Government Determined to Collect Taxes from Bali's Illegal Villa Sector.
According to the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Bali's Governor has issued a circular memo (No. 556.2/1590/I/Dispara) addressing steps to give a clearer legal and business standing to the hundreds of villas operating commercially in Bali.
According to the Bali Post, one of the clauses in the subject memorandum calls for commercial villas to be classified as "non-star hotels" and begin paying taxes on levels equivalent to local hotels. Currently, all guests staying at star-rated hotels have a 21% tax and service charge added to their bill for accommodation and other services purchased during the course of their stay.
A recent survey carried out by the Government showed that there are some 649 villas now formally recorded as operating in the Badung Regency of Bali, of which only 213 (32.8%) have operating permits and valid tax numbers.
If the Governor's circular memo is realized, the additional tax revenue for local government would be substantial.
Separately, local Government Zoning officials have pointed out to the Government that many of the so-called "illegal villas" have been found to not only be lacking valid operating permits, but have also been built without the required building permits, with some on lands on which the villas stand not zoned for commercial residential development.
The officials have asked if the effort to bring the illegal villas into conformance with the law will require a strict interpetation of the law and the demolition of the illegally constructed villas.
Aman Aman Saja!
Aman Resort Staff Training to Participate in Bali International Triathlon June 24, 2007.
Bali International Triathlon set for June 24, 2007 in Bali is shaping up to become an exciting inaugural event. The race, which will take place on June 24, 2007, at Jimbaran Bay, Bali, will feature an Olympic distance course, consisting of a 1.5 kilometer swim in the warm waters of Jimbaran Bay, a 40 kilometer bike course through the Nusa Dua area of the island, and a 10 kilometer run through Jimbaran Village with a beach finish.
Organized by Bali Triathlon, LLC, the event will also include a 5 km fun run and a special Corporate Challenge Category. Acknowledged as an important part of international triathlon competition, the corporate team category allows businesses, clubs and groups of friends to compete in a special division of 3-person teams - dividing up the responsibilities for swimming, cycling and running.
Corporate participation in triathlon relay team challenges has become a significant part triathlon races in Asia and worldwide. "It would not be unusual to see 30-50 relay team participants wearing their corporate uniforms at major triathlon events," says Robb Strom, one of the co-race organizers of the Bali International Triathlon. "Herbalife and Disney regularly run 10 or more teams at triathlon events all over the world," added Strom.
Bali Training Underway
Among the local corporate teams preparing to compete against each other on June 24 are a number of teams drawn from local hotels and resorts, determined to prove their mettle and join the race fun.
Shown on balidiscovery.com is the corporate team from Ubud's Amandari Resort: (front row, left to right) Nglilis who is a trekker at the Resort who will ride the team's bike; Executive Chef Gary Tyson who will swim the 1.5 km course; (back row, left to right) Noosa, a Public Area Cleaner at the Resort who will run the 10 kilometers; and General Manager Liv Gussing urging on her team of triathletes.
Also shown on balidiscovery.com is the corporate challenge team from the Amandari's sister hotel the Amankila: (left to right) the Resort's Life Saver, Putu Monjong, who will swim the 1.5 km course; Life Saver, Ketut Mustika who will ride the team's bike for 40 kms; and Security Office, Mudiasa, who will run the 10 kms for the Amankila Team.
The participation of two teams from the Aman Resorts in Bali virtually guarantees a large contingent of families and colleagues will be on hand to cheer and support the Aman Teams.
We also have it on good source that the supporters of the two teams are practicing a cheer in Indonesian of "Aman Aman Saja" or, in its English equivalent, "It's a sure thing!"
Join us on June 24, 2007, on the sidelines or as a triathlete, to find out for yourself.
Yoga Meditation at Two Important Retreats in May and June 2007 at Ubud's Como Shambhala Retreat.
Ubud's legendary Como Shambhala Estate is offering two exceptional advancement and study opportunities for Yoga devotees in May and June 2007.
