Interim Official Police Statistics Reflect Escalating War on Illegal Drug Business in Bali.
Statistics released by Bali's anti-narcotic police squad covering the first seven months of 2005 bear stark witness to the intensifying crackdown on illegal drug use now underway in Bali.
Police raids on neighborhoods known to harbor local drug dealers and a new Presidentially mandated "zero tolerance policy" for drugs use in Indonesia has resulted in 267 arrests (249 cases) in Bali for the period January-July 2005. Of that total, 15 arrests involved foreign nationals.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Bali's Chief of Police Irjen Made Mangku Pastika projected a 52% increase in narcotics-related arrests through the end of 2005 with the Island’s top law enforcement officer anticipating 450 total arrest by December 31, 2005. Based on current trends, Chief Pastika is also estimating a 33% increase in the number of foreigners who will be placed under arrest for illicit drug use by the end of the current year.
Of the 267 drug arrests made through the end of July, 15 of those arrests (5.6%) involved foreign nationals. For the entire year of 2004 police made 314 arrests of which 19 (6%) were foreigners.
Currents statistics published on balidiscovery.com demonstrate that while foreigners involved in illicit drugs remain a minority this group may bear a disproportionate responsibility for the amounts of hard drugs seized by local police. Of the 8.3 kilograms of heroin seized by Bali police during the 7 month period January – July 2005, 100% of this amount originated from the arrest of the "Bali 9" – a group of 9 young Australians arrested in Bali on April 17, 2005. Latest press reports indicate that Indonesian State Prosecutors are likely to seek the death penalty for all nine defendants case when the "Bali 9" go to trial in late September or early October 2005.
Baliwood: Lights, Camera, Action!
Casting Call Extra's to Perform in Feature Film to be Shot in Bali from Mid October – Mid November 2005.
According to a local film production team, The Bali Project will be a film drama based on the events surrounding the Bali bombing of October 2002. Depicting the tragedy and the subsequent unprecedented international police investigation that led to more than 100 arrests, the feature-length film will explore the lives and experiences of the key individuals from the police as well as individuals Indonesians and Australians.
The film's producers insist that The Bali Project intends to place the tragedy of the Bali bombing in an international context, going beyond the question of merely "how" it happened and endeavoring to shed light on the question of "why" such a tragedy could occur.
Numerous roles as extras, for both Western visitors and residents of Bali, are required for filming which will take place from mid-October through mid-November 2005. Roles will include tourists, police and investigators with the filmmakers claiming they are prepared to work around the casts' availability.
Two casting sessions will be held between 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 and Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at the Hotel Discovery Kartika in South Kuta.
For more information telephone Judith at ++62-(0)812 1083 804 or by sending an e-mail via the link provided.
Bali Travel Professionals Help to Ease the Suffering in Hurrican Katrina's Aftermath
Skål International Bali has contributed US$1,000 for disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina in the United States.
Skål International North America has established a Hurricane Katrina Disaster Fund supported by Skål Clubs around the globe, mirroring a similar fund-raising campaign conducted by the organization following the 2004 Asian tsunami disaster. That effort saw € 22,500 raised among Skål Clubs for relief efforts in Aceh and North Sumatra,
Skål International Bali President Phil Hill said, "Skål Bali members are very conscious of the very generous donations received from Skål for tsunami relief in Indonesia. We feel it is our responsibility to give back in some way to others who are suffering a similar tragedy today."
Skål International Bali has approximately 50 active members who meet on a monthly basis. Membership is open to management-level tourism and travel professionals.
Skål International is an association of some 25,000 travel and tourism professionals, spanning the globe
Very Much at Home on the Range
Superstar Chef Teage Ezard Brings 'Australian Freestyle Cuisine' to Bali's The Restaurant at The Legian for One Night Only, Friday, October 7, 2005.
In their continuing series of presenting world-class celebrity chefs, The Legian has invited Melbourne chef Teage Ezard for a one night command performance of his very individual approach to cuisine at The Restaurant at The Legian on Friday, October 7, 2005.
Opening his own restaurant - ezard - in downtown Melbourne in 1999, the establishment became a fast success earning lines at the door, a much-coveted "two hats" designation, and the honor of being named "Best New Restaurant" in The Age Good Food Guide, Later, in 2003, the same prestigious The Age Good Food Guide, widely considered to be Australia's culinary bible, bestowed its highest honor, naming Teage Ezard "Chef of the Year."
Teage Ezard describes his approach to food as "Australian fee style" – something of a non-modifier sufficiently broad to encompas his love of Asian influences, particularly Thailand and China, in his cooking.
Teage's first cookery book "ezard" - published in 2003, was named "Best Chef Book" by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
One Night Only in Bali – October 7, 2005
Reservations are a must for the one night appearance of Teage Ezard on Friday, October 7, 2005, when he will offer diners at The Restaurant the alternative of selecting from an a la carte menu or a 5-course degustation menu including some of Ezard's signature dishes, such as • Oxtail Wonton Dumpling with Sweet and Sour Pomegranate • Eggplant two ways • Persian Fetta and Lemon Salad • Crème Brulée flavored with Jerusalem Artichoke and White Truffle Oil.
