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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

U.S.A. Fax:(toll free)
1-800-506-8633

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #951 - 24 November 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


BIWA Charity Bazaar 2012
Bali International Women's Association Charity Bazaar Sunday, July 8, 2012 Celebrates 38 Years of Community Service

Bali International Women’s Association (BIWA) is holding their Annual Charity Bazaar on Sunday, July 8, 2012 in the parking lot of Lotte Mart Wholesale, Denpasar.

Targeted to be the largest and best bazaar in BIWA’s history, tents will be set up selling goods, merchandise and refreshments.

A major annual fund-raising event on the BIWA calendar, this year’s proceeds will support BIWA’s Social Welfare program targeted to raise the living standards of the women and children in three Balinese villages in the Bangli regency. The funds raised at the bazaar will also fund the operations of the BIWA Mobile Dental Clinic and Bali environment management programs.

Scheduled from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, the Bazaar is expected to beat last year'S figures when more than 3,000 visitors attended the event. Open to the public without charge, a Kids’ Corner is available with games, drawing and painting activities to permit parent time to roam around the bazaar.

Strategically located, a Food Corner is also available serving homemade food and refreshments.

Throughout the day, on Centre Stage, raffle winners will be announced with music, fun and games organized throughout the day.
.
There will be 250 stalls available and BIWA offers 20 stalls free of charge to social welfare organizations in Bali. Popular BIWA booths will be selling various items donated by members, sponsors, vendors and many more. Registration is open for vendors and availability is on a first come, first served basis with cash paid upon reservation.

BIWA has more than 250 members representing 27 countries.

For more information contact:

BIWA Center
Jalan D. Tandakan no. 5
Sanur, Bali.
Telephone/Facsimile: ++ 62-(0)361-286564 

[BIWA Website

[Email for more information


Revitalizing a Center for Rejuvenation
The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali Re-launches ĎThe Lagoon Spaí

The Laguna Resort & Spa have announced the re-opening of its new state-of-the-art Lagoon Spa and Fitness Center following an extensive renovation program.

Inspired by the seven pillars of well-being: life balance, harmony, beauty, vitality, aqua, nature and nutrition. These tenets envelop and embrace guests as they descend a spiral staircase and enter an environment of tranquillity and balance that await. According to the Spa’s creators, the essentials of health, beauty and inner peace are derived from the four basic elements governing the Human body: water, air, fire and earth.

At the Spa the water theme takes its rightful place as the center of the spa experience, via holistic treatments that soothe the soul and energize the spirit.
/> Pampering services are available at the Lagoon Spa surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the swimmable lagoon. Featuring eight treatment rooms, the spa offers both traditional and modern treatments featuring Dr. Babor Spa Products to create an ultimate spa experience. Other facilities include a beauty salon, manicure and pedicure rooms, a facial room, and saunas.

The Lagoon Spa is open from 8:00 am until midnight daily, while the Fitness Center is open 24 hours. Fitness classes are available and a personal trainer can be provided upon request.

Shown on Balidisocvery.com are a pictures from the newly re-opened Lagoon Spa and Fitnes Center.

[Book a Stay at The Laguna, Luxury Collection]
 


Seeking Legitimacy
Bali Villa Association Seeking to Grow its Membership and Bring Islandís Villa Sector into Compliance with the Law

Bisnis Bali reports that a number of tourist accommodation entrepreneurs have expressed their confusion and dismay at the amount demanded for securing the legal licenses for commercial villas  by using a fee structure based on the number of rooms.

Some business owners claim the going rate is Rp. 25 million (US$2,690), while others claim a much higher fee of Rp. 85 million (US$9,140) per room or villa unit.

“We are indeed operating in a gray area. If it was all in black and white it might be less enjoyable,” explained the chairman of the Bali Villa Association (BVA), Jero Mangku Wayan Suteja, speaking at the anniversary celebration of the BVA in late May 2012.

He freely admitted that he is uncertain of the actual cost of obtaining licenses and permits for villas, insisting the role of the BVA is to not to organize licenses and permits, but primarily to safeguard its members’ interests. Adding: “We are not a licensing bureau. We do not want to venture into that realm. We are here to take care of our members, not to assist those villas who are unlicensed.”

Suteja explained that the BVA now has more than 75 members. This is an increase from 2011 when the total numbers stood at 69 villas.

