Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: ++62 361 286 283
Fax: ++62 361 286 284
24h: Voice/SMS ++62 812 3819724
BALI UPDATE #578 - 08
Do You Believe in Magic?
David Copperfield Show Packages Available to Bali Residents and Visitors October 23-28, 2007.
Multi award-winning American magician David Copperfield is coming to Indonesia and scheduled to perform at the Jakarta Istora Senayan October 23-28, 2007. Whether flying effortlessly across a stage, temporarily "losing" the Statue of Liberty, zooming over the Grand Canyon or walking through the Great Wall of China - the charismatic Mr. Copperfield is expected to perform to sell-out crowds during a twice daily performance schedule in Jakarta.
As with all major tours undertaken by the world's most famous magician, special never-before-seen feats will be presented to his Indonesian audience this October.
Special Air-Hotel-Show Packages Available
In cooperation with Garuda Indonesia and leading hotels in Jakarta - attractive show packages including round trip air transportation, overnight accommodation in Bali, show tickets, and transport to and from the performance venue are available at prices starting from Rp. 2,661,500 per person (approximately US$289).
Two classes of ticket seating are available - Gold and platinum.
Limited Seating available at all performances and early booking is recommended.
Bali's Travel Systems to Be Under Heavy Strain During Coming Idul Fitri Holidays.
Via a joint decree from Indonesia's Minister or Region, Minister of Manpower, and Minister for Administrative Reforms October 12 - 19 have been declared "shared holidays" - an extended period when non-essential services government offices will close and many business will operate reduced schedules.
Lebaran or Idul Fitri will take place on October 13-14, 2007.
The extended holiday period guarantee that nation-wide all modes of sea, land and air transportation will be under tremendous strain and hotels in Bali booked to overflowing.
Hotels across the island are reporting fully-booked situations.
Despite the holiday, there be little leave for Indonesian police and security officials who will be on full deployment throughout the period manning special command posts across the island to maintain the peace and keep the traffic flowing. Security and surveillance at the Ngurah Rai International Airport and all seaports on Bali will be on high alert status.
A Conundrum of Double Standards
Editorial: Australia's Final Chance to Share the True Meaning of Mercy.
The Quality of Mercy
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation; we do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.
- Portia, William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," IV, I
Writing recently in the Sydney Morning Herald, Indonesian scholar-journalist Hamish McDonald performed a masterful job outlining the moral and political conundrum currently surrounding relations between Canberra and Jakarta. [See: Double Standards in Bali]
While Bali now sadly recalls the two terrorist attacks of October 2002 and October 2005, McDonald underlines the uncomfortable ethical chasm between the words and deeds of Australia on the issue of capital punishment. Understandably, there exists a strong desire among many Australians for the execution of the three Bali bombers who killed 202 people at a Bali nighspot in 2002, 88 of whom were Australians. The resulting thirst for a State-sanctioned revenge "killing" of the Bali Bombers, however, contrasts curiously with Australia's proud status as a signatory to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, declaring the death penalty as an unacceptable punishment for any crime.
Australia conducted its last execution in 1967.
Both Australia's Prime Minister John Howard and its Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, say Australia will not interfere in the execution process of the three Indonesian terrorists. Whether fueled by revenge, political expedience or simple respect for Indonesia's sovereignty - such easy acquiescence to capital penalties for the Bali Bombers will carry the hiden cost of eliminating the last remaining opportunity Australia has to make a compelling argument to spare the lives of 6 young Australians drug smugglers now sitting on death row.
Any debate regarding the pros and cons of executing the 3 Indonesian terrorists and the 6 Australian drug smugglers, and the comparative severity of their crimes, is potentially endless. The current situation does, however, present Australia with an unique opportunity to champion the equal application of justice both at home and away by opposing the imposition of the death penalty in every instance.
