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Bali Legislators Want Ad Hoc Committee Appointed to Deal with Rabies Epidemic.
A Special Committee from the Bali Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) has recommended to Governor Made Mangku Pastika to set up an ad hoc committee to deal with the control and eradication of rabies. This recommendation was issued by the DPRD-Bali following a seminar and lecture meeting on rabies convened by the legislators and involving the Secretary of the Director General of Animal Husbandry, Samsul Bahri; a representative from the Bali Health Service Dr. Nyoman Suteja; and the Rector of the Veterinary Faculty from Udayana University Professor Damiriyasa. Also participating in the discussions was a wide cross-section of the community together with the Head of Animal Husbandry for Bali IB Ketut Ali and the Dr. Michelle Morters of the Bali Rabies Forum. As reported by Radar Bali, the seminar's stated goal was to formulate a plan to deliver Bali from the current rabies epidemic and provide suggestions for the formulation of provincial regulations on rabies. Prof. Damriyasa warned that if the problem of rabies in Bali cannot be dealt with on a regency by regency basis, then an island-wide approach must be formulated. "Rabies spreads quickly," Damriyasa said, adding while responding to enthusiastic applause of his audience, "rabies knows nothing of local autonomy." Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Director General of Animal Husbandry, Samsul Bahri, confirmed that Jakarta is giving top priority to assisting Bali in addressing the rabies epidemic. To date, this includes providing 550,000 dosages of rabies vaccine. "We will also fight for funds. In our discussions with the (national) House of Representatives, we will work so there's an amount in the national budget for Bali's handling of rabies," said Bahri. When the seminar was over, the Head of the Special Committee on Rabies of the DPRD-Bali, Gde Putra Astawa, confirmed that the findings and recommendations of the meeting would be recorded and forwarded to the Governor. Among the recommendations made by the meeting: The governor is asked to establish a ad hoc committee for the control of rabies, to be led directly by the Governor or Vice-Governor. The Head of the Bali Health Department and the Bali Department of Animal Husbandry should also included in the ad hoc committee. To prevent the further spread of rabies, 70% of the estimated 500,000 dogs in Bali must be vaccinated against rabies. All dogs in Bali should be registered and registration cards issued for dogs that have been vaccinated. Elimination of dogs should be more selective and reserved for stray dogs or animals suspected of already being infected with the disease. That funding be made available on the national, provincial and regency level to fight rabies. That criminal penalties be introduced for people failing to care for their pets in a way that prevents the spread of rabies.
Corruption Case by Bali Immigration to be Resurrected
Charges Being Prepared Against Key Immigration Officers in US$300,000 Visa Swindle.
The misappropriation of the Rp. 3 billion (US$300,000) in visa-on-arrival fees committed by immigration officials in Bali between October 2008 and May 2009 is back in the news. With ranking officials earlier insisting that immigration officials were, after all, "like family" earlier reports indicated that all would be forgiven and forgotten after the wayward immigration officials returned funds squandered from visa-on-arrival fees. More recently, however, reports have surfaced that prosecutors are still preparing to file criminal charges in the case. Radar Bali after questioning the status of case with Bali prosecutors, the Assistant Chief Prosecutor for Bali, A.F. Darmawan, has confirmed that charges will be filed within the coming month against at least some of the leading officials who pocketed an estimated Rp. 70 to 100 million (US$7,000-US$10,000) each. Said Darmawan: "I personally want the naming of defendant to be done this month. But investigators are still formulating the charges." Investigators have reportedly interviewed all believed to have been involved in the Rp. 3 billion embezzlement, including the 94 immigration officials who have received administrative sanctions in the form of a reduction in grade by one level and the requirement to repay the stolen funds. When quizzed as to whether or not all the officials would be charged, Darmawan admitted that there is a possibility that only lead defendants would be brought to justice. "The rest may still be charged later," said one of the prosecutors assigned to the case. This source said that despite the return of the stolen funds by 94 immigration officials, this does not end the case. In fact, according to prosecutors, the return of the money can be cited as proof in the subsequent proceedings on criminal corruption. The money was reportedly stolen by under-reporting visa-on-arrival fees; submitting US$10 for a 7 day visa when, in fact, US$25 had been paid for a 30 day visa. By rough extrapolation, the loss of $15 per visitor would suggest that visa fees from at least 20,000 visitors over a 5 month period were corrupted. Related Article [Prosecutors ro Pursue Immigration Corruption Scandal]
Better in Batik
Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, Wants Batik Cloth and Designs to Become a Centerpiece of Indonesian Tourism.
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, has issued instructions to Indonesia's provincial governors and the tourism industry calling for the greater use of batik in a wide range of activities in order to preserve and promote indigenous Indonesian culture. Wacik quoted by Bisnis.com at a batik-themed seminar held at Atma Jaya University in Jakarta, said: "At the beginning of December we will receive certification from UNESCO for batik which will be handed to me in Paris as the representative of the Indonesian government. This development must be followed up with steps to preserve (batik) among the people by applying batik to designs, ornamentation, uniforms and alike." Wacik's letter of instruction asks Indonesia's governors to intensify batik as part of the national identity through its use in uniforms and other applications. Hotels have been asked to decorate their lobbies with batik and incorporate the use of batik in staff uniforms. Wacik revealed that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has personally designed a batik incorporating the motif of a traditional sword (keris) and Indonesian shadow puppets as a inspiration to other Indonesians to develop their own signature batiks designs. The Chairwoman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Yanti Sukamdani, commented that the use of batik in the national hotel and restaurant business was nothing new. "For a long time batik has been used in uniforms, room interiors, bedspreads, room paintings and resultant napkins. Now, following international recognition (of batik), we can sharpen our focus and used batik everywhere. The recommendation of the Minister of Culture and Tourism represents no burden to our hotels who are already using batik in a number of applications," explained Sukamdani. The PHRI Chief said that international hotel chains tended to be more proactive in using batik in various aspects of their operation. She said she hoped that apartments and other levels of accommodation in Indonesia, such as "melati hotels," would also use batik in their business activities.
Bali's Minimum Wage Increased
Governor Decrees Rp. 829,316 as the Lowest Permissible Rate-of-Pay in Bali.
Effective January 2, 2010, Bali minimum wage level will be increased from Rp. 760,000 (US$76) to Rp. 829,316 (US$82.90). The new ruling on the lowest legal wage that can be paid to a worker in Bali is the implementation of a decree made by governor Made Mangku Pastika in November 2009. The minimum wage stipulates the amount of monthly wages and supplemental supports that must be taken home by full time worker in Bali.
7 Iranian Caught Smuggling Drugs at Bali Airport
Iranian Drug Couriers Caught at Bali Airport Could Face Firing Squad.
Bali Custom's officials arrested 7 Iranian nationals at the Island's Ngurah Rai International Airport on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, caught with nearly 2.5 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine or Sabu-sabu concealed in capsules previously ingested and carried in their alimentary tracts. One of the seven was initially brought to a local medical center for x-rays when customs officials became suspicious of their travel documents and demeanor. The medical screenings revealed the concealed capsules. Quick work by custom officers including a review of the passenger manifest and trip to a local hotel booked by the man and his traveling companions yielded 370 capsules and the total arrest of 7 men. Depending which charges are leveled against the men by prosecutors, penalties could range from as few as 5 years to a maximum punishment of execution before a firing squad. The seven men now in police custody are Mehdl Alinejadgolestan, Brahman Mirzaei, Mohsen Muhammadiargasl, Daryoush Amidali, Alireza Safarkhanloo, Masoud Soltaninabizadeh and Saeid Soltaninabizadeh. Police continue to interrogate the men and examine their belongings, hoping to trace the illicit drugs to a Chinese business man in Jakarta who was waiting for the men's arrival in the capital.
Tri Hita Kirana Awards for 2009
Bali Travel News Honors Top Institutions Contributing to Bali's Future.
The ninth annual listing of Bali accommodation providers, attractions and educators deemed to positively operate and contribute to Bali's culture and tourism. Presented annually by Bali Travel News (BTN), this year's awards were presided over by Indonesian elder-statesman, Professor Emil Salim, at a ceremony held on Friday, December 4, 2009, at the Bali Arts Center in downtown Denpasar. Professor Dr. Salim is an advisor to Indonesia's current administration, having held several ministerial portfolios in the past. Tri Hita Kirana Recipients 2009 The 2009 winners of the Tri Hita Kirana Awards are: Emerald Award Bali Tropic Resort and Spa Griya Santrian 5 Star Hotels - Gold Four Seasons Bali At Jimbaran Bay Intercontinental Bali Resort Melia Benoa Novotel Bali Nusa Dua Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa St Regis Bali The Laguna Resort & Spa Boutique Hotel Gold and Emerald Bali Tropic Resort & Spa 4 Star Hotels Grand Istana Rama (Silver) Harris Resort Kuta (Gold) Hotel Puri Santrian ( Silver ) Hotel Santika Premiere Beach Resort Bali (Silver) Mercure Resort Sanur (Gold) Novotel Bali Benoa (Gold) Risata Bali Resort & Spa (Gold) 1 2 4 Star Hotels All Seasons Resort Legian (Silver) Damai Lovina Villas (Silver) Griya Santrian (Emerald) Hotel Puri Dalem (Silver) Inna Sindhu Beach (Silver) Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas & Spa (Silver) Melati/Pondok Wisata Dewi Sinta Hotel Restaurant,Spa (Bronze) Furama Villas & Spa (Silver) Puri Lumbung Cottages (Silver) The Ulin Villas (Silver) Villa Kubu Seminyak (Gold) Tourist Attractions Natural Tourist Attractions - Alas Kedaton (Silver) Tourist Attractions Sangeh (Gold) Taman Budaya Art Centre (Silver) Waterbom Park Bali (Gold) Special Tourism Areas Bali Tourism Development Corporation (Gold) High Schools SMA Negeri 1 Kintamani (Gold) SMA Negeri 1 Sidemen (Gold) SMA Negeri 1 Sukawati (Gold) SMA Negeri 1 Tembuku (Gold) SMA Negeri 2 Amlapura (Gold) SMA Negeri 2 Bangli (Gold) SMK Pariwisata Klungkung (Bronze) Junior High Schools SMP Harapan Nusantara ( Silver) SMP Negeri 1 Blahbatuh (Gold) SMP Negeri 1 Dawan (Gold) SMP Negeri 1 Selat (Silver) SMP Negeri 2 Banjarangkan (Silver) SMP Negeri 2 Pekutatan (Gold) SMP Negeri 3 Denpasar (Silver) SMP Negeri 3 Gianyar (Gold) SMP Negeri 4 Mendoyo (Gold) SMP Negeri 5 Amlapura (Silver) Tertiary Education Sekolas Tinggi Pariwisata Bali (Gold) Universitas Hindu Indonesia (Silver) Universitas Pendidikan Nasional (Gold) Universitas Warmadewa (Gold) Government Office Pemerintah Kabupaten Badung (Gold) Hotel of the Year Melia Bali Tri Hita Kirana Tri Hita Kirana is the central philosophy of Balinese life that mandates balance be maintained between God, man and the natural environment.
Pilot of Ill-Fated Garuda Jet Absolved
Pilot Who Crashed Jet that Killed 21 Passengers in Yogya Wins Appeal Against Negligent Death Conviction.
Marwoto Komar, the pilot convicted of criminal negligence in the death of 21 passengers, including 5 Australians, in the March 2007 crash landing of a Garuda Boeing 737 at Yogyakarta's airport, is a free man now that the appeal courts in Indonesia have quashed his conviction and a 2 year prison sentence. On appeal since his conviction in April 2009, Marwoto has been free on bail. Despite evidence that Marwoto was landing at a high rate of speed and ignored 15 automated warning signals before he crashed and the jet burst into flames, the Indonesian High Courts have ruled that Marwoto's negligence was "not legally and convincingly proven." The Court's ruling makes Captain Marwoto a free man and, at least in principle, able to resume his aviation career. Marwoto's lawyer, Mochtar Zuhdi, has told the press that the acquittal of his client was not subject to appeal. Scores were injured in the crash. Among the 21 dead were five Australians: diplomat Liz O'Neill; Australian Financial Review journalist, Morgan Mellish; Australian AID official, Allison Sudrajat; and Australian Federal Police officers Mark Scott and Brice Steele. Related Articles [Landing in Jail] [Garuda Crash Captain Charged with Manslaughter] [Just Singing in the Plane, He's Singing in the Plane]
An Intelligent World
I Made Saryana and Mega Sari at the Ganesha Gallery January 7 - February 1, 2010.
