Eco-resort's map sparks concern in Indonesia

Funtasy Island Development manages and promotes the 328ha eco-theme park (above) on Pulau Manis, a cluster of six islets 3km off Batam. The original map (below) on the company's website shows both Singapore and the Indonesia-based resort in blue, spa
Funtasy Island Development manages and promotes the 328ha eco-theme park (above) on Pulau Manis, a cluster of six islets 3km off Batam. ST FILE PHOTO
Funtasy Island Development manages and promotes the 328ha eco-theme park (above) on Pulau Manis, a cluster of six islets 3km off Batam. The original map (below) on the company's website shows both Singapore and the Indonesia-based resort in blue, spa
The original map (above) on the company's website shows both Singapore and the Indonesia-based resort in blue, sparking concern from the Indonesian authorities.ST FILE PHOTO

and Arlina Arshad A Singapore-run theme park has denied that it claimed a cluster of islands off Batam was part of Singapore.

Funtasy Island Development posted a map on its website showing both Singapore and the Indonesia-based resort in blue, sparking concern from the authorities in Indonesia.

However, the company told The Straits Times yesterday that there had been a "misunderstanding".

Director Michael Yong said: "We've never claimed that Funtasy Island belongs to or is within Singapore. We have no intention to declare or imply that it belongs to Singapore."

The company manages and promotes the 328ha eco-theme park located on Pulau Manis, a cluster of six islets 3km off Batam. The area is owned by Indonesia-based PT Batam Island Marina.

The Indonesian authorities reportedly warned Funtasy "not to make any sudden moves that would attract any negative perceptions". However, they now say that the matter is "settled".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said yesterday: "There is a collaboration to turn the island into a tourist area. Perhaps there has been a mistake in the promotion because the island was depicted to be in the same region as Singapore. The matter has been rectified.

"This is just a misunderstanding. The issue has a sweet ending."

Riau Islands provincial tourism agency head Guntur Sakti had previously told The Jakarta Post: "We are concerned that the islands might be claimed by Singapore and we don't want that to happen."

Indonesian officials also weighed in on the issue.

The Speaker of Indonesia's House of Representatives Ade Komarudin said "the country's sovereignty must be upheld" while Riau lawmaker Makmur Nasution said exclusive management of the islands was a violation of the 2007 Coastal and Small Islands Management Law.

Local army and navy personnel travelled to the resort on Sunday to plant a number of Indonesian flags.

Mr Yong clarified that the Funtasy map was meant to show where the resort is located and how far it is from Singapore. The map has since been edited to show the resort in red.

The firm has applied for an Indonesian police station and an immigration and navy post to be on the island after it starts operations in December this year.

This is not the first time the developer has courted controversy over the resort's publicity materials.

Last June, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore ordered the firm to change its print advertisements promising views of Marina Bay Sands and leaping dolphins from the Batam resort, as well as a guaranteed rental of 7 per cent a year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2016, with the headline 'Eco-resort's map sparks concern in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe