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

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #946 - 20 October 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


A Losing Score
Indonesian English Teacher Gets 20-Years in Prison for Smuggling Methamphetamines into Bali

A 39-year-old English teacher from East Java reportedly collapse in the Denpasar District Court on Thursday, May 10, 2012, when a panel of judges handed her a 20-year sentence for trying to smuggle 3.5 kilograms of methamphetamine through Bali’s airport in October 2011.

Theresa Avilla Yanti Siwi, in addition to 20 years behind bar, was also fined Rp. 10 billion (US$1.1 million), a failure of which to pay will add an additional six months in jail.

Prosecutors had demanded life imprisonment instead of seeking the death penalty, allowed under Indonesia’s tough anti-narcotics laws.

According to The Jakarta Globe, the head of the judicial panel, Gunawan Tri Budiono, ruled the woman guilty of violating Article 113 of the 2009 law on narcotics and, in the process, of having tainted the image of educational institutions.

Arrested after flying to Bali form Kenya, the woman told police she had carried the drugs from Mozambique where she was paid US$700 to hide them in the lining of her suitcase. After her arrest, she provided the name of the drug dealer, Erika Dewi Widya Yanti, who was subsequently arrested by the police and is standing trial separately in the same case.

Also arrested and undergoing trial is Nurhadi Imron who was to sell the drugs as his part in the crime.

Because an appeal of the case would have engendered the possibility of a new verdict with the stronger penalty of death before a firing squad, Theresa’s lawyer immediately told the court his client accepted the verdict.

Related Articles

[Life, Unhappily Ever After]

[Another One Bites the Dust]
 


An Arm and a Leg for a Song and a Dance
Bali Prepares to Set Minimum Payment Level for Cultural Performances Presented to Tourism Sector

The State News Agency Antara reports the Provincial Government of Bali will soon introduce payment standards for performances employing traditional artists.

The standards are to be set forth in a new gubernatorial decree.

The head of the Culture Service of the Bali Provincial Government, I Ketut Suastika, said, “the governor’s decree will be the executing regulation within the existing provincial rules on tourism and culture.”

The standards of compensation for artists is deemed important by the government because, according to Suastika, the existing rules do little that is effective in protecting and regulating traditional performances presented to tourists. As a result, Balinese artists are frequently compelled to travel to and from performances in the back of open trucks.

Suastika asked: “Why is that national artists arrive on airplanes; while our own (local) artists come in open truck?”

He told the press that this question would be discussed with local tourism operators  to find new ways to pay proper homage to Balinese artists.

“As the next step, we will fist finish the drafting of the gubernatorial decree with the tourism service. Then, we will distribute the rules that will protect our artists and their creative work,” Suastika explained.

In the meantime, he hope that the Island’s artists will pay attention to the many offers that their way refusing to receive just any amount - no matter how small, in presenting Balinese dance and music.

Suastika said the hoped the governor’s new decrees would be completed before the end of 2012, in time for full implementation by early 2013.


Medical Tourism in Bali
Minister Opens BIMC Hospital at Nusa Dua, Bali While Calling for More International Standard Medical Facilities in Indonesia to Reduce Foreign Exchange Losses

Bisnis Bali reports quotes Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, as complaining that Indonesians spend more that US$400 million each year on foreign medical treatment.

During a visit to Bali on Saturday, May 5, 2012, to open the new BIMC Hospital on Nusa Dua, Bali, Minister Pangestu said the large amount of money siphoned off shore for medical care underlines the need for more international standard medical facilities in Indonesia.

“Many Indonesian citizens travel abroad for medical care. Data from a few years ago indicate that (the amount spent annually on foreign medical care) reaches US$400 million,” said the Minister. Pangestu added that the amount now being spent in this way could even be larger. International quality medical facilities available in Indonesia, in her view, could conserve valuable foreign exchange by providing medical services in Indonesia now being spent in neighboring ASEAN countries or other destinations.

Speaking at the inauguration of the world-class medical facility now open in Nusa Dua, Pangestu said: “Moreover, we also hope that Indonesia is able to attract foreign tourist and domestic for medical services available in Bali.” Expanding on this theme, the Tourism Minister said that medical tourism forms part of her Ministry’s priority strategic planning. To this end, the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy is coordinating their efforts with the Ministry of Health.

“I hope that in the coming year we will already have a road map for health tourism. A main factor  (in this road map) that must be addressed is making medical service in Indonesia meet international standards in order to attract foreign tourists,” explained the Minister.

Speaking at the BIMC Hospital opening in Nusa Dua, the CEO of BIMC, Craig Beveridge said his company stood ready to contribute to the success of the APEC Summit to be held in Nusa Dua next year. He explained how specially configured VVIP rooms withdirect links to security services now formed a part of the new hospital and how BIMC now maintains medical services in all areas involved in hosting the coming APEC international summit to be attended by a large number of world leaders.

