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 #584 - 19
Cleared for Final Approach?
Indonesia's Tourism Minister Challenges the People of Bali to 'Make Up Their Minds' on the Future of Bali's Airport.
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, has issued a challenge to the people of Bali come to a clear decision in the face of growing congestion and infrastructure limitations at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport. The Minister warned that the current indecision surrounding Bali's sole airport must end and the people must decide if the current airport will be expanded or a new airport is to be built in the Buleleng, Jembrana or Karangasem areas of Bali.
Distancing himself from the outcome of the current heated debate surrounding Bali's airport, Wacik told NusaBali, "We at the Department of Culture and Tourism only provide data on growth and demand. Later, the one who will decide (on the airport) is the Minister of Transportation. He will decide if the current airport will be expanded or if a new airport will be built."
Speaking to the press on November 13, 2007, Wacik said a thorough study must be undertaken to find the best solution. The Minister equated the current debate surrouinding Bali's airport with national polemic over energy. The Minister warned: "If we want energy needs to be met, we have to be bold to take decisions; every choice has its own risks. If we want to stay in our current situation, that is also a choice."
The Minister said that within 20 years Bali's current airport would be outmoded. He also said that the current master plan for the airport omit any consideration for runway expansion before 2025, choosing instead to focus on apron and terminal improvements.
Meanwhile, community leaders from Jembrana in West Bali have been actively lobbying provincial and national transportation authorities to move ahead with plans to develop an entirely new airport in their sub-district.
Despite their efforts, Bali's Governor urged that the present airport be retained, prompting for calls to revamp the current Master Plan for the current Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Painter, Sculptor, Musician and Violin Maker's Life to be Celebrated in Month-Long Retrospective Exhibition at Bali's Neka Museum in Ubud.
Abdul Aziz - A Retrospective Exhibition will open on Saturday, December 8, 2007 at Neka Art Museum, Ubud, Bali Scheduled to be opened by the Italian Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Roberto Palmeiri, who, in keeping with the U.N. Conference on Climate Change being held in Bali, will plant Abdul Aziz' favorite type of trees in the grounds of the Museum.
The beauty of Bali has inspired artists for over 100 years; they have been drawn here by the wonderful combination of a lush natural landscape, enhanced by the magnificently constructed rice fields, together with the charming character of the Balinese people. Not least of these artists was Abdul Aziz.
Born in Central Java in 1928, Abdul Aziz won a scholarship to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome from 1960 to 1965, in which time he was awarded two Diplomas in Fine Art and Graphic Design. On his return to Indonesia he chose to settle in Bali where he taught until 1982 before retiring to concentrate on his art. He created many famous paintings, including the painting of an iconic Balinese couple regarded by many as the "Mona Lisa' of Bali. That painting used Aziz's 3D technique, giving the impression of the subject stepping out from the frame.
Despite his considerable fame as a painter, Abdul Aziz never held a solo exhibition - preferring, instead, to stay home and paint, sculpt, play music, and make violins. After his death in January 2002, his widow, Mary Northmore-Aziz, spent 4 years working on his biography, which was published to critical acclaim in Nov 2005. This artist, who was already well-known to art lovers and collectors, is now becoming known to the wider public. The growing appreciation of his oeuvre prompted the decision to move ahead with the current retrospective exhibition in his honor. Many of the paintings included in the current retrospective exhibition have never before been seen by the public.
Abdul Aziz - A Retrospective Exhibition will be open from December 9. 2007 to January 13, 2008 at the Neka Art Museum in Sanggingan, Ubud.
The exhibition will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information telephone ++62-(0)361- 975074
Qatar Airways Opens Denpasar Offices
Bali's Performance Exceeds Airlines Expectations.
On Monday, November 5, 2007, Qatar Airways formally inaugurated its two new offices in Denpasar, Bali. The two offices are located in the Wisthi Sabha Building at the Ngurah Rai International Airport and off the lobby of the Kartika Plaza Hotel in Kuta.
