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Komplek Pertokoan
Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Tel:
++62 361 286 283

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++62 361 286 284

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1-800-506-8633

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Bali Discovery

SITE PATA ASITA
Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #950 - 17 November 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Holey, Holey, Holey
Bali Reveals 2012 Roadway Budget Saying 17.32% of all Roads Now 'Badly Damaged'

Citing the need to maintain distribution systems, public safety and support the island’s tourism industry, governor Made Mangku Pastika has allocated Rp. 135.9 billion (US$15.4 million) in the 2012 provincial budget for repairs and improvements on Bali’s roads.

Kompas.com says the amount set aside for road repairs is more that the Rp. 85.3 billion (US$9.7 million) spent in 2011 on the 860.53 kilometers road network stretching across the 9 regencies and metropolitan districts of Bali.

17.32% of all roads in Bali are now categorized by the provincial government as “badly damaged” and in urgent need of repairs.
 


Holy Smoke!
Public Survey Shows 93% of Balinese Want Smoking Restrictions in Public Places while Religious Leaders Want Temples and Religious Ceremonies Off-Limits to Smoking.

Beritabali.com says a survey conducted by the provincial government of Bali shows  93% of Bali’s residents support the implementation and enforcement of non-smoking areas.

While the public seems to strongly support anti-smoking measures, legislators in the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) however continue to struggle with the final draft of new anti-smoking rules.

The head of the Bali Health Service, Nyoman Sutedja, told the press he was delighted with the results of the public survey that, somewhat surprisingly, found that even 80.7% of active smokers support the establishment of smoke-free zones.

Sutedja said many of the diseases suffered by the Balinese are in the form of cardiovascular disease connected with smoking, including congested lungs and high blood pressure.

Of great concern to Sutedja are results from the same survey showing wider use of tobacco by 10-year-old children in Bali. A 2007 survey determined 24.9% of ten-year-old children smoked, a number that has increased to 31% among 10-year-olds in Bali by 2010.

Religious Temples to Be Included in Smoking Ban

The chairman of the Hindu High Council (Parisadha Hindu Darma Indonesia), Ngurah Sudiana, is calling on legislators to include Puras or religious temples in Bali in those areas off-limit to smoking together with all religious gatherings.

The call for the smoking ban at religious events is a surprise, given the tradition of providing free cigarettes whenever hosting or organizing a religious ceremony.


Forming a Compound Sentence
Two Central Java Lawmakers Get Tough Sentences for Narcotics Violations Committed During a Bali Study Tour

Two panels of judges in the Denpasar District Court have handed down stiff separate sentences to two regional legislators sitting on the Semarang, Central Java House of Representatives (DPRD-Semarang).

Legislators, Bambang Sutrisno (45) who served as chairman of the PDIP faction was sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of Rp. 2 billion (US$113,600). Meanwhile, a colleague, Eddy Purwanto (37), who is a member of Commission C at the DPRD-Semarang from the Democratic Party, was sentenced to four years prison and fined Rp. 800 million (US$90,900).

The two provincial legislators were arrested on Tuesday, February 1, 2011, in possession of crystal methamphetamine (sabu-sabu).

Sutrisno was found guilty of receiving 0.56 gross grams (0.20 net grams) of methamphetamine. Purwanto was found guilty in a separate trial of having in his possession illegal narcotics.

The sentences handed down were in both instances much more severe than that requested by prosecutors who had sought only 10 months prison for Sutrisno and 15 months for Purwanto.

The judge condemned the men, saying as lawmakers the two men had created a poor example to the public.

Purwanto immediately told the court that he would appeal his sentence while Sutrisno is taking an appeal of his sentence under advisement.

Related Articles

[Legislators on Trial]

[A Lawmaker’s Study Tour]
 
[Men Who Make Also Break the Law]



A Crime Against Nature
Australian Hamish Stuart Samson Apprehended in Bali for Selling Products from Endangered Wildlife.

The Agency for Nature Conservation (BKSDA) working in cooperation with the Special Crime Directorate of the Bali Police (Reskrimsus) have confiscated the hides of tens of protected animals during a raid on a shop owned by Australian Hamish Stuart Samson (34) on Jalan Patih Jelantik in Bali.

Beritabali.com and Bali Post report that the raid seized body organs from protected animals, 4 animal skeleton and 37 crocodile hides, 26 snakeskins and 7 wallets made from crocodile hides.

