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BALI UPDATE #376 - 24 November 2003

2004 Election Time Table
Here are the Dates for Major Events in Connection with Indonesia's First General Direct Election of a President in 2004.

In 2004, Indonesia will hold its first direct general election of a President and Vice President. The resulting more open and democratic society resulting from this process will, in the long term, promise Indonesia a more stabile and open society. In this spirit, all the political parties have pledges to ensure that the 2004 transition to direct democracy is a largely peaceful process.

Important Dates

You might want to use the print option at the end of this story to track important dates in the various steps of Indonesia's direct election of its next President and Vice-President:

5 April 2004 Election of Representatives to the House of Representatives (DPR), Regional Parliaments (DPD), and Regional House of Representatives (DPRD).

21 28 April 2004 Nation-wide announcement of the results of the DPR, DPD and DPRD elections.

29 30 April 2004 Allocation of seats in the DPR, DPD and DPRD.

1 7 May 2004 Registration of Presidential/Vice Presidential Candidates to the National Election Commission (KPU) by the political parties.

19 May 2004 Finalization and announcement of the appearance order on the ballot for Presidential/Vice-Presidential Candidates.

1 June 2004 - 1 July 2004 Authorized Campaign Period.

2 4 July 2004 Cooling Off Period. No Campaigning Permitted.

5 July 2004 First Round of Presidential/Vice-Presidential Election Process.

26 July 2004 Nation-wide announcement of the results of the first round of Presidential/Vice-Presidential Election Process.

30 July 2004 05 August 2004 Nation-wide announcement of 2 sets of Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates for the Second and final-round vote.

14 16 September 2004 Campaign

20 September 2004 Second round of Voting in the Presidential/Vice-Presidential Elections.

05 October 2004 Formal nation-wide announcement of the winners of the Presidential/Vice-Presidential Election.

20 October 2004 The inauguration of the President and Vice-President.


Calls to Delay Changes in Visa Policy
Economic Minister asks Visa Change to be Delayed until Late 2004. Disagreement Appears to be Hardening in Cabinet on Visa on Arrival Debate.

Confusion and growing dissent appears to be growing on the Presidential Decree that will remove the visa free facility currently enjoyed by the citizens of 48 countries and replace it with a purchased visa on arrival.

Latest reports from Jakarta indicate that the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, in response to widespread resistance to the new visa policy from the tourism industry, has formally asked that any change be delayed at least until the end of 2004. This was revealed in comments made by Mr. Pontjo Sutowo, the Chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Community (MPI) in recent comments to the press. Despite the Coordinating Minister's plea, according to Mr. Sutowo, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights Mr. Yusril Ihaza Mahendra remains steadfast in his support of the new visa policy, insisting it be introduced on January 1, 2004.

Socialization Process

Minister Mahendra had promised to travel with the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. I Gede Ardika, to the main tourism areas of the Country including Bali, to socialize the new policy before its actual introduction. With the planned introduction only one month away, no announcement has been made for a date for the proposed "socialization workshop" in Bali.

Meanwhile, local tourism leaders in Bali have been vociferous in their rejection of the change in the visa policy, insisting it will represent an unbearable burden for many tourism companies struggling on the edge of collapse. The spokesman for the local tourism association Paras Paros, Mr. Made Suryawan, has called on the Government to use the promised "socialization workshops" to conduct public hearings, allowing those who will suffer the effects of the new visa policy to provide input before any final policy is decided.


Tax Update
Leading Jakarta Tax Consulting Company to Provide Half-Day Tax Course on December 12.

MS Taxes, a leading Jakarta-based tax consultancy firm, will conduct a half-day seminar in Bali on Friday, December 12, 2003 at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel in South Kuta. Presented in English, the material covered will be of interest to business owners, president directors, finance director, managers, tax managers and advisors, expatriate staff, chief accountants and company treasurers.

Many Changes in Tax Rules and Procedures

The seminar starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending with an inclusive lunch will cover the following issues:

VAT and LGST Update

Taxes borne by Government on salaries of less than Rp. 2 million per month

Lessons learned from 2002 tax filings

Offshore charges and structures

Temporary detention of taxpayers in the framework of tax collection

Planning/preparing for the year end

Personal taxes update

Tax Court Appeals.

Questions and Answers on Tax Issues from participants.

The seminar will be presented by Mr. Ken Allan, Partner Advisor at MS Taxes, an individual with many years experience dealing with Indonesian tax matters.

Only Rp. 250,000 Limited Space

The Tax Seminar is presented by MS Taxes as a service to the Bali client base and others seeking to remain informed on essential taxation issues. The cost of participation of only Rp. 250,000 (approximately US$ 29) covers expenditures for materials and the inclusive buffet luncheon.

Places are limited and early registration is recommended. Professional conference and meeting management for the Bali Tax Seminar is provided by Bali Discovery Tours.



Westin Goes Broadband
Bali's Westin Resort Nusa Dua Provides Broadband Internet Links in All Public Areas and Guest Rooms.