Related Links

[BIMC Hospital Website]

[Bali: In Sickness and in Health]

[My Left Foot]


Out of Africa, Into Jail
Bali Prosecutors Demand 17-Year Prison Sentence of South African Librarian Caught with Drugs at Ngurah Rai Airport

A South African woman, Kedibone Sheilla Motsweneng (38), has heard Denpasar, Bali prosecutors call for a sentence of 17-years in prison and a fine of Rp. 1 billion (US$108,000) for trying to smuggle 1.9 kilograms of methamphetamine through Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport on October 23, 2011.

The sentencing demands were made at the Denpasar District Court on Monday, May 7, 2012 where prosecutors told the court that Kedibone had been proven guilty of violating the 2009 narcotics law.

The South African defendant who lists her profession as a “librarian” arrived with the drugs concealed in her luggage as she disembarked a Singapore Airlines flight in Bali on October 23, 2011.

Related Articles

[Out of Africa In to Trouble]

[Hakuna Matata?]





Bali: Bringing Culture to the World
573 Foreign Students Study the Performing Arts at Baliís Indonesia Institute of Fine Arts (ISI)

The National News Agency Antara reports 573 foreign students form 35 countries are currently enrolled at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) Denpasar.

The Rector of ISI Denpasar, I Wayan Rai, said: "Most of the foreign students in ISI have come from Japan. The number of Japanese foreign students has reached 207. They learn about percussion and Balinese dances."

The ISI provides only 58 scholarships for foreign students with the majority of those studying the performing arts paying their own way.

Explaining further, Wayan Rai added: "Most of them take short course programs. They study for two to four semesters and return to their home countries after finishing their studies."

Adding, "In their country, they expand their creativity by doing things such mixing Balinese dancing and gamelan orchestra with Western music."


Keeping Bali Healthy
Construction Start Imminent for Baliís Provincial Hospital

The Provincial Government of Bali and the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) have allocated funds from the 2012 budget to commence the construction of an International Hospital.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the treasurer of Commission IV of the DPRD-Bali, Wayan Rawan Atmaja said: “This hospital will be named the Bali Provincial Hospital. The total cost of establishing the hospital will be Rp. 199 billion (US$21.6 million).

After a meeting with the Bali Health Service, Atmaja said that an initial allocation of Rp. 116.4 billion (US$12.66 million) will come from the 2012 budget to undertake the physical construction of the hospital.

He added that plans are for the hospital to become operational in 2013. A multi-year project, the Bali Provincial Hospital will have around 200 beds.

The new hospital will be located on Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai in Denpasar on a 2.9-hectare plot of land.

The legislator boasted that the new hospital is expected to excel in cardiac care and stroke treatment.

Related Article

[In Sickness and in Health]


Bali on the Road to Smoother Traffic
Details Emerging on the New Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai Toll Way in Bali.

Radar Bali reports that officials are convinced that the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai (NBD) toll road will reduce traffic congestion in Bali by reducing the current traveling time from Sanur to Nusa Dua from one-hour to just 6 minutes.

The President Director of PT Jasamarga Bali Toll (JBT), Akmad Tito Karim, accompanied by his Public Relations Director, Hari Suseno, explained that current plans are to have six differing categories of toll fees in operation on the new road with the cost of a four-wheeled private vehicle set at  Rp. 10,000 (US$1.09). 

The new Bali toll road will also have a special lane for motorcycles, but what the tariff will be for two-wheeled motorcycles remains unclear at this point.

Tito said that the eventual final tariff to be charged will be discussed with the general people to ensure they will be able to afford the final price.

PT JBT holds a concession to operate the new toll road for 45 year. After that period, the ownership of the highway will revert to the central government.

The operators are targeting that 28,000 vehicles will use the NDB toll way every day comprised of 50% four-wheeled vehicles and the remainder made up of motorcycles, tourist buses and other vehicles.

According with the agreement with the central government, the toll tariff can be raise once every two years by approximately 4%, depending on the rate of inflation.

“Based on these assumptions, it is estimated that within 15 years the capital investment can be recouped. The more that is earned, the faster we can replenish the capital. We have to repay our loan,” explained Tito at the project office in their Ikat Plaza Complex Offices in Denpasar.

Of the total Rp. 2.4 trillion (US$261 million) invested in the toll road, Rp. 1.5 trillion (US$163 million) will be used for the actual construction of the toll road.

Rp. 1.7 trillion of the total amount has been obtained via bank borrowings. The remaining amount has been paid in by 7 State-owned enterprises. The regional government of Badung and the province of Bali have also each taken shareholdings worth Rp. 100 billion (US$10.9 million).