According to Sumasono, the section chief for BKSDA Bali, the shop was raided after police received information that the sale of organs form protected species were taking place from the location. Press reports say that Samson told the police during interrogations that the animal products were purchased from Jakarta and Surabaya.

Sumarsono explained: “The skeleton of a small crocodile sells for Rp. 15 million (US$1,700). The skin of the reptile sells for between Rp. 2-3 million (US$225-US$340). He said the organs were old stock.”

Sumarsono that that Samson was not detained because a lawyer guaranteed his attendance and cooperation in the criminal investigation process.

Samson may be charged under the Conservation Law of 1990 that provides for up to five years imprisonment and a fine of Rp. 100 million (US$11,360). Police say the Australian is also guilty of violating a 1998 law on the preservation of rare plant and animal products.


How Goes the Best Western Kuta?
Badung Officials Asking the Police 'Whatís the Holdup' in Criminal Complaint Filed against Best Western Kuta Resort in Bali

Officially closed and sealed by the Badung provincial government in late May, the Bali Best Western Kuta Resort continues to operate despite the being accused of operating an unlicensed 111-room hotel erected without a building permit and in blatant violation of local zoning laws.

A complaint filed with the police against the hotel’s owners by a special “ad hoc” legal team appointed by the Badung regional government in early June has apparently “stalled.” In order to determine the current status of the police complaint, the regent of Badung, Anak Agung Gde Agung, together with a number of key regency officials, paid a call on vice-chief of the Denpasar police precinct, Putu Mahasena, on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.

As reported by The Bali Post, the Regent and his team held in depth discussions with Mahasena. Said Agung: “Our report was filed on June 6, 2011. Certainly, the Denpasar precinct must have processed our complaint?”

Agung was accompanied by the head of public relations for Badung, Wede Dharmaja, the regency's lawyer Suryatin Lijaya S.H. and the legal staff of the Badung regency. The initial report filed with the police included statements from a number of witnesses substantiating the complaint against the hotel. Questioning the delays, the regency is asking the police if they  require more witnesses to support their complaint?

Mahasena, speaking on behalf of the police, admitted he was unprepared to comment publicly on the case because he has yet to receive a report on who has been interviewed by the police in connection with the complaint. He did, however, assure all concerned that the case was in process.

“This is a technical issue. Of course, the case is still being processed by the criminal division,” explained Mahasena.

Related Articles

[Crime and Punishment in Bali]
 
[Keeping the Rule of Law Under Cover]

[Warming to the Fight]
 
[Best Western Kuta Changes its Name and Fights Back
 
[All the Bets Westerns End in a Showdown]
 
[Best Western Kuta in Bali Posted and Closed]


Pulling the Strings of Power in Bali
Kite Flying Contests Blamed for Major Power Outages in Bali.

An official of the State Electricity Board (PT PLN) for Bali blames two blackouts in as many days to disruptions on two 150 KV high-voltage lines causing momentary power outages affecting the entire island.

The power interruptions took place on Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21, 2011. The first interruption on Saturday, August 20th happened six separate times in quick succession at a single location when kites in a local kite-flying competition at Banjar Biaung in east Denpasar short-circuited the high-voltage lines.

According to the State new agency Antara, the kites have the potential of causing lasting damage to Bali’s electrical system, reducing the life of PLN’s power equipments. When similar disturbance occur, the official warned, these will be follow by interruptions throughout the Bali power grid. The interruptions also cause problems at power generating centers in Denpasar at Pesanggaran and at power generating stations as far away as Gilimanuk.

The first wide-spread outage took place on Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 14:54 on Line #1 between Pesanggaran-Sanur. Later, on the same day, a second interruptions occurred  at 16:22 on transmission line #2 connecting Sanur and Gianyar.

Power workers were compelled to turn off power supply to Padang Galak, Banjar Biaung, Jalan Soka, Jalan Supratam Timur, Jalan Merak and Banjar Tangtu Kesiman for 1.5 hours due to the rapid and repeated assault on high power lines from large kites.

The next day up to four more  interruptions happened in the same area between 13:45 and 17:05. And, again, to prevent more widespread problems PLN officials took the precautionary step of turning off the power for three hours to selected areas of the island in close proximity to kite competition.

PLN officials are asking the public not to fly kites in close proximity to power lines.