The offices were officially opened by Marwan Koleilat, Senior Manager Commercial Operations Far East, Qatar Airways. Koleilat told the press, that the new Bali route opened in March 2007, had far exceeded the Airline's expectations and "is among the fasted growing new routes within the airline's network worldwide."
"The opening of the Bali office is another milestone in the airline's business in Indonesia after it previously accelerated its plans to upgrade the aircraft on the Bali route from the Airbus A300 to the larger capacity Airbus A330-220 and Airbus A330-300 aircrafts to cope with the overwhelming number of passengers on the route."
According to the Jakarta Post, the Airline plans to increase its four flights a week to daily service sometime in 2008, in order to meet unprecedented demand from both Middle Eastern and European travelers. Koleilat also told the Jakarta Post that Qatar Airways was also actively exploring the possibility of non-stop connections between Denpasar and Doha, eliminating the current intermediate stop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Qatar Airways currently operate a modern fleet of 58 airplanes to 79 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Far East, the Indian Subcontinent and North America. Aircraft on order mean that the Airline's fleet will grow to 110 aircraft by 2015.
Twelve Physically Challenged Kids Conquer Bali's Jungles with Outward Bound.
Twelve physically-challenged youngsters faced a bevy of physical and mental challenges during a two-day Outward Bound "Leadership and Motivation" program November 7-8, 2007 at the Outward Bound Indonesia's Center in Payangan, Ubud, Bali. Deserving young men and women were chosen by Rotary Club and Outward Bound Indonesia (OBI) based on their past achievements, leadership qualities and service to the community.
The objectives of this unique Outward Bound Program are to promote a can-do attitude, self-confidence, self-worth, service to community, and leadership among the participants. The scholarship recipients were exposed to physical and mental challenges that might be considered daunting even to the more able-bodied, let along those mislabeled by society a "disabled." And, according to the instructors, the challenges laid before the group were not modified for this group, who undertook exercises offered to all Outward Bound participants. These activities included abseiling down a 20-meter-high rock face; and confidence testing, in which the kids climbed up a 7-meter pole, screamed their personal goals and then jumped off as they tried to hit a hanging ball.
Every One Has a Story
V.R. Maria De Sousa Mariano, or as he is better known to his friends as "Tete", was born in 24 years ago with no right are and a shortened left arm that hosts three malformed fingers. A diminutive 1.4 meters in height, Tete complains that people often can't see past his "disability."
A young poet, who aspires to be a politician, Tete did the 7 meter high confidence jump by equating his fear of jumping with his long-standing fear of meeting new people who might ridicule him. He claims the two-day course in Ubud's jungle has now changed his life, empowering this young man who posseses a very big heart with a new realization of his unexplored potential and a brand new perspective on life. An inspiration to fellow participants and instructors alike, Tete's agility and enthusiasm will serve him well as he lives his dream of helping other physically challenged men and women gain their rightful place in society.
Tete's story is just one of twelve from a group who reveled at the opportunities for self-discovery offered by the Outward Bound experience. There was I Ketut Gede New Jatina, 23, a young man from Bali, who lost a leg in a traffic accident; polio sufferers with dysfunctional limbs; people with prosthetic limbs; and a talented young painter born without hands and only one leg.
Outward Bound Indonesia
In reviewing the successful and inspiring program undertaken by the twelve, Djoko Kusumowidagdo, Founder and CEO of Outward Bound Indonesia said, "We primarily wanted to work on the participants' self-esteem, because it is the most critical problem physically challenged people deal with. When you have a good self-perception, you will be happy with yourself and everything else will fall into place."
Outward Bound Indonesia was founded in 1990 and ever since has proven itself a passionate and proactive member of Indonesian society by giving scholarships to hundreds of underprivileged people, such as the blind, the physically challenged, teachers and youth at risk. Earlier this year, Outward Bound Indonesia formed an official collaborative humanitarian movement called OBI Care (read: "OB I Care") that brings together different corporations who sponsor those less fortunate to participate in the Leadership and Empowerment Program.