In general, the graphic arts - etchings, lithographs and woodcuts - have attracted little interest in Indonesia where collectors tend to be more obsessed with paintings.
This has begun to change in recent years, a fact reflected in an exhibition of two Balinese artists, I Made Saryana and Mega Sari, who work in the technically challenging art of woodcutting. Not surprisingly, both artists, graduates of Yogjakarta's prestigious art academy, ISI, cite similar reasons for choosing this medium. "I like this technique because of the unique textures that result from layering", says Saryana. And, indeed, his works are complex and colorful compositions inspired by Balinese daily life and imagery re-imagined on a contemporary level with an edgy sense of post modern humor. His art also is influenced well known painters Heri Dono and Faisal, who burst onto the Yogyakarta art scene in the 1980s. Mega Sari, a female from Tabanan, Bali, insists that "the challenge of making a good woodcut is in the details." While her colors are subtler and subjects more lyrical than those of Saryana, they display the same characteristics that have attracted the likes of Albrecht Durer and Hokasai to practice the earliest form of printing. The connection with Japanese prints is seen in the rich textures, stylized reality of the images and the general compositions. The Japanese nuance of Mega Saris works is further explained by a period art study in Japan where she has mounted 12 solo exhibitions. An Intelligent World While both artists share certain themes - Balinese dancers and Balinese daily life - Mega loves still life, often depicting flowers in vases. For those who claim that woodcut is a foreign import, they should consider and study the similarity between the technique of using copper and sometimes wood blocks to apply wax to make batik which is a clear link to the Indonesian tradition of printing on cloth.
An Intelligent World An Exhibition of Etchings, Lithographs and Woodcuts by I Made Saryana and Mega Sari January 7 - February 1, 2010 Open Daily Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay
Jenggala Year End Sale Dec. 18-21 2009
Rare 3-Day Sale of Export Quality Ceramics from Jenggala.
Just in time for Christmas. After an absence of three years, Bali's world famous Jenggala Keramik on Jalan Uluwatu in Jimbaran is hosting a year-end sale for three days only in which their fine range of ceramics and home accessories will be reduced in price by as much as 50%. Crowds are certain to be large to take advantage of these special prices on items otherwise found in the leading hotels and homes of the world. To welcome guests to this special event and keep everyone in a festive mood, Jenggala's new "Spirit of Winter Collection" will be on display. Signature red and green glazes on fine quality ceramics are the perfect match for Jenggala's embroidered table linens and accessories set to grace any holiday table. Guests will delighted to view large serving dishes, oval bowls and plates bearing images of four calling birds, six geese a laying and other images reminiscent of the "twelve days of Christmas." There are also collections cast in earthy brown and matte terracotta finishes. A celebration of the 12 days of Christmas is continued in Jenggala's range of tree ornaments - with a complete set of 12 days available in a single gift box! All this shopping is enough to make anyone hungry. The in-house Warung Keramik is featuring is tasty and healthful menu supplemented by a range of holiday cookies to form a refueling stop before a second round of shopping. Wobble Mug For those looking for a distinctive Jenggala holiday gift or a creative way to leave a mug of hot chocolate beneath the tree for Santa's visit, this year will march the launch of the "Wobble Mug". Designed by in-house designer, Fitorio Leksono, the "Wobble Mug" features an extraordinary shape that allows it to roll on its base, yet stay up enough to be a functional drinking cup. You can spin, sway and wobble this cup on your table until gravity brings it back to reality. The new Wobble Mug collection features this unique shape in a buff surface on the outside and playful glossy colors on the inside. Supplies are limited; see you at:
Jenggala Year End Sales December 18 - 21, 2009 Jenggala Ceramics Jalan Uluwatu, Uluwatu, Jimbaran Telephone ++62-(0)361-703311 [Jenggala Website]
Bali Hotel Association Appoints New Board of Directors
Bali Hotel Association Names Leading Hoteliers to Guide Bali's Largest Business Sector in 2010.