Joining the Battle on HIV in Bali
Dine at La Luciola Restaurant on Wednesday, September 28th to Help ĎBali Pedulií Operate a HIV Clinic in Kuta

The romantic seaside venue of La Lucciola Restaurant in Seminyak will turn over its private Firefly Room on Wednesday, September 28, 2011, for a special dinner in benefit of Bali Peduli – an association of local community members working to help stem the alarming rise of HIV infection amongst young people on Bali and to provide early diagnosis and treatment for those infected.

The evening will include a short presentation by Dr. Steve Wignall MD, an HIV physician and clinical researcher; National Policy Adviser for M2M HIV Policy Indonesia and Senior Medical Advisor to the Clinton Foundation’s efforts to increase access to treatment for HIV+ Papuans.

Sponsor have provided a number of exciting raffle gifts with proceeds going to Bali Peduli.

Bali Peduli provides free, high quality, one-stop sexual health services for HIV sufferers in Bali - including rapid, accurate HIV testing, sexually transmitted infection diagnosis, confidential counseling and treatment in the Bali Medika Clinic in Kuta. A newly refurbished clinic is ready to open thanks to generous support from the community for the costs of renovation, medical equipment and 3 months rent.

More funds are now urgently needed to fund ongoing operations of the Clinic.

Attendance at the Bali Peduli fundraiser is strictly limited to 40 dinners.

Rp. 1 million covers the cost of dinner, wine and selected beverages.

Dinner will be served which promptly at 7:00 pm

For more information, to make a donation or to reserve tickets contact David Mendoza at [email]  
 


Bali Cargo Shippers Threatened by Drop in Exports
30% Decline in Exports Forcing Bali Cargo Agents to Curtail or Close Operations

Bisnis.com warns that a number of cargo companies in Bali are in danger of closure due to a sudden decline in exports estimated at 30%.

The chairman of the IATA Cargo Agent Club Bali (ICAC-Bali), Handy Saputra, said the downturn in exports has been a heavy blow for cargo agents. “If this condition remains unchanged through the end of the year, it is not impossible that many cargo companies will close,” warned Handy.

Handy linked the current woes of the cargo business to the effects of the global economic downturn and the earthquake-tsunami tragedy in Japan.

According to the ICAC-Bali chairman, many cargo agents in Bali have reduced their payrolls in order to survive while some have closed altogether.

While there are many cargo agents in Bali, only 21 have IATA (International Air Transport Association) certification, which qualifies them for membership in the ICAC-Bali. The organization continuously strives to improve the skills and knowledge of its membership by conducting regular training programs and workshops.


Whatís New Pussycat?
U.S. 20/20 Correspondent Dan Harris of ABC News Visits Baby Tigers at the Bali Zoo.

is from ABC News (USA) 20/20 recently dropped by Bali to pay an up-close-and-person visit with new baby Sumatran tigers born at the Bali Zoo.

During his visit he fed and played with the baby tigers that Harris found extremely cute.

The feeling was mutual as  the baby tigers found Dan Harris almost "good enough to eat!"

Related Links

[Bali Zoo]

[Bali Zoo Half-day Tour with Lunch]
 
[Bali Half-Day Tour]


Pecatu Residents File Suit Against Bali Pecatu Graha
Pecatu Residents Seek US$24 million from PT Bali Pecatu Graha Company Owned by Tommy Suharto.

Claiming that compensation for land and buildings promised them by PT Bali Pecatu Graha (BPG) owned by Hutomo Mandala Putra (Tommy Suharto) remains unpaid, eighty-four former residents of Pecatu in South Bali have filed a case before the Denpasar District Court.

BeritaBali.com reports that Suharto, the Son of Indonesia’s late President, was named together with Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika as defendants in the citizens’ suit.

The documents filed with the Court seek Rp. 212 billion (US$24 million) in damages. That amount is comprised of Rp. 54 billion (US$6.1 billion) for lost plants and trees; Rp. 6.2 billion (US$704,000) for lost homes and buildings; and Rp. 151 billion (US$17.2 million) for lost lands. In addition, non-material losses of Rp. 20 billion (US$2.3 million) are also being sought collectively by the plaintiffs.

Behind the suit are a long-standing complaint tied to a 1995 agreement between the traditional landholders at Pecatu, the provincial government of Bali and PT BPG.

