BALI UPDATE #526 - 09 October 2006
to Clean House?
Criticized for Dragging it Heels in Uncovering
Suspected Corruption in Purchase of Airbus Fleet.
Trouble Ahead for US$105 Aid Package for Garuda?
Tempo Interaktif reports that Garuda Indonesia
is considered to be "less than serious"
in efforts to uncover suspected corruption in
the purchase of six Airbus A-330 aircraft in the
Didik J. Rachbini, the Chairman of the Parliamentary
Commission charged with overseeing State-Owned
Enterprises, complained that nearly two months
have passed since Garuda's self-imposed deadline
of early September when the airline promised
to publicly reveal the results of an internal
investigation and bring those results to the
National Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK).
Didik also told Tempo that he saw a similar
lack of serious-mindedness reflected in Garuda's
failure to make mention of the Airbus case in
the business plan submitted to the Government
and the lack of independent actors in the current
team steering the airline's restructuring.
Problems Ahead with Garuda's Bailout?
In the current situation Didik emphasized that
his commission would take a hard line in opposing
the emergency cash injection of Rp. 1 trillion
(approximately US$105 million) recently allocated
for Garuda. According to Didik, his committee's
agreement is a precondition for the subject
funds being released to the Airline.
Martono, an airline law expert, told Tempo
that Garuda is obligated to address the wide
spread suspicion that there was a mark-up in
the sale of the aircraft and announce their
findings to the public. He said this was even
more the case in light of the Government's trust
bestowed in the carriers in the form of the
recently agreed emergency cash relief. "These
funds should be withdrawn, for, if the sickness
of corruption still taints the airline, Garuda's
recovery will be very difficult," Martono
Garuda's Pilots Association has joined the
chorus calling for revelations surrounding the
perceived cover up. Captain Stephanus G., the
President of the Association, uncovering the
details surrounding the case is one of the critical
steps in efforts to rescue the national carrier.
The corruption allegations surround the purchase
of six Airbus A-330 aircraft in 1996 under a
"rental-purchase" agreement valued
at US$660 million between Garuda and a multi-partied
Garuda's Anti-corruption Commission, headed
by Ari Sapari, said that his committee is reviewing
its report on the transaction before handing
it over to the national Anti-corruption Commission.
Sapari refused to commit on when the report
would be handed to the Government.
Points to the Press and Accurate Information as
Key to Restoring Health to the Indonesian Tourism
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism,
Jero Wacik, has reluctantly lowered the 5.5
million visitors' target for 2005 admitting
he will be relived if 5 million visitors are
tallied by the end of the current year.
Quoted in the Indonesian language Nusa Bali,
Wacik said: "to my thinking 5 million visitors
is already a challenge, so if we get 5 million
I have done well; I will be relieved."
Wacik's comments were made in Jakarta on Tuesday,
October 3, 2006, in response to a report from
the Center for Statistics (BPS) that reported
tourists declined in August.
According to the Minister, who dismissed the
importance of the reported decline in visitors
inb August: "I have studied why August
declined, in fact June-July typically increase
followed by a decline in August. This is a yearly
cycle. Wait until October until December when
numbers will again increase."
Information is the Key
Wacik admitted that foreign visitors have been
affected by news of bombs and natural disasters
in Indonesia. Because of this, he underlined
the importance of providing rapid and accurate
information, adding: "The key is information.
The mass media is very important. The Tsunami
in Pangandaran was reported (incorrectly) by
the mass media as having occurred in West Java.
Don't so easily say 'West Java' as this makes
people frightened to visit Bandung and Bogor,
when in fact nothing happened (in these areas).
We must be diligent in localizing such problems."
The Minister re-issued his standing invitation
to the world press to visit Indonesia and see
the situation first hand. He explained how a
press group of 30 Japanese reporters recently
visited Indonesian allowing them to subsequently
return to their homeland and report that Indonesia
remains a safe destination for foreign visitors.
Domestic Tourism Targets
The Minister also said that he remained confident
that the domestic tourism target of 160 million
travelers would be achieved in 2006.
10 Chefs and 10
The Bali's Culinary
Professional Dinners 2nd Gala Dinner on Saturday,
October 28, 2006.
The Bali Culinary Professionals join forces
once again on Saturday, October 28, 2006 to
raise the already exceptionally high standard
of culinary excellence on the Island. 8 of Bali's
leading chefs in concert with two overseas celebrity
chefs will present a memorable evening of fine
food and carefully paired wines at The Ritz
Carlton Bali, Resort & Spa.The 10 Culinary
Stars of the kitchen will include:
• Made Putra – The Laguna Resort
• Raymond Saja – Di Mare Restaurant
• Stephen Wright – The Legian
• Torsten Schubert – The Semaya
• Scott Webster – Australian Culinary
• Francois Seurin – Mosaic, Ubud
• Jean Charles Dubois – Raffles
Grill, Raffles Hotel, Singapore • Dean
Kedell – The Ritz Carlton Resort &
SpaAndreas Gillar – Bali Bakery
• I Wayan Werta – Nusa Dua Beach
Hotel & Spa
Each chef will prepare an individual signature
dish to be paired with a selection of award
winning wines and champagne.
Live From the Kitchen
A special feature of this year’s Bali
Culinary Professional Gala Dinner will be the
innovation of TV coverage on a large screen
of what's happening "back in the kitchen"
as the chefs prepare the evening’s meal.
Proceeds from the evening will help provide
scholarships for deserving students in Bali.
Cost for a pre-dinner cocktail reception, dinner,
wines, champagne and entertainment is only Rp.
1,200,000 per person (approximately US$130)
For bookings contact Endang at Travel Works
Communications International at ++62-(0)361-710508
or email to infotravelworks-bali.com
More information: Email
for Bookings & Information
Black Box Dinner
Bali's Top Local
Chefs Compete in 10th Annual Black Box Culinary
The Meat & Livestock Black Box Competition
returns to Bali, celebrating its 10th anniversary
of exciting competition between the island's
best local chefs.
Held in many locations around Asia, the Black
Box Culinary Challenge was born in Bali. Today
it has grown to include 50 separate competitions
throughout the Asia Pacific involving over 2,000
Future plans for the Challenge to be extended
in 2007 to include The Middle East, Africa,
Europe and America.
Competing in Bali on Thursday, October 26th
will be 110 of Bali's top hotels and restaurants
who will send teams tasked to create a 4-course
sumptuous menu from ingredients included in
a "Black Box" of fine Australian meat
and dairy products provided by Meat & Livestock
The winning team of chefs at the October 26th
competition will be compete with a chance to
represent Indonesia at the 4th Regional Finals
to be held in Dubai in 2008 at the World Association
of Cooks Societies (WACS) World Congress.The
public is invited to sample the outstanding
meat and dairy products of Australia prepared
by Bali's best young chefs.
For Rp. 300,000 per person (approximately US$32.60)
per person guests can attend the judging dinner
to be held on the evening of Thursday, October
26th at the Nikko Bali, Resort & Spa. Cost
covers the four course dinners, cocktails, wines
For bookings contact Endang at Travel Works
Communications International at ++62-(0)361-710508
or email via the link provided.
More information: Email
for Bookings & Information
Indonesia's War on Terror
Praise Indonesia's War on Terror in Frank Exchange
of Views with the Head of Country's Largest Islamic
Tempo Interaktif reports that visiting Parliamentarians
from Australia recently expressed their satisfaction
with how Indonesia is handling the war on terror.
The comments, made by Australian lawmaker Peter
Slipper M.P. as part of a four-member delegation,
were delivered during a visit on September 22,
2006, with Din Syamsuddin, Chairman of Muhammadiyah,
Indonesia's largest modernist Muslim social
and educational organization.
According to Slipper, both Indonesia and Australia
have enjoyed successful cooperation in a number
of areas due, in part, to the two nations' close
proximity to each other.
The Australian went on to explain that the
cooperation between the two countries has intensified
since the Bali bombing of 2002 that resulted
in a large number of Australian casualties.
Slipper said that the Government of Australia
is satisfied with how Indonesia has handled
this case, adding, "we respect the legal
process that has taken place."
In the dialogue with Din, Slipper and two fellow
Australian lawmakers – Michael Danby and
Harry Jenkins, spoke at length on terrorism
and Island, frequently seeking Din's response
Democracy Cannot be Force Fed
In response, Din explained to his visitors
that much of the radicalism in Islam today is
a reaction to the West's unfair view and evaluation
of the religion. Touching on the matter of Iraq
and Australia's support of the U.S. invasion
of that country, Din told his visitors that
the current approach was badly flawed, explaining,
"it is inappropriate to try to introduce
democracy through violent tactics."
Bali's Popular Volcano-Top
Destination Reports Widespread Closure of Restaurants.
The Indonesian language BisnisBali carried
a page-one story reporting that in the four
years since the 2002 Bali bombing there have
been 22 closures of restaurants and hotels in
the hill-top resort area of Kintamani.
According to the report, businesses populating
the volcanic crater have been forced to cease
operations due to the dramatic drop in visitors
and the resulting inability to meet operating
The newspaper quoted a local businessman who
has changed professions from being a restaurateur
to selling produce as saying, "What can
we do when we are facing growing losses?"
The currently dire situation was confirmed
by the Chairman of the Bangli Chapter of the
Indonesian Hotel & Restaurant Association
(PHRI), I Wayan Winurjaya, who said that many
business had closed with the hardest hit being
small-sized enterprises. Winurjaya, who is also
the owner of the Lake View Hotel and Restaurant
in Kintamani, blamed terrorist acts, natural
disasters, and fear of disease as all having
a negative contribution to the state of Bali's
Winurjaya saw some hope in the gradually improving
tourist numbers coming to Bali, although business
levels still fall far short of the boom-times
recorded in the 1990s. He prayed that current
recovery programs now being pursued by the Government
would accelerate the road to full business recovery.
Bali Voted Best Holiday
Votes Bali as Asia Best Holiday Destination.
Based on a poll that queried sophisticated
frequent travelers over a three month period
from May-July 2006, SmartTravelAsia.com
recently announced its list of the "best
of the best" covering airlines, hotels,
and destinations. Mirroring results in the recent
Travel + Leisure readers' survey, Bali was,
once again, selected as the "Best Holiday
Destination" in Asia.
Best Holiday Destination
Proving that Bali's magic is truly indestructible,
SmartTravelAsia.com voted Bali its favorite
Asian holiday destination, saying, "It
is an island that has retained its disarmingly
honest and simple charm, a peaceful ritual-minded
Hindu enclave in a bustling Muslim country."
Bali garnered 18.7% of total votes in the category
followed by Phuket in a distant second receiving
11.3% of the votes cast. The South Indian destination
of Kerala captured third place (7%) followed
by Bangkok in fourth.
In reviewing Bali's win SmartTravelAsia.com
said: "Bali held top spot - and by a wide
margin - demonstrating that integrity and authenticity
can attract visitor votes, and dollars. This
is a reassuring message in an age of instantly
bottled and serially manufactured destinations
where neon and crocodile shows push everything
else off the stage."
Best Conference Hotels, Asia
In their list of the top 25 conference hotels
in Asia two Bali properties brought honor to
the island with the Conrad Bali Resort &
Spa ranking No. 22 and the Ritz Carlton Bali
tying with The Peninsula Hong Kong for No. 24.
Best Leisure Hotels & Resorts,
In listing the best reports in Asia, the poll
participants named six Bali properties to their
list of the top 25, namely: Amandari, Bali (No.
1); Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay (No.
2); The Legian, Bali (No. 11); Grand Hyatt Bali
(No. 16); Four Seasons Resort at Sayan (No.
17); and The Bale (No. 22).
Best Spa Hotels, Asia
Equally impressive was Bali's attainment of
six properties to the list of the Best Hotel
Spas in Asia with COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan
Giri, Bali (No. 5); InterContinental Resort
Bali at (No. 6); Hotel Tugu Bali (No. 7); The
Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort & Spa (No. 12);
The Legian Bali (No. 18); and Maya Ubud Resort
& Spa, Bali (No. 23).
Reacting to the honors bestowed on Bali by
SmartTravelAsia.com, the Chairman
of the Bali Tourism Board, Bagus Sudibya, told
the Indonesian language BisnisBali: "We
need not be humble. This award should at the
very least urge us all to work harder to develop
Bali's tourism." Sudibya went on to ask
that if the world votes its support for Bali,
why should we (the Balinese) hesitate to work
together for recovery?
Ray Clark Heads The
Samaya in Bali
and Food & Beverage Expert Now in Charge of
Semaya Resort in Kerobokan.
British national Ray Clark brings 40 years
of hospitality experience to his latest appointment
as General Manager of the 24-unit luxurious
The Samaya Bali beachfront resort.
Commencing his career in 1966 as an apprentice
chef in Liverpool, stints in 4 and 5-star Hotels
across England followed, before spending a 5-year
on articles posting with the Royal Navy.
Back on dry and a civilian once again, Clark
held several Executive Chef positions before
embarking on a teaching career, as Chef Lecturer
at Bournemouth College of Further & Higher
Education specializing in Culinary Art for
14 years. While toiling in the Education sector,
Ray supplemented his already substantial professional
qualifications by adding two University Degrees
and several Professional Memberships.
Returning to his first love of Food and Hospitality
Management, Ray left the halls of academia for
a 5-year assignment with Sandals Ultra All
Inclusive Resorts in Montego Bay, Jamaica
and Antigua, where he worked as Executive Chef
and eventually as Food & Beverage Director.
Ray has successfully competed in many International
Salon Culinaires, earning many challenge trophies
and gold medals to his credit.
Prior to his current assignment, Ray was the
Resident Manager at Nusa Dua Beach Hotel
& Spa and previously to that was Executive
Assistant Manager at Nikko Bali Resort &
Shopping Guide to
Bali & Lombok Launched
A comprehensive 740-age guide to shops and services is being released this week by Java Books.
Positioned as the "unbiased guide for those
who love (and hate) to shop in Bali," Shopsmart
has been compiled by a long-term residents in
Bali who has a deep respect and love for the island's
traditional crafts and culture.
A sequel to ShopSmart Singapore, published
in 2004, the Bali & Lombok edition aims to be
a unique sourcebook while being completely objective
in refusing all advertising support.
The Bali & Lombok ShopSmart edition helps
visitors and resident discover bargains and treasures
ranging from exceptional hand-woven ikats
to sumptuous silver jewelry, funky surfer fashions
to custom made furniture.
Along the ways there’s practical advice on bargaining,
shipping, cultural insights, sales, and practical
maps and contact information.
Wishing to be a positive force in the community,
10% of each book's cover price will be dedicated
to local charities.
Included in the ShopSmart Guide for Bali
& Lombok are:
• Expert Reviews of more than 1,000 selected shops
• Information covering over 30 shopping categories
from antiques to woodcarvings.
• Comprehensive coverage of six main shopping
areas in Bali (Denpasar, Kuta, Lombok, Sanur,
Seminyak and Ubud).
• Information on local "do it yourself" courses
including cooking, scuba-diving, surfing, silversmithing,
woodcarving, dancing, meditation and yoga.
• Details on accommodation, nightlife and restaurants.
• Golf courses and spa.
• Rating for price, service, quality, range and
• Local tips on what, when, where and how to buy.
• Information on language, geography, history
and local culture.
• User-friendly maps
For more information, follow the email link
More information: Email
Contact for Information and Ordering
We Get Mail
Readers Respond and
Comment on Articles Featured on balidiscovery.com.
to Abandon Bali as Secondary Hub] drew spirited
responses from a number of readers.
• Linda Baker, writing from Australia, said:
"We fly Garuda each time we come to Bali.
If the flights out of Sydney go via Jarkarta
then onto Bali we will definitely never use
them again. What a giant pain it would be not
to have a direct flight. Bad decision."
• Greg Lowe, also from Australia, contributed
"I now have to fly Adelaide to Melbourne
to Bali...if I have to travel through Jakarta
as well, I won't bother with traveling to Bali
at all. Even now travel to Bali is much dearer
than Malaysia or Thailand...are you trying to
cut Australia from your tourism market?"
• Still on the same topic, Rodney Gray from
Australia, said :
"I am very concerned that Garuda is even
thinking about abandoning Bali. If tourist numbers
are down, Garuda should be heavily promoting
a return of tourists from traditional markets.
To make these people fly to Bali via Jakarta
will cause enormous harm and ensure that tourism
does not recover. This sort of economic terrorism
and sabotage is not what Bali needs. It hands
a victory to the terrorists."
• And finally from Australia, Paula McKenzie-Blair
wrote to say:
"If Garuda do this their advantage of direct
flights will no longer be in place making the
choice of Garuda over Qantas non-existent. There
will be a huge backlash from Australian visitors
who have been using Garuda for direct Bali flights.
Flying via Jakarta must add at least three to
four hours to a 6-hour flight - totally unacceptable
(from the perspective of this regular Brisbane/Denpasar
Our story [Bali
Works to Reduce Plastic Waste] got a favorable
response from many readers.
• Stephen McMullen wrote to say :
"Great news that they are working on plastic
waste problem. I regularly drive around the
'bukit' near Udayana University and unfortunately
note that plastic bags and other non-biodegradable
plastic items litter the whole area including
the University grounds. One wonders if the University
could start an educational programme for the
locals (and themselves) as it seems trying to
lure more visitors will work better if they
do not have to drive past unsightly garbage."
The report [Bali
Carrefour Project Draws Protests] prompted
• A New Zealand reader, Maria Ziegler, to
”Constructing shopping malls and large and
small supermarkets should be prohibited. They
are curses in the western world and would take
any trade chances away from the small vendor-operators.
So many in Bali are already struggling to make
a living. And it would take all charm out of
Bali if the small operators and "tokos" disappeared."
The Editorial [Drawing
Lines in the Sand] evoked the following
• Mike Collier from the U.S.A. wrote to comment
"My compliments on the content and subjects
of the 525th edition of 'Bali Update.' The articles
about the Australian legislators visit to DPR,
Garuda's plans to eliminate Bali as a second
hub, beach development infractions and the potential
for Bali to become a cruise ship port were interesting
and insightful. Keep up the good work!"
• While a Swedish reader, Peter Lyngdorf commented
"First thing every Monday morning is the
Bali Update. I have just been reading 'Drawing
Lines in the Sand?' I very much hope your fight
for Bali and the Balinese in this respect will
succeed. We have seen too many beautiful beaches
ruined by egoistic so called developers around
the world. . . Bali is a very small island."
And here's a final note of general comment
from Diana Dunkley in Lawrence, Kansas (USA)
who made our day by writing to say:
"”I returned from a month in Bali last month
and it was an amazing and wonderful experience!
We traveled the entire island, experiencing
common tourist sites, staying in lovely resorts
as well as wandering around in the more rural
areas, meeting Balinese and learning about their
lives, and staying in homestays. In other words,
we really experienced the diversity of this
beautiful land. In getting your e-publication
for a few months prior to our trip, I found
out about two things that we chose to do - both
of which were excellent experiences. The first
one was sketching/painting from the live model
at Pranoto's Gallery in Ubud. I belong to a
"sketch" group here that is structured identically
to Pranoto's, so I was very curious about it.
The people attending and Pranato were very gracious
and made me feel right at home. The model was
very good and professional. I really enjoyed
the experience and getting to meet some local
artists on a more low-key personal level. In
contrast, the second experience was to take
my travel buddy to the Mosaic Restaurant for
her 60th birthday dinner. It was the most exquisite
fine dining experience I have ever had, from
the setting and ambience, to the service, the
menu, the recommendations, and, by all means,
the great food! I would not have known about
these opportunities except for Bali Update,
so I wanted to say thank you!"
Your Thoughts with balidiscovery.com
Infinity of Venue
at the Conrad Bali Resort & Spa.
At a hotel renowned for its outstanding venues
on an island overflowing with spectacular locales,
Conrad Bali Resort & Spa has just launched
a breathtaking venue for private events and weddings
Epitomizing an opulence, grandeur and beauty
that will make the perfect counterpoint to any
special day, Infinity is situated on a
1,200 square meter reserve of land on the Resort’s
Designed by architects at Dwi Tunggal Mandiri
of Jakarta, the structure has stunning lines,
allowing Infinity to "float" two meters
above sea level amidst a magnificent ensemble
of overflowing reflecting pools and marble walkways.
The building's simple, off-set triangle shape
represents a romantic angle pointing towards the
heavens, while its composite elements of marble,
glass and steel are, according to its designers,
"metaphors for the male and female bodies and
heir interactions with each other as a couple."
A steel-framed glass wall makes up the north
side of the structure's triangle opposite a southern
wall of solid marble.
Boasting 117 square meters of floor space with
12 meter ceilings, the interior of Infinity
is both powerful and simplistic in its presentation.
Marble floors, ocean-facing glass and transposable
seating for up to 60 guests in air conditioned
comfort ensure that this will be the venue of
choice for society weddings in Bali.
For images click here
Westin Launches Signature
New Designer Scents
Now Allow Memories to Linger as Fragrant Reminders
of a Holiday in Paradise.
Now visitors to Bali will not have to wait
for their next travel getaway to elevate their
senses and soothe their spirit following the
launch of White Tea Scent by Westin
Hotels & Resorts.
In response to heavy demand for the scent following
its debut in a multi-million dollar print campaign
and dispersal in hotel lobbies worldwide, the
public can now infuse their home with White
Tea by Westin – the hotel group's signature
fragrance collection featuring a luxurious 100%
soy candle, gentle room oil diffuser and all-natural
potpourri. Hundreds of guests asked how to purchase
the scent for their home prompting an eager
waiting list for the exclusive collection months
before its debut.
White Tea by Westin
White Tea by Westin is a custom-designed
scent that, according to its creators, evokes
the personality of the brand, elevates the senses
and transforms any space. Highlighted with notes
of geranium and freesia, the ingredients were
carefully chosen because of their relaxing properties
and are the result of a year of research and
testing. The scent made its debut in the Westin's
recent "This is How it Should Feel" print
ad campaign that featured a White Tea fragrance
strip. It was then introduced in Westin Hotel
lobbies around the world as part of the brand's
new Welcome program which is currently rolling
out across all hotels worldwide.
"As part of our Westin Welcome program we designed
our White Tea scent to create a relaxing and
inviting atmosphere for our guests and we're
thrilled that we made such a strong emotional
connection that they want to bring that experience
home with them," said Sue Brush, senior vice
president of Westin Hotels & Resorts.
The White Tea by Westin Collection®
is the latest addition to a growing retail line
that includes the iconic Westin Heavenly
Bed® and Heavenly Bath® products
that are available through an in-room catalogue
and branded website. Last year Westin became
the first hotel company to gain national retail
store presence in the U.S.A. when Nordstrom
began carrying its Heavenly line in more
than 60 stores nationwide.
Renew Your Home with the Scent of White
White Tea by Westin's luxurious 100%
all-natural soy candles are individually hand
poured, are clean burning and last for 60 hours.
The home diffuser features natural rattan reeds
that absorb the white tea scented oil and gently
diffuses the calming blend of select botanicals
throughout the room and the all-natural potpourri
lends a subtle, fragrant touch to any space.
The White Tea by Westin home fragrance collection
is priced from $25-$65.
Reserve your order of White Tea by Westin's
products when booking your accommodation at
The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua, Bali.