Such an act, no matter how bitter the taste, would compel the full and undivided attention of many Indonesians. For the Australian's, who endured unspeakable suffering at the hands of the Bali bombers, to now find it in their hearts to plea for mercy on the behalf of their tormentors would place an enormous pressure on the Indonesian leaders to show similar magnanimity towards the 6 Australians nervously waiting a fatal date with a firing squad on an empty Bali beach.
To those hell-bent on retribution against terrorists and drug smugglers alike, take heart: the deplorable conditions of the average Indonesian prison render the commutation of a death penalty to life behind bars a "small mercy" by any standard.
And, by way of final recompense, should the killing somehow suddenly stop here and now, it would bring the added special bonus of denying the Bali Bombers the martyrdom they so desperately seek; relegating them to grow old, forgotten, bitter and increasingly irrelevant in a prison cells on the isolated island of Nusa Kambangan.
The Deepening Villa Crisis
Gianyar Joins Badung in Steps to Tighten Control on Villa Operations. Villas a Drain on Much-Needed Foreign Exchange.
Bali's Badung Tourism Office has 276 unlicensed villas in its cross-hairs as it moves closer to the promised final crackdown on illegal commercial villa operations in the Island's south.
According to the Bali Post, the Head of the Badung Tourism Service, I Made Sumbawa, said his office is working together with sub-district offices in contacting the errant villas and warning them of the looming dire consequences of their continuing refusal to operate in accordance with local laws.
If, according to Sumbawa, the villas are still unregistered on December 31, 2007 his office will commence the process of presenting three written warnings as a prelude to the sealing and close-down of the unregistered villas.
Current data indicate 711 villas exist in the Badung regency of which 229 are licensed, 300 are unlicensed and 182 used as private residences.
Villa Crackdown Now Spreading to Other Regencies?
In a separate report in the Bali Post, authorities in the Gianyar regency also appear to be taking the problem of unlicensed villas into hand. A recent raid carried out on 4 villas near Sukawati saw tourists staying at the subject locations rousted from their accommodation to receive an unscheduled visit by officials from tourism, law enforcement, and the Gianyar Regency.
The team issued formal summons to all villas found to be unlicensed, with some of the illegal villing unable to produce basic building and water-use permits.
Gianyar officials estimate there are 420 villas in their regency, only 70 of which have operating permits.
Lost Foreign Exchange From Villa Operations
NusaBali reports that data from Bank Indonesia (BI) shows the number of visitors staying outside hotel settings during a Bali holiday has risen from 5.9% in 2005 to 10%in 2007. BI estimates that villa operations are costing Bali an estimated Rp. 3.2 billion (approximately US$348,000) each day in lost foreign exchange earnings.
The Chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel & Restaurant Association (PHRI), Tjok Oka Artha, complained that Bali's rising tourism numbers are not necessarily translating into a corresponding increase in hotel occupancy. The PHRI Chairman said that many guests are not staying in hotels and those who do are staying for much shorter periods of time than was the case in the past.
Pray for Peace in Bali - Join a Mass Rally in Denpasar, October 11, 2007.
To commemorate the loss of 202 lives in the October 12, 2002 terrorism attack on Bali and a second attack on October 1, 2005 that claimed 20 lives, a mass prayer gathering is planned at the Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat Bali (Monument of the People of Bali's Struggle) on Thursday, October 11, 2007.
Open to all people who love peace, the mass rally will commence at 4:30 p.m. including prayers and musical contributions from all the major religious faiths found in Bali.
Participants are asked to wear traditional national dress, bring candles and carry banners with messages in support of peace and harmony.
Based on past events, organizers are expecting 15,000 people to attend the event dubbed Gema Perdamaian or Echoes of Peace.
The organizers, who have made the gathering in the center of Bali's capital of Denpasar an annual event, say the event is intended to underline the "spirit of Bali" which is based on love and peace without reference to issues of race, tribe, culture or religion.
Gema Perdamaian - Echoes of Peace
Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 4:30 p.m.
Momumen Perjuangan Rakyat Bali - Niti Mandala, Renon, Denpasar.