Seating commences from 7:00 p.m. onwards with dinner complemented by wines from Margan Wine Estates, Hunter Valley, N.S.W. and Peter Lehmann Wines from the Barossa Valley, South Australia.
Reservations a Must!
Advance bookings for the evening can be made by calling The Legian's Food & Beverage Coordinator at ++62-(0)361-730622 (extension #768) or via the e-mail link provided.
Police Call for More Closed Circuit Monitoring Systems and More Creativity Among Security Personnel.
Bali Hotels Association (BHA) recently invited ranking officers of the Bali Police Force to address the General Managers of Bali’s star rated hotels at their monthly general meeting on the issue of security, providing specific feedback to the hoteliers on hotel security matters.
Mr. I Gusti Ketut Budiartha, Director Tourism Security for the Bali Police (shown in the picture on balidiscovery.com) addressed over 55 General Managers underlining the need for continued vigilance.
Commenting on the issue of hotel security, Officer Budiartha stressed that the police were generally satisfied with the precautions taken by member hotels of the BHA while, at the same time, requesting that hotels invest more in CCTV (closed circuit TV) monitoring systems in order to assist the police in their investigations. He also called for greater vigilance and creativity in the security officers carrying out their role of "detection," placing special emphasis on hotel public and lobby areas.
At the meeting, the BHA reassured the police that security is seen as priority among hotel managers and that a special sub-committee has been established to focus on matters of security. That committee has issued a list of minimum guidelines for BHA member hotels including the operation of boom gates, inspection procedures for vehicles entering hotel areas and the detection of suspicious persons.
At the meeting with the police, BHA announced the launch of an emergency SMS notification system which informs all General Managers immediately of any incident or potential threat.
Concluding the meeting, Robert Kelsall, Chairman of the BHA thanked Officer Budiartha for addressing the association.
Bali Passes the 1 Million Visitor Mark
Bali by the Numbers: 157,222 Foreign Arrivals in August Pushes Bali Past the 1 Million Visitor Mark for 2005 and Sets New Record for Arrivals.
Bali's foreign direct arrivals continue to impress with 157,222 visitors recorded for August 2005 bring the total for the first 8 months of the year to a record-setting 1,044,656.
The year-to-date total brought Bali past the 1 million foreign arrival’s mark, representing a 5.6% improvement as compared to the same eight month period in 2004.
Has Demand Reach a Plateau?
As shown on the graphic presented on balidiscovery.com, arrivals remain strong but are apparently leveling off, perhaps reflecting limitations on carrying capacity imposed by limited seats available from the very small circle of source countries driving Bali’s current tourist boom.
Future installments of Bali by the Numbers will take a closer look at the composition of arrival numbers covering the first 8 months of 2005.
Garuda to Buy 28 Boeing Aircraft
New Planes to Be Delivered in Stages Between 2009 – 2013.
Despite widely reported operating losses caused by increasing competition and escalating fuel costs, Indonesia's Garuda Indonesia Airlines (GA) has signed an agreement with America’s Boeing Corporation for the purchase of 28 new passenger aircraft.
The agreement, estimated to have a value of US$2 billion, is actually a renegotiation of terms for the long term purchase of aircraft between the Indonesian-based airline and the (Seattle U.S.A,) aircraft maker. The new terms signed in New York on September 15, 2005, were witnessed by Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in town to attend 60th anniversary celebrations for the United Nation.
The renewed order will see 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 18 Boeing 737s delivered to Jakarta in stages starting from 2009 through 2013. The B-787 aircraft have a one-fueling range of 8,500 nautical miles for use on inter-continental routes, while the smaller B-737 equipments will be used on regional routes.
As reported in balidiscovery.com, [ Garuda Posts Loss for 2004] the Indonesian national airline lost approximately US$83 million in 2004, following three straight years of managing to post positive operating results.
Eight Villas Destroyed in Seminyak Fire
Short Circuit, Thatched Roofs and Dense Construction Caused Fire to Quickly Spread to Nearby Buildings.
Eight Bali bungalow villas on Jalan Kunti in Seminyak were destroyed by fire early on the morning of Wednesday, September 15, 2005.
According to reports in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, the inferno was started by an electrical short circuit in the Darto Bungalow, located across the road from The Villas. Despite the best efforts of local firefighters, the flames quickly spread across the thatched roof accommodation, eventually destroying 7 units at Villa Jerami, adjacent to the Darto Bugalow.
Although some of the villas were occupied by tourists, authorities report that no injuries were reported in connection with the blaze.