In order to meet the growing "connectivity" of modern travelers, Bali's Westin Resort is launching high-speed broadband access throughout the hotel.

Guests staying at the Westin Resort Nusa Dua, formerly the Sheraton Nusa Indah, starting in December 2003 will have the option of going on-line via wireless broadband access in all public areas or via a dedicated high speed line available in every of the resorts 353 guest rooms. The new service is part of a US$ 5 million refurbishment program being carried out at the Resort in connection with its re-launch under the Westin banner.

General Manager of the Resort, Michel Cottray, in commenting on the "WiFi" Internet access now available to his guests said: "Be it business or leisure, we will ensure that our beautiful resort caters to the needs of every guest. With today's need for constant communication, we understand the importance for our guests to keep in touch with their business world despite being on vacation, and we are readying ourselves and our facilities to accommodate them."



Two New Faces at Sheraton Laguna
Top Public Relations and Sales Appointments Announced at Bali's Sheraton Laguna, Nusa Dua.

Bali's Sheraton Laguna in Nusa Dua recently announced two lead appointments in the Resort's Public Relations and Sales Department.

Ida MahritaIda Mahrita Public Relations Manager

Ms. Ida Mahrita, formerly employed at the Bali Hyatt, has accepted the position of Public Relations Manager, effective November 3, 2003.

Ms. Mahrita is a graduate of Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri (U.S.A.) with a degree in Business Administration.



Wayan SukaWayan Suka Account Director, Sales

Mr. Wayan Suka has left his position as Business Development Manager at the Bali Inter-Continental Resort to accept his new position of Account Director, Sales at the the Sheraton Laguna, effective November 3, 2003. His new sales position will place him in charge of sales for customers emanating from the Pacific Region, Eastern Europe, USA, Canada, South Africa, and the Middle East.

Mr. Suka started his hotel career in 1990 working in various positions with the Rama Beach Cottages, Holiday Inn Balihai Resort, Aston Resort and Spa and, most recently, the Bali Inter-Continental Resort.

Both new appointments at the Sheraton Laguna report directly to Mr. Maria Sitanggang, Director of Sales.


Limp Bizkit To Perform in Bali December 5
U.S. Rock Group To Perform at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park.

Bali will play host to a number of top musical talents in December. Boney M will take to the stage on December 28, 2003, followed by a New Year's Eve performance by singing sensation John Secada.

The month of musical stars in Bali will be kicked off on Friday, December 5, 2003, with the appearance of the U.S. super group Limp Bizkit.

Winners of MTV Video Music Awards and the 2000 Grammy in the categories Hard rock performance and Best Rock Album, the group is credited with having sold more than 7.5 million recordings worldwide. Among the group's hits are Significant Other, Results May Vary, Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water, My Generation, Take a Look Around and their mega-hit Rollin.

Organizers for the Limp Bizkit performance have announced that VIP tickets will cost Rp. 250,000 each (approximately US$ 29.40) and Festival Seats for Rp. 150,000 each (approximately US$ 17.65).

Concert Organizers are targeting an audience of 7,000 for the concert.



SIA Awards Bali Scholarships
28 Bali Scholars Supported by Network of Local Passenger and Cargo Agents.

SIA Awards Bali Scholarships In May of 2000, a group of 11 local passenger agents and 19 cargo agents of Singapore International Airlines (SIA) formed themselves into an association calling itself the Human Resource Development Program. Under the terms of the program, each of the 30 agents makes a yearly contribution of Rp. 1 million (approximately US$ 118), an amount that is matched Rupiah for Rupiah by SIA.

Thus far this program has permitted financial support for 28 students at 3 schools in Bali. On November 13, 2003, another 22 students from the Higher School of Tourism Studies (STP), the Bali Polytechnic, and the School of Arts (ISI) were awarded scholarships at a special ceremony held at a private dinner at the residence of Bali's Governor, Mr. Dewa Made Beratha.

In selecting the recipients of the scholarship, Balinese scholars are screened on the basis of their focus on a course of tourism studies, academic excellence, financial need, and their residence from an area of Bali lacking in tourism investment.

Shown at balidiscovery.com are this year's recipients of the SIA scholarship together with the Manager of SIA for Bali, Mr. Andrew Tan and Bali's Governor, Dewa Made Beratha.


Nitrox Diving in Bali
BIDP Center Offers Training and Support to Nitrox and Technical Diving Enthusiasts.

Bali International Diving Professionals (BIDP) is one of Bali's premiere diving companies and Bali's only PADI 5 Star IDC diving center offering International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD) registered courses and support.

What is Nitrox Diving?

Nitrox is a combination of Nitrogen and Oxygen. You have been breathing Nitrox since the day you were born. The normal air we breathe is comprised of approximately 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. Nitrox mixtures used for diving with percentages of oxygen greater than 21% are called Enriched Air Nitrox (EANx). Scuba divers most commonly use the EANx mixtures of EANx 32% (32% oxygen / 68% nitrogen) or EANx 36% (36% oxygen / 64% nitrogen).