The Bali Hotels Association (BHA) is the professional group of star rated hotels and resorts in Bali whose members include general managers from more than 100 hotels and resorts in Bali that representing more than 15,000 hotel rooms and almost 30,000 employees in tourism sector. The BHA have elected its Board and Directors for 2010: The Board Chairman: Jean-Charles Le Coz, general manager of the Nikko Resort Bali, replacing outgoing chairman, Robert Lagerway, general manager, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Bali. Vice-Chairman; Michael Burchett, general manager, Conrad Bali, who is retaining the vice-chairmanship for 2010. Executive Director: Djinaldi Gosana. The Directors Finance Director: Stephane Varoquier, general manager, Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali, retaining his directorship for an additional term. Marketing & Public Relations Director: Ron Nomura, director of marketing, Hyatt Resorts Bali, replacing Jimmy Boyles, general manager, of Melia Bali. Environment Director: Gareth Warne, General Manager, Nusa Lembongan Resorts Bali, continuing his interim appointment in this role. Government Relations Director: Kahar Salamun, general manager, All Seasons Legian, continuing his directorship for an additional term. Education, Training & Scholarship Director: David Cuddon, general manager, The Laguna Resort, replacing Jean-Charles Le Coz who has assumed the BHA chairmanship. Safety and Security Director: Andrew Gall, general manager, Ramada Resort Benoa Bali, replacing Daryl Marsden, general manager, Hard Rock Hotel Bali Community Relations & Charity Director: Virginie Sandstron, general manager, Harris Resort Kuta, replacing Jose Calle, general manager, The Bali Sports & Cultural Activities Director: Carla Petzold-Beck, general manager, The Legian, replacing Deasy Swandarini, general manager, Kayumanis Nusa Dua Private Villa Corporate Membership Director: Philippe Battle, general manager, Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana, replacing Greg Liddell, former general manager, Karma Jimbaran. Introducing Jean-Charles Le Coz Speaking on his appointment as the head of the BHA, Le Coz said: "I am very happy and honored to have been chosen by my peers to represent them in Bali, in Indonesia and in the world for the year 2010 - especially following the leadership of past chairmen such as Robert Lagerwey, Michael Burchett and Robert Kelsall who all laid the foundations and developed BHA to become what it is today - an association representing more than 100 star-rated hotels and 22,000 employees. BHA has become the voice being sought when looking for information on Bali and its tourism." Related Website [Bali Hotel Association Website]
Bookings are Strong for New Amsterdam to Bali KLM Service
KLM 835 Inaugural Flight Lands in Bali Bearing the Name "Bali, Island of Peace"
On Monday evening, December 7, 2009, flight KLM 835 touched down at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, marking the resumption of an air bridge abandoned by KLM twelve years ago. Arriving on the first flight leading a distinguished delegation of airline officials, travel industry members, and passengers was KLM's CEO, Peter Hartman who said: "We believe this route is very prospective." Tempo Interactive reports that 24,000 bookings are already in hand for the new service through mid-2010. The Bali-Amsterdam service is operating three times each week with an intermediate stop in Singapore. By mid-January, the Bali service will increase to four times a week, bringing to 10 the total number of weekly flights connection Holland and Indonesia. KLM 835 which landed in Bali on December 7, 2009, was a Boeing 777-300 aircraft bearing the name "Bali, Island of Peace." Garuda Indonesia officials were on hand in Bali to welcome the new KLM service with Emirsyah Satar, CEO of Garuda telling the press that both airline have agreed on a cooperation to provide support for the direct service. Garuda is providing access to their Indonesian domestic network for inbound KLM passengers. Current plans are for Garuda to recommence its own Amsterdam service by June 2010. While in Bali, KLM and Garuda signed a memorandum of understanding covers joint services on the Bali-Singapore segment. Satar said such cooperation represented the first step of Garuda's plans to return to Europe and his airlines desire to offer excellent service to the public.
Visa-On-Board for Tokyo to Bali Passengers
Innovative Visa Issuance Program to be Launched on December 25th on Tokyo to Bali Service. Part of Revamp of Immigration Services for Bali and Jakarta.