Suteja said: “We are targeting that by the end of the year we will have 100 members. We continue to seek contact (with the villa industry). We endeavor to become an association that provides a genuine benefit to its members.”

Many BVA members have complained to the association about the high cost of licensing. Moreover, there appears to be no official “set” price for obtaining the needed permits.

Responding to criticism that informality of the cost of licensing is bad for the investment climate, the government insists the “official” cost of licensing is much lower than the figures being discussed.

Some observers speculate the high cost arises when villas seeking licenses are unable to meet the entire official prerequisites, creating opportunities for “special facilitation at a cost” by bureaucrats.

The BVA estimates that there are thousands of commercial villas in Bali operating illegally. Some villas stand in areas where such construction is barred.

Mangku called on the government to act more sternly in enforcing laws against illegal villas, thereby curbing the uncontrolled growth now taking place in that sector.

Arguing that unbridled growth in unlicensed villas will only lead to unhealthy price competition in the future, the Regent of Badung has warned villa investors to stop playing games. Anak Agung Gde Agung said: “If you wish to build accommodation, such as villas in Badung, then complete the permit process beforehand, then build. We need a better understanding of the law.”

The Regent of Badung welcomed the efforts of the BVA as a partner of the government in bringing order to Bali’s villa sector.

Related Articles

[Villas of Villainy]

[Keeping it Legal]

[Paying a Fair Share]

[Are Illegal Villas Contributing to Crime?]


Island Hopping to Australia?
Bali Police and Immigration Officials Seize Group of Middle Eastern and North Asian Immigrants Believed to be Australian-Bound

Combined forces from police and immigration raided two non-starred hotels in the Kuta area of Bali on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, arresting tens of foreigners suspected of being illegal immigrants in transit to Australia.

Beritabali.com reports that the two raids took place at the Wisma Bima II and the Hotel Sriwijaya, both hotels located in the Kuta area of Bali.

An unnamed representative of the Bali police said, “The hotels used by the foreigners have been under surveillance for two days.”

As the result of the raids, enforcement officials took foreigners from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan into custody. Several Iranians, initially netted in the sweep, refused arrest insisting that they were, in fact, architects on a holiday visit to Bali.

The remaining people arrested in the raid were brought to the Kuta Police Precinct for further investigations. A formal statement from Bali’s immigration department is pending.

Police also arrested an Indonesian national by the name of “Roni” believed by officials to have organized the reception and arranged the accommodation for the arrested foreigners. Roni, meanwhile, is denying any connection with the group being detained. Roni told the press and the police: “I was only told to meet these people at the airport and find a hotel where they can stay. I don’t know if they are illegal and I have no connection with these people.”

It is widely speculated that those netted in the raids were in Bali organizing the next leg of their journey - the illegal entry into Australia.


Itís a Great Way to Fly
Bali Tourism Chief Pays Long-Overdue Homage to Key Role Played by Singapore Airlines in Bali Tourism Industry

Giving credit where credit’s due, Bali's Tourism Chief has paid long-overdue homage to Singapore Airlines

As reported by Bisnis Bali, the Chief of the Bali Tourism Office, IB Kade Subhisku, has paid tribute to the role played by Singapore Airline in developing tourism to Bali, in the absence of direct flights to Bali from key source markets.

Subhisku said that 15 main tourism markets visiting Bali depend on direct flights. He went on to explain, however, that there remain a number of key markets are not served by direct flights, including France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the U.S.A.

He said those key markets not connected by direct flights are served by charter flights or airlines, such as Singapore Airlines, that provide valuable connections to Bali over their Singapore air hub.

Because of this, the government of Indonesia works closely with Singapore Airlines in the promotion of Indonesian tourism.


Staying Connected in Bali
High-Speed, Dependable Internet Connections are Absolute Prerequisite to Developing Baliís Tourism Industry

Bali Daily has reported on the close link between Internet usage in Bali and the rapid growth of the island’s tourism sector.

Zulfadly Syam, chairman of the Bali chapter of the Association of Indonesian Internet Providers (APJI), described the Internet business in Bali, saying: “The Internet users are mainly foreign visitors, hotels, tourism businesses, offices and urban residents.”

Syam estimates that 90% of Internet-dependent businesses are gathered in the island’s south in order to take advantage of the concentration of Internet networks, with service to many more remote areas of the island still plagued by low connection speeds.

Steps, however, are underway to improve and expand the Internet infrastructure in Bali. On Saturday, May 26, 2012, BIZNET Networks held a reception celebrating the expansion of its Fiber Optic network to Ubud in Central Bali.

BIZNET Network is Indonesia’s leading fixed-line and multi-media telecommunications provider, providing network, Internet, data center, cloud computing and Pay TV service, BIZNET Network also operates the nation’s biggest data collection center in West Java.

The high-speed connections made possible by their Fiber Optic system means BIZNET will soon be launching max3 - the latest Internet connection and pay TV service in High Definition (HD).

In addition, the Indonesian government is launching a National Internet Exchange (NIX) in cooperation with Bali-based Internet providers. The government is taking these step following a survey showing that Indonesia’s Internet connection speeds are the slowest among ASEAN member nations.

Hotels and travel service providers are becoming increasingly dependent on bookings made over the Internet, making the need for high-speed, dependable and affordable Internet connections an inseparable part of national development.


Consider Yourself Part of the Furniture
South African Woman Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Smuggling Drugs into Indonesia

The Denpasar Court has sentenced 38-year-old South African woman, Kedibone Sheilla Motsweneng, to 15-years of prison in connection with her conviction of trying to smuggle 1.9 kilograms of methamphetamines into Bali on October 23, 2011.

She was also given a fine of Rp. 1 billion (US$109,000), the failure to pay will result in an addition one-year in prison.

The sentence handed down by the court was less than the 17-years demanded by State Prosecutors.

Related Article

[Out of Africa, Into Jail]



5-Star Minding for the Kids
St. Regis Bali Resort Establishes Pioneering Childrenís Learning Center

St. Regis Bali Resort has established a Children’s Learning Center situated in the lush gardens on their South Bali property, pioneering a new concept aimed at enhancing the guest experience while introducing the next generation of St. Regis guests to the comprehensive caring culture of a world-famous brand.

Aimed at providing an enriching environment for kids aged 4 to 12 years, the Children’s Learning Center provides interactive and creative learning experiences led by professional educators.

er offers half and full-day programs incorporating art, music, dance, cuisine and literature providing young participants with an introduction to Bali that will translate into a broader perspective of their own home culture.

Programs that change on a daily basis offer modules that help kids explore and cultivate passions ranging from yoga, sustainable cooking traditions, photography, patch-work and computer skills. Other programs explore Balinese music, costumes, dance and local storytelling.

Yvonne Wan, Hotel Manager, St. Regis Bali Resort, explained the motivation behind the project, saying, “We want to capture a segment of the luxury market that is lagging for many which is excellence in service for all age groups and we understand the importance of making our youngest guests feel special and welcome as well.

[Book a Stay at St. Regis Bali Resort]


The Slow Moving Wheels of Justice in Bali
Best Western Resort Owner, Ketut Wijana, Named as Criminal Suspect in Scofflaw Kuta Hotel Operation

The long-stalled case of the Best Western Resort Kuta, pitting Bandung regency officials against a Balinese hotel owner operating an unlicensed accommodation business,  has now moved to its next round.

Ketut Wijana Named as Suspect in Criminal Complaint

Radar Bali reports that the Bali police have finally taken action on a complaint filed against the hotel in June 2011 by lawyers representing Badung’s regent Anak Agung Gede Agung. Police have formally named the owner of the hotel’s owner, Ketut Wijana, as a suspect in a criminal proceeding, threatening to apprehend the Balinese businessman if he does not respond to police summons for further questioning.

Reports suggest the police complaint pending against Wijana concern zoning violations and Wijana's attempt to subvert justice by removing an official notice installed outside the hotel by the Badung administration.

Police Complaint Filed Almost One Year Ago

Following the latest news, the regent of Badung, A.A. Gede Agung, has expressed his appreciation to the Denpasar Police for finally processing his complaint detailing violations and criminal acts committed by the Best Western Resort Kuta. “In my capacity as the regent of Badung, I want to express my appreciation to the police because the case of the Best Western is now moving forward. And, that (this is happening) is proven by the fact that several members of my staff have been called as witnesses,” said Gede Agung.

Gede Agung refused to comment publicly on the naming of Wijana as a criminal suspect in the case, saying he is leaving the processing of the case to the police.