The lawyers representing the plaintiffs, Made Arjaya and Umi Martina, said, “in the (1995) agreement, Tommy as the first defendant and the Governor of Bali as the second defendant agreed to trade lands measuring 1,231,400 square meters located in the village of Pecatu, Jimbaran district.”

In the agreement PT BPG was obliged to replace the land taken for their development with productive lands measuring 1,862,000 square meters. The company headed by Suharto was also required to hand over the land to the individuals land titles of ownership measuring 200 square meters to each of the displaced Pecatu residents.

Moreover, Suharto’s company were required under the agreement to build homes on the replacement lands as well as provide gainful employment for former resident at the PT BPG project.

The citizens’ group now argues that more than 15 years after the initial agreement with PT BPG has not been fulfilled by Suharto.

“Actually, the local residents have sent repeated letters, but they have been ignored, as demonstrated by the ongoing physical construction (at the site) such as the golf course,” explained lawyer Umu Martina

The complainants say that any compensation paid by Tommy Soeharto was not in accordance with the 1995 agreement.

Related Articles

[Garuda Files Appeal in Tommy Soeharto Case]
 
[Truth or Consequences]

[Hopefully a Bulletproof Case]
 


Travel has its Compensations
New Rules Imposed for Indonesian Airlines on Compensating Passengers for Delayed Flights, Lost Luggage and Catastrophic Events.

Indonesian airlines are now being compelled by the government to bring compensation paid to disappointed passengers and in the event of catastrophic events more into line with international airline practice.

A Transportation Ministry decree signed on August 8, 2011, provides for a number of changes that will impact on those flying in Indonesia effective November 8, 2011.

The traveling public can look to the following changes:

• Airlines operating more than 4 hours behind schedule will be obliged to pay RP. 300,00 (US$34) per passenger.

• Airlines rerouting passengers via an unscheduled stop must pay Rp. 150,000 (US$17) to each passenger.

• Passengers whose luggage is lost by the airline will be entitled to be paid Rp. 200,000 (US$23) per kilogram to a maximum of Rp. 4 million (US$455).

• Cargo lost by an airline must be compensated at Rp. 100,000 (US$11.40) per kilogram.

• Cargo damaged by an airline must be compensated at Rp. 50,000 (US$5.70) per kilogram.

• Catastrophic events resulting in a passenger fatality resulting from the airline’s negligence will be compensated to a minimum amount of Rp.1.25 billion (US$142,000).

The Indonesian National Air Carrier Association (INACA) while accepting that the changes in the rule are a natural evolution in improving service to the public are asking for more than 3 months to put procedures and insurance in place to meet the new requirements imposed by the government .


Saving Baliís Traditional Markets
Moratorium Urged on New Supermarkets and Convenience Stores in Bali to Preserve Role of Traditional Markets.

Regents across Bali are being urged by the governor to impose a moratorium on the opening of all new supermarkets or chain convenience stores

Beritabali.com reports that the widening network of convenience stores and supermarkets, even in otherwise remote regions of Bali, are seen as a threat to traditional markets.

Governor Made Mangku Pastika told the press on Thursday, August 25, 2011, that the regents across Bali do not need to await a letter from his office to impose a moratorium. But, if the regents were seeking a legal basis for the moratorium he was prepared to issue an instruction covering the proposed moratorium.

“If you really need a circular instruction from me, then I will make the circular. However, the regents and mayors should be able to take the initiative on their own. Just stop giving out new permits; nothing will be lost (in doing so). Such things do not need to be done by only the governor. That’s ridiculous,” said the Pastika.

Pastika said he hope that not only would a moratorium be imposed on supermarkets, but that steps would be taken to revitalize traditional markets. Such revitalization is needed to enhance the attractiveness of using traditional markets by the public.


Tiang Sing Bisa Mebasa Bali!
Is the Balinese Language Dying?

The chief of the Balinese Culture Agency (Kadisbud), Ketut Suastika, has told the National News Agency Antara that the number of speakers of the Balinese language is on the decline.

“It’s estimated that the number of Balinese speakers now number less than one million,” said Suastika.

If the total number of Balinese speakers is compared with the total population of Bali that now numbers nearly 4 million, the 1 million remaining Balinese speakers is considered insufficient to ensure the langage's survival in the future.

To make his case, Suastika said that among young Balinese families there are few who use “meme” or “bapa” as the way to refer to “mother” and “father.” He observes that most Balinese now use the Indonesian language equivalents in such contexts.