Om Çanti Çanti Çanti Om ...
Plant a Tree to Save the Planet
Indonesia to Plant 79 Million Trees in Week Prior to U.N. Climate Change Conference.
To underline its concern for the effects of global warning and mark the hosting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Government of Indonesia has announced plans to plant 79 million trees across the country between November 20-27, 2007.
With an estimated cost of Rp. 474 billion (approximately US$51.5 million), the trees will be planted in minimal lots of 1,000 trees in 78 pre-selected target areas nation-wide.
The program, devised by the Indonesian Forestry Department, also provides for the care and nurturing of the trees for the next 7 years.
Believed to possibly be the largest tree planting blitz in history, the trees are intended to have a real impact on the threat of global climate change. Organizers claim that 400 tree planted on a single hectare of land are capable of neutralizing between 100-150 tons of carbon.
The Indonesian contribution of 79 million new plantings is part of a global campaign targeting one billion new tree plantings worldwide in connection with the watershed UNFCCC conference in Bali.
Improved Safety Performance by Indonesian Airlines
Latest Government Safety Audit Sees 6 National Air Carriers Earn 'Top' Category I Safety Ratings.
The Department of Transportation's most recent safety audit of Indonesian air carriers demonstrates tangible progress has been made in efforts to upgrade the safety of flying domestically.
Following an initial audit in March 2007 which failed to see even a single domestic air carrier receive a "clean pass" Category I rating, the latest review saw 6 airlines receive recognition for successfully meeting all civil aviation safety standards.
The Three Categories
Under the rigorous review of safety standards and safety management imposed by thee Government, all airlines in Indonesia fall into one of the following safety rating categories:
. Category I - an airline meets all safety requirements of Indonesia's civil aviation authority.
. Category II - an airline has been determined to meet minimal requirements of civil aviation safety rules, but with outstanding safety issues still to be addressed.
Category III - Airlines found to meet minimal civil aviation safety regulations but with some safety issues which may affect passenger safety still unaddressed. Airlines found in this category are generally given three months to achieve at least Category II status or face suspension of operations.
Six Airlines Receive Category I Status
In an October 5, 2007 announcement from the Director General of Civil Aviation the six airlines earning the "safest" category rating were:
. PT Garuda Indonesia
. PT Merpati Nusantara
. PT Indonesia Air Asia
. PT Mandala Airlines
. PT Lion Air
. PT Wings Abadi Air
14 other Indonesian airlines still reside in the Category II listing.
The second audit, conducted in June 2007, saw only Garuda Indonesia qualify in category II.
Bali to Host International Netball Tournament
November 3 Netball Tournament to Become a Yearly Event on Bali's Sporting Calendar.
Bali will play host to its first international netball tournament on November 3, 2007, when home-town favorites from the Stiff Chilli Bali Flames Netball Club takes on teams from Surabaya, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.
"We plan to make this tournament an annual event on Bali's sporting calendar," said Flames' Coach and Captain, Marian Hinchliffe. "It is about providing women in Bali with an opportunity to take part in some competitive yet friendly team sport. There are plenty of sporting teams in Bali, but none dedicated to developing women's sport and the Flames hopes to fill this gap and get the women of Bali on the ball!"
The inaugural Bali Sevens International Netball Tournament will be held at Bali International School in Sanur and will be followed by an awards presentation dinner at Stiff Chilli Restaurant in Sanur.
The Bali tournament follows the Flames' recent tour to Bangkok, where they were runners-up in a regional tournament. Officially launched in June 2007 with a formal sponsorship deal with Stiff Chilli Restaurants, the Flames have operated at an informal level for the past five years. The team has a diverse, multinational membership hailing from Australia, New Zealand, England, the United States of America, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan. Many team members learned to play netball with the Club.
What is Netball?
