Nas Daily criticised for 'Whitest Island in Asia' video about Bali

The content creator sparks controversy – again – with his recent video

·2-min read
Nas Daily (aka Nuseir Yassin), founder and CEO of Nas Academy, speaks at the Web Summit 2021.
Founder and CEO of Nas Academy, Nas Daily, addresses the audience at Altice Arena Centre Stage during the third day of the Web Summit 2021. (Photo by Hugo Amaral/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Social media star Nas Daily recently drew criticism for his video "The Whitest Island in Asia".

Critics accused the Facebook vlogger, whose real name is Nuseir Yassin, of glorifying gentrification and ignoring the exploitation of local workers for the sake of tourism and foreign currency after he praised how "white" the Indonesian island of Bali is in his video.

Yassin, who was initially denied entry to Bali in 2018 allegedly due to him being an Israeli passport holder, was finally allowed to enter Indonesia using a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport, which he reportedly obtained for US$150,000 (S$200,000).

'Locals are underpaid'

In the video, Yassin marvelled at the number of foreigners who have made Indonesian resort island their home.

“I’ve never seen anything like this. It seems like every Western tourist in the world comes to live in Bali,” Yassin said. “Now that I’m finally inside, I found the answer!”

Yassin explained that many white and “non-white” or other foreigners make Bali their home because of the island's environment and ambiance, hospitality of the locals, prices, and the availability of scooters.

While the initial response to the video was good, not everyone was pleased with the content creator's positive take on Bali, as netizens pointed out the issues with his description.

“Locals are underpaid, nature is over-exploited, and tourists act like a saviour by just paying US$4 in a restaurant and disobeying the law because they think they help the poor by being here,” a netizen remarked.

“It used to be called colonialism,” another netizen said, pointing out his “white” reference in the video’s title.

Not his first controversy

This is not the first time Yassin came under attack for his video contents. In 2021, Philippine officials called his deal with Apo Whang-od, one of the remaining traditional tattoo experts in the country, as “onerous,” after he made a deal featuring her in Nas Academy where she would teach her tattooing skills.

Whang-od denied that she affixed her thumb mark to any contract related to an online academy, and that the provisions of the contract were never explained nor discussed with her or her representative.

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