Djoko explained, "The goal of these humanitarian projects is to give those who are less fortunate the opportunity to discover and develop themselves, so they can help better themselves, others and the community around them. It's also a chance for them to realize that they are valuable contributor to society, that they possess the same, or more strength and potential as others."
In 2008, OBI Care will introduce a Leadership and Empowerment scholarship program for the deaf and the blind.
Click Images to Enlarge
The Battle on Bali
Bali's First Mixed Martial Arts Event to be Held on December 27, 2007.
Let's get ready to rumble!
Fight game enthusiast are in for a real treat this holiday season as Bali hosts its first Mixed Martial Arts Event (MMA) at the Bali International Convention Center (BICC) this December.
MMA contenders have been likened to modern day gladiators who employ a variety of fighting styles in a single bout ranging from boxing, ju jitsu, judo, muay thai, karate, kung fu, sambo and wrestling.
The fight card for December 27th with feature five MNA and five muay thai fights in bouts of 3 rounds. The contenders be a truly international grouping with fighters drawn from Indonesia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Thailand and the USA.
Doors will open at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 27th with fight action commencing at 5:00 p.m.
Ticket prices are:
. Ringside Rp. 750,000 (US$80)
. Outer Ringside Rp. 600,000 (US$65)
. Balcony Rp. 500,000 (US$54)
For tickets and more information visit the website at
[Battle on Bali] or by telephoning the following:
. Hotline: +62-(0)813.38907466
. Royalty Properties: +62-(0)361-(0)7801713
. Paradise Property: +62-(0)361-773540
. Island Promotion, Shop #12 Poppies Lane 1, Kuta +62-(0)361-753241
Click Images to Enlarge
Staying Competitive in Bali
Bali Sports Gala to Bring Island's Sporting Community to Together on December 1, 2007.
The first annual Bali Sports Gala will be held on December 1, 2007, to celebrate competitive sports activities on the Island and salute Bali's Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.
Joining the festivities will be international sports personalities such as Australian Olympic and World swimming champion Michael Klim; Australian Rules Hawthorne football club captain, Richard Vandenberg; and Australian netball star Natasha Choklja. Acting a Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Justin 'Sambo' Sampson - Asia's resident rugby expert from ESPN Star Sports and coach of the Indonesian Rugby team.
The audience will for the memorable evening will include enthusiastic local and visiting sports enthusiasts together with members and supporters of local sporting clubs including the Bali Flames Netball Club, Bali Geckos Australian Rules Football team, Bali Rugby Club, Bali Bulldogs Football team, Royal Bali Yacht Club and the Metro, Geckos and Udayana cricket teams.
On tap for the evening is a review of highlights from the last year of sporting activity in Bali and tributes to the Island's to the island's most dedicated and talented athletes. Awards will also be presented to Bali's male and female Sports Personality of the Year, the Most Outstanding Sportsperson from each club, and the People's Choice Award for public nominations.
The night will also feature an auction of sporting memorabilia and an overview of what's in store for Bali in 2008.
This year's Gala follows successful sporting tournaments and competitions on the island over the past year, including the annual Bali Nines Australian Rules Football Tournament, Bali Tens Rugby Tournament, Bali Sevens Netball Tournament and the first Bali International Triathlon held in June which brought triathletes from around the world to compete in a world-class triathlon event for the first time in Bali.
Looking ahead, 2008 promises a return of the annual football and netball tournaments; and the next Bali International Triathlon scheduled for June 29, 2008 - all promising to further raise Bali's sporting profile and provide yet another reason for people to visit the island.