Ashtanga Yoga in Paradise with David Swenson
From May 23-29, 2007, the Como Shambhala Estate will present an opportunity to study Ashtanga Yoga with David Swenson. Swenson began practicing yoga in 1969 at the tender age of 13. His first teacher was his older brother, Doug, and together they practiced Hatha Yoga using whatever book they could find. David's introduction to Ashtanga came in 1973 when he met David Williams and Nancy Gilgoff in Encinitas, California,
David Swenson is recognized today as one of the world's foremost practitioners and instructors of Ashtanga Yoga. In the last 5 years he a produced 5 video, 4 audio tapes and written the highly popular book Ashtanga Yoga - "The Practice Manual". He has just released 5 new DVDs, 3 CDs and a series of laminated practice cards.
David's classes in Ubud at Como Shambhala are open to all levels of practitioners. There will be two classes per day, with plenty of time in between to enjoy the natural setting or enjoy the many treatments and activities offered by the Resort.
Special packages are available for Resort guests. Non Resort guests may pay US$900++ (US$750++ for Indonesian citizens and Residents). This price includes daily brunch on yoga days; a welcome dinner on May 23; farewell dinner on May 28; 5 days of yoga with David Swenson; and complimentary use of the steam, sauna and lap pool.
Om Yoga & Meditation with Cyndi Lee
Brining the mind and body into harmony is an monumental as joining heaven and earth. Cyndi Lee, founder of OM Yoga in New York, will lead a retreat into self-discovery at the Como Shambhala Retreat in Bali. Renowned as a playful teacher with a nurturing style, Cyndi's training is suitable for all levels of practice permitting all participants to develop at their own pace.
Each day from June 5 - June 11, 2007 will begin with a 3 hour morning session of meditation, instruction and practice that ends with an invigorating asana session. Each afternoon includes two hours of hip openers, restorative yoga, pranayama and walking meditations on the Estate's grounds.
Special packages are available for Resort guests. Non Resort guests may pay US$900++ (US$750++ for Indonesian citizens and Residents). This price includes 5 days of yoga with Cyndi Lee (6-10 June); daily lunch on yoga days (6 June-10 June); Welcome Dinner on June 5; Farewell Dinner on June 10; and complimentary use of the sauna, steam and pool.
Ubud Gathering July 31-August 7, 2007 Will Bring World Visionaries to Bali for a Dialogue to Help Transform the World.
Bali Institute for Global Renewal (BIGR) is numbered among the first learning centers offering multicultural leadership and facilitation training, deep dialogue, indigenous wisdom, global consciousness, intergenerational activism and other action-oriented skills that empowers individuals, groups and organizations in making a difference in the world. BIGR was formed by a consortium of international organizations, corporations, non-governmental organizations, universities, thought leaders and consultants committed to advancing new forms of leadership training, intergenerational collaboration, nonviolent conflict resolution and social activism as part of a worldview that promotes a sustainable, humane and culturally-diverse life for all.
Awaking Global Action
In 2007, BIGR will be hosting its third gathering in Ubud, Bali on July 31, August 7, 2007 entitled "Awakening Global Action: Leadership, Indigenous Wisdom and Dialogue for a Transforming World."
Up to 500 people of all ages will come together from around the world for an unforgettable experience of leadership training, Balinese wisdom learning, and hands-on practicum experience all designed to enhance actions to be taken back in their own communities. More than 1,000 people from 40 countries have attended past events in Ubud.
Among some of the eminent persons expected at the Ubud event, include:
. Derrick Ashong is a co-founder and singer in the band Soulfege, a group known for building sonic bridges that fuse the influences of the African Diaspora into a unique musical vision. Born in Ghana and raised in numerous cultures around the world, he is currently a poet, Ph.D. student at Harvard University, and an international motivational speaker for youth and intergenerational conferences.
. Dr. Illana Berger has trained with healers and medicine people from around the world. She has a MA/Ph.D from California Institute for Integral Studies. She is a Spiritual Counselor, leads Women's Healing Circles, rites of passage rituals for youth, and uses indigenous healing concepts and practices in her work. She was the Conference Coordinator for Quest for Global Healing 2006.
. Hanley Brite founded Authentic Connections, Inc. to bring a fresh approach to creating organizational vitality through transformational change. He has more than 30 years experience with non-profits and corporations, serving as a manager and executive, advisor and educator, business leader and consultant.