The new toll road will include wind speed detectors. When wind speed pass certain set limits, motorcycles will be prohibited from entering the roadway for reasons of vehicular safety.

The toll road is also being constructed at a height above the mangrove sufficient to allow traditional fishing boats to pass freely under the roadway.

Other Projects Underway in Bali

Simultaneous with the construction of the new NBD toll road, Bali is also constructing a new underpass at the Simpang Siur intersection at an estimated cost of Rp. 230 billion (US$25 million) and upgrading the Ngrurah Rai International Airport at Rp. 1.9 trillion (US$206.5 million).

The new toll way will require the sacrifice of 2.3 hectares of protected mangrove forests and require the appropriation of some 4.61 hectares of privately held land in order for the project’s completion.


Five Batubelig Restaurants That are No More
Five Beachside Restaurants in North Kuta Demolished for Zoning Violations

After a long debate and lengthy legal wrangling, the demolition of five restaurants on Batubelig beach in Kerobokan, North Kuta has finally taken place. The demolition of the popular restaurants that had no building permits and violated the minimum set back requirements from the high water mark was carried out on Monday, May 7, 2012.

The five restaurants operating in violation of local zoning laws were: La Barca, Karma, Cantina Beach, Warung Pantai and Cozy Beach.

According to Radar Bar, all five restaurants have been dismantled by their owners/operators, avoiding a threatened forced demolition by Badung regency officials.

Witnessing the demolition was Wayan Puspa Negara, a members of Badung’s House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung); A.A. Putu Yuyun Hanura Eny the District Head (Camat) for North Kuta; representatives of local citizen groups and village officials.

The demolition process was supervised by members of the Badung Enforcement Agency (Sat Pol PP). The head of that agency, Ketut Martha, explained to the press that the five buildings should have been demolished on February 8, 2012. That step was, however, delayed following a written appeal from the restaurant owners and the traditional chief of Kerobokan. A delay was granted until May 8, 2012, by the regent of Badung.

The traditional chief of Kerobokan, AA Kompyang Suteja, who witnessed the demolishment of the buildings, asked forgiveness on behalf of the community and restaurant owners for the violation of the law committed necessitating the knock down. At the same time, he said he hoped the Badung regency would give an opportunity for the five restaurant owners to re-open restaurants in the area of Batubelig beach providing such restaurants are in accordance with all local laws and regulations. Suteja pleaded for reconsideration because of the employment generated for some 250 local people by the restaurants. 


Beachwalk Gentrifies Kuta Beach
Beachwalk Soft-Opens on Jalan Pantai Kuta, Bali

Beachwalk – a Sahid Kuta Lifestyle Resort is coming to life on Kuta’s popular beachfront. Occupying 3.7 hectares of land along a 250-meter stretch of beach-facing Jalan Pantai Kuta, shops and restaurants are now opening on what is destined to become a Mecca for shopping, dining and entertainment in Bali.

The retail and lifestyle centered complex is, according to its developers, architecturally inspired by the gentle contours of the rice terraces. An eco-friendly, low-rise design is characterized by a traditional alang-alang thatched roof, recycled hardwoods, and an open-air walkway - all cooled by natural sea breezes.

Inviting the outdoors inside - energy saving is also achieved through the integration of open spaces filled with tropical plants, a musical fountain and refreshing waterways accented by glass retail pods that blend with the environment. Manicured gardens border alfresco dining decks, while a central stage provides an exciting venue for live performances and special events.

Beachwalk visitors will have a choice of almost 200 sophisticated retail stores and eateries. The shops range from world-renowned designer brands to the trendy local labels, offering merchandise ranging from luxury clothing and accessories, to bohemian beach wear, and a number of stores presenting Balinese arts, crafts and souvenirs. Anchor tenants at the mall include XXI Cineplex – a nationally known theatre chain and SATU, a multi-brand boutique that houses the creations of Bali-based designers. Moeda also offers collections by Bali’s designers.

The Eat & Eat Food Court serves Indonesian classic dishes such as bebek betutu, nasi goreng babat and mie kepiting. Other branded food and beverage outlets include Bali Deli; Kitchenette offering galettes, crêpes and salads; Luna Negra with a menu of delicious Italian cuisine; and Sienna Café operated by Bali’s iconic Ku De Ta.

Other international designer brand shops and F&B outlets that will be introduced to Bali at the new beachwalk are: Armani Jeans, Boss Sports, Furla, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace Jeans, Diva, GAP, Gaudi, Mango, New Look, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, (X) S, M, L, Y3, The Face Shop, Yves Rocher, Travelogue, Rimowa, Buffalo Wings & Rings, Café Sienna, Coconut Joe’s, Dairy Queen, Fish & Co, Johnny Rockets, Kihana, Luna Negra, Pazia Café, Rollaas Café, Tapeo Tapas Bar, wowcow, ELC, Gingersnaps, Playskool, Staccato, Urban Icon, and Watch World.