"It's time we came together to celebrate Bali's sporting achievements," said Gala founder Rodney Holt. "In recent years we've witnessed small groups of friends with a shared passion for a particular sport, develop into clubs with growing player numbers and supporter bases. They now compete in national and international leagues and bring overseas teams to the island for international tournaments, while giving back to the local community through charity fundraising, children's programs and sports development."
A portion of proceeds raised through ticket sales, the auction and sponsorship of the Gala will be donated to charity. "Fundraising for charity and future development of sports in Bali is an important element of the Annual Sports Gala," said Holt.
"Our aim is for the Gala to be the biggest night on Bali's sporting calendar. It will bring all these separate clubs together at one huge event to share the year's highlights with sporting enthusiasts and the wider Bali community."
Tickets are available for Rp. 380,000 (US$41) per person, which includes dinner, drinks and entertainment. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Kharisma Ballroom on Saturday, December 1, 2007.
For more information on the Gala or to purchase tickets or nominate someone for an award, please telephone ++62-(0) 0818 0561 0930.
Remarkable Images of Balinese Children by 18 Year-Old Dutch Photographer Leon Vrielink November 23-December 15, 2007 at the Harris Resort Kuta.
Photos of the faces of young children can portray a singular innocence unblemished by unfulfilled dreams, the knowledge of betrayal, or the faint traces of cynicism that the inevitable march of time bestows on adults. Devoid of pretense and firmly rooted in the "here and now"- the smiles, laughter and tears of a child offer a fascinating reflection of the wonderous place children inhabit before the rude eviction awaiting them in the year's ahead.
18 year-old Bali resident Leon Vrielink originally embarked on taking pictures of children at a local hospital as part of a school project at the Bali International School. Born to a Singaporean mother, Jeane Seah, and a well-known artist and designer father, Nico Vrielink, Leon has lived in Bali for three years where he acquired his passion for photography. Say Leon, "When I'm taking photos, I feel that I am enjoying life and that I am sinking into other people's lives by taking shots of them."
His second public exhibition of photography, Visions of a Monday Morning preserves moments in time of sick and injured children at Bali's Bumi Sehat Hospital According to Leon, he tries to capture through his lens the life of Balinese children and, in a larger sense, a representation of innocence and beauty that is, for this young photographer, the very essence of Bali. Says Leon, "I wish to give conscience that poverty is still around. In Bali, not all people can afford to go to hospital, so they become sick and have a difficult life. Organizations like Bumi Sehat where I took my photos, are here to help these people and to give them hope."
20% of the proceeds from the sale of the photographs at the current exhibition will be donated to a children's charity.
Despite his young age, the current exhibition is Leon's second show. A previous showing of his works in the Sanur area of Bali was well received. When asked what lies ahead, Leon responded, "I'm trying to keep my options open for the future and taking as many shots as I can for upcoming exhibitions. After graduation, I intend to study photography in Holland"
Visions of a Monday Morning-Photographs by Leon Vrielink
November 23-December 15, 2007
Harris Resort Kuta-Jalan Pantai Kuta.
Click Images to Enlarge
Be Prepared for Higher Inter-Island Ferry Costs
Inter-Island Ferry Service Fares to Increase 18-20% on December 1, 2007.
The Indonesian Government will increase the cost of ferry crossings nation-wide effective December 1, 2007, including the ferry crossings between Ketapang (East Java) - Gimimanuk (West Bali) and Padang Bai (East Bali) and Lembar (West Lombok).
In announcing the fare hikes which will affect 22 inter-island crossings in Indonesia operated by 198 ships, the Minister of Transportation Jusman Safei Djamal, said the increases were necessary to stem the losses now being suffered by the Nation's ferry operators.
Government regulations allow the Minister to review ferry tariffs every six months. The last increase in fares took place on November 1, 2006.
The increase of 18-20% to be introduced in December is much less than the 79% hike requested by ferry operators who are finding it increasingly challenging to meet operating costs, let alone finance the cost of renewing their aging armadas with a more modern fleet of inter-island vessels.