. Jan Cornall is a writer, performer, teacher and facilitator, who runs popular meditative writing seminars, workshops and retreats in Australia and the Asia Pacific. Since 2004 she has performed her spoken and sung word at literary festivals throughout the region.
. Prince Cedza Dlamini, grandson of Nelson Mandela, is a humanitarian, youth activist, spokesman for the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals, and the founder of the Ubuntu Institute for Young Social Entrepreneurs. His vision is to create a unified global order by establishing global networks of young leaders who can work collectively to address current world problems.
. Linda Dunkel is president and CEO of Interaction Associates, Inc. She brings 25 years experience designing and developing change and learning strategies for organizations and improving the effectiveness of the human assets of corporations. She has served in senior level positions in two start-up companies and was vice president of a Fortune 100 company.
. Ryan Feinstein is the Bali Institute Global Projects Director and the founder/director of the Global Youth in Action programs. He has facilitated intergenerational workshops on the empowerment of youth at numerous international conferences, and created/facilitated the first Global Youth in Action Program at the QGHII in 2006. Ryan is currently finishing his degree in International Studies at University of California, San Diego.
. Fatima Gailani of Afghanistan is head of the Red Crescent Society. She is a Sunni Sufi Muslim, spokesperson for the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan, and one of three women advisors in developing Afghanistan's interim government.
. Lyla Johnston is a Dineh poet who comes from the soul of the Southwest of America - Taos, New Mexico. Her poetry sends out a positive message and has inspired many audiences to join a more conscious humanity. She plans to study environmental sciences and solutions. Lyla has also won numerous awards at US regional and national poetry slams.
. Patricia McCabe is a Dineh writer, painter, mother and activist whose poetry and short fiction are currently melding with paintings of inner workings. It is never certain which [media] will rise to be heard, to tell the story. She hopes for Peace and Safety, Joy and Light for her children, the elders and for All My Relations. She is the proud mother of Lyla Johnston.
. Fr. Leonel Narvaez is a sociologist from Cambridge University with a Th.D. From Harvard University. A native of Colombia, he spent ten years as a missionary Catholic priest with the nomads of the Shalbi Desert in Africa and another ten years in the Amazon rainforest. During the last few years, he has been successfully implementing the ESPER Escuelas de Perdon y Reconciliacion, or "Schools of Forgiveness and Reconciliation" in cities throughout Colombia and Brazil. He was recently awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit by the City Council of Bogota for his work on reconciliation and peace initiatives.
. Aftab Omer is the president/founder of the Institute of Imaginal Studies, a graduate school and research center located in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work focuses on assisting organizations and learning communities in tapping the creative potentials of diversity, conflict, and complexity.
. Agung Rai is the founder, visionary and owner of the ARMA Museum and Resort.ARMA (Agung Rai Museum of Art) serves as a living cultural art museum that showcases historical and contemporary artists from Bali, Indonesia and other countries, as well as cultural arts including Balinese dance, music, painting, sculpture and more.
. Tjokorda Gde Putra Sukawati is the eldest of the three Princes of the Ubud Palace family. He is active in preserving Balinese art and is the chairman of Museum Puri Lukisan, chairman of the Advisor of Bali Tourism Board, chairman of Ubud Community Board and president director of Pita Maha Institution.
. Tjokorda Gde Oka Sukawati is the second of the three Princes of the Ubud Palace family. He is involved in many activities focused on preserving Balinese culture, and is also a lecturer in architecture at Udayana University. He is vice president of Pita Maha Institution.
. Tjorkorda Gde Raka Sukawati, the youngest Prince of the Ubud Palace family, is directly involved with many community activities in Ubud and is concerned about preserving Balinese culture. Very talented in traditional Balinese architecture and community leadership, he is a lecturer in marketing at Udayana University and is Managing Director of Pita Maha Institution.
. Dr. Ketut Suryani M.D., Ph.D., is a renowned Balinese healer and a leader in bridging indigenous Balinese knowledge and values with the western world. An expert on Balinese culture and spiritual practices, and author of The Balinese People and Living in the Spirit, she also has her own weekly TV show on women's issue, offers weekly meditation and speaks about cultural issues impacting her beloved Bali.
