BALI UPDATE #406 - 21
Respected 'Insiders' Newsletter from Jakarta Gives
Overview of Bali Politics.
Polictical Profile in Bali
Indonesia Digest - The weekly newsletter
published by Ms. Wuryastuti Sunario that manages
each week to summarize "Indonesia's complex issues
in a Nutshell" - recently published an article
on the political profile of Bali, based on recent
polls carried out by the Indonesian-language daily
With the kind permission of Ms. Sunario, balidiscovery.com
is republishing her article:
"Among all provinces in Indonesia, Bali is in
a unique position, because this island is predominantly
Hindu in a country that is predominantly Moslem,
with some pockets of Christian communities and
islands in the east of Indonesia. Besides sustained
by agriculture, Bali has also thrived through
tourism, but after the Bali blast in October 2002,
the problem of SARS and continued worldwide terrorist
threats, tourism has dropped drastically. As a
result of the slow growth of tourism to the island,
total unemployed on Bali in 2003 has reached 100,226
or 1% of total unemployment nationwide.
The province counts 3.4 million inhabitants with
2.47 million registered voters. During the Suharto
era, Golkar was predominant on the island, despite
the fact that most people here are emotionally
attached to Indonesia's first president, Soekarno,
father of incumbent president Megawati. Soekarno's
mother was Balinese. In the 1999 elections, after
the fall of Soeharto, no one was, therefore, surprised
when PDIP won a landslide victory on the island,
gaining 79% of votes (compared to only 19.5% in
1992). For this reason, Bali was also considered
PDIP's main stronghold. Nonetheless, during the
past April 2004 elections, PDIP votes dropped
drastically to only 52.5% of total votes, with
16.8% going to Golkar and 6.4% going to the brand
new Partai Demokrat.
What are the main issues faced by Bali? "Unemployment"
said the majority (22.7%) of respondents. Other
issues are: increased cost of basic necessities
(15.8%), Safety and security (14.7%), Poverty
(14.5%), lack of infrastructure (10.3%), Education
(6.7%), Corruption (2.5%) and the Environment
(2.5%), were the results gathered in a Survey
made by Kompas on 4-5 June in 5 districts of Bali
on 476 respondents.
When respondents were asked who was their choice
of president, the largest average percentage (65,5%)
chose Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and Jusuf
Kalla, followed by Megawati-Hasyim Muzadi at 47%,
said the Kompas daily of 12 June 2004. Again evidence
of people's disenchantment with the way Megawati's
cabinet handled the tourism sector that greatly
affected the island.
It is little wonder, therefore, that all presidential
candidates are now busy campaigning on Bali, as
opportunities abound to gain the sympathy of swing
voters, at the same time provide the chance to
pull the rug from under PDIP."
balidiscovery.com thanks Ibu
Wuryastuti Sunario for her kind permission to
quote from her highly respected newsletter.
An About Face on
and Running Mate Promise to Maintain Tourism Ministry.
According to reports in the Indonesian-language
Bisnis Indonesia, President Megawati Soekarnoputri
and her vice-presidential running-mate, Hasyim
Muzadi, are vowing to maintain a Minister charged
with managing tourism in their new cabinet and
to improve the overall management of the tourism
sector, if elected.
The election promise to maintain tourism's presence
in the Presidential Cabinet seems at odds with
the draft law prepared during President Megawati's
current term that would eliminate tourism's representation
on the cabinet level of decision making. On Monday
evening, June 14, 2004, Vice-Presidential aspirant
Muzadi said, in supporting calls from the tourism
industry to maintain a tourism Minister in the
cabinet, "I wish to reaffirm our commitment that
tourism becomes the leader in foreign exchange
production. In the current situation of free markets,
those sectors of the economy most capable of producing
foreign exchange are agriculture and tourism."