Predominantly a Commonwealth Nations' sport, netball is the pre-eminent women's sport in Australia and New Zealand. It is also popular in other former British colonies, such as Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. A non-contact sport roughly similar in characteristics to basketball; there are goal rings at each end and a 'centre' circle at which play begins after each goal, but netball does not allow bouncing, contacting, obstructing or running with the ball. It is a fast-paced, strategic game with high scoring.
Join the fun and action the Bali International School on Saturday, November 3, 2007.
Real Madrid Scores A Goal in Bali
Legendary Spanish Football Club to Open a Football Academy in Bali.
The possibility of someday seeing an Indonesian superstar playing on a major European football pitch becomes more like with the announcement that the most successful football club of the 20th century will soon open a football academy in Bali.
Real Madrid's Bali Football Academy plans to train more than 220 young footballers between the ages of 9 and 18 years. Students will undergo a program of intensive football training under the direct tutelage of coaching personnel assigned from the Club's headquarters in Madrid.
A ten-month program of tuition will cost students US$20,000. Shorter programs, including a December 16-29, 2007 football camp, will also be conducted at the Real Madrid Football Academy - Indonesia.
The Bali Academy is the second of its kind operated by the football powerhouse, based on a successful model operated by Real Madrid in Mexico.
The Bali operation will be managed by PT Realindo Sports Indonesia whose CEO is Jose Eduardo Nadal. According to Nadal, each year the "A Team" players from the Real Madrid Football Academy Indonesia (RMFA-Indonesia) will be flown to Madrid for additional training and a match with Real Madrid Football Academy Madrid. The crop of best Indonesian trainees will also have the chance to continue training with Valadabebas and La Cludadd Deportiva del Rel Madrid.
Selection of students for the 2008 academy in Bali is scheduled to commence in January 2008 with the first class of students to commence training the following September.
The training facility will be based at the exckusive Canggu Club, near Bali's western coast. The Club boasts Bali's best illuminated playing field, swimming pool, training gym and club house. The RMFA-Indonesia will build administrative offices, classrooms and a dormitory to support to its Bali venture.
Frank Beck - Called to St. Regis
Starwood Reassigns The Laguna Resort & Spa General Manager to its New St. Regis Resort, Bali.
As any Hotel General Manager will tell you: the next hotel assignment may be just around the corner or, in the case of Frank Beck - the GM of The Laguna Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali, just down the street.
Beck has been appointed General Manager of the new St. Regis Resort, Bali - the first St. Regis Resort to open in the Asia Pacific. Frank's most recent assignment was literally just down the street in Bali's Nusa Dua Complex as the man-in-charge at The Laguna Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali, which he joined in December 2005.
With almost 20 years experience with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Beck has a wealth of experience in luxury hotels, having held senior management positions in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including 8 years in Indonesia.
When opened, The St. Regis Resort, Bali will feature 81 oversized suites and 42 pool villas, all with full butler service. The resort is being developed on an 8.8 hectare site with direct beach access, adjacent to The Bali Golf & Country Club, in the luxury Nusa Dua enclave.
The St. Regis Resort, Bali is scheduled to open in the 3rd Quarter of 2008.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. manages more than 890 properties in more than 100 countries. Both the Laguna Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali - The Luxury Collection and the St. Regis Resort, Bali brands are part of the Starwood Hotels group which also includes Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element.
Grand Hyatt Bali Inaugurates New Grand Ballroom
Nusa Dua Conference Capabilities Enhanced with the Opening of the largest Ballroom in Bali.
As one of the finishing touches in a major renovation program, the Grand Hyatt Bali introduced its new, second Grand Ballroom at a special luncheon hosting delegates attending the Pacific Asia Travel Association Travel Mart in Bali 2007.
The renovation program of the 41 acres 648-room beachfront property at Nusa Dua has included extensive renovations of all guestrooms, restaurants and public facilities at the Grand Hyatt which first opened to the public in 1991.
New facilities added in the course of the renovation program include the luxurious Kriya Spa and the new Grand Ballroom. Promoted as the largest facility of its kind in Bali, the new Grand Ballrooms can accommodate 1,000 in a sit-down dinner configuration or 1,500 for a standing cocktail reception.