. Kate Sweetman is a former editor at Harvard Business Review where she acquired and edited articles by top business executives, academics, and consultants in the U.S. and abroad. She currently works in leadership development for a variety of clients, often crafting customized cases. Kate has a BA in English from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
. Luisah Teish is an initiated elder of West African Diaspora, and holds numerous degrees and certifications including a Ph.D. in Spiritual Therapeutics from Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is a master storyteller, performing and teaching at gatherings and conferences around the world. She has written several books, contributed to 13 anthologies, and has published articles in such magazines as Essence, Ms., Shaman's Drum and the Yoga Journal.
. Lyonpo Jigma Y. Thinley is the former Bhutanese Prime Minister and current Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs. He helped create the Gross Happiness Index as a measure of well-being in Bhutan.
. Chaiwat Thirapantu of Thailand was named an Ashoka Fellow for his innovative work with Bangkok Forum and created active citizen engagement across traditional boundaries in Thailand. His work as a "process activist" brings diverse groups together on a large scale to support a life-affirming and democratic future for Thailand.
. KH Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) elected President of Indonesia in 1999, and heads the world's largest Muslim organization with nearly 40 million members. He was the recipient of the 2003 Friends of the U.N. Global Tolerance Award. A Sunni Muslim, he has a progressive mindset and immense spiritual authority, advocating religious tolerance, pluralism and democracy for over 30 years. (Invited)
. Peter Wrycza, Ph. D., brings 35 years experience working internationally, facilitating deep transformation and the practical unfolding of human consciousness. He has co-authored a number of books, including When Performance Meets Alignment. Originally from England, he founded the Nirarta Centre for Living Awareness in Bali, and offers a post-conference retreat there.
. Dr. Rashad Zidan is a pharmacologist born and raised in Baghdad. After the invasion in 2003, she and a group of Iraqi women formed an organization focusing on widows and orphans with several branches located in the most affected parts of Iraq. She speaks out about ending the occupation and war in Iraq, and plans to bring one of her Son's to the Bali gathering.
First Row, from left to right : Aftab Omer, Agung Rai, Prince Cedza Dlamini, Chaiwat Thirapantu, Fatima Gailani, KH Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur)
Second Row, from left to right : Hanley Brite,Dr. Illana Berger, Jan Cornall,Kate Sweetman, Fr. Leonel Narvaez, Linda Dunkel
Thirth Row, from left to right :Luisah Teish, Lyonpo Jigma Y. Thinley, Patricia McCabe, Peter Wrycza, PhD., Tjorkorda Gde Raka Sukawati, Tjokorda Gde Putra Sukawati
Fourth Row, from left to right :Derrick Ashong, Lyla Johnston, Ryan Feinstein, Tjokorda Gde Oka Sukawati, Dr. Rashad Zidan, Dr. Ketut Suryani M.D., Ph.D
Garuda Orient Holiday Offers Special Bali Holidays Ex Sydney and Melbourne.
As part of the 2007 Summer Bali on Any Budget promotion, Garuda Orient Holidays is offering Australian holidaymakers special packages ex Sydney and Melbourne.
Specials Deals ex Sydney
Fares from Sydney start as low as AU$599 per person. To this fare must be added AU$243.36 in applicable taxes and airport/airline charges and a mandatory 4 nights hotel component starting as low as AUS$50 per person.
Special Deals ex Melbourne
Fare from Melbourne start as low as AU$695 per person. To this fare must be added AU$226.16 in applicable taxes and airport/airline charges and a mandatory 4 nights hotel component starting as low as AUS$50 per person.
Fares and hotels are subject to seasonality and availability. Hotels rates are quoted on a per person basis and based on shared occupancy.
Use the email link to send us details of your traveling party, departure and return date, and departure city in Australia so we can quote a "Summer Fun for Everyone" fare from Garuda Orient Holidays.
15,000 Runners expected at Bali 10K on August 12, 2007
Government Promises to Make Bali Event a Major Event on World's Running Calendar.
As part of Bali's celebration of its founding 49 years ago, the Bali 10K Race will be held on August 12, 2007 with an estimated 10 - 15,000 runners expected to participate.