In reviewing the current unhappy state of the
Nation's tourism industry, Muzadi pointed to confusion
resulting from the "rainbow coalition" of the
current Cabinet, a lack of clear focus in current
tourism marketing efforts, and problems created
by moves towards regional autonomy. All these
factors must be seen against the backdrop of security
concerns that continue to hold back tourism's
National tourism leader have been unanimous in
their condemnation of plans to eliminate tourism's
voice at the ministerial level of national decision
making. The Chairwoman of the Indonesian Hotel
and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Ms. Yanti
S. Hardjoprakoso, has called for the retention
of a tourism department with a strong voice, able
to executive programs in a dynamic and efficient
manner. Ms. Hardjoprakoso defended her stance,
pointing to the US$ 5 billion in foreign exchange
created by Indonesian tourism, the 7 million positions
of direct employment credited to tourism, and
another 29 million indirect jobs tied to tourism
in the Country.
Taman Sri Buwana
Culture Tourism at
its Best: A Living Museum of Balinese Farming
In remote West Balinese Banjar Beng Utara,
in the village of Tunjuk, not far from Tabanan,
an unique living cultural exhibit has opened to
Established by the visionary Balinese businessman,
Ketut Buana, Taman Sri Buwana
provides visitors to Bali a chance to catch a
glimpse of daily life on a traditional Balinese
Each day guests are met at their hotels and delivered
to Taman Sri Buwana where they
are escorted on a tour of a typical Balinese compound,
visiting the various buildings who size and position
are carefully stipulated by age-old traditions
based on the length of a priests arms and the
structures' position vis-a-vis sacred Mount Agung.
After a visit to the banjar's elementary
school, participants head for the communities
farm land to view first-hand the various stages
of rice cultivation and try their hand at planting
Bali's precious rice harvest.
A trek through the surrounding lands, a drink
of coconut milk provided by a nearby tree and
a traditional Balinese lunch prepared by the village
womenfolk round out a day – not soon to be forgotten.
to 'Kick-Start' Investor Sentiment.
Speaking to the press and as quoted in the Indonesian-language
Bisnis Indonesia, Myra P. Gunawan, the
Deputy in charge of Product and Business Development
at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, recently
said, "tourism development is currently very stagnant
due to limited resources available to invest."
She went on to explain that investor sentiment
towards the tourism sector is fundamentally different
from the early 1990s when investment in national
tourism reached record heights. This situation
changed dramatically with the downturn in tourism
in 1998 and 1999.
Although Indonesia's tourism industry is showing
signs of recovery, investment in new tourism projects
According to Ms. Gunawan, tourism is suffering
from a disconnect caused by a lack of coordination
between the Center and the now-autonomous regional
governments and the difficulties of implementing
viable tax incentives to lure investors.
A Conference on Tourism
The Government has scheduled a Conference of
Tourism set for August 3, 2004, that will
attempt to identify fundamental problems holding
back investment in Indonesian tourism.
Planning to involve major players and stakeholder,
the conference is expected to result in a white
paper containing concrete recommendations
on tourism to be presented the next national cabinet.
School Holidays to
Fill Bali to Overflowing
Convergence of Australian
and Indonesian School Holidays Promise Strong
Occupancy to Kuta Area Hotels.
Garuda Indonesia Airlines have
added 22,060 seats on six domestic and two regional
routes between June 23 and July 26, 2004, in order
to handle an expected jump in demand of Indonesian
travelers during the annual school holiday breaks.
The additional seats will be created by the National
Carrier in the form of supplemental flights and
larger aircraft with greater seating capacity.
14,144 additional seats will be generated in the
form of additional flight frequencies while 7,916
more seats will result from the employment of
larger aircraft on existing routes.
In order to avoid delays at airports, Garuda
is asking passengers to use city check-in
facilities, where available.
Merpati Nusantara (MZ) have also
announced plans to add 6,000 seats during the
coming holiday rush.
Air Asia to Fly to
Budget Carrier Continues its Rapid Expansion.
Following the successful launch of three routes
connecting Indonesia with Malaysia, Air
Asia have signaled plans to establish
an additional seven new routes before the end
Current routes at bargain prices are operated
by the Airline with strong loads reported between
Jakarta - Johor Bahru; Bandung – Kuala Lumpur;
and Surabaya – Kuala Lumpur.