No Comment by Wijana

Efforts by Radar Bali to contact Ketut Wijana via his handphone were repeatedly unsuccessful. Repeated calls received an SMS stating: “Sorry, I do not recognize your number. Please SMS your identity.” Despite sending a message clarifying the newspaper’s desire to obtain an official comment from Wijana, reporters were unable to make a connection with the man now listed as a criminal suspect by the Bali police.

Separately, police have told the press that because Wijana is only accused of a zoning violation they have no immediate plans to take him into police custody.

The charges against Wijana for violating Zoning Law Number 26 of 2007 is a ground breaking case in Balinese jurisprudence, representing the first attempt to enforce the controversial zoning law.

A leading Balinese attorney, Suryatin Lijaya, filed the police complaint on behalf of the regency in June 2011 after repeated calls failed to close the hotel built in an area closed to the construction of hotel accommodation. Further investigation by Badung authorities disclosed the hotel has no principle permit, building permits or operating licenses as required by law.

Related Articles

[How Goes the Best Western Kuta?]

[Crime and Punishment in Bali]

[Keeping the Rule of Law Under Cover]

[Warming to the Fight]

[Best Western Kuta Changes its Name & Fights Back]

[All the Best Westerns End in a Showdown]

[Best Western Kuta in Bali Posted and Closed]


Leading with Our Chinn
Celebrate Coral Triangle Day by Dining Responsibly with Chef Bobby Chinn in Bali on Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Zealand celebrity chef, restaurateur and TV host Bobby Chinn will travel to Bali to join local celebrations of Coral Triangle Day on June 9, 2012, and help promote the virtues of eating and harvesting the ocean’s bounty in a sustainable and responsible way.

Explaining the Coral Triangle movement and his motivations for his coming Bali visit, Bobby Chinn said: “The Coral Triangle Day is about celebrating the wonders of our oceans and what individuals can do to help protect it. As a chef, I would like to do my part by helping raise awareness on the importance of patronizing responsibly-caught seafood and the many creative ways to enjoy them.”

The Coral Triangle, which spans six countries in the Asia-Pacific includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste, which together represent  the combined home to more than 3,000 species of reef fish.

This region is also a nursery ground and migratory pathway for commercially-valuable tuna species such as Yellow Fin, Big Eye, and Skipjack - producing almost a fifth of the total global tuna catch.

However, impacts arising from overfishing and the use of destructive fishing practices are posing major challenges to the sustainability of Coral Triangle resources, on which more than 120 million people depend for food and livelihood.

Increasing demand for seafood from growing markets in Asia, North America, and Europe are quickly depleting the Coral Triangle’s fish stocks and impacting a fragile marine-ecosystems.

“Fish are being taken out of the seas faster than they can be replenished, and in highly destructive means. This is why we all need to be more conscious of the seafood on our plates and start asking questions on where they came from and how they were caught,” said Chinn.

“This is why I am proud to be part of the Coral Triangle Day so we can put the spotlight on the importance of oceans to our daily lives and take action to conserve it,” added Chinn.

Bobby will be making special appearances and doing cooking demonstrations at selected restaurants in Seminyak, Bali including Gado Gado Restaurant, Metis Restaurant and Semara Resort and Spa.

He will also take his message to the people by visiting local village restaurants in Kedonganan at Bali’s popular seafood center of Jimbaran Bay.

Join Bobby Chinn at Metis Restaurant

Bobby Chinn will presdie at a Special Aperochic event on Saturday, June 9, 2012, at Metis Restaurant.

An informal event of late afternoon drinks and refreshment, Aperochic happens from 5:30 - 8:00 pm. The cost is only Rp. 50,000 ++ (US$6.50).

For reservations and more information call Metis Restaurant at ++62-(0)361-4737888.

The TV host and restaurateur will be preparing mouth-watering dishes using responsibly sourced seafood including grouper, prawns, and tuna and other locally sourced ingredients.

Coral Triangle Day 

Coral Triangle Day brings together individuals, organizations, and establishments across different parts of the region on a single day to celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of the region and to promote the importance of the oceans through varied activities including: beach clean-ups; sustainable seafood dinners; educational exhibitions; marine-themed bazaars; and beach parties.

Visit the [Coral Triangle Website]  to find out more about the various events happening around the region on June 9 and how to participate.


Something New at Starfish Bloo
Kevin Chung Joins W Retreat & Spa Bali at Chef de Cuisine at Starfish Bloo

W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak have announced the appointment of Kevin Chung as the Resort’s new Chef de Cuisine for Starfish Bloo.

Kevin Chung comes to W Retreat & Spa Bali – Seminyak from Australia where he acqired13 years experience in a 5-star settings. During his career, he has worked at the award-winning Rockpool with Neil Perry and Longrain under Martin Boertz. A strong grounding with such culinary luminaries in concert with Chung’s Creole roots promises a rich dining experience for guests at the Resort’s signature restaurant.

The Miele Guide-nominated Starfish Bloo has already earned a devoted following in Bali, a standard Chung intends to raise even higher by putting his contemporary twist on French, Australian and Asian cuisine. “My passion for cooking comes from creating something unexpected. I try to create an all-sensory experience from beginning to end; starting with the aroma wafting from the kitchen, a visual delight, the combination of textures on the plate and finally the contrasting flavours for your palate,” explained Chung

Craig Seaward, General Manager of W Bali adds: “We are delighted to welcome Kevin to the W Bali family. He is an extremely talented and exciting chef and we cannot wait to have everyone try his new dishes, especially Chef Kevin’s Crispy Duck Salad. We have great ambitions for Starfish Bloo and are certain that Kevin is the chef to help us achieve them.”

Kevin is looking forward to exploring his new island home with his new bride, Xinthia.

[Book a Stay at W Retreat & Spa Bali]  


Simon Says: Be Prepared for a New Perspective
Simon Dornan Appointed General Manager of Le Meridien Bali - Jimbaran

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide have appointed Simon Dornan as general manager for Le Meridien Bali - Jimbaran set to open in the fourth-quarter of 2012.

Acquiring his formal training and education in Australia, Simon has been passionately involved in the hospitality industry for more than two decades. He commenced his career in 1989 in Sydney, Australia with subsequent appointments in China, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam and Vietnam with leading brands such as Ritz Carlton, Sheraton, Westin and W Hotels.

Simon’s most recent appointment was as Director of Operations at the W Retreat & Spa – Seminyak when he was in charge of key elements of the Retreat.

Simon is married with two children.

Le Meridien Bali – Jimbaran will reintroduce the Le Meridien Brand to Bali after an absence of several years.

Located just south of Bali’s International Airport it is just steps away from the beach of Jimbaran Bay. The Resort offers 119 rooms, including 42 suites, Lagoon Access rooms, Aqua Pool Suite Penthouses, Rooftop Pool Villas and the only rooftop wedding chapel in Bali.

Le Meridien Bali will also have extensive in-vogue venues such as the branded Bamboo Chic Restaurant, Bamboo Chic Lounge, Bamboo Chic Sky Sunset Bar, Latitude 8 and Juju ice cream and illy Coffee Parlor.

Related Article

[Le Meridien Returns to Bali]


This is Your Life
South African Brett Theo Savage Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Smuggling Drugs to Bali

South African Brett Theo Savage (44) has been sentenced to life in prison by the Denpsar District Court after being convicted of trying to carry 2.4 kilograms of methamphetamines into Bali.

In handling down the sentence, the panel of judges rejected prosecutor’s recommendations for a 17-year sentence and imposing instead a life sentence. The judges also had at their option the possibility of imposing death before a firing squad for the man.

Kompas.com reports that Savage was tense and nervous as he awaited the sentence of the court. The chief judge told the court that Savage’s refusal to freely admit the drugs were his, despite proof presented before the court that he tried to conceal and import the narcotics, weighed heavily against him in determining the final punishment.

Two accomplices of Savage, already sentenced by the court, and the man’s possession of the drugs clearly implicated him in the crime.

Custom’s officials at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport arrested Savage on October 19, 2011 after he disembarked a flight from Singapore bringing a suitcase containing the illicit drugs.


The Yellow Brick Road to Oz
Virgin and Tourism Australia Join Forces to Seek More Indonesian Visitors

Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia have signed a strategic AU$6 million marketing memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at using the airline’s growing network of international alliances to boost visitation from ten of Australia’s key overseas markets.
 