Gede Nurjaya, the Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority told the Indonesian language BisnisBali, "we intend to restore the Bali 10K as a yearly event for the province." While admitting that this year's event is limited by a lack of supporting funds, Nurjaya said each year's successive event will be better funded with an increasing number of world class runners expected to attend each year the event is held.
Citing marathons as a sport requiring little funds and open to every level of society, Nurjaya pointed to the success of similar city marathons held around the world each year.
Before its disappearance, the Bali 10k race supported by Indonesian businessman Bob Hasan was held in Bali between 1987-1989 where, with a top prize of US$10,000, it managed to attract 10-15,000 participants each year. That event was eventually moved to Central Java and Jakarta before its disappearance in the mid-1990s.
16th Rotary Club Bali Charity Tennis Tournament
Popular Tournament May 20-27, 2007 Provides Funds for Worthy Bali Charities.
The 16th Annual Rotary Club Bali Nusa Dua Charity Tennis Tournament will take place May 20-27, 2007, on the courts of thee leading South Bali resorts: The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa and the Nikko Bali Resort and Spa.
As in the past, a strong turn out by both players and spectators is expected in the various divisions of play including open and amateur, men's amateur, women's amateur, mixed doubles and juniors.
Entry deadline is 12:00 noon on Thursday, May 17, 2007 with drawings for all matches to be done on 5:00 p.m. on that day at the Tennis Courts of the Westin Hotel.
Proceeds from the tournament will once again be used to support local charitable activities on Bali.
For more information or registration, visit the tournament web site.
Minister Wacik Urged to Lobby for End to Visa-on-Arrival
Local Tourism Figures Urge Now is the Time to Repair the Visa-on-Arrival System and Grant More Autonomy to Bali's Tourism Industry.
Now breathing easier and safe from the most recent Cabinet Reshuffle, Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, is being urged by tourism leaders in Bali to lobby the Minister of Justice and Human Rights to eliminate the unpopular visa-on-arrival (VOA) policy. Minister Wacik is also being urged to seek a Presidential decree providing special status to Bali's tourism industry, allowing the Island more autonomy in developing its tourism industry.
The Vice-Chairman of Bali's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), Ida Bagus Surakusuma, told the Indonesian language NusaBali that the elimination of the VOA is the "best solution" to help restore Bali's tourism. Surakusuma, the Head of Pacific World Travel and more popularly known as "Lolec," said that now that the Culture and Tourism Minister has ben spared in the Cabinet Reshuffle "Jero Wacik must wisely use this opportunity."
Lolec told Nusa Bali that Wacik should ask the Minister of Justice and Human Rights to reintroduce the system of free visa entry (BVKS) to replace the VOA.
Lolec posed the question, "if other countries can extend a BVKS, why can't Indonesia.?" Lolec is confident that the removal of the VOA and replacement with a BVKS will bolster arrival numbers.
Special Presidential Decree Needed
In a separate statement, a member of the Advisory Board of KADIN, Gede Jaya Susila, said a Presidential decree granting special status to Bali's tourism industry and more autonomy in its management is needed.
Insisting that the people of Bali were best equipped to address the many problems of the Island's tourism, the proposed Presidential Decree would focus power in developing tourism with the local community where it belongs.
Susila sees the Presidential Decree as preparing the way for a consistent means of financing Bali's tourism industry, preparing the way for the utilization of the taxes paid by the Hotel and Restaurant sector and obtaining a share of visa fees collected from Bali's tourist visitors.
'Grand Batik Interiors' Just Published
Handsome Coffee Table Edition Focuses on Indonesia's Rich Batik Tradition for Interior Design.
Many books have been written about batik, but Grand Batik Interiors is arguably the first that highlights the debut of batik into the world of interior design, presenting a fresh new perspective on this most ancient of crafts. Published by Buku Antar Bangsa (BAB) Publishing Indonesia - the publishing house that initiated the highly acclaimed Indonesian Heritage Series and other breakthrough publications on Indonesian arts and cultures - Grand Batik Interiors unravels the historical trajectory of batik.