Bali Service in July
According to Air Asia's Country
Manager, Abdul Nasser Abu Kassim, his employer
will commence new services in July between Jakarta
- Kuala Lumpur; Bali – Kuala Lumpur; Medan – Kuala
Lumpur; and Makassar – Johor Bharu.
Before the end of 2004 Air Asia
will introduce three additional new services to
Padang and Palembang (Sumatra), and Yogyakarta.
The new start-up budget carrier from Malaysia
with the slogan "Now Everyone Can Fly"
and famous for its rock-bottom air fares operates
17 aircraft, a number soon to increase to 26 with
its recent order of nine B-737-400 aircraft.
According to Nasser, the Airline is achieving
a system-wide load factor of 64%.
Kuta Karnival is
So Much Fun the First
Time – Kuta Plans for a Second Karnival September
23 – October 3, 2004.
Building on the success of 2003's inaugural Kuta
Karnival - they've decided that the time
for fun and festivity is here again!
While last year's theme was a "Celebration
of Life, A Remembrance of Love," this year's
event will take for its thematic inspiration:
"A Celebration of Life, Tri Hita Karana."
Tri Hita Karana are the three fundamental
tenets of life in Bali, demanding a basic balance
be maintained between Man and God, Man and Nature,
and Man and Man.
Once again, Kuta will come alive with exciting
events, parades, competitions and exhibitions.
Promising something for everyone, there will be
a multitude of Sports, Surfing and Skate competitions,
and a vibrant street parade involving all of Bali
with promoters promising "shades of Carnivale,
on a smaller scale!" Look also for an antique
and specialty car & motorbike show, fashion shows,
an international food festival, and music on offer
to suit every taste.
Kuta Karnival 2004 starts on September 24 with
a special opening ceremony on Kuta Beach. Last
year, 50 dazzling performers and a Chinese Dragon
ensured the Karnival began with a bang and this
year's opening promises to be even more spectacular!
Running for the ten days until its end on October
3, various events will focus on man's relationship
with his fellow man.
Here's a short list of just some of the many events
scheduled at this year's Kuta Karnival:
• Art, music, cultural performances and competitions
showcasing traditional and modern dance and theatre.
• Themed fashion shows.
• The Discovery Kartika Plaza Surf Memorabilia
Exhibition and Best of Bali's Environmental Photo
and Painting Exhibition.
• X-TREME GAMES, including Surfing Competitions
at Kuta and Uluwatu's world famous beaches.
• Special daily events including Ripindo Grommets
Day, Ripindo Longboards Day, retro, OM Bali Pro
Legends, Surfer Girl Ladies Day, teams and body
• The Karinval Open – the Kuta Lines Indonesian
Surfing Championship 2004.
• Skateboarding events, including street pre-lims
and finals, best trick, long jump, highest ollie,
gap and bungy skate jump contests, as well as
a wild-in-the-park competition.
• Beach Volleyball and beach Soccer competitions.
• Hammerhead Bodybuilding Competitions.
• Tug-of-War and Sand Sculpting Competitions.
• Kite Surfing Competitions.
• Martial Arts Exhibitions.
• An International Food Festival. Live musical
performances by jazz and blues performers, exciting
DJs, rock groups – all presented from a special
stage built on Kuta Beach.
• Kites for Kids - Kite Making and Kite Flying
events for the younger crowd.
Bali Documentary Wins International Honors
New York Film Festival Honors Film on Aftermath of Bali Bombing.
Jane Walters' film, Bali: Hope in Paradise had its international premiere screening in Manhattan, New York City, on April 25, 2004, at the New York International Independent Film Festival. Over 300 eager viewers attended the screening, giving the documentary the distinction of being the only festival film with a sold out theater audience. Audience members included Indonesian diplomats from the United Nations, directors of Cable News Network New York (CNN), news bureau chiefs, and various friends, students and supporters of Indonesia.
