From: The Jakarta PostBy Indra Harsaputra and Achmad Faisal, The Jakarta Post, Surabaya
A Sumenep legislative council member confirmed reports that two islands off Madura had been sold to a businessman who intends to develop them into resorts.
Councilor Badrul Aini said Tuesday that businessman Zainal Seniya bought the islands and had leased them to Canadian and Singaporean investors.
“Both Sitabok and Seradeng islands will be developed into maritime resorts equaling Bunaken [North Sulawesi],” Badrul said.
Local cleric Dailami Abu Hurairah, who is close to the businessman, said the two islands would be Islamic resorts and target Middle East tourists.
“We have been involved in the project and will help operate the maritime resorts, which will follow an Islamic concept,” Dailami said.
He said many Middle East tourists felt uncomfortable with major tourist destinations like Bali, which do not promote Islamic values.
Deputy Sumenep Regent Mochammad Dahlan said the two islands belonged to the state and had not been sold to anyone.