“In fact, there’s nothing wrong if the Balinese use Indonesian and foreign languages, but this should be done in combination with the Balinese language,” he cautioned. The Bali government officer charged with overseeing cultural matters is concerned that the Balinese will one day forget how to use their “mother tongue.”

“In the future, I see a need to use Balinese in the work environment and in educational settings. Or perhaps, a day each week dedicated to the use of Balinese could be created. For instance, every Sunday or some other special day could be set aside where workers and students are required to communicate in Balinese,” said Suastika. In this way, he feels children will begin to know and appreciate the Balinese language.

Plans are underway to hold a Balinese Language Congress in October 2011. Held once every five years, the Congress will discuss issues connected to Balinese and other provincial languages.

Suastika added: “In this Congress the problem of the Balinese language and Balinese writing system which are beginning to disappear will be discussed in order to devise strategies  for the language’s survival.” 


In the Tracks of Terry Fox
Four Seasons Jimbaran Bali Hosts ĎHope for Lifeí Fun Walk and Bike Ride, Sunday, September 18, 2011 to Raise Funds for Cancer Care and Treatment in Bali

Bringing hope and inspiration for people in Bali who are battling cancer, Four Seasons Resorts Bali is hosting the 3rd Four Seasons “Hope for Life” (formerly the Terry Fox Run), on Sunday, September 18, 2011.

All are invited to take part in a 5 kilometer fun walk or 21 kilometer fun bike ride, starting at 7:00 a.m. The route begins and finishes at the beach near PJ’s restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay. A celebratory party will follow the challenge, providing a light breakfast, free-flowing beverages and live music from Joni Agung & Double T Band.

The 2008 event attracted 1700 participants and raised an impressive Rp 248 million for cancer awareness and treatment in Bali. These funds helped to support cancer care and treatment throughout 2009 and 2010, working in cooperation with Yayasan Mitra Peduli Kanker. Many Bali residents have benefited from free health seminars and cancer screenings, as well as counseling for families courtesy of the funds raised at past events.

Four Seasons “Hope for Life” is inspired by the courageous story of Terry Fox, a Canadian teenager diagnosed with bone cancer and underwent the amputation of his right leg. In 1980, left with only one leg, he set out to run the entire way across Canada – a distance of some 8,000 km – to raise funds as for cancer research. Unfortunately his battle with cancer cut his run short, but his determination has proven to be a great inspiration over the intervening 3 decades.

One of the people motivated by Terry was Isadore Sharp, founder of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. When Terry could not complete his journey, Sharp telegrammed Terry to promise that a run would be held in his name every year, writing: “You started it. We will not rest until your dream to find a cure for cancer is realized.”

Terry pinned this telegram to his hospital bed and expressed how much the message meant to him. Sadly, Fox died of cancer in 1981.

Four Seasons has taken Sharp’s promise to Terry Fox around the world, building on the enthusiastic support of the company’s employees and Canadian consular staff to introduce cancer fundraisers to every city in which a Four Seasons hotel or resort operates.

Isadore Sharp, who personally experienced the loss of a son to cancer, believes that one day a brilliant researcher – perhaps one funded by a Terry Fox grant – will find a cure for the disease. “Terry did not lose the fight,” Sharp said. “Terry’s dream was to raise awareness of cancer, and he lived to see it fulfilled. His achievement is a stunning reminder of what can be accomplished when just one person sets out to make a difference. Four Seasons is proud to have played a role in helping Terry’s dream come true – and in ensuring that it lives on through worldwide participation in the extraordinary fundraising event that he inspired.”

Tickets for Four Seasons “Hope for Life” are available at Rp 50,000 (US$5.70) per person at either Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay or at Four Seasons Resort at Sayan, Bali.

All of the proceeds from ticket sales and donations are given to support cancer care and treatment in Bali.

For more information, the public can call Dewi Lina at ++62-(0)0361-701010 or [email


The Marginalization of Paradise
Art and Culture Activist, Nyoman Gunarsa, Sees Current Trends in Architecture as Signaling the Decline of Baliís Culture

Nyoman Gunarsa, one of Bali’s most renowned artists and museum curators, feels that Bali’s culture is under siege and deteriorating with the passage of time.

Cultural degradation is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the development of the island’s architecture. “This fact is seen in the appearance of minimalist buildings divorced from Balinese architecture.
As quoted by the National News Agency Antara, Gunarsa warns that the disappearance of “Bali style” in local architecture is spreading. “Many temples (pura) are being rehabilitated and renovated, but the with the elimination of original elements that have historical roots hundreds of years old, such as red bricks and stonework,” said Gunarsa.

Moreover, he bemoaned the even more destructive tendency in rehabilitating temples of throwing away old building materials to be replaced with new elements, losing in the process the meaning and value of the spiritual sacrifice and hard world of the earlier generation whose work is being renovated. Gunarsa added, “imagine how a 'kori agung pura' that is hundreds of years old is renovated with black stones and carved ornaments of uncertain origin.”

Gunarsa called for a more conservative approach to renovating puras, rehabilitating rather than merely replacing damaged elements.

“If this can be done, only then do we have what can be called the preservation of the sanctity of temples. Completely knocking down and replacing temples with new building materials is not conservation,” explained Gunarsa.

The outspoken defender of Balinese art and culture also criticized the ornamentation of buildings, which is becoming increasing removed from Balinese norms. Adding: “Just look at these modern building which have the smallest amount of Balinese architecture. This will eventually sink our local culture. There is are no longer any devotees left to preserve (these elements).”

Related Article

[I Nyoman Gunarsa – At One with His Art ]




Sarbagita Bus System Lacks a Vision
Editorial: Baliís New Sarbagita Bus System Proving a Major Disappointment

Launched in mid-August, the Sarbagita Mass Transit Bus System is proving itself to be a major disappointment to both the government and the public the system was meant to serve.

Intended to connect the southern, more populous regions of Bali, the initial 15 shiny new buses traveling from halt to halt are largely empty. Dreams that the bus system would be instantly popular, becoming an important first step among a range of transportation projects intended to reduce traffic are now fading fast.

So what went wrong with the well-intended mass transit dreams for the Sarbagita System?

The current state of the Sarbagita System suggests it is under the control of bureaucrats with little understanding and perhaps even less care for what constitutes a successful mass transit system. 

The Sarbagita Mass Transit System is disappointing on a number of levels:

The System was Late. The Jakarta-financed bus system was originally slated to start operations in 2009, only came on line almost two years later, commencing operations in August 2011.

The Bus Halts are Poorly Planned. Underlining the lack of planning and clear thinking that misguides this project, new and costly bus halts have been hastily constructed directly on top of existing sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to now detour and walk in the traffic on some of Bali’s busiest roads.

The Bus Halts are Poorly Placed. Land should have been acquired to create traffic bays large enough to accommodate sidewalks and platforms permitting the orderly embarkation and disembarkation of passengers. However, with only one or two notable exceptions, the bus halts are poorly positioned with bus stops - when being used by a bus - closing an entire lane of the roadway, often only a short distance from busy traffic intersections.

The Bus Halt are Not Handicap Friendly. Well-planned mass transit systems have the potential of immeasurably enhancing the life of the handicapped by opening access to education, entertainment and employment opportunities. However, the new Bali bus halts, jammed on top of sidewalks and using a minimum of space, are inaccessible to wheelchair bound passengers. In this regard, the provincial government has launched a bus system that ignores Law No. 4 of 1997 (Section 4) guaranteeing accessibility to public transport for disabled citizens.

• The Bus System Apparently Has No Marketing Plan. The Bali Sarbagita Bus System operates on the misassumption that if the government builds a mass transit system the public will automatically flock to it in great numbers. There has been little public marketing to guarantee the bus system's success. Bus halts are devoid of branding, schedules and route maps. Hotels and public places have no route maps or information to share with workers, local residents and visiting tourists. Bus stops even lack signage advising passengers the name of  the halt. And, perhaps most damning, the Sarbagita Bus System may be have the dubious distinction of being one of the few bus systems in operating anywhere in the world today without its own website.

The Bus System Has Done Little to Meet the Needs of the Community. Has the bus system undertaken public education using the press, hotel trade unions and local schools to publicize operating details and the advantages of travel by bus? In planning the new system, was consideration ever given to building secure parking lots that would permits a hotel worker in Nusa Dua to store their motorcycle in, say, Sanur or Batubulan, while riding the bus to and from their place of employment? Where are the published rules on how to use the new system? Is this information published on the non-existent website? Are there discounts for senior citizens? For that matter, Is information avaiable anywhere in both Indonesian and English making the system "user-friendly" to Bali’s many tourist visitors? Unfortunately, these question are rhetorical and as far as we can tell universally answerable in the negative.

Managements Execution to Date Looks Amateurish. Sadly, despite having two years to prepare, the Sarabagita Mass Transit System remains a relatively slipshod operation. Fares are posted on pieces of paper haphhazardly stuck in bus windows with cellophane tape. Meanwhile, passengers are often prevented from disembarking or boarding at their bus halt by cars and other vehicles parked in front of the halts.

Are we being too harsh on Bali's new bus system? Share your experiences on using the Sarbagita Bus System with our readers [email on Sarbagita Bus System}
 


Light Up the World in Kuta
Kuta Karnival IX Returns to Bali October 14-16, 2011

Adopting a theme of “Light up the World” and reflecting the organizing committee’s view that these are the golden days for tourism, the Kuta Karnival IX is set for October 14-16, 2011 and will open in front of the Pura Segera in Kuta with a colossal cek dance and an opening dinner attended by officials, Kuta business people and members of the media.


Plans for the Kuta Karnival IX are only beginning to emerge, but are reported to include the release of 500 turtle hatchlings back into the ocean and a memorial service at the sea’s edge for the victims of the Bali bombings.

The Kuta Karnival IX highlight will be a parade and exhibition of fashion and culture stretching the entire length of Kuta Beach with a giant performance stage located on Kuta Beach opposite the entrance to Jalan Benarsari.

The Chairman of Kuta Karnival IX, Morgan Made Suartha, formally announced this year’s event in a meeting with the regent of Badung, Anak Agung Gde Agung on Thursday, August 25, 2011.

Details remain sketchy with a website including program details anticipated in the near future.

Stay tuned.


Plans to Increase Parking Fees
Denpasar Officials Want to Increase Parking Fees Between 50% and 100%.

Denpasar’s plans to increase parking fees by between 50% to 100% is drawing criticism from a number of quarters.

If implemented, the new plan would increase the cost of parking a motorcycle from Rp. 1,000 (US$0.12) to Rp. 2,000 (US$0.23) and for a car from Rp. 2,000 (US$0.23) to Rp. 3,000 (US$0.34).

Claiming the increase in parking fees will be too burdensome to the public, legislators from the Denpasar House of Representatives (DPRD-Denpasar) are threatening to oppose the parking fee increase which, if approved, would come into effect in late September.

Fees collected from parking lots in Denpasar total Rp. 26.38 billion (US$3.22 million) and from roadside parking Rp. 6.34 billion (US$720,000).


The Route Less Traveled
Bali Post Survey Show Little Public Enthusiasm and Support for New Sarbagita Bus System

Bali Post has conducted a written and phone survey with results showing widespread disaffection with the new Sarbargita Mass Transit Bus System launch in mid August.

While there is a high level of desire to “try” the new buses, the general consensus seems to be that few feel they are in a position to have any practical use for the new bus system. The public is also calling on the management of the bus to undertake an evaluation study in order to improve the public’s willingness to take a public bus. People are also calling for concrete information on routes, schedules and guarantees that the buses will arrive on schedule.

When the public was asked if the operation of the Sabargita Bus System has provided a convenience for the public in terms of on-time performance, low cost and comfort - only 22% of those responding replied in the affirmative.

The majority of respondents to the Bali Post Survey felt the Sarbagita System offers no guarantee of arriving on time at their place of employment.

43% of the respondents stated that the buses that travel Bali’s main protocol routes offer no certainty as to schedule, with the the public still confused as to the location of the designated bus halts. Respondent said they were uncertain on the rules of operation, for instance if passengers were only able to embark and disembark at the official halts.

More than 35% of the respondents said they had no knowledge of the operational details of the new bus system. The same respondents said they had “heard of the bus system” but had not had an occasion to use the system.

When asked about their desire to use the Sarbagita Bus System, 49% said they would consider riding the bus if it was managed well with a clear set of rules. According to the Bali Post, the currently high level of private vehicle usage in Bali mandates that in order to be effective any public transport system needs to be well designed with a viable route network. If the public service is based solely on low cost and comfort the new system will lack effectiveness.

46% of the respondents said they had no desires to use the Sarbagita Bus System. The segment doubted the professionalism of the new services, saying they felt it would only represent an added burden on the provincial budget. Among those not interested in using the new bus system was an expression of the belief that the new bus system was focused on the acquisition and maintenance of the buses, but not on providing a useful public service. These same respondents to the survey said they did not thing the system would help Bali overcome traffic congestion.

Only 5% had no response to the survey’s question regarding their preparedness to ride the new bus system.

The Bali Post concluded that the public wants the new bus system to cover the entire region; the system’s management to provide detailed information on operations; the addition of more bus halts; and guarantees of on-time performance. The survey respondent also said that civil servants should be obligated to use the new busses and that students be given free access to the bus system.

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Donít Trust What You See
An Exhibition of Paintings by Suliyat Bumar at Adiís Gallery in Ubud, Bali September 3-28, 2011.

Contemporary Artist Suliyat Bumar was born in Malang, East Java in 1970.

Prolific and boldly expressive, he has participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions dating from the mid-1990s. Internationally his work has been shown in Hong Kong, Italy. Switzerland, Sweden and Germany.

Adi Bachmann, the owner and curator of Adi’s Gallery in Ubud, Bali caught up with Suliyat Bumar for a free-ranging interview on the eve of his month-long exhibition September 3-28, 2011.

The Interview: Suliyat Bumar

Adi Bachmann: Looking through your body of work, it shows how productive you are. You are a very busy painter. Why is this so?

Suliyat Bumar: "It is a commitment. Everything should be done with responsibility. Becau se it is not always easy to get something - it is not like turning your palm."

Adi Bachmann: What calls you every morning and gets you out of bed?

Suliyat Bumar: "I am not really sure. But every time I open my eyes, I just want to lead my life better than before."

Adi Bachmann: What would do if you didn’t paint?

Suliyat Bumar: (laughing) "Painting is a part of my life. So, if I don’t paint, I will lose something in my life."

Adi Bachmann: Let’s try some word association. What do the following terms mean to you?

Adi Bachmann: Ambition?

Suliyat Bumar: "It is very important to improve a career, but I don’t give a priority to ambition in my life."

Adi Bachmann: Art Business?

Suliyat Bumar: "Because I earn a living by selling my paintings, I certainly have to learn about it and I think it is very useful for the continuation of the process of creation."

Adi Bachmann: Creativity?

Suliyat Bumar: "It is absolutely needed by painters in order to make fine artwork"

Adi Bachmann: Facts?

Suliyat Bumar: "Enjoy whatever you have in your life and try to be better."

Adi Bachmann: Fantasy?

Suliyat Bumar: "The dreamer is the successful one."

Adi Bachmann: Feelings?

Suliyat Bumar: "Feelings and sensitivity should be understood considering them logically, this is most important."

Adi Bachmann: Indonesia?

Suliyat Bumar:  "I am very proud of Indonesia and love her in her weaknesses and strengths because this country gives me the freedom to be a painter."

Adi Bachmann: Inspiration?

Suliyat Bumar:  "Be wide open to receive everything internally as well as externally."

Adi Bachmann: Intuition?

Suliyat Bumar: "It is a point of view needed to make a decision on the next step."

Adi Bachmann: Irony?

Suliyat Bumar: "It is a hidden target."

Adi Bachmann: Politics?

Suliyat Bumar: "Reasoning is important in this life."

Adi Bachmann: Your paintings are very often strong in colors and brush strokes. What is it you want to express?

Suliyat Bumar: "My honesty and my ignorance."

Adi Bachmann: Almost from the beginning, you use numbers and letters in your paintings. Why do you do this?

Suliyat Bumar: "Letters, alphabet, numbers, words and sentences are objects no different from ‘things,’ so it’s not exaggerated if I try to explore things visually through my ignorance and place the letters just the way they are and they do not represent anything."

Adi Bachmann: Can you explain the meaning of  “Don’t trust what you see” – the title of your current exhibition?

Suliyat Bumar: "Don’t trust what you see. This sentence is more than just an offer for introspection - to face every problem in our lives. We cannot judge something just by seeing it because our eyesight is limited. It takes deeper investigation in order to truly understand."

                                   Don’t Trust What You See
                            A Solo Exhibition by Suliyat Bumar

                       Adi’s Gallery, Jalan Bisma 102, Ubud, Bali
                           Open Daily from 10:00 a.m, - 5:00 p.m.


 
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