The book records batik's transformation from its traditional context into the world of modernity. It examines the way this cloth with its deeply embedded, multi-layered meanings has been re-created to become relevant to a modern lifestyle, including its use in the garment/ fashion, and interior design industries. The book's mastermind, former Minister of Tourism and Telecommunications, Joop Avé, was the first person to encourage Indonesian batik masters to venture out into interior design by commissioning them to create enlarged batik motif wall hangings. In the 1970s designers like Iwan Tirta, Ardiyanto and Harry Soeharyo, to name just a few of the batik movement's pioneers, responded to Joop Avé's call and were creating innovative and original batiks for interior design. By the 2000s, a new generation of batik designers had emerged, treading the path once opened by their seniors, and which led to the blossoming of a new local industry. The old pioneering masters, meanwhile, consolidated their works. The book examines the way that these designers have adapted batik motifs to silver, ceramic, wood and leather.
Joop Avé invited four authors to share their insights and expertise on batik and its foray into the realm of interior design.
. Professor Michael Hitchcock, an Indonesian textile expert who is now a Director of the International Institute for Culture, Tourism and Development at London Metropolitan University, unfolds the history of batik as a cultural and artistic language, by tracing its roots back to ancient times.
. Soedarmadji J.H. Damais, an independent scholar knowledgeable about batik and various facets of the world's cultures, points at specific historical and style junctures when batik entered people's homes, from the early expatriates in the former Dutch East Indies and beyond as faraway art connoisseurs such as a French Baroness in the contemporary world, adapted batik for interiors.
. Dr Wiendu Nuryanti, a Professor of Architecture and Tourism Planning at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, and an expert on tourism gives her insightful account on batik influences in the rapidly expanding hospitality industry.
. Dr. Sian Jay, an anthropologist and design expert, wraps up the discussion by interviewing some of the most influential batik designers about their experimentation with batik for interior design purposes.
Grand Batik Interiors is lavishly illustrated, with detailed descriptions of the interiors, methods, concepts and ideas that are featured throughout. Aimed at a general readership interested in art and design, Grand Batik Interiors is also intended to appeal to those interested in interior decoration, furnishings and décor, and for anyone looking for ideas and inspiration.
Grand Batik Interior is printed on high quality paper 150-gramme matt art paper in coffee-table format measuring 270 mm x 270 mm, 228 pages.
The book is available at Periplus Bookshops throughout Indonesia.
Grand Batik Images
Click Images to Enlarge
President Yudhoyono Reshuffles Cabinet
Who's In and Who's Out in Second Reshuffle of Yudhoyono's United Indonesia Cabinet.
The highly respected Indonesia Digest prepared by Tuti Sunario in Jakarta reports:
After months of continued pressure by political parties and the media that the President reshuffle his cabinet, - and two weeks after the President finally relented to the pressure when, on Monday, 7 May, President Yudhoyono announced a limited Cabinet shake-up. This is the second reshuffle following the first in December 2005, when the President was forced to change his economic team in the wake of government's slapping a 100 percent increase in fuel prices at the pumps, which resulted in spiraling prices nation-wide, and ensuing strong protests from the people.
This time around, the reasons for immediate change were cited as: slow investments in the real sector; a stagnant industrial sector; increased unemployment and lay-offs; and increased number of poor, despite much improved macro-economic performance, namely a stable Rupiah, decreased inflation rate, and a spectacular growth in Jakarta's share market.
Yet in spite of these successes, basic living costs are still on the rise, especially in the price of rice and cooking oil, and unemployment increasing. Therefore, political parties, economists and the media were adamant that the President must yet again change his economic team.
There had also been a spate of transportation accidents in the past months, in the air, at sea and in railways, and the latest issue was the scandal brought about by the transfer of huge funds of Tommy Soeharto, son of former president Soeharto, from Paribas in London, where the names of Yusril Ihza Mahendra, former Minister for Law and Human Rights and incumbent Minister of State Secretariat, and Minister for Law and Human Rights, Hamid Awaluddin were allegedly mentioned.
The latest destabilizing factor for the cabinet came when Internal Affairs Minister, Muhammad Ma'ruf suffered a stroke and was hospitalized, first in Jakarta and now in Singapore.
The media had added that other ailing ministers who should also be replaced were Minister for Defense, Juwono Sudarsono, who according to rumors is suffering from heart disease, as is Public Works Minister, Djoko Kirmanto.