In anticipation of heavy visitors number to Bali over the Christmas-New Year period, the government will provide visa-on-board through the issuance of visas to passengers inbound to Bali on Garuda flights from Tokyo, Japan. An innovative approach to reducing lines at Bali's immigration counters in Bali, the new policy is the result of four separate ministerial departments undertaken at the urging of the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik. Trial operations of the new visa facility will take place on the December 25, 2009 flight from Tokyo to Denpasar, Bali. Minister Wacik told bisnis.com that his office had completed coordination meetings with the Minister of Justice and Human Rights Patialis Akbar, the National Minister for State-Owned Enterprises Mustofa Abu Bakar, the Ministry of Transportation and the Head of the Airport operating authority Angkasa Pura. Explained Wacik: "During the trial period of service for Visa-on-Board, immigration officers from the Department of Justice and Human Rights will be stationed on board in bound flights from Tokyo to Bali. The entire administrative process of visa issuance will be done during the flight permitting the foreign tourists to speed through the airport and enjoy Bali." In the same inter-ministerial meeting all participants agreed to remove all the present impediments to fast immigration service as both Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport and Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Chief among the factors slowing immigration service and agreed to be remedied is the lack of immigration staffing which is still insufficient to handle peak hour loads of international visitors. "At Ngurah Rai there are 36 counters, but only 10 are staffed by immigration officers. Now the 26 counters will be all staffed by immigration officers, especially during peak hours," said Wacik. Meanwhile, at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta there are 6 visa-on-arrival counters, a number that will now be increased to 12. In the middle of last year, the Ambassador of Japan to Indonesia, Kojiro Shiojiri, had publicly express his concerns regarding visa-on-arrival service at Bali's airport. Man elderly Japanese tourists had complained that the visa-on-arrival issuance process in Bali was taking two hours or more to complete. Minister Wacik told the press that in addition to introducing the visa-on-board program, he hoped that members of the national tourism industry would use the coming holiday period to increased their service to the traveling public and not use the rush period as an excuse for arbitrarily increasing their price structures.
A Party for Four Seasons
Four Seasons Resort Bali Throws and Appreciation Party for Local Travel Industry and Press.
On Thursday, December 10, 2009, Four Seasons Resorts in Bali hosted an appreciation party for the local travel industry at one of their luxurious Private Residence Villas on moon-lit Jimbaran Bay. More than 100 guests comprised of travel agencies, wedding organizers and the media mingled with senior members of the Four Seasons team while a jazz band entertained and special dance performances were presented. The Resort's General Manager, John O'Sullivan, welcomed the attendees, thanking all for their continued support and taking the opportunity to introduce key members of his management team. Paul Czuba, Director of Marketing, Four Seasons Resorts Bali then took to the stage to introduce the section heads of his sales and marketing team. Shown on balidiscovery.com are some pictures taken during the lavish evening.
Helen Flavel - A True Friend of Bali in Australia
Indonesia Says 'Thank You' to Helen Flavel for Many Years of Assistance to the People of Bali.
At a special ceremony held in Adelaide, South Australia, on December 3, 2009, the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia, Promo Joelianto, presented a special honor recognizing the untiring humanitarian work of Australian Helen Flavel and her eponymous foundation on behalf of the Balinese people. The "Humanitarian Care Award: presented by the Ambassador on behalf of the Indonesian Republic recognized Flavel's "valuable contribution to the strengthening of bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia." The Helen Flavel Foundation was founded in March 2004 has provided support to education projects, old folks homes, women welfare support and humanitarian animal assistance. In the course of a few short years over 600 students have received education aid To learn more about the important work of Helen Flavel or to make a tax-deductible contribution visit the website [Helen Flavel Foundation] Shown on balidiscovery.com is a picture of Helen Flavel being congratulated by the Ambassador. The Adelaide ceremony was also attended by Sudaryomo Hartosudarmo, Consul-General of Indonesia in Sydney; Raudin Anwar, Ministerial Counselor from the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra; Deane Edgecombe, Honorary Consul of Indonesia for South Australia; and the Honorable Michael Atkinson, Attorney General and Minister for Multicultural Affairs for Australia.
We Get Mail
A Sampling of Some of the Emails Balidiscovery.com has Received on the State of Bali Tourism, the Unethical Buying and Selling of Tourists Names, UNWTO Green Designation for Bali, Candy Change and Long Lines at the Airport.