Additionally, beachwalk provides a dedicated Kids’ Area – Miniapolis Bali, with its own Play Zone, Amazing Walk, Water Play, and Cheeky Monkey Day Care facility. This area has been designed so children can participate in safe play and supervised activities, while parents have the freedom to shop and dine. Further family attractions include the Cloth Museum by Bin House, while exciting musical fountain show and dance performances can be watched live on the open stage.

Two levels of basement parking space accommodate up to 1,000 cars and 2,000 motorbikes. Other services and facilities at beachwalk include a valet service, a concierge, banks and a moneychanger, a supermarket and a hair salon.

Beachwalk
will complement the existing four-star Harris Resort Kuta Beach and the soon-to-be-opened five-star Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort.


The Greatest Thing Youíll Ever Learn
Expatriates Making a Difference: John Fawcett of Bali's John Fawcett Foundation

Australian John Fawcett came to Bali 30 years ago at the age of 49, diagnosed as critically ill and waited for what he thought was a fast-approaching end.
, John Fawcett is still on Bali, very much alive and making a genuine difference in the lives of the people who live on the island that is his adopted home.

The John Fawcett Foundation, established by John, has decades of life-changing work to its credit. The foundation has performed more than 33,0000 sight-giving cataract operations in Bali, Kupang, East Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan.

The good news for Bali is that  at 80 years of age John shows little sign of slowing down.

Agnes Winarti of Bali Daily  interviewed this much-loved and highly admired man.

The resulting interview is a good read, which we highly recommend:

[JOHN FAWCETT: A vision of love for Bali]

Related Link

[John Fawcett Foundation]


Booked for an Extended Stay in Bali
Greek National Nikolaous Bouikidis Gets 18 Years in Bali Prison for Drug Smuggling

A Greek Bus driver was sentence to 18 years in Jail on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, by the Denpasar District Court, after being found guilty of smuggling 4.2 kilograms of methamphetamine into Bali via the island’s airport.

Nikolaous Bouikidis (36) was also ordered to pay a fine of Rp. 10 billion (US$1.09) or have an additional three months added to his long sentence.

As reported previously by Balidiscovery.com, prosecutors were seeking life imprisonment for Bouikidis after being caught with the drugs after landing in Bali off a Qatar Airways flight on October 3, 2011.

Quoting the presiding judge in the case, The Jakarta Post estimates the street value of the smuggled drugs was Rp. 10.5 billion (US$1.14 million). The judge, Parulian Saragih, said, “the defendant’s crime may taint the image of Bali island as a tourist destination.” The judge also opined that the Greek was a member of an international narcotics ring based in Turkey.

Bouikidis told the court that he acted only as a courier, paid US$5,000 to smuggle the drugs.

The Greek told the court he would accept the sentence without appeal, proclaiming to the court “I am stupid.”

[Life, Unhappily Ever After]

[The Greek Connection]


Surabaya, Oh Surabaya
Beyond Bali: East Java Seeking to Increase Foreign Tourist Arrivals

Bisnis.com reports that East Java, the province located immediately to the west of Bali, had 224,000 foreign tourist visitors in 2011, a number that is projected to increase to 246,000 in 2012.

Visitors to Surabaya and the surrounding areas are dominated by five Asian countries: Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, China and Japan.

Growing direct air accessibility from overseas points to Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport supports optimism that foreign tourism arrivals will grow. Major tourism attractions within easy reach of Surabaya include Mount Bromo volcano and the island of Madura.

The head of the tourism and culture service for East Java, Djarianto is optimistic that higher arrival targets are achievable. “This year we are targeting a 10% increase over 2011 to 244,000 foreign visitors. There are good signs this will happen with 4 cruise ship already having visited Tanjung Perak, each carrying approximately 500 passengers.

In an effort to increase Asian tourist visitors to East Java, the 13th Majapahit Travel Fair was held May 10-13, 2012 in Surabaya with 60 travel operators from 11 countries attending.


The Road to Bali
Bali Film Center and Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) to Cooperate in Creating Film and Television Production Curriculum

In early 2013 the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) Denpasar will open a new course of study on Film and Television Production. As a first step, the ISI will cooperate with the Bali Film Center Foundation to pioneer a Bali-based curriculum on the study of film and television.

Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, the spokesperson for ISI in Denpasar, Ni Ketut Dewi Yulianti, said on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, “We are synergizing with the Bali Film Center Foundation to receive students in the area of film and television production.”