The increase in fares will apply on all economy class tickets, motor vehicle charges and the carriage of freight and heavy vehicles.
The Chairman of the National Land Transportation Organization (Organda), Murphy Hutagalung, told Kompas that land transportation operators will be hard hit by the new ferry tariffs. Already faced by declining passenger loads, inter-city bus operators are also burdened by the rising cost of fuel and spare parts.
"We must also cover the cost of illegal levies," complained Hutagalung.
200 Bali Homes Destroyed by Wind Storm
High Winds and Water Spouts Displace 255 Families in South Bali on November 11, 2007.
Several areas of Bali were wracked by strong winds on Sunday, November 11, 2007, leaving more than 200 private residences destroyed in Gianyar and Denpasar. The mini-hurricanes are, in fact, waterspouts and localized wind-shears, that in the current instance, destroyed tens of religious temples, destroyed over 200 homes and are blamed for at least one death, and 22 injuries -10 of which were serious.
Damage in Gianyar
Damage in the shore line areas of Bali's Gianyar regency affected no less than 11 village communities (banjars) in the Ketewel, Batubulan Kangin, Sukawati district and the city of Gianyar. In the Ketewel area the following banjars suffered damage: Kubur, Gumicik, Tengah, Puseh, Luglug, Umanyar, Paekan and Pamesan. In the Batubulan Kangin area the Banjars of Kenanga, Puseh and Tangkeban were hit by the high winds.
An eyewitness told the Bali Post of mass panic shortly after 3 a.m. on Sunday (Nov, 11th) when winds flattened beachside village homes and residences, so violent that walls crumbled and roofs were torn from buildings. Local residents reportedly scrambled out of their homes and onto the streets as their homes began to collapse around them.
In the days following the wind storm the affected areas received visits by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyo, Governor Made Beratha and local Regents - all of whom ordered complete inventories of damage be undertaken to clear the way for an organized relief effort.
Damage was also reported in Bali's capital of Denpasar where more than 100 homes, businesses and a number of religious temples were damaged in North and West parts of the Capital. Affected were the villages of Padang Sambian Kaja and Pemecutan Kaja.
The sole fatality attributed to the storm took place on Jalan Gatot Subroto in North Denpasar where a local man, Made Wijana, was killed by a falling tree while making milk deliveries on his motorbike.
NusaBali reports that on the Monday following the incident community assistance teams bringing medicine, medical teams and basic food items were seen working in the affected areas, offering assistance to the more than 255 family who were displaced by the storm.
In keeping with the profound spirituality of the people of Bali, on the Monday after the disaster religious rituals attended by more than 1,000 households were organized by local villagers.
A Harrowing Experience
The personal experience of 43 year-old I Made Mideh of Banjar Kubur in Ketewel is perhaps emblematic of the suffering of many of the storm's victims. Mideh lost two separate dwellings that served as home to his wife and three children. Family shrines that surrounded the living structures were also destroyed. During the storm, Mideh's wife and two of his children were temporarily trapped in the ruins of one building, but were eventually rescued by a group of concerned neighbors.
A local resident of Ketewel told the press of a 10 minute long violent rotating wind storm that that coincided with the explosion of a local pole-mounted electrical substation. Awoken in the dark of night, many residents mistakenly associated the sound of the explosion and the winds with a tsunami and ran in search of higher ground.
Officials of Bali's meteorological department told NusaBali that water spouts and downbursts, such as those that struck Bali on November 11, are normal weather phenomena occuring during the transitional period from the dry to wet seasons. Not to be confused with tropical storms or cyclones which can last for days, the water spouts and downbursts last for only a matter of minutes with very localized patterns of damage.
The destructive events usually occur in the vicinity of cumulonimbus cloud formations; and are accompanied by thunderstorms, lighting and heavy rains with short bursts of wind reaching as high as 200 kilometers per hour often recorded.
