immigration and a letter from the COVID-19 task force and only certain people can enter, for example diplomats, who then have an official visa, and also a limited stay permit (KITAS) as well as a permanent residence permit (KITAP) holders are permitted. The visitors stay permit is not possible for the time being, and wherever they try to get through, they won’t be able to. What Kristen Gray said at this point has not happened,” said Eko.
And what did Kristen Gray say?
Over the weekend, the American woman touched a nerve with some Indonesian netizens (mainly young) with her comments about how good life is in Bali.
On her Twitter account @kristentootie, (don’t bother looking, it’s already gone) she tweeted about the joy of living in Bali for foreigners. In the past, before moving to Bali, Kristen Gray told her followers, her struggling finances and income were inadequate and how Bali offered a cheaper life than when she was in the US.
Suddenly the hashtag #Bali was trending on Sunday (17/1/2021) evening with Kristen Gray accompanying it. Some netizens questioned Gray’s visa status, regarding taxes and highlighted the invitation for foreigners to move to Bali, which is considered insensitive to the economic conditions of the local community, said detik.com.
Kristen Gray’s story about Bali has been circulating everywhere and reaching the ears of the government as well.
“Regarding the viral news towards this foreigner on social media platforms, including Twitter, we have fielded several teams to find out more information,” said Eko Budianto, on Monday (18/1/2021).