Under the new arrangement, the two parties intend to collectively spend AU$6 million over the next three years on a range of joint marketing activities focusing primarily on the USA, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Continental Europe and the fast-growing Asian markets of China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and Singapore. 
 
The arrangement will feature marketing on traditional and digital media platforms as well as event and sponsorship activities, principally targeting the United States – Australia’s fourth largest and still key Trans Pacific corridor for leisure and business travel. 


Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy (shown on Balidiscovery.com) said the arrangement is further evidence of the national tourism agency's ability, under its expanding aviation development remit, to work effectively with key airline partners on commercially focused marketing activities that promote and open up greater access from Australia's most important inbound tourism markets. 


“Neither Tourism Australia nor the airlines alone can do all the heavy lifting to promote affordable and ‘must now’ travel from overseas visitors to our country,” McEvoy said. 


McEvoy added: "In today’s global village - with unprecedented destination competition - arrangements such as this with Virgin Australia and their global alliance partners is a massive value-add, and so important to better sell Australia. 
Virgin Australia continues to increase capacity across a number of Tourism Australia’s core markets, either directly or through alliances with Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines. The airline also operates an extensive domestic and Trans Tasman network and is therefore a key partner we want to work more closely with to leverage more visitors to see why there is nothing like Australia.”

“As with previous airline deals, we intend to use our well-established and successful there’s nothing like Australia campaign messaging alongside Virgin Australia’s compelling brand and competitive airfares, to drive bookings and traffic," McEcoy said. 


Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said: “As a result of our growing international operations and our recently formed alliances with four of the world’s leading airlines Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia is now a serious player in the inbound tourism market.”


“In conjunction with our partners, we have the ability to access international visitors from over 400 cities around the world and provide them with a seamless journey to domestic and regional destinations across Australia. The alliances give us access to both traditional and emerging markets, which aligns with Tourism Australia’s marketing strategy. 
”

“This includes key international growth markets such as Asia and the Middle East, which are forecast to be the two largest contributors to international passenger growth going forward, as well as strong established markets such as New Zealand, the United States and Europe.”

“Virgin Australia is committed to working with its partners and Tourism Australia to achieve strong international visitor growth for Australia”, Borghetti said.

Tourism Australia has now secured cooperative marketing relationships with most of the largest international carriers by capacity serving Australia.

McEvoy said markets covered by this arrangement align strongly with Tourism Australia's balanced portfolio approach and are critical to Australian tourism achieving the Tourism 2020 strategic goal of doubling annual overnight visitor expenditure to up to AU$140 billion by decade's end.

[Book Virgin Australia from Indonesia to Oz


Limited Life Expectancy?
Five British Expats Face Possibility of Death Before a Firing Squad for Involvement in Smuggling 4.7 Kilograms of Cocaine into Bali

Five expatriate Brits resident in Bali now are languishing behind bars after their arrested in connection with a failed effort to try to smuggle 4.7 kilograms of cocaine into Indonesia via Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport.

The commercial quantity of "Class A" narcotics involved in the case present the real possibility of all or some of those under arrest will be sentenced to death before a firing squad.

Police arrested 56-year old Lindsay June Sandiford on Saturday, May 19, 2012 off a flight from Bangkok with the substantial quantity of drugs concealed in her suitcase.

The woman initially claimed she was carrying drugs, with an estimated street value of US$2.5 million, because of threats made against her family.

Sandiford was spirited away and held by police at a local hotel in an effort to lure others involved in the smuggling and sale of the drugs into the open.

Closely monitoring Sandiford, her movements and her telephone calls and following leads as they developed in the case - police managed to arrest four more U.K. citizens on Friday, May 25, 2012, identified as Rachel Dougall (38), Julian Ponder (43), Paul Beales and Nanda Gophal.

Julian Ponder is reportedly the partner of Dougall with whom he shares a luxury villa in the Canggu area of Bali where their child who awaits her parent's return.

Quoted in The Jakarta Globe, Made Wijaya, the head of the Custom’s Office at Bali’s airport said, “It took eight days to reveal this case, and they are all members of very big international syndicate.”

Julian was reportedly arrested with the 4.7 kilograms of cocaine in the trunk of his car in Karangasem. A subsequent inspection of his luxury villa in Bali led to the arrest of Rache, who police claim had 45 grams of cocaine in her possession.

During that raid, police apprehended Gophal later finding 78 plastic bags containing 279.3 grams of methamphetamines in his North Bali Villa.

