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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #697 - 18 January 2010

A Swinging Holiday in Bali
Golfers Who Ace Hole #7 at Nirwana Bali Golf Club Go Home on Two Wheels.

As though golf enthusiasts needed another excuse to play, the Nirwana Bali Golf Club is giving away a Kawasaki Ninja 250 cc or Kawasaki 250 cc motorcycle to anyone sinking a hole-in-one at flag #7 of their world renowned golf course.
The championship course, designed by golf immortal Greg Norman, overlooks one of Bali's most famous temples - Pura Tanah Lot and is surrounded by majestic terraced rice fields. Hole number 7 requires a cliff-side tee-off with a middle iron over a ball-devouring section of the Indian Ocean onto the green.
The Nirwana Golf Course has been named "Indonesia's Leading Golf Resort" for five years in a row (2004- 2009) at the World Travel Awards and was winner of the "Asian Leading Golf Resort's World Travel Awards 2006." Asian Golf Monthly Magazine in 2009 named it "The Choice Golf Course - Overseas." One of four golf courses on the island and attached to the hotel, Nirwana posses an intricate network of the lovely streams, serene ponds and rice terraces to make for a challenging round.
Want to Win
Best of all, there's no requirement to participate in a formal tournament for your chance to win a brand new motorbike. Anyone playing during any of the following three-day periods during the months of January - March is eligible to win:
18 - 20 January 2010
22 - 24 February 2010
22 - 24 March 2010

It Can be Done!
In December Hendarmin Sukarmadji took home a Kawasaki Trail 250 CC after acing hole number 7 on December 18, 2009.
Shown on balidiscovery.com is Hendarmin with his new motorcycle and the General Manager of the Resort, Giuseppe Ressa.
[18 Holes of Golf at Bali Nirwana Golf Club]


A Most Potent Rodent
Disturbing Development in Bali's Rabies Epidemic: Rats May be a New Vector for the Potentially Fatal Disease.

The latest and what may prove to be the 13th death attributed to rabies in Bali, since the disease surfaced in 2009, took the life of a 46 year-old Balinese woman, Ni Nyoman Koming, of Tabanan on Thursday, January 14, 2010. Admitted to the Tabanan Hospital with symptoms suggesting rabies, the patient and her family insisted she had not suffered a dog or domestic animal bite, but had been bitten by a rat two months earlier.
While pathology tests are still pending, Dr. Gede Sudiartha of the Rabies Center at the Hospital said, "the clinical symptoms of the patient prior to her death - including fears of wind generated from fans, light and water, are similar to those of someone suffering from rabies."
To date, all rabies cases in Bali have been linked to dog bites. And while officials say the most common vectors for rabies wprd;wide remain dogs, cats and monkeys - it is not implausible that the disease can be spread by rodents.
Dr. Sudiartha told beritabali.com: "90 percent of rabies cases in Indonesian are due to dog bites. Cases tied to monkey and cat bits; cases linked to rate bites are heretofore unheard of."
If the rodent population is infected with rabies, this may have occurred by a rat biting a rabid dog, a rabid dog attacking a rat, or the rat eating from the carcass of a dog that had died from rabies. To prevent uninintentionally spreading the disease, those culling animals suspected of rabies must burn the carcasses or bury them deeply.


Indonesia Considers Change in Property Law
Those Eager to Expand the Property Sector in Indonesia Will Have to Deal with Restrictions and Constitutional Challenges to Foreign Land Ownership.

An international real estate conference planned for Bali in May is prompting Indonesian property developers to lobby intensively for a change in Indonesian law to allow foreign nationals to purchase apartments and private residences.
Speaking to The Jakarta Globe, Teguh Satria of the Indonesian Real Estate Developers Association (REI) said : "The REI has chosen Nusa Dua, Bali, as the host for its 61st World Congress from May 24 to May 28. It would be good to revise the regulation by then so Indonesia could not only act as the host, but could open its doors to the participants interested in purchasing property here."
Separately, Indonesia's Housing Minister, Suharso Monoarfa, confirmed that changes to the rules on property ownership by foreigners were under consideration. If approved, the areas and types of residents open to foreign property purchases would be restricted. Any changes would also likely stipulate minimum levels of investment and require a period of residence each year in the country.
While supporters of the change in property rules point to benefits in taxation and an improved foreign investment climate that would result from allowing foreign ownership of land, the strength of forces opposed to allowing any foreign ownership of Indonesian land should not be underestimated. Past efforts to liberalize the law to allow foreign land ownership have been consistently rejected by Indonesia's Constitutional Court.


The Thigh Bone's Connected to the Knee Bone
Bali Grave Robbers: Another Shipment of a Human Skeleton Prevented by Officials at Bali's Airport.

In little over a week after Bali authorities thwarted an attempt to ship two human skeletons to Hawaii [See: Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones], postal and customs officials at Ngurah Rai International Airport have detected and stopped another shipment of human bones.
Bagus Endro Wibowo, the head of Enforcement Section of the Ngurah Rau Airport confirmed the seizure of bones.
At what appears as an attempt to conceal the actual sender and recipient, the sender listed on postal documents was "Rock Hodson" at Jalan Veteran 19 in Denpasar with the recipient listed as "Robbo Hudson" care of Alison Palmer in Herts, United Kingdom. The bones were contained in an Express Mail Service (EMS) packet.
Quoted by Radar Bali, Endro said: "The Bones were in a wooden box and had been altered in their form and decorated with horn and statuary. The sender declared that the box contained only handicrafts made from fiberglass."
Customs officers are now coordinating with the Bali Police Headquarter to further identify the origin and age of the bones.


Bali Water: Waste Not, Want Not
Fears that New 1,000 Percent Increase in Ground Water Costs May Render Some Bali Hotels Economically Non-Viable.

BisnisBali reports that Bali's Governor Made Mangku Pastika has decided to delay the implementation of Gubernatorial Decree #16 of 2009, and will now stipulates that the 1,000% increase in the basic tariff for ground water will be fully implemented in 2011.
Governor Pastika is delaying the increase after receiving a review of the policy by a special team comprised of government and industry officials.
Putu Suardhika, a spokesman for the governor's office, said, "until the end of 2010 those using ground water will be given dispensation to pay only 50% of the new tariff." Reflecting the measure's aim tto act as a strong disinsentive against ground water use, industry elements will be encouraged throughout 2010 to improve the efficiency of their water usage and adopt technologies that permit the desalination of salt water.
Suardhika added: "The Governor will not revoke what he has already decided. This is for the sake of Bali. The Governor does not want to see Bali become a desert in a few year's time."
A decree signed on behalf of the governor by the Provincial Secretary for Bali, Drs. I Nyoman Yasa, stipulates that (the new) ground water taxes will be charged at 50% for 2009-2010. In 2011 the new tax will apply in full in accordance with the Governor's decree.
The provincial authorities have also indicated that they are prepared to consider tax relief for companies that can demonstrate the new tax burden will be too burdensome.
A group of hoteliers recently protested to the Regent of Badung, complaining that a ten-fold increase in the ground water tax represented too heavy a financial burden, preventing the profitable operation of their businesses.
Despite the Governor's agreement for a phased-in approach to the increased ground water taxes, many business continue to complain that a 50% reduction in 2010, prior to full implementation in 2011, still represents a viability-threatening increase in costs for many industries. The Vice-Chairman of the Bali branch of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN), Bagus Sudibya told Bisnis.com: "We, representatives from industry, suggest the increase be staggered over 5-10 years. We ask the increase be around 100% per year or, at a maximum, 200% per year." And, while Sudibya says a 100-200% increase each year is still very 'heavy," it is preferable to a 1,000% increase over a period of only two years.
Sudibya acknowledges the government's urgent need to conserve its ground water supply and says the real solution is an improved public utility water supply. The KADIN Vice-chairman, who is also a Bali hotelier, said he would happily switch his water supply to the water board (PDAM) if piped water supplies were available.
An insight into just how threatening the new tax might be to local small hotel, the tax on the 2-3 cubic meters of water used by the average hotel guest in a single day will become Rp. 230,000 (US$23) to Rp. 335,00 (US$33.50) in 2011. This amount does not yet include the cost of electrical energy, staffing, operational and investment costs. Clearly, in some cases the new water tax will render many hotels economically non-viable without a massive increase in hotel room rates.


Sepia: Painting by Karyana at Bali's Ganesha Gallery
Ganesha Gallery at Four Seasons Resort Jimbaran Features the Work of Lombok Artist - Karyana.

Although he began his career as a self-taught realist, Karyana's penchant for fleeting impressions has recently led him to a moody space that borders on the abstract. While some of his scenes, traditional fishing boats mirrored in the waters, are clearly inspired by the world that surrounds him on his native island of Lombok, others, which more resemble Rorschach tests delve into mystery that provokes one's imagination.
While careful study may reveal a hidden horse or dancer, these can easily fade back into the whole as if they never existed.
Such experiments between the world, so to speak, are wholly dependent on his mastery of the difficult media of aquarelle which, at its best, is luminous and seemingly spontaneous, and, at worst, muddy and confusing. Limiting his palette to subdued browns with an occasional tint of color is also courageous. His success in recapturing the feeling of old sepia photographs, too, is an admittance of his dalliance with historical nostalgia in the post-modern world.
While the art and artists of Lombok, the island east of Bali, have long been overshadowed by its western neighbor, it can in no way be considered of less importance. Interestingly, whereas most traditional Balinese art is renowned for its boisterous use of color, that of the Sasak people of Lombok, is far earthier in tone and flavor. After a stint of working in Ubud, Bali for a year and three years as a commercial artist, Karyana has returned home to Lombok in both body and spirit.
Sepia - Paintings by Karyana
An Exhibition at the Ganesha Gallery - Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay
February 4 - March 1, 2010 - Open Daily


The Battle for Water in Bali
Tensions Rise in Bali's North Over Traditional Water Rights.

Hundreds of disgruntled residents of Bali's north shore community of Tejakula have marched on the village of Kutuh in Kintamani, claiming a water retention system is causing disruption downstream.
BeritaBali.com reports that the coastal protesters descended on its hillside neighbors in a convoy of some 30 vehicles on Wednesday, January 13, 2009, to rally against a water retention systems built by the provincial public works department.
Alert to the possibility of conflict, police were deployed to the village of Kutuh. The spokesman for the Buleleng Police Post, Made Sudirsa explained: "The police were only taking anticipatory steps. The movement of the people of Tejakula could not be prevented, although police remained on guard to prevent any conflict." Two companies of mobile brigade officers (Brimob) and one company of anti-riot police (Dalmas) were sent to the Kintamani area to prevent any outbreaks of public disorder.
Behind the tension, anger from the beach side community of Tejakula that much needed fresh water supplies emanating from the village of Sukawana in Bangli was being diverted away by the hillside village.
At 5:30 am the convoy was met by the substantial police presence that was unable to prevent the men from demolishing a 2 meter deep reservoir measuring 4 x 6 meters.
After destroying the reservoir the group reversed direction, heading back to Tejakula. Along the way the convoy disembarked their vehicles at Madenan to begin a long march to the Pura Puseh of Tejakula where fellow villagers welcomed them back as a gamelan orchestra played.
During the march, women and children reportedly welcomed the returning "warriors" with drinks of water and rambutan fruit.


High Noon at the Circle K
Arrest of Balinese Man Expected to End Spree of Nighttime Hold-ups at Circle K Supermarkets.

Bali police have arrested a man linked to robberies at 9 Circle K mini markets in Bali.
The man now in police custody, Kadek Wariana a/k/a Kadek Bola (21) of Jembrana was arrested by the criminal investigation unit of the Bali police at his home on Jalan Mataram in Kuta on Thursday, January 14, 2010, when police traced the man to his image on a CCTV cameras captured while he was robbing a mini-market on Jalan Cokroaminoto two week's ago. Those images, together with a license plate number noted by the market attendant, eventually brought police to the young man's door. Police lying in wait for Bola arrested him as he drove back to his home at 6 pm in the afternoon.
Quoted by beritabali.com, police spokesman Gde Sugianyar described the suspect a sadistic criminal who threatened his victims with a shaving knife. Most of the robberies were carried out late at night when only one attendant was on duty.
Police say the man would enter the store, pretending to be shopping, while making sure he was the only customer in the store. He would then draw his knife and order the store attendant to empty the cash register.
An average haul netted the criminal between Rp. 1 - 3 million (US$100-300).
Proceeds from his crime spree were used at local entertainment venues, shared with an older sibling and spent on gifts for his girlfriend.
When making the arrest police also seized the weapon used in the commission of the crime, Rp. 1.5 million (US$150) in cash, two motorcycles, and sets of female clothing the man planned to present to his girlfriend.


Three Swimmers Saved on Kuta Beach by Bali's Lifeguards
Caution Urged When Swimming on Kuta Beach. Seasonal High Winds and Waves Place Bali's Lifeguard Service on High Alert.

Bali police have arrested a man linked to robberies at 9 Circle K mini markets in Bali.
The man now in police custody, Kadek Wariana a/k/a Kadek Bola (21) of Jembrana was arrested by the criminal investigation unit of the Bali police at his home on Jalan Mataram in Kuta on Thursday, January 14, 2010, when police traced the man to his image on a CCTV cameras captured while he was robbing a mini-market on Jalan Cokroaminoto two week's ago. Those images, together with a license plate number noted by the market attendant, eventually brought police to the young man's door. Police lying in wait for Bola arrested him as he drove back to his home at 6 pm in the afternoon.
Quoted by beritabali.com, police spokesman Gde Sugianyar described the suspect a sadistic criminal who threatened his victims with a shaving knife. Most of the robberies were carried out late at night when only one attendant was on duty.
Police say the man would enter the store, pretending to be shopping, while making sure he was the only customer in the store. He would then draw his knife and order the store attendant to empty the cash register.
An average haul netted the criminal between Rp. 1 - 3 million (US$100-300).
Proceeds from his crime spree were used at local entertainment venues, shared with an older sibling and spent on gifts for his girlfriend.
When making the arrest police also seized the weapon used in the commission of the crime, Rp. 1.5 million (US$150) in cash, two motorcycles, and sets of female clothing the man planned to present to his girlfriend.


Bali's Traffic and Mass Transit Problems Not Easily Solved
10 - 15 Thousand Motorbikes Added to Bali's Roads & Highways as Public Transport Limited on Bali.

A report from the National News Service Antara provides insights and background on the problems surrounding Bali's mounting traffic congestion and efforts to popularize mass transit on the island.
"Gosh, I'm fed up if I take public transport in Denpasar (the capital of Bali). It costs so much and passengers must wait until the vehicle is full," complained Budi Agustijono.
Hailing from Bondowoso in East Java, Budi shared his experience of using the city's public transport system when he first began his course work in applied arts at Bali's Udayana University in 2000.
Passengers can be forced to wait up to one hour for the public transport to depart. The cost of the trip is also a problem. A trip from the Udayana University to Jimbaran costs Rp. 2,500 (US$0.25).
Rohmat, a reporter, had a similar experienced when he first started working in Bali in 2001. The young man from Central Java lives on Jalan Cokroaminoto in Denpasar and works on Jalan Hayum Wuruk, a distance of less than 10 kilometers.
Rohmat explained: "I have to take two different local buses with a cost of between Rp. 2,000 to Rp. 3,000 (US$0.20 - US$0.30). If I take two buses, the cost becomes Rp. 4,000 - Rp. 6,000. So, a round trip can cost me Rp. 10,000 (US$1.00) every day. My wages are only Rp. 450,000 (US$45.00) a month."
In order to conserve on his transportation costs, Rohmat needs ingenuity and often hitches a ride on a friend's motorcycle so he only needs to take two buses each day, reducing his costs by half.
This is the situation faced by many public transport users in Denpasar and perhaps explains the diminishing passenger loads, despite Bali's burgeoning population. In the final analysis, public transport in Denpasar and the regencies of Badung and Tabanan is not user-friendly.
Updating the public transport system in Denpasar 10 years after his arrival, Budi, who now works as an insurance salesman, says: "Now? Oh, it's worse. You have to wait so long and the cost is very high."
Moreover, for a short trip of less than 5 kilometers, the drivers of local public transport ask as much as Rp. 5,000 (US$0.50). Because of the high cost and long waiting times, many buses sit idle at the terminal.
The Chairman of Bali's Organization for Land Transport (ORGANDA), Ketut Edi Dharma Putra, admits that public transport in the city and surrounding communities are empty, abandoned by a public who have no wish for their poor service. Putra sees a number of causes for this unhappy state of affair including the lack of fixed routes, uncertain operating schedules and transport ticket prices that are too high.
The cost of a single journey can reach Rp. 5,000 - Rp. 10,000 (US$0.50 - US$1.00) - a cost that's beyond the financial capacity of many workers. A worker can spend Rp. 20,000 a day on public transport. "You can imagine the high cost for a worker who needs to take two or three buses to get to work, " said Putra.
In such a situation, Putra said it is only fair if the people look for alternative means of transport, such as motorcycles. People considering purchasing a motorcycle can be "on the road" with a down payment of as little as Rp. 500,000 (US$50.00).
Putra continued: "Besides, with a motorcycle, the cost of getting to the office every day can be reduced. One liter of gasoline is more than enough to travel back and forth from work."
The ease of motorcycle ownership has crowded Bali's streets with the two-wheeled vehicles. Data from the Bali police estimate tha between 10,000 to 15,000 new motorcycles join the congestion of the island's roads and highways every month.
Reflecting the popularity of motorcycles in Indonesia, PT Astra Honda Motor (AHM) just produced its 25th million bike in October of 2009. The Executive Vice President of AHM, Johannes Loman, admits the lack of good public transport, has help propelled the high production numbers for his company in Indonesia. "As a producer, it's our job to assist the public to become more productive and efficient in their work and general activities," explained Loman. The Honda executive also points with pride the how his company has helped the Indonesian economy expand, creating thousands of jobs.
The large number of motorcycles on Indonesia's roads has brought a special set of problems to the nation. The fast and sleek two-wheeled vehicles are often driven at a high rate of speed. The sheer numbers of vehicles on the roads have added to traffic jams and overall traffic congestion. And, perhaps most tragically, the Bali police reveal that an average 3 people die every day on Bali's roads.
The Director of Traffic for the Bali Police, Bambang Sugeng, blamed the high level of traffic accidents in Bali on the growing number of vehicles, including motorcycles, without any corresponding increase in roadways. He is joined by the spokesman of the Bali police, Gde Sugianyar, who warns that more vehicles without more roads will only add to Bali's traffic jams.
Sugianyar said: "The government does not have the right to limit the number of people who can purchase vehicles or to ban cars from traveling to Bali. However, the government must also pay attention to the supporting infrastructure to counterbalance the growth in vehicle numbers." The Bali police spokesman said the only solution to Bali's traffic congestion is to add to Bali's road infrastructure and through the provision of good public transport.
In the meantime, AHM and the police are trying to improve road safety and improve the enforcement of traffic rules. The police recently introduced rules requiring motorcycles to operate with their headlights "on" whenever they take to the road, day or night. Those driving motorcycles without their lights "on" are subject to fines of Rp. 100,000 (US$10.00).


Five Indonesian Airports Set for Open Skies
Liberalized Air Traffic Rights on Tap via ASEAN 'Open Skies' at Bali and 4 Other Indonesian Airports.

Bisnis.com reports that the Ministry of Transportation will soon designate five airports as participants in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) "open skies" program commencing from 2013.
The Director General of Air Transportation, Herry Bakti S. Gumay, revealed that the five airports expected to be included in the program are: Soekarno-Hatta (Cengkareng) in Jakarta, Kuala Namu (Medan, North Sumatra), Ngurah Rai (Denpasar, Bali), Juanda (Surabaya) and Hasanuddin (Makassar, South Sulawesi).
Bakti said: "At the end of this month the draft decision of the Minister on 'open skies' will be finished. We will propose 5 airports for liberalization."
He went on to confirm that the five airport set for liberalization will be put forth at a meeting of ASEAN leaders in Vietnam to be held in April 2010 or at an ASEAN meeting to be held in Brunei Darussalam in October 2010. The five airports number among the 27 international airports operating in Indonesia.
In the past, Indonesia's Minister of Transportation, Freddy Numberi, has asked that the signing of the ASEAN "open skies" policy be delayed. Numberi cited national interest as his reason for asking the signing be delayed at least until the April 2010 meeting in Hanoi.


Bhinneka Tunggal Ika: Harmony in Diversity
Dates and Theme Announced for 2010 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

The 2010 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival theme has been announced: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika : Harmony in Diversity.
The theme for the world famous annual gathering of literary types in Ubud, Bali, is anticipated to open a hot debates on religious dogmas, political ideologies and national allegiances that bitterly divide the world. The questions of universalism and shared humanity will be addressed alongside issues of human rights and the fate of marginalized and disenfranchised communities.
Organizers ask: Why, in a time when the world has never been so informed and aware of diversity and difference, do we see fear, intolerance and the force of monoculturalism on the rise? The deliberation on diversity will continue in Ubud in October 2010 in an effort to unearth a dialogue on living harmoniously with the natural environment, focusing on global warming and warring.
This year the festival will welcome writers from Bosnia, Cuba, Malta, Argentina and Iran: all voices of those seldom heard. Enter also the new-wave of young Muslim spoken word performers who use hip-hop to dispel misconceptions of Islam alongside some of the hottest poets in the region. Emerging and established authors from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas will once again take centre stage in four days of conversation, readings, panels, workshops and performances in breathtaking venues across Ubud.
With the festival now in its seventh year, the feasting, which has become part of the event, continues in Ubud's elegant hotels and magnificent homes with a menu of literary lunches, dinners and cocktail parties in a celebration of words, wine and song. There will also be workshops that teach the "how-to's" of writing from poetry to prose, from journalism to memoir.
Pencil in the dates and stay tuned: Ubud Readers and Writers Festival Ubud, Bali October 6-10, 2010.


Garuda Moves Ahead with IPO
25% of Indonesian National Carrier on Sales as Garuda Restructures its Finances.

The Indonesian government has confirmed that the national airline PT Garuda Indonesia will offer up to 25% of its shares via am initial public offering scheduled for Q2 of 2010.
To this end, an underwriter has been appointed by Garuda.
The Minister for State-Owned Enterprises, Mustafa Abubakar, told Bisnis Indonesia: "25% of Garuda shares will be released to the market. The funds will be used to pay for the expansion of the company. The entire process is now underway including the appointment of an underwriter."
Mustafa did not, however, explain if the Garuda shares held by Bank Mandiri would form part of the 25% block of the airline's shares offered to the public.
The Minister confirmed that Garuda and PT Krakatau Stell will hold initial public offerings (IPO), following an IPO for the state-owned PT Pembangunan Perumahan which operates in the public housing sector.
The 25% share of the national airline is less than the 49% initially proposed for public ownership.
The CEO of Garuda, Emirsyah Satar, told the press that nearly 100% of Garuda's debtors have accepted and agreed to the financial restructuring of the airline, including the acceptance of two floating-rate note valued at US$305.27 million and Rp. 366.28 billion.
Quoted recently by Bloomberg Business News, Eddy Porwanto, the Financial Director of Garuda, said that the airline would purchase back debts totaling US$122 at a discounted price of US$0.70 to the dollar. He added: "Garuda also plans to purchase back Rp 146.4 billion in obligations."
The reduction of debt loads and the overall financial restructuring of the airline are intended to ease the public offering of shares to take place before mid-2010.
The restructuring of the airline's debt also includes provisions to extend due dates on current debt to January 2018 and an increase in interest rates of 1.75% over the London Inter Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) on its U.S. dollar denominated loans.
Garuda has also successfully renegotiated its outstanding debt with the State oil company Pertamina, and the State-owned Airport Authorities (Angkasa Pura I & II).
The Indonesian state-owned airline has also converted Rp. 967 billion in debt owed to Bank Mandiri into 10.61% of the company's shares.


Bali Tourism - An Island's Cash Cow in 2009
Bali by the Numbers: Bali Tourism Estimated to Have Brought 5.48 Million Tourists and Earned US$7.2 Billion in 2009.

During 2009, tourism is estimated to have contributed US$2.7 billion in foreign exchange to Bali's economy, a figure equal to 42% of the total contribution made by the tourism sector to the national economy.
As reported in Bisnis Indonesia, the head of the Bali Tourism Authority, Bagus Kade Subhiksu, said that the total foreign exchange contribution of tourism for Indonesia in 2009 totaled US$6.5 billion. He went on to explain that the 2,259,000 foreign tourism who came to Bali in 2009 spent an average of US$137.90 per person per day over the average 8.75 average-length-of-stay on the island.
Compared to the previous year, foreign exchange revenues generated by Bali's tourism sector declined 4%, despite the record number of visitors. In 2008, an estimated US$2.8 billion in foreign exchange was produced by Bali's foreign visitors. This decrease is linked by officials to a shortening in the average length-of-stay and lower spending levels.
Bali's 4% decline in foreign exchange earnings compares favorably to nation-wide figures which recorded an 11% decrease in earnings.
Domestic Tourism
In addition to the US$2.7 billion in foreign exchange for Bali tourism in 2009, domestic visitors to Bali were estimated to have spent Rp. 7 trillion (US$744.7 million) while spending an average 4.2 days in Bali and spending Rp. 516,000 per day. An estimated 3.22 million domestic tourists came to Bali in 2009, representing 58.7% of all tourist visitors to the island.
Subhiksu told the press that he hoped the income earned by tourists visitors to Bali and the fees collected for visa-on-arrival will encourage and justify the central government in providing more funds for the development of Bali's infrastructure.


Bali Police Launch New Traffic License System
Computerized Driver Tests in Bali Intended to Help Eliminate Middlemen and Improve Screening for Driver Skills.

The Bali Traffic Police have just launched a new Audio Visual Integrated System (AVIS) as part of the overall process for the issuance of new driver licenses in Bali.
The system demonstrated to the press on January 13, 2010, is part of the Bali Police quick wins system intended to garner the approval and popular support of the people as police crack down on malfeasance and middlemen operating at the licensing centers.
While in the past applicants for driving licenses took a written test on traffic rules, the new AVIS system requires applicants to make a correct response on a test on traffic safety taken at a computer terminal.
Police told the Bali Post that those wishing a license must take the test directly and are not allowed to be accompanied while selecting their answers.
The system apparently also has a very human side. Those who take the test and do not pass will not be required to pay for the process. However, those who take the test and pass will then have to pay the Rp. 75,000 (US$7.50) for a new license.
The AVIS test is reportedly only required of applicants for a new driving license.
Meanwhile, DenPost has confirmed that the new AVIS technology will, as a practical consequence, mean that illiterate individuals will be banned from obtaining a driver's license.
14 separate computers terminals are in operation for the new tests, with each applicant given a maximum of 10 minutes to answer 30 question on traffic rules and regulations.
Problems Ahead
During the demonstration of the new system to the press, a number of ranking police officers were asked to demonstrate the test system. Many of the law enforcement officers appeared stymied by the questions, pondering over which answer to select. 9 incorrect answers out of a total 30 questions results in a "failing grade" and the requirement to come back on another day to take the test again.
While none of the police offers failed the test; at the same time none managed to score 100% correct answers.


Bali Police Launch New Traffic License System
Computerized Driver Tests in Bali Intended to Help Eliminate Middlemen and Improve Screening for Driver Skills.

The Bali Traffic Police have just launched a new Audio Visual Integrated System (AVIS) as part of the overall process for the issuance of new driver licenses in Bali.
The system demonstrated to the press on January 13, 2010, is part of the Bali Police quick wins system intended to garner the approval and popular support of the people as police crack down on malfeasance and middlemen operating at the licensing centers.
While in the past applicants for driving licenses took a written test on traffic rules, the new AVIS system requires applicants to make a correct response on a test on traffic safety taken at a computer terminal.
Police told the Bali Post that those wishing a license must take the test directly and are not allowed to be accompanied while selecting their answers.
The system apparently also has a very human side. Those who take the test and do not pass will not be required to pay for the process. However, those who take the test and pass will then have to pay the Rp. 75,000 (US$7.50) for a new license.
The AVIS test is reportedly only required of applicants for a new driving license.
Meanwhile, DenPost has confirmed that the new AVIS technology will, as a practical consequence, mean that illiterate individuals will be banned from obtaining a driver's license.
14 separate computers terminals are in operation for the new tests, with each applicant given a maximum of 10 minutes to answer 30 question on traffic rules and regulations.
Problems Ahead
During the demonstration of the new system to the press, a number of ranking police officers were asked to demonstrate the test system. Many of the law enforcement officers appeared stymied by the questions, pondering over which answer to select. 9 incorrect answers out of a total 30 questions results in a "failing grade" and the requirement to come back on another day to take the test again.
While none of the police offers failed the test; at the same time none managed to score 100% correct answers.


Bali Police Launch New Traffic License System
Computerized Driver Tests in Bali Intended to Help Eliminate Middlemen and Improve Screening for Driver Skills.

The Bali Traffic Police have just launched a new Audio Visual Integrated System (AVIS) as part of the overall process for the issuance of new driver licenses in Bali.
The system demonstrated to the press on January 13, 2010, is part of the Bali Police quick wins system intended to garner the approval and popular support of the people as police crack down on malfeasance and middlemen operating at the licensing centers.
While in the past applicants for driving licenses took a written test on traffic rules, the new AVIS system requires applicants to make a correct response on a test on traffic safety taken at a computer terminal.
Police told the Bali Post that those wishing a license must take the test directly and are not allowed to be accompanied while selecting their answers.
The system apparently also has a very human side. Those who take the test and do not pass will not be required to pay for the process. However, those who take the test and pass will then have to pay the Rp. 75,000 (US$7.50) for a new license.
The AVIS test is reportedly only required of applicants for a new driving license.
Meanwhile, DenPost has confirmed that the new AVIS technology will, as a practical consequence, mean that illiterate individuals will be banned from obtaining a driver's license.
14 separate computers terminals are in operation for the new tests, with each applicant given a maximum of 10 minutes to answer 30 question on traffic rules and regulations.
Problems Ahead
During the demonstration of the new system to the press, a number of ranking police officers were asked to demonstrate the test system. Many of the law enforcement officers appeared stymied by the questions, pondering over which answer to select. 9 incorrect answers out of a total 30 questions results in a "failing grade" and the requirement to come back on another day to take the test again.
While none of the police offers failed the test; at the same time none managed to score 100% correct answers.


 
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