The new Grand Ballroom officially opened as the host venue for the PATA Gold Award Luncheon held on September 28, 2007 and attended by 860 key travel industry people.
In all, the hotel also offers 14 function rooms, four boardrooms, an auditorium with the capacity for 80 people and the original Karangasem Ballroom.
Designed by Diana Simpson
The concept of the new Grand Ballroom, designed by Sydney-based interior designer Diana Simpson, is a contemporary version of the traditional "Wantilan Pavillions" - Bali's native communal meeting halls enhanced with a degree of timelessness. It was designed architecturally to blend seamlessly with the resort and the tropical gardens within which it is located, with the theme of the resort reflected in the selection of natural materials and finishes used - a combination of warm, timber tones, textural stone vertical wall panels, the rich colors tones of ethnic-patterned fabrics, glass to provide natural daylight, customized carpet designs and unique lighting features.
The main Grand Ballroom is an impressive 1,200 square meter of uninterrupted space, with lofty 10 meter high ceilings and a 6 meter deep in-built stage with dressing rooms. It can be sub-divided into three separate sound-proofed function spaces, each with individual controls for lighting, A/V and entrances.
There is also a large pre-function area that opens onto an expanse of tropical gardens and lawns featuring custom-built stone buffet/service counters that further facilitate catering requirements.
In addition, within the complex are a series of smaller meeting rooms. These smaller spaces are more residential and homely in ambient, designed for maximum flexibility and multi-functional usage.
State-of-the-art comprehensive audiovisual facilities, including a fiber-optic backbone for internet and Wi-Fi connectivity, a sophisticated sound system and a flexible lighting system.
Bali Tourism Board Official Questions Bali's Preparedness for December U.N. Conference on Climate Change.
The tourist industry in Bali is concerned that tourist facilities and infrastructure on Bali will be overstretched this December, during the Island's peak tourist season, as tourists and Climate Change delegates jostle for the island's limited facilities and infrastructure, reports the latest edition of the authoritative Indonesian Digest edited by Tuti Sunario.
Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, urges the government, Climate Change Conference organizers and the tourist industry to anticipate an overload of visitors to the island, since December is normally Bali's peak tourist season, reports Kompas on October 4, 2007.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be held between 3-14 December, with pre-conference meetings by NGO's and experts commencing in late November, is a prestigious conference that must be organized successfully, said Ngurah Widjaja. The UNFCCC is expected to draw some 10,000 delegates. "If, say, only 7,000 delegates will attend, Bali will already be overstretched" said Wijaya. This will be the first time ever that Bali has hosted such a large number of Convention delegates. Up to now, Bali has organized a maximum of 5,000 Meeting and Conference delegates at one time. For that purpose a large number of hotels have been blocked in the resorts of Nusa Dua, Kuta and Sanur, in order to be able to accommodate all delegates.
Bali today has a total of 50,000 rooms. There are additional rooms in outlying resorts such as in Ubud, Seminyak and elsewhere - with some room located more than 100 km. away from the main conference venues.
As the Bali International Convention Center (BICC) has a single-venue maximum capacity for 1,500 delegates, it is anticipated that the opening event will take place at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Complex (GWK), which can sccommodate thousands. However, because December is the rainy season in Bali, the government must anticipate that many outdoor facilities normally used for large functions and dinners, such as on the beach or GWK, may not be suitable due to lashing rains and high winds.
Seat availability on Bali-bound flights may also prove a problem. For the entire month of December last year, Bali received some 122,000 foreign visitors or an average of 4,000 tourists per day. Current arrivals are averaging between 5,000-6,000 visitors per day with many Bali-bound passengers complaining that seats on inbound flights to the island are increasingly difficult to obtain.
With some estimates running as high as 15,000-20,000 participants and accompanying persons attending the UNFCCC in early December, Bali's carrying capacity is certain to undergo a critical test.