By replacing some of the nitrogen you breathe underwater with oxygen, you absorb less nitrogen than you would, when breathing normal air. Your body metabolizes and otherwise absorbs the extra oxygen within the limits of recreational enriched air diving, reducing the possibility of bubble formation in the blood stream after a dive. Nitrox divers normally have longer "no decompression limits" for each depth they descend.

Most nitrox divers enjoy an enhanced safety factor, reduced decompression intervals, lower residual nitrogen in the blood streams, reduced post-dive narcotic effects of nitrogen, and less fatigue.

Bali is blessed with some of the most spectacular dive sites in Indonesia, making divers want to stay that little bit longer or go that bit deeper. Nitrox diving with Bali International Diving Professionals makes that possible.

BIDP has its own registered filling stations, providing EANx 20% up to 80%, as well as Trimix and Heliox. They also provide the following diving courses and certification:

Open Water Nitrox Diver

Advanced Open Water Dive

EANx Resort Diver

EANx Diver

Deep Air Diver

Advance EANx Diver

EANX Gas Blender

LIFE Support Service Technician

In addition they also offer double tank decompression diving.

More information: Dive with BIDP


Udayana Lodge Bali's Green Hotel
Unique Eco-Lodge Resort Offers Location, Value for Money and Concern for the Environment at Jimbaran.

Udayana Lodge - more commonly known locally as "The Lodge" unarguably has one of the lightest guest to land area ratios of any Bali resort. With only 16 double rooms spread across an expansive 35 hectares of natural bush land on the Bukit Peninsula of Jimbaran, there's plenty of space to explore the rich range of flora and small fauna who also call The Lodge their home.

Located within the campus grounds of Bali's Udyana University who are a joint-venture partner in the Resort, the hotel offers an oasis of nature only minutes away from Bali's airport and the main tourist areas of Nusa Dua and Kuta.

Emphasis on the Environment

In order to tread softly on the earth the resort continues to develop environmentally conscientious approaches to resort management incorporating the use of solar energy, rainwater storage, and recycling regimes.

Fully equipped to handle individuals, families, and small groups - all rooms are air-conditioned with private en suite facilities. Public facilities include a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, seminar rooms and a business center.

The Lodge is also home to Bali's only cricket turf, attracting players from across the island and around the globe on a weekly basis.



Batavia Air Offers Bali to Jakarta and Canton
Bali Connection to Canton Set to Begin December 01, 2003.

One of a host of new international air carriers to commence operations in Indonesia, Batavia Air will add a new service between Bali and Jakarta with onward connection to Guangzhou, China starting in early December.

The airline operates Boeing 737-200 and Boeing 737-400 aircraft and will offer a daily service leaving Denpasar (Bali) at 7 a.m. connecting to their Guangzhou flight leaving Jakarta at 8:30 a.m.. The return flight from Guangzhou departs each day at 3:15 p.m. connecting to the Jakarta-Bali flight departing at 10 p.m..

Special Introductory Fares

Designed to grab the marketplace's attention initial fare offering for round trip passage between Bali and Jakarta is selling for Rp. 782,000 (approximately US$ 92). Round trip fares from either Jakarta or Bali (common rated) to Guangzhou (Canton) start from US$ 291.

Prizes Galore

As a further inducement to fly with Batavia Air all ticketed passengers traveling through August 25, 2005, are eligable to win 5 Toyota Kijang Vans, 10 Honda Legenda motorcycles and 20 Nokia handphones that will be given away each month to the airline's passengers.


Yudhara Honored for Service to Tourism
Former ASITA Bali Chapter Chairman Recognized by Central Government.

The Past-Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA) and the owner of Astina Tours and Travel, Mr. I Gusti Bagus Yudhara was recently presented with the Adikarya Pariwisata Award by Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism during an award ceremony in Jakarta.

Speaking to the local press with typical humility, Mr. Yudhara proclaimed surprise at receiving the award, suggesting there were others more deserving of the highest honor for tourism service that the Republic can bestow.

Active in tourism since 1964, Mr. Yudhara established and continues to operate Astina Tours and Travel - one of the island's leading travel operators.



Christmas in Komodo?
Attractively Priced 4 Day Cruise to National Park Over Christmas Holiday Period. Only 6 Departure Dates Available.

Just in time for the holidays, your chance to join an exciting 3 Night / 4 Day visit to Komodo National Park - a World Heritage Site a cruise on a romantic 30 meter sailing vessel.

Packaged program begins and ends in Bali including air fares between Bali and the embarkation/disembarkation ports in Sape (Sumabwa) or Labuan Bajo (Flores). Also included are meals, transfers between vessel and airport, full board meals during the cruise, and use of snorkeling equipment, zodiacs, sea kayaks and fishing gear.

The special holiday package price is only US$ 659, based on twin sharing accommodation.

Space is limited and early booking is recommended.

Six Departure dates are available: December 20, 24, 27, 31, and January 05 and 09.

Follow the link for more information.

More information: 4 Day Komodo Cruise


 
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