Our articles on plans for Bali to undertake an official dog census [See: Bali to Undertake Dog Census] and the continuing rabies crisis [See: Exterminating Bali's Dogs Won't Stop Spread of Rabies ] brought the following letters.
- Maria Chardet who lives on Jimbaran Beach wrote:
”What about the dogs in the area of Jimbaran, Uluwatu Dua, Celagi Basur? There are many dogs with no owner and there are more and more and a lot of female dogs with puppies that walk all around our villa. I love dogs, but I am afraid to take a dog of my own because of the rabies. When you have a dog it must be only possible with a badge (registration), so that you can see that they get an injection for rabies and have registered the dog, and not be allowed to walk alone but only with their owner. It must be a duty."
- Tony Nicholson wrote in:
”There's another side to this that's not being discussed. As a tourist, I'm very wary of stray dogs and on a recent trip to Bali on both sides of the island [Legian/Nusa Dua] there was so many strays that I did not go walking for fear of them. Whilst I think vaccination is a good thing and is the right way forward at the same time the stray dogs also have to be eliminated as everyone I've spoken to recently hold similar fears to myself about meeting a stray dog on the beach or in an alley or street.”
Buying and Selling Names of Tourists
Last week's coverage of complaints from hoteliers and villa owners of mysterious calls by time share salespeople and the unethical "buying and selling" of names prompted some interesting letters. [See: The Buying and Selling of Names of Tourists in Bali]
- Melinda wrote:
”I believe that my husband and I were victims of this 'scam' during our most recent stay in Bali in June. We are from Australia and had a call from a very persistent Australian guy offering free holidays etc for 'just a few hours of our time.' Luckily we were staying at the Intercontinental, so I reported this to the hotel switch board who screened all further calls for the remainder of our stay."
- Russel Boettcher said:
”My wife and I were both contacted by scammers within 24 hours of checking in to our hotel this November.It is obvious that our private details had been sold on to scammers and it's up to the Indonesian Government to get on top of this and other massive corruption issues plaguing the system and destroying the trust of tourists. Indonesian officials must remember the tourist dollar is the life blood of the island."
- Alex Lester, claiming to be a former time-share salesman revealed :
"You call this news? I have been here for 9 years. When I was new and green on the island, and got a job for Royal Resorts, that's how they got almost all the names. It's from immigration, everyone knows that. Most of the front desk hotel staff are doing it too. 50,000 per name, you 'sell' 5-6 names a day, that's a tidy supplement income for someone who is on a Rp3-4 juta salary."
-Steve Bradley from Australia had a creative suggestion:
"This scam is not new...it's been going on for years...I have been called a few times at various hotels or bungalows with these offers. Best bet is to act excited about the offer , tell them you need to answer the door and leave the phone for the next 30 minutes....they get the message eventually!"
Big Bikes in Bali
Our two articles on the developing problem of illegal big bikes operating in Bali [Bali Police Pressured to Bring Big Bikes Under Control]
[Bali's Big Bike Saga Continues] also stimulate people to write:
- James Dell-Robb wrote to say:
”It is good to know that the problems of these Harley Hooligans is being raised. Their noise shatters the tranquility of the island and their noisy escorted convoys are an insult to the ordinary road users."
- Peter Meyer a long-time expatriate in Jakarta had these thoughtful comments:
"Your recent article reminded your readers how strange the driver of the retired President Soeharto felt, when he suddenly was no longer escorted by police outriders and had to stop at red traffic lights, just like average citizens."
"You also wondered about similar feelings of the, by now retired, Vice President Jusuf Kalla and pointed out that, even though ministers and generals are enjoying the same ‘no traffic rules' privileges, the law, actually limits this kind of special treatment, to the President and his VP."
"I am sure, many people who are routinely inconvenienced by police escorts, pushing through rush hour traffic, and having entire road sectors closed for the convenience of certain demanding 'VIP'’s,' are unhappy about this obvious violation of their personal rights, but that respect for the individuals or their positions, may allow them to swallow hard and to accept the situation."
"How about though the indignities these same average citizens are suffering, when exactly the same police 'service,' is being extended to hundreds of noisy, leather clad, well above average wealth flaunting, Harley Davidson riders?"