Bali Tourism Has Lost its Bearings The recent warning from Indonesian elder statesman Prof. Dr. Emil Salim that Bali tourism is placing quantity before quality [See: Bali Tourism Has Lost its Bearings] caused many to write it. - Steven Simicich said: "I completely agree with this article as it brings up very important points. My wife and I just spent our honeymoon in Bali this past August, the elements of this wonderful island which impressed us the most and make us yearn to return are the people's culture and spiritual nature. We look forward to returning for another long stay not merely because of beautiful beaches and party atmosphere because these elements can be attained at numerous locations. The reason why we would fly back again from our home in New York City to visit Bali is because of the elements this article discussed. I just wanted to express that point of view because this article spoke to our own experience. " One more thing, we did feel that pollution on the island threatens its very nature and was a shame. On all our tours we witnessed filth in waterways and roadsides which put the worst slums in America to shame. I hope this issue can be corrected because it does not reflect well on the people's supposed connectedness with nature. Being one with nature does not just entail leaving offerings but it also means refraining from polluting and keeping your landscapes clean." - An Australian reader, Greg Roberts, contributed : "What a wonderful story and spot-on in its message. . . I have been a regular visitor to Bali for the past 13 years and what keeps me coming back are the qualities Prof. Dr. Emil Salim identifies plus the warmth and compassion of the Balinese people themselves." Bali, please do not fall into the hole where so many tourist destinations have gone before you by forgetting why people from across the world were attracted to you in the first place. I am sure many others are drawn to Bali because it holds onto rich life-values that are now lost or slowly been suffocated in our own societies." - Christie Mckee had this to say :
I couldn't agree more. . . I came here 2 years ago to live and I am now looking for a new home base in Asia. I love much about Bali, but I feel like everyone has their hand out without providing anything. I don't mind paying, but I want something for my money. I can travel and buy merchandise much less expensive in other countries, even sometimes the US for the quality I am looking for. I have not spent money shopping here except for food because every store has the same things and to get quality, you have to pay big prices. Do they think they have become a western country just because they have so many tourists? Western countries provide infrastructure, care of the people and services. When I shop here, the money goes into someone's pocket. Please get back to the roots. WE came for the humble, beautiful community that was not dictated by the $$$." The Buying and Selling of Names of Tourists in Bali Coverage of unethical time share practices in which sales people reportedly now purchase visitors' names from airport officials [See: The Buying and Selling of Names of Tourists in Bali] earned some spirited feedback. - Lynette Sawyer in Australia wrote: "We are sick and tired by the phone calls we received in our hotel by timeshare scam. We go for a holiday not to be harassed by these people. It puts you off going to Bali. They know your name and hotel should be kept private." UNWTO Designates Bali as a Green Tourism Destination An announcement of the UNWTO's intention to give Bali a special "green" designation [See: UNWTO Designates Bali as a Green Tourism Destination] elicited the following comments: - Jimmy Roland of Bali Tennis said: "That could be a project for the next hundred years the way locals treat their environment. Trash is found almost everywhere on the island. Perhaps Bali will be renamed to "Island of Trash". Would be too nice if I was proven wrong." - Bruce Wyder added" "Bali was once the most beautiful place. In most areas it still is, however the rivers around Denpasar and Sanur are basically open sewers with garbage and plastic bags, many areas have been desecrated by graffiti. Kuta beach is now getting cleaned up which is a good thing, but Islanders and Tourists alike must make a concerted effort not to litter or degrade the environment." Dangers of Accepting Candy from Strangers The explanation by a local retailer on why he is "forced" to make change in candy [See: The Danger of Accepting Candy from Strangers] obviously struck some readers as incredulous. -Graham James in Bali wrote: "Hardy should talk! Can't escape his Sanur 'joint' without lollies in lieu of metallic money. Reminds me of the Bintang supermarket, Legian customer who 5 yrs ago failed to turn the tables by trying to pay for his purchases with candy. They're bloody lucky it wasn't me!' -A reader named Simon had this to say : "What utter nonsense from Pak Hardy. Firstly, his stores are notorious island-wide for short changing customers in what seems like company policy. Secondly, they give sweets regardless of whether or not they have coins. Two days back they offered me a sweet instead of Rp500 coin. The till was overflowing with coins. The girl told me that