The major tourism areas of Bali were not affected by the recent storms; most tourists totally unaware of the localized wind storms occuring elsewhere on the Island.
Bali's Sahid Raya to Close in Early 2008
Sahid Group to Build Mixed-Use Hotel, Apartment and Shopping Complex on its 5 Hectare Kuta Beachfront Site.
Bisnis Indonesia reports that theSahid Group plans to disinvest 65% of its ownership in its 5 hectare hotel development on Bali's Kuta beach to raise funds and make way for a large mixed-use complex including a hotel, apartment complex, mall and offices.
In an announcement made by the Chairman and President of the Sahid Group, Sukamdani S. Gitosardjono said that he would retain only 35% of his shares in the Hotel Sahid Raya Bali with the remainder being sold to new investors in the proposed "super block."
The Kuta project, according to Sukamdani, is part of a restructuring of the entire Sahid Group and the chain of hotels they operate across the Country. The details of the entire restructuring program will be announced to the shareholders of the Sahid Group, the Indonesian Stock exchange and the public in March 2008.
While refusing to more specific on the cost and extent of the proposed Kuta "super block," the Sahid Group Chairman said that a potential domestic investor had been identified.
Sahid Raya to Close in Early 2008
Sukamdani told Bisnis Indonesia that the Sahid Raya would close its doors in early 2008 to permit the commencement of massive construction project.
Saying "now is the time to rebuild," Sukamdani said he preferred owning 35% of a company with the strong financial structure than to own 100% of a company with limited financial capabilities.
Indonesian Pilots to Sign 10-Year Work Bond Contracts
Student Aviators to Sign 10 Year Service Bonds to Curve Shortage of Commercial Aviators.
Plans are underway that may compel Indonesian pilots to spend a minimum of 10 years working for their employers as a repayment for the cost of company-paid flight training.
The bonding program would mandate that pilots graduating from the Indonesian Aviation Academy (STPI) in Curug, West Java work for their sponsoring airline for at least ten years before being allowed to seek employment elsewhere.
As explained by Dedi Dharmawan, the Chief of Education and Training at the Indonesian Department of Civil Aviation: "Such a service bond will hopefully help Indonesian airlines overcome the difficulty of recruiting quality pilots. Many of them (pilots) now choose to work overseas or for airlines that pay them more. In the end the airline they leave suffers the consequences."
Speaking to NusaBali, Dharmawan said the proposed service bond proposes criminal penalties for pilots who leave their employment before their service bond period expires.
Current estimates are that Indonesia has 4,500 licensed commercial pilots working at the controls of 450 planes. The Nation's currently booming aviation sector creates a demand for 400 new aviators each year, a figure expected to grow due to the large number of new aircraft currently on the order books of Indonesian airlines.
The STPI only produces some 200 new pilots each year with 20 of those retained by the academy to work as instructors. The cost of a commercial aviators course at STPI is between US$35,000-US$60,000 per pilot, a cost that will be borne by the employing airline under the new bonding scheme.
Garuda Indonesia, Merpati Nusantara and Lion Air are reported to be among the Indonesian air carriers preparing to pay schooling costs in return for a 10 year service bond.
Bali's Governor Signals Moves to Reduce the Number of Vehicles in Bali.
The national news agency Antara reports that Bali's administration is looking for way to reduce the number of motorized vehicles in Bali as a means of easing pollution and growing traffic congestion.
Addressing a plenary session of the Bali Parliament (DPRD) convened to discuss the Island's draft budget for 2008, Governor Made Beratha said, "By controlling the number of cars, we also hope to maintain the road infrastructures and decrease the accident rate."
Higher Road Taxes Ahead
If the government follows through with its plans, road taxes charged in 2008 on local vehicles will be increased in a move to reduce private vehicle ownership.
According to Antara, Bali's government has set a target of Rp. 275.57 billion (US$29.6 million) for vehicle ownership taxes in 2007, an increase of 15% as compared to 2006.