Narrated by Asha Gill of Discovery Channel, with music contributed by Sting, Bali: Hope in Paradise won the New York Film Festival's Best Documentary Award in the category of International Films.
The Bali bombing and its aftermath launched Walters as a documentary filmmaker, showing the horrors of terrorism and its affect on the lives of innocent people. After the bomb blast she and her friend, Robert Koster, were first on the scene with a camera, their footage of the outrage showing around the world via Reuters World News. However, although global newscasts recorded the death and injury to foreign tourists in great detail, they mentioned little or nothing about the impact on the people of Bali. Jane resolved to tell those stories. This is her first independent documentary.
Research led Walters to Asriani Kebon (Sri), a 22 year old Balinese princess with an Australian mother and a Balinese father. Bali: Hope in Paradise is the powerful story of how Sri Kebon and Bali's life changed in the wake of the Bali bombing.
Jane Walters grew up in British Columbia, Canada,
and graduated from Simon Fraser University,
in Vancouver. During her university days, Walters
was active in community television, working as
both a producer and presenter. Six years ago she
married and moved to Bali where she began raising
her family and running a boutique hotel.
Merpati to Open Flight Connection to Banyuwangi
Surabaya – Banyuwangi – Bali Air Link to Operate Before Year's End.
In a unique joint cooperation agreement between local government and an airline, Merpati Nusantara Airline (MZ) is expected to commence a new twice-weekly air service connecting Surabaya – Banyuwangi - Bali before the close of 2004.
A joint cooperation agreement between the local government of Banyuwangi and the Airline that provides for improvements in a soon-to-be-operational airfield and financial support for the new air service will make possible passenger service with 22-passenger Twin Otter equipment operated by MZ.
Work is underway in Banyuwangi, the easternmost
port on the Island of Java, that will see a 750
meter runway completed in September opening the
way for the inauguration of the new domestic air
WWF Closes Bali Office
Move Reflects New Emphasis on Lobbying Policymakers in Jakarta.
After nearly 10 years of operations in Bali, the local office of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) will close on July 1, 2004.
The closure of the Bali office is part of the restructuring of WWF's activities in Indonesia and, according to the Group's Executive Director, does not reflect a lessening of their commitment to national conservation efforts.
WWF's oceans' conservations program now moves to Jakarta from where it will continue to oversee work on Bali projects concerned with the preservation of sea turtles and preservation of the coral reef.
Although Bali remains strategically important to WWF's Indonesian conservation efforts, the organization is now concentrating on lobbying national policymakers by working with the Department of Seas and Fisheries in Jakarta.
Bulgari Resort on Target to Open Late 2005
Luxury Boutique Property to be Located on Uluwatu Peninsula.
P.T. Mugi Resko Abadi (MBA), the developers of operators of the ultra-luxury Bulgari Resort have reaffirmed their intention to open their 58-unit property by late 2005.
According to Bulgari franchise-holder and Managing Director of MBA, Soetikno Soedarjo, the hotel is putting quality before quantity in its marketing strategies, targeting an occupancy of only 40% in its first year of operation, increasing to no more than 65% by year five. Reflecting the same conservative approach to the new venture, Soedardjo told the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia that the project is slated for financial break-even only in its sixth year of operation.
Comprised of 58 luxury villas, the Bali Bulgari Resort and Spa will feature a complete spa and two restaurants.
The Bali property will be the second luxury property to be opened under the Bulgari brand, normally associated with fine jewelry. The first Bulgari property operates in Milan, Italy.
The Swiss and Austrian Consulate has Moved
New Address for Swiss & Austrian Consulate.
Jon Zurcher and his very diplomatic staff have moved the Consulate Agency for Switzerland and Austria from its old locale adjacent to the Swiss Restaurant in Central Legian to the following new address:
Consular Agency of Switzerland & Austria
Kompleks Istana Kuta Galleria
Blok Valet 2 No. 12
Jl. Patih Jelantik - 80361 Kuta
Tel: +62-(0)0361 – 751735 Fax: +62- (0)361-754457
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org