The coming educational cooperation was discussed in a meeting between the rector of ISI Denpasar, Professor Dr. I Wayan Rai S, with a representative of the Bali Film Center Foundation, Deborah Gabinetti.

The Foundation, established in 2007, annually operates the Balinale Bali Film Festival in order to promote creativity among Indonesia’s film community. The Balinale is highlighted by the presentation of a large number of films, 60% locally sourced and the remainder from international filmmakers. A popular event, leading film figures from Indonesia and abroad attend each years films festival held in Bali.

Professor Rai said he hopes the cooperation between ISI and the Bali Film Center Foundation will increase production of local films made in Bali.

Similarly, Deborah Gabinetti is wlecomig and joining efforts to establish a film and television curriculum at ISI Denpasar/

Gabietti said she hoped a local film curriculum would inspire students to makes films about Bali capable of competing in the international film market.


Everybody Wynns in Ubud, Bali
The Wines of Wynns Coonawara Estate at Mozaic Gastronomique in Ubud, Bali, Monday, May 21, 2012

In their continuing series of fine dining and wine evenings, Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique in Ubud Bali presents a special dinner on Monday, May 21, 2012, with wine pairing presented by Sue Hodder, Senior Winemaker, of Wynns Coonawarra Estate in South Australia.
arra Estate is one of the oldest vineyards in South Australia, winning along the way numerous gold medals, accolades and “winemaker of the year awards” for Sue Hodder.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate
is known to have the best soil, ‘terra rossa’, for vine growing in the region.

Sue Hodder, Senior Winemaker, with18 vintages now under her supervision, will be the guest of honor for the evening in Ubud. The proud winemaker will present the selected wines for this dinner with food pairings by Chef Renaud Le Rasle.

Highlights of the evening are the super premium John Riddock and Michael Wines, featured among the 5 wines of Wynns Coonawara Estate feature during the evening’s meal.

Chef Renaud Le Rasle

Chef Renaud Le Rasle has joined the Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique family and is establishing a new tradition of excellence in the kitchen of the famed restaurant. At the helm of Chef Chris Salan’s gastronomy restaurant in Ubud, Chef le Rasle promises to dazzle in the footsteps of Chef Salans and Chef James Ephraim.

A graduate in Culinary & Restaurant Management from Tain L’Hermitage, Renaud Le Rasle comes to Ubud with years of Michelin Star experience. Indonesia knows Chef Le Rasle for his days in Jakarta at The Parklane Hotel’s Riva Restaurant and in Ubud for opening the Ubud Hanging Garden Hotel.

This talented chef comes to Indonesia via New York and Paris where his experience with the Medi Restaurant, The Russian Tea Room, Jean Georges restaurant at Trump Tower, and the famed Le Cirque Restaurant – all form part of his impressive resume.

Dinner with paired wines: Rp. 1,000,000 ++ (US$131).

Reservations required.

Wynns Coonawara Estate Wine Dinner
Monday, May 26, 2012
Mozaic Restaurant Grastronomique
Jalan Raya Sanggingan
Ubud, Bali
For more information and reservations:
Telephone ++62-(0)361-975768
[Email


Itís a Jungle Out There
Growing Opposition Over Jakartaís Plans to Develop Large Tract of National Jungle in Baliís North for Tourist Project

A principal agreement issued by the Minister of Forestry to PT Nusa Bali Abadi (NBA) to use the State-owned jungle area of Dasong, Buleleng, North Bali is once again coming under intense criticism in Bali.

An original permit granted in 2007 to PT NBA prompted a strong written protest from Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika to the Minister of Forestry in 2009, demanding the permit be withdrawn. The governor’s letter, 3 years later, has yet to be dignified with a response from the Minister of Forestry.

Quoted by Kompas.com, on Friday, May 11, 2012, as Pastika explained to members of the Walhi Environmental Action Group , “in 2009 I sent a letter to the Minister of Forestry asking the permit be withdrawn, but until now the permit has not been withdrawn.”

The polemic over the use of the Dason jungle intensified following recent reports that PT NBA has forwarded another request to the Buleleng government in North Bali requesting their permit be expanded to include a total of 102 hectares. That request has released a hailstorm of protests from the public and environmental groups demanding the provincial government of Bali be consistent in refusing a use change for natural jungle areas.

Opponents of the project point to the need to preserve forests as absorption areas to prevent flooding. Meanwhile, other are championing the religious significance of the area, located near a number of Hindu temples.

Governor Pastika admonished: “What’s important now is our hope that PT NBA understands the situation and local demands, If they want to have a business in Bali then they must acknowledge the local values held dear by all the Balinese people.”

To date PT NBA has not received the required recommendation for the project from the Governor of Bali as required by a 1994 law stipulating that all nature tourism enterprises must first be considered and reviewed by the Governor.