”Special treatment, by the police, who are supposed to protect the rights of their (average) fellow citizens, for such 'in your face' behavior, has to be seriously in violation of the above mentioned laws and is even more of a disgrace, if one begins to wonder how many of these expensive status symbols are on the road, without their owners' regard for import and tax regulations."
"As Pak Harto's driver had to learn, the kind of special treatment he was yearning for, ended with the Soeharto area – or did it?"
-Colin Anderson, also in Indonesia, wrote to say:
"Regarding the high attrition rate amongst tourists riding motorbikes, the problem is that in their home countries most of them do not drive motorcycles - and they come to Bali to get experience on 2 wheels?. The problem lies with the people who rent bikes to the tourists. In any other country you need a special motorcycle license to rent a bike. As usual, it is just a matter of regulation by the government. If a tourist is found to be riding a bike without a motorcycle license, the renter should be held liable."
Immigration Lines at Bali's Airport
Promises by Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism to reduce to only 15 minutes the time from aircraft to curb at Bali's airport [See: Reducing Immigration Lines at Bali's Airport] inspired the following email:
- Leigh Henry in Bali wrote:
”II have waited in line at Bali international airport for over 1 hr...So it will be a new experience to go through customs and into a taxi within 15mins of arrival!"
-Nicholas Rety in Canada had this to say:
”More than added computers, the airport needs all booths to be operating when flights arrive. Just 3 or 4 sullen officials cannot accelerate the transit from airplane to taxi. Better still, let us buy visas from Indonesian Consulates abroad before we arrive in Bali."
-Sue Winski, who live in Bali, said:
"That's great news! Now if they really do follow through, it will be even better. Hope they improve the lines for those of us with visas also!"
-Julian Monteiro wrote:
"I would like to point out that I have been to Bali about 12 times in the last few years, and it has always taken me at least a half hour in the immigration queue, a few times it has been close to an hour."
"With all due respect to the Minister, if he says it takes fifteen minutes every time it is not true.”
I like Bali and that is why I keep returning to the place, if there is one thing that can be improved it is the VOA lines. I have been to many other countries both within Asia and outside Asia and I have not had similar experiences with immigration lines."
-Susi Johnston, also in Bali, added:
”I go in and out of Bali often, on various airlines at various times of day, and during various seasons of the year. To target 15 minutes plane to curb is ambitious and I salute that. It will be a difficult target to hit, though. I always allow 50 minutes +. Those coming to pick me up are instructed to come 1 hour after arrival time. Sometimes they still have to wait."
"Not only is immigration slow (I suspect that a percentage of staff who are supposed to be on duty manning kiosks are not, they have more amusing things to do, perhaps), the other problem is baggage transfer from plane to carousel. There have been times when I did pass immigration quickly, but then had to wait so long for baggage that the time from plane to curb was still about an hour. Shameful, really. Especially on an island where almost every day I read about unemployed people looking for jobs, and where wages are generally lower than in competing destinations."
"Um . . . and I have been told by Balinese friends (with no corroboration, mind you), that one must pay a very, very significant sum to get a job at the airport. Pay out of one's own pocket before being given the job, and then hope to make up the shortfall with salary and 'tips' over time."
”This does not sound altogether healthy."
"That said, over the past fifteen years, I have been continually impressed by the constant improvements in immigration and other services at the airport. Certainly immigration is "cleaner" and more pleasant now than it ever has been in those fifteen years."
"So credit where credit is due: good job so far, still a long way to go, but kudos for progress especially in a climate that makes such progress difficult. . .Onward."
-Our report on the 2 year sentence handed down to Kantor Kita executive Esti Edmonds [See: Two Year Jail for Bali Property Swindler] saw "Simon" write to complain:
"So there you go. Schappelle gets 20 years for a slab of pot, and this woman gets basically nothing for swindling people out of their life savings. Many of those who lost money were told by bent prosecutors that they were not allowed to lay a complaint, and she, more or less gets a walk, and gets to keep the cash, less what she's used to smooth the way. Bali's justice…utterly broken."
"I guess, in the rush to push Bali, this email will never get published and so it carries on to the next scam."
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