Therefore, pressures were made on 3 issues, namely to replace ailing/unfit ministers, economic issues related to industry and unemployment, and political/ corruption issues.
New Cabinet Line-up Aims at Fighting Corruption, and Economic-Legal Coordination
However, when the President finally announced his new line-up, - what had so long been anticipated and hoped for by the media and political parties to become a significant overhaul of the cabinet,- turned out to be a rather low-key change: four incumbent Ministers and the Attorney General were let go, and two Ministers were entrusted with different portfolios. In their stead, three professionals and two political cadres were taken on board. But none of the economic Ministers, except the Minister for State-Enterprises, were replaced or removed.
It appears, therefore, that the President had given priority to changing Ministers in charge of legal and administration matters only.
According to the Constitution, the formation of the Cabinet is the sole prerogative of the President as Head of Government, since Ministers are assistants to the President. The President is elected by popular vote.
On the issue of ailing Ministers, in his introductory speech President Yudhoyono explained that he had personally asked his medical team to provide him with a report on the physical conditions of his Ministers. In this aspect, said the President, all were reported to be sufficiently fit to implement their office, except for Minister Ma'ruf, who condition still needs to be reported to him in detail. Therefore, any changes to the post of the Internal Affairs Ministry remains pending.
Furthermore, Yudhoyono said that the purpose for reshuffling his cabinet was firstly to boost output and effectiveness of the Ministry involved as well as of the cabinet as a whole. Secondly, the new line-up is expected to improve synergy among ministers through better coordination. For this purpose he had asked for input from the Coordinating Ministers. Reshuffling, the President emphasized, is not a means (for political party cadres) to take turns in top political posts in the cabinet.
In the process he had taken into consideration the system of accountability, and has also asked for input and recommendations from Vice-President Jusuf Kalla (thus refuting media reports as if the VP had been left in the lurch).
The Ministers who had been removed or are moved in charge of different portfolios include:
1. Minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra, Minister of State Secretariat is replaced by Hatta Rajasa, formerly Minister for Transportation.
2. The new Minister for Transportation is Yusman Syafei Jamal, formerly CEO of PT Dirgantara Indonesia, and member of the National Transportation Safety Committee.
3. Minister Hamid Awaluddin, formerly Minister for Law and Human Rights is replaced by Andi Matalata, Chairman of the Golkar Party and Member of Parliament.
4. Minister Sugiharto, formerly in charge of State-Enterprises, is replaced by Sofyan Jalil, former Minister for Communications and Information. Sofyan Jalil once held the post of Deputy Minister for State-Enterprises under Minister Tanri Abeng.
5. Incoming Minister for Communications and Information is Dr. Muhammad Nuh, former Rector of the Sepuluh November Institute of Technology (ITS) in Surabaya.
6. Minister for Developing Regions, Saifullah Yusuf, is replaced by M. Lukman Edy. Secretary General of the PKB party.
7. Attorney General, Abdulrahman Saleh, is replaced by incoming Hendarman Supanji, formerly Head of the Corruption Crimes Investigation Bureau at the Office of the Attorney General.
From changes made, it is clear that the President had given priority to good governance and the anti-corruption campaign, including further reform in the legal system and structure.
As reaction to the Reshuffle, the Jakarta Stock Exchange index shot up, bypassing the psychological 2,000 mark to reach 2,037; and the Rupiah strengthened to Rp. 8,888 to the US dollar, the strongest position the currency has reached over past year.
The new Cabinet was installed on Wednesday, 9 May.
balidiscovery.com thanks Indonesia Digest for allowing us to share her comprehensive review of the Cabinet Reshuffle from her newsletter.
Alwi Baria was Respected Leader within Indonesia's Tourism Industry.
Bali mourns the loss of one of its most professional travel operators with the death of Alwi Baria on Wednesday, May 9, 2007.
Prior to establishing Api Tours in 1999, Baria served for a number of years as the Regional Manager for one of Indonesia's leading tourism operators Pacto.
The Vice-Chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Tour and Travel Operators (ASITA) from 2003-2006, Baria's diverse background included a stint as an academician and university lecturer, and as a tour guide in Sumatra.
Alwi Baria died in Bali following a brief illness.
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