Rabies Toll Climbs
Second Rabies Death Reported in Bali for May 2012

Rabies has claimed another victim in Bali, I Ketut Kerta (65), a resident of Abianbase village in Gianyar died on Friday, May 11, 2012, several hours after being admitted to the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar.

Dr. Ken Wirasandhi, the head of the Rabies Treatment Team at the hospital, confirmed to Radar Bali that a patient had been transferred from Gianyar exhibiting the clinical symptoms for rabies.

Further details on a past history of a dog bite remain sketchy,

The latest death comes only 11 days after the death of a 44-year-old woman from Karangasem died on May 1, 2012.

More than 132 people have died due to suspected rabies infections since 2010.

[New Rabies Death Reported in Bali]
 


Baliís Need for a Zone Defense
Leading Academician Say Only a Firm and Impartial Application of Zoning Regulations Can Reverse the Growing Marginalization of the Balinese People

The Dean of the Technical Faculty at Bali’s Warmadewa University, Dr. Ir. I. Wayan Parwata fears that Bali’s leaders may be unable to put a halt on the rapid diversion of land use, fearing the current land rush is getting out of control.

Parwata estimates that at least 1,000 hectare of productive agricultural land is lost to the construction of dwellings, tourist facilities and other structures each year.

As reported by Bali Post, Parwata accused Bali’s leaders of continuing to sell off land assets in underhanded ways resulting in an ever-increasing marginalization of the Balinese people in their own homeland.

Saying that for several years the diversion of Bali land from agricultural pursuits to other purposes has reached an average of 1,000 hectares per year, Parwata says a more ideal average would be between 200-250 hectares per annum.

He went on to outline how the changeover of land from agriculture to housing development is the highest trend at the moment. Breaking down the figures further, the academician said 69.7% of land diversion is going to housing and public uses, 9.8% to industrial purposes and 17.3% to business and tourism pursuits.

Parwata said the rapid change of land use in Bali is caused by a number of factors. Among the chief root causes of this shift is the weak regulatory control exercised by the government. While the executive and legislative branches of government in Bali have established zoning and land use laws, these regulations are either ignored or changed to meet the wishes of vested interests. The consumptive nature of the general public has also fueled the rapid rate of change. Finally, he added, there is the increasing number of new infrastructure projects allowed to proceed under unclear, loose and ill-defined rules - a fact that is used by developers in an irresponsible manner.

In the mad rush to acquire agricultural lands and alter its function, the leaders of Bali are largely powerless to stop those manipulating zoning and building regulations. The end result is that Bali is becoming increasingly mismanaged. Experts on zoning are gathered together primarily to satisfy the demands of a “bourgeoisie government.”

Pawrwata accused Bali’s leaders of only accommodating the interests and wishes of investors, paving the way for them to control the remaining pieces of Balinese real estate still suitable for productive agriculture and turn those lands to commercial purposes.

The chairman of the Tri Hita Karana Bali Foundation is calling on Bali’s leaders to stop selling off native lands in underhanded fashion and causing the further marginalization of the people of Bali.

“The development of Bali must be focused and have a positive effect for the common people. Don’t let Bali’s future development only profit investors,” he demanded.

The professor said that in order to overcome the current disordered state of Bali’s development planning and the diversion of aricultural lands, Bali’s leaders need to have a comprehensive understanding of zoning rules and apply those laws consistently.

“Bali’s leader must be able to control and monitor regulations determining that which is permitted and that which is not,” he added.


Seeking the Quality of Mercy
ĎBali Nineí Andrew Chan Files Last Ditch Request for Clemency From Death Row

Agence France Presse and The Jakarta Globe report that 28-year-old Australian Andrew Chan has filed a formal appeal for clemency from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, seeking a reprieve from the sentence of death before a firing squad.
n saw his final appeal against his death sentence rejected by the Indonesian courts, commencing a final countdown to his death under a newly streamlined and expedited execution process that formerely consumed decades in Indonesia.

With the clock ticking down, Chan’s only remaining hope of staying alive is an act of clemency from the Indonesian President; a man who has made past statements declaring no inclination for mercy or leniency in dealing with those convicted of narcotics offences.

Chan together with eight other Australians known as the “Bali Nine” were caught trying to smuggle 8 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia in June 2005.

Myuran Sukumaran, another Australian national, is the other remaining member of the “Bali Nine” under sentence of death.

Chan’s final deadline for filing a request for clemency fell on May 10, 2012, prompting the appeal filed by his lawyer just before that cut-off date. Sukumaran has until July 6, 2012, to make a similar final appeal for Presidential mercy.

The remaining seven members of “The Bali Nine” have five serving life sentences and the remaining two serving punishments of 18 and 20 years.