The most recent fire comes one week after a massive fire consumed 70 local family dwellings in the Silitiga area of Nusa Dua. Although hundreds lost their homes and personal belonging in that incident, no loss of life was recorded.
Love All! Top Tennis Stars Take to the Mattresses!
Some Guys Have All the Luck. 14 Leading Lady Tennis Players Accept Invitation to Join Local Hotelier Atop a 'Heavenly’ Bed.
As part of the Wismilak International Bali Tennis Tournament held at Bali's Nusa Dua Complex, September 11-18, 2004, the world class players were welcomed to Bali with a lavish cocktail party hosted by The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua. on Monday, September 12, 2005.
Held at the Resort's Pool Island, more than seventy people including tournament participants, such as Karolina Sprem, Alicia Molik, Wynne Prakusya, Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Management, and members of the media enjoyed lavish food and drink while listening to the music of Bali's own international recording group Saharadja.
A Bed Time Story
The Resort's General Manager, Jan Bundgaard, used the occasion to shamelessly promote his property's signature 'Heavenly Bed' by delivering his welcoming remarks while standing atop one of the beds strategically positioned in the middle of the gathered guests.
In welcoming his guests, Bundgaard said, "We are happy to invite the international tennis players to experience the heavenly hospitality of The Westin Resort, and of course by testing the world famous signature product, the 'Heavenly Bed.'" Then, without missing a beat, Jan invited the members of the tennis tour comprised of the world's top female players to, hmmm, well, "join him in bed."
With tournament line judges keeping close watch for possible out-of-bound fouls, 14 lovely lady tennis stars joined Bundgaard on a bed to test the comfort of the Resort' renowned Westin 'Heavenly Bed.'
The tournament director, Kevin Livesey, expressed his gratitude to The Westin Resort for their hospitality promising the tournament will continue in Bali, becoming bigger and better every year.
Before the evening adjourned, guests were treated to a tradition Balinese kecak dance and a swimwear fashion show by Beach House Creations.
Popular Bali Manager for Singapore Airlines Gets Vietnam Posting.
Andrew Tan Han Wei will end a two year assignment at Singapore Airline's (SIA) Manager for Bali on September 28, 2005 to become the Airline's new manager in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Prior to coming to Bali, Andrew Tan has served SIA in Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and Las Vegas. Traveling to Hanoi with Andrew will be his wife and young daughter.
Replace Andrew in Bali will be Eddie Leong, currently Manager Surabaya for SIA/.
Brisbane or Bust!
Garuda 712 Bali to Brisbane Forced to Return to Denpasar Due to Engine Malfunction.
A Garuda Indonesia Airbus-330, flying from Bali to Brisbane, Australia on Wednesday, September 15, was forced to cut a hasty retreat to Denpasar's international airport just 90 minutes into its flight when the pilot detected a malfunction in one or the aircraft's engines.
GA-712, carrying 244 passengers, landed safely back at its base in Bali at approximately 2 a.m. early on Wednesday morning, after departing the same airport just hours before at 10:40 p.m..
All passengers were provided complimentary full board and lodging together with phone calls back home at the Hotel Sanur Beach and Bali Gardenia Hotel.
A replacement aircraft sent by the Airline from Jakarta managed to carry the temporarily stranded passengers, departing almost 24 hours later than the originally scheduled flight and landing in Brisbane at 5:11 a.m. on Thursday morning, September 15, 2005.
Fuel Price Set to Soar Next Month
Indonesia’s Days of Cheap Fuel Likely to End Abruptly in October. A Looks at Comparative Fuel Prices Around the World.
There now appears little doubt that Indonesia's days of cheap fuel prices may be coming to a screeching halt in October as the Government, doubly-burdened by a weakening Rupiah and skyrocketing world fuel prices, is no longer able to sustain the burden of massive public fuel subsidies and introduces widely anticipated fuel price increases.
While policymakers in Jakarta weigh the political and economic repercussions of the various alternatives open to them, many analysts are now warning consumers to expect fuel prices to increase by as much as a minimum of 50%. Moreover, some observers predict that the cost of premium and diesel, now standing at between Rp. 2,400 and Rp. 2,200 per liter, could possible increase by as much as nearly 100% to between Rp. 4,000 – Rp. 5,000 per liter (approximately US$0.39 – US$0.49).
Prices paid by Indonesians at the gas pumps, among the lowest in the world, are a major contributor to the growing national debt and a major stimulus for corruption for smugglers who sell Indonesian fuel abroad at substantial profits at world market prices.
What it Costs to Fill Up Your Tank
In an informal survey of the price of vehicle fuel, we present the current approximate cost of a gallon of premium gasoline in selected countries around the world. As the chart presented on balidiscovery.com demonstrates, Indonesia enjoys some of the cheapest gasoline prices in the world.
If, as some fear, the price of a gallon of Indonesian gasoline increases to something approaching US$1.82 a gallon, Indonesia motorists will still enjoy access to some of the lowest cost gasoline on the planet.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.