it was policy not to give coins to tourists!" "Hardy's are less than honest in their dealings with their customers." - Brigid of Hemisphere Design said: "What rubbish! Pak Hardy's stores are some of the biggest culprits of this 'habit'! I have never once been given candy as change in Bali Deli or Carrefour! - I shopped twice in Hardy's this weekend and both times was given candy. When I refused it strangely enough there was correct change in the till! These candies are so obviously a money making ploy... if they do not have the change why not use the Swedish rounding system like supermarkets in the rest of the world! Greed I suspect!" - An Indonesian reader wrote: "Personally I keep those candies and use them to pay with at Hardy's that has become my weekly entertainment! And, when I am short of their own candies I offer them a Mentos. If we all do to them as is done to us, it soon will be over is my guess as the line-ups it creates are worth watching." - Bob Hobman had this to say on "candy change:" What nonsense. The stores make a huge profit (not in lollies) with this heinous practice which is only in place because they price their shelf items to be out of step with the circulating legal currency. How easy is that? Good 'ol Hardyiwan didn't invent the ploy but is naturally a strong supporter. Best to just up the prices of everything to fit in. The steadily growing number of supermarket consumers won't complain. And the consistently embarrassed checkout girls- bless them all - will be very much relieved. Me too......" Immigration at Bali's Airport Against current news of pending criminal charges against some of the immigration officers at Bali's airport, Don Johnston wrote to share his experience: "Upon arriving in Bali on September 2009 and asking immigration the fine per day for overstaying my visa limit I was told Rp. 100,000. per day. Due to years of previous experience, I subsequently inquired again ahead of my departure, and was told Rp 200,000. per day. Upon departure the latter was charged and an additional day was erroneously added. When I complained about the added day was told that if I didn't need a receipt the officer would accept my day count, but if a receipt was required he would have to leave his post and accompany me to the office to procure the receipt. Wanting to get to my gate I paid the fine without receipt and went on my way. Always a scam!" And a Light Onto Your Path Our article on a new rule by the Bali police requiring motorcyclists to "turn on" their headlights both day and night [See: And a Light Onto Your Path] cause Simon to write in to endorse the move: "This is some good news. It's great to see the police making positive steps to reduce the awful and needless death and injury rates on Bali's roads. Now if we can just get them to tackle staying in lanes, indicating, looking before pulling out and red lights....But still, it's a start (and it's a nationwide thing, not Bali.)"
Bali's Governor Pastika Committed to Culling Dogs
Governor Pastika Insists Culling of Stray Dogs Must Remain Part of Bali's Response to Rabies Epidemic.
In a decision certain to anger Bali's animal rights groups who argue the elimination of stray dog populations is an ineffective way to halt the spread of the rabies, the governor of Bali, Made Mangku Pastika, has directed that the extermination of ownerless dogs continue and be accelerated. The governor has defended his decision, pointing to an estimated population of a half-million dogs in Bali. The governor has also made an argument for expediency, saying the cost of inoculating all the dogs in Bali, particularly given the fact that each dog must receive a series of inoculations. In response to critics of his preference for elimination over vaccination, Pastika, quoted in Radar Bali said: "I have a question (for my critics) in response: which do you love more, human beings or animals (dogs)? Of course, the answer is humans. And, for that reason, stray dogs must be eliminated, while dogs with owners must be cared for and vaccinated." Obviously more than a little irritated with the continuing assault by animal-lover groups, Pastika warned to his audience, adding: "Who's going to take responsibility for the victims who contract rabies from dog bites? " Pointing to the high cost of the vaccine and its administration, Pastika asked: "Are these civic groups prepared to work for free for the indefinite future to provide vaccinations? Eventually, the question of funding will also arise." In a unique response to the epidemic, the Bali animal rights group Yudistira held a day-long gathering for dog owners at a central square in downtown Denpasar on Sunday, December 6, 2009. The group handed out T-shirts with the slogan (in Indonesian) saying "Bring my Bali Back in a Rabies Free Status" The public were encouraged to bring their pets for a walk around the square after which free rabies vaccinations were distributed to the pets. Radar Bali reports that their observation on a single day saw 29 patients seeking anti-rabies serum after being bit by a dog. Many of these dog bite victims traveled to Denpasar form outlying areas of Bali where hospitals claim to have no stock of the life-saving serum.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.