In making the appeal for mercy to the Indonesian President, Chan’s lawyers have argued that their client's age warrant the chance to be given a chance live and reform his life.

The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has underlined her government’s opposition to the death penalty, affirming she would work to have Chan’s sentence commuted.

Australia performed its last execution in 1967.

The previous Australian government under Prime Minister John Howard did not call for the commutation of the death sentence for the three Indonesian men sentenced to death for the 2002 Bali bombing, saying, in that instance, “justice was served” by the death penalty.


Closed Until Further Notice
Sanur Beach Traders Protest as Businesses Blocked by Mertasari Beach Developer

Scores of café and small shop owners under the banner of the Mertasari Eco Community (MEC) have joined forces to protest the fencing off of large stretches of beachside land by PT Sanur Dinamika Mentari (SDM) along Mertasari Beach.

MEC is complaining that the fencing off of lands undertaken by PT Sanur Dinamika Mentari was done with little warning. Made Rasna, on behalf if MEC, said: “We object to the sudden fencing off of this area, undertaken suddenly and without any explanation - either from the investor, the government or village authorities. Because no explanation has been made, we ask that any fencing work be postponed for now.”

Quoted in Bali Post, Rasna said all the occupants of the beachside land were shocked by the sudden fencing erection. He also contends that the fencing not only encompassed the land leased to the project by the government but also trespassed the entrances to shops and small restaurants, making it impossible for those affected to carry on their business.

Rasna said the erection of the fences took place after a letter was issued by the office of the village of Sanur dated May 7, 2012, calling for the lands to be vacated. The sudden, forced closure of the local small businesses was made all the more bitter following extensive lobbying efforts with the government to seek a compromise that would allow the local traders to continue to operate their businesses.

Rasna argued that Ketut Sarma, the representative of SDM, had once promised compensation to the local traders and a separate area that would allow the vendors to stay in business. Rasna complained that Sarma had not kept his promise and 62 traders are suddenly without a source of income.

As reported by Balidiscovery.com in March 2011, the land owned by the province has long been problematic. In 1995, the then governor or Bali, Ida Bagus Oka, granted a 30-year lease to Daniel Atmaja of PT SDM on the 3-hectare plot. That license from the government reportedly carried the stipulation that if PT SDM failed to complete the project within five years, the contract with the province would become null and void and the use of the land would revert to the province.

Other critics of the project contend that the areas of business listed on the letters of incorporation for PT SDM indicated that company’s allowed areas of business activities were limited to the sale of chemical equipment and medicines with no mention of tourism activities.

Related Article

[Sanur Traders in Stand Off Against Hotel Project]


Keeping Things Creative
Three Sectors of Indonesiaís Creative Economy Identified for Development and Promotion

The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy will focus will place its emphasis on developing 3 leading sectors among 15 sectors identified by the government as belonging to the national creative economy.

I Gde Pitana, the Ministry’s Deputy Minister for Resource Development, said the three sectors identified for special attention and development are fashion, cuisine and film - all selected because of their potentials for growth and an existing state of advanced development.

Speaking at the Asia Tourism Forum 2012 in Bandung, West Java, and quoted in Bisnis Indonesia, Pitana said, “the creative economy produces the greatest foreign exchange and for this reason we are pursuing their development.”

In support of the fashion industry, Pitana said the Ministry is promoting the use of ethnic cloth by clothing producers.

For the Indonesian film industry, Pitana boasted of the ability of films to boost the nation’s image while taking advantage of the magnificent scenery and natural settings available across the nation.

Cuisine is also tagged for promotion, based on the worldwide reputation for Indonesian cooking. He told the press how the Ministry is working with the Tourism Academy of Badung (STPB-Bandung) to build a center of culinary study in that locale.


Strikes Looms at Merpati Nusantara Airline
Merpati Nusantara Pilots Threaten to Strike Over Firing of Airline's CEO. Pilots Claim Firing Illegal & Linked to Purchase of Sukhoi Passenger Jets

Antara Bali reports that President Director of PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Sardjono Jhonny Tjitrokusumo, has been suddenly dismissed from his post and replaced by Rudy Setyopurnomo, whose last posting was as the Main Commissioner of the airline.

“Yes, there has been a replacement. I was fired, I didn’t resign,” explained Jhonny on Sunday, May 13, 2012.

News of the abrupt dismissal immediately brought a reaction from 68 of Merpati’s pilots who have threatened to strike on Monday, May 14, 2012, in response to what they claim is an unfair and illegal termination.

As reported by Bisnis.com, the chairman of the union for the State-owned airline, Captain Eman Supriatman, confirmed the planned strike action represented a protest over the firing.

The firing of Jhonny and the naming of his replacement were undertaken by the Minister of State-owned Enterprises, Dahlan Iskan.

The newly appointed head of Merpati, Rudy Setyopurnomo, was a founder of Indonesian Airlines that ceased operations in 2003.

The outgoing CEO of the airline has issued a statement calling on the pilots to avoid any strike action due to the potential damage such industrial action might cause the airline and the general public.

The head of the union told Bisnis Indonesia on Sunday, May 13, 2012, that the planned protest by pilots is based on three suspicions. First, the suspicion that the firing is illegal and not in accordance with Presidential Instructions of 2003 and 2005 requiring a meeting of shareholders to evaluate the current CEO’s performance and to appoint any replacement. Second, the suspicion that Rudy Setyopurnomo, as the former leader of the bankrupt PT Indonesia Airlines, is technically ineligable and "unfit" to head Merpati in accordance with the 2008 law on limited liability companies. Thirdly, a suspicion that the termination of the CEO is somehow connected with Merpati being "compelled" to purchase 40 Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft at a value of US$100 million on February 14, 2012.

The Sukhoi Superjet Crash

A Sukhoi jet, on a demonstration and promotional flight from Jakarta over West Java, crashed in Indonesia on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 killing all 45 passengers and crew on board as it slammed into a volcanic mountain.

On board the ill-fated aircraft were members of the press, government officials and representatives of various Indonesian airlines. Also among the dead were fourteen employees of Sky Aviation, an Indonesian aviation company with 12 of the new Russian-built jets on order.

Efforts by Bisnis Indonesia to contact the Ministry for State-owned Enterprises for comment on the sudden changes in command at Merpati and the threatened pilot strike have reportedly been unsuccessful.


Bali Marathon: A Good Run
Good Vibes Continue Following First Running of the BII Maybank Bali Marathon

Star on Line from Malaysia has filed a story by Grace Chen that nicely captures the spirit and excitement of the BII Maybank Bali Marathon held on April 22, 2012.

Destined to grow by leaps and bounds over the coming years, the race was unique for its “Balinese flavor” involving village people and traditional orchestras to cheer the racers on to the finish line.

Read more at [Bali Marathon: A good run]

Sponsored by BII Maybank, event management was provided by Bali Discovery Events – a division of Bali Discovery Tours.

Photo: The Star Online

Related Article

[Bali: Hoteliers on the Run]

[BII Maybank Bali Marathon Results]

[Bali Marathon: Hakuna Matata]



How to Catch More of the MICE Market
Deadline Fast Approaching for Advertiser Participation in 7th Edition of MeetBali Ė the Bali MICE Guide

The 7th edition of the MeetBali - Bali MICE Guide, the only comprehensive handbook for meeting and conference planners will be published in September-October 2012 and distributed without charge to 12,500 qualified decision makers in the MICE industry.
past editions, the Bali MICE Guide will feature comprehensive information on hotels, meeting venues and attractions in Bali – all presented in a factual and detailed manner required by professional meeting planners. Handsomely presented featuring the works of some of Bali’s best photographers, the guide, both in presentation and content, is retained as a work of reference by travel professionals.

The latest edition will include new sections updating readers on Bali’s new infrastructure projects, including the new Benoa – Nusa Dua toll road, the renovated and expanded Ngurah Rai International Airport and Simpang Siur Underpass Project.

Of equal importance will be information on the wide range of new convention facilities, hotels and attractions that have come on line since the last edition of the Bali MICE Guide in 2010.

Deadline Fast Approaching

Advertising space is booking quickly for the coming edition. All advertisers are required to submit their artwork and materials by the end of June to allow printing by September/October of 2012. All members of Bali MICE industry are welcome to join this initiative, including tour operators, event management companies, hotels, convention centers and attraction operatios.

As a special bonus, participants in the 2012/2013 Bali MICE Guide will be invited to attend a special launch cocktail party in Jakarta in late 2012 to which decision makers for leading Jakarta-based companies will be invited.

All advertisers are also listed in the [www.balimice.com website]  

For more information or to receive a  prospectus on the Bali MICE Guide 2012/2013 [Email

Related Article

[MeetBali – the 7th Edition]


 
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Bali Update #523
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #522
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #521
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #520
August 28, 2006

Bali Update #519
August 21, 2006

Bali Update #518
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Bali Update #517
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Bali Update #516
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Bali Update #515
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Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #513
July 10, 2006

Bali Update #512
July 03, 2006

Bali Update #511
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Bali Update #510
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Bali Update #509
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Bali Update #508
June 05, 2006

Bali Update #507
May 29, 2006

Bali Update #506
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Bali Update #505
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Bali Update #504
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Bali Update #503
May 01, 2006

Bali Update #502
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Bali Update #501
April 17, 2006
 

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