The final suspect, Paul, was arrested separately in Karangasem with 3.1 grams of hashish in his possession. Beales is said to be involved in real estate sales and development in Bali.
 
Police in Indonesia can hold suspects for up to 60 days after which they must either apply for an extension or refer a case to public prosecutors for trial.


Preparing for a Price War
Tourism & Hotel Professionals Predict that All-Out Price War in Bali is Just Around the Corner

The increasingly competitive pricing practices of hotels in Bali is foreshadowing a coming price war, with many hotels begining to largely ignore their published tariffs.

Quoted by Bisnis.com, Ulatun Nyunda, general manager of the Umalas Hotel & Residence, said on Tuesday, May 29, 2012: “You can say that tariffs have been established in this business (hotel accommodation), but that only applies in five star hotels. The rest of the hotels just use the market price because of the high level of competition.”

Ulatan projects that by 2013 an open price war will be in full swing between Bali hotels because of the many new properties constantly coming on line. He contends this situation will only be made worse by the new condotels and apartments being introduced to the marketplace.

Ulatan added: “The hotel business in Bali resembles a puzzle. In one area (Badung regency) the occupancy is high, but next year there’s no guarantee that this occupancy level can be retained because one five star hotel with hundreds of rooms will soon be opened.”

Reflecting on his own position, the hotelier bemoaned: “Right now with 84 rooms we are able to hold steady with an occupancy of 70%, but this threatened to decrease next year. What’s more, there is also the added threat that hotels occupancies may decline because the enjoyment of a Bali holiday is being compromised by traffic jams,” 

Increasingly Congested Traffic

He went on to explain that Bali’s traffic situation means tourists find themselves caught in traffic from the minute they leave Bali’s airport.

According to Ngurah Wijaya, the chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Tourism Association (GIPI), who also serves as the chairman of the tourism promotion group Bali Village, the current traffic conditions in Bali also threatens the future of the island’s tourism.

“Tourism has a high multiplier effect and the competitive edge (of Bali) can decline if the tourists’overall enjoyment is disrupted,” Wijaya explained.

Addressing the increasingly competitive situation among Bali hotels, Wijaya said that tourist operators had long warned the Badung regency to control the issuance of permits for hotels and condotels.

“New permits should only be issued when the average occupancy rate of hotels reaches 80%,” he said.

He also blamed the very short period of stay in Bali on the over-development in the tourism sector, lamenting that in earlier decades the average length of stay was between 10 days and 2 weeks.


The Tick Tick Tock of the Stately Clock
Controversy Grows as Indonesia Moves to Unite Three Time Zones into a Single System on October 28, 2012

In a move that an advisory panel claims will improve national efficiency, Indonesia is steadily moving towards plans to put the entire Indonesian nation on a single time-zone, synchronizing clocks across the 5,300 milometer breadth of the archipelagic nation with the clocks of neighboring Singapore, Malaysia and China.
introduction of the single time zone for Indonesia, the entire country will be eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Rime (UTC).

The change in Indonesia’s time zone is scheduled to come into effect on October 28, 2012.

Indonesia Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan is touting the change as a boost to accelerate economic development, bringing Indonesian banks and financial houses into rough approximation with the operating hours of banks and bourses in Singapore and Malaysia.

The proposed change, however, is not without its detractors. Jusuf Kalla, the former vice-president of Indonesia, claims the change will cause disruption to the life-style of people living in the far east and far west of Indonesia. Saying 200 million Indonesians will be affected by the change, Kalla branded the time-change plan as illogical and unheard of in any nation covering the wide longitudinal area such as that occupied by Indonesia.

Kalla said China’s use of a single-time zone was a political decision adopted by the Communist Party in 1949.

Ridiculing arguments of “greater economic productivity” resulting from a single time zone, Kalla points to the U.S.A. with nine time zones and Australia with three time zones, where he says productivity and multiple time zones have no linkage.

The Sunlight Factor

Largely ignored in the current debate over changing time zones in Indonesia is the fact that Indonesia, as an archipelagic nation stretched along the equator, sees an average day's sunlight vary little throughout the calendar year. For example, Surabaya, as Indonesia’s second largest city, experiences sunset and sunset times that vary by only 20 minutes across the course of a year.

As shown on the chart provided by Balidiscovery.com, a single time zone would limit the amount of "waking" or "working" daylight hours available to local residents and, by extension, tourist visitors, In a simulation for a specific day in March 2012, the new time zone would see people in North Sumatra experience their sunrise and sunset one hour later at 7:32 am and 7:37 pm, respectively. This compares with Indonesia’s far east, Jayapura, in Papua, where for the same date in March the sunrise and sunset would occur one hour earlier at 4:42 am and 4:40 pm, respectively.

The current proposal mandate that all areas of Indonesia follow a single time zone of GMT + 8. Under this scheme, there would be no change in Bali’s current time zone.

Use the Feedback button and tell us what you think about plans to change Indonesia’s Time Zones.

[It’s About Time]  


Smokers Days are Numbered in Bali
Bali Smoking Bali Now in Effect; Total Ban on Smoking in Public Places to Be Phased in Over Time.

The province of Bali became “officially smoke free” as of June 1, 2012.

Quoted by Republika.co.id, Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika said the ban on smoking in public places will be phased in, commencing with an immediate ban on smoking in government offices.

The ban on smoking in Bali is covered in Bali’s Provincial Law No. 10 of 2011 on No Smoking Zones.

Pastika explained that the principle behind the no-smoking zones is to make these areas 100% free of cigarette smoke in public areas and enclosed spaces. The law also contains sections limiting advertising and the promotion of smoking.

“Advertising that promotes smoking is effective in luring beginning smokers; for this reason it must be limited, primarily by limiting areas in which these advertisements can be displayed,” explained the governor.

The governor promises that after eliminating smoking in public areas and banning advertising for tobacco products he will introduce further “anti-smoking” steps. Among future programs the governor plans to limit places where tobacco can be sold,  and eliminating the sale of cigarettes in traditional markets, shopping centers, public transport terminals and airports. Details concerning these steps will be addressed in future gubernatorial decrees.

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[Smoke Gets in Your Eyes]

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[Holy Smoke!]


Change of Command at Pan Pacific in Bali
Joseph Polito Appointed General Manager of Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort

Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort has named American Joseph Polito to oversee operations at its 103-hectare Resort.
rings over 28 years of hospitality experience spanning six countries and 10 cities to his new assignment in Bali.

Born in New York, Joseph began his career at the Mayfair Regent in New York, spending the last 20 years in Asia including China, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand. With an extensive background in opening and managing successful resorts, he has held key appointments with Alila Hotels & Resorts, Aman Resorts and Oberoi Hotels & Resorts.

In his most recent appointment, Joseph was vice president, restaurants, and bars & events at Pan Pacific Hotels Group, which manages both Pan Pacific and Parkroyal brands. In that post he was responsible for developing and implementing restaurant concepts across some 30 properties, including the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort.

Polito replaces John Berndt who last held the reins at the Pan Pacific property near Tanah Lot

Related Article

[Making the Best Even Better]


Mixing it Up in Bali
Vi Ai Pi Resto Club Lounge Hosting International Flair Bartending Competition in Bali June 7-9, 2012

The Vi Ai Pi Resto Club Lounge in Kuta, Bali will host an international bartending competition June 7-9, 2012.
the theme “Fun, Flair and Mixology – the Art of Bartending Challenge 2012” contestants from across Bali and the rest of Indonesia have already registered to participate, with one challenger hailing from far-away Hungary slated to take part.

The categories being tested during the competition include mixology and flair. Mixology will test the bartender’s ability to prepare attractive and delicious alcoholic drink concoctions. Meanwhile, the “flair” section concentrates on a bartender’s ability to entertain and impress while at the same time artistically wielding bottles of ingredients without missing a beat.

As an added challenge, bartenders in the mixology section will have their creative talents challenged when they are presented with a secretive “Black Box” – a sealed container of mystery spirits, liqueurs, juice and garnishes from which they are expected to create an original drink creation.

Semi-finals will be held on June 7 and 8, 2012, with the final round held on June 9th. The preliminaries will willow down the contestants to only ten participants in the finals held on the last day.

Ngurah Udayana, the organizer of the event, told Beritabali.com that the top prize in the competition is Rp. 25 million (US$ 2690).

Said Udayana: “This competition is aimed at discovering new bartending talent in Bali and the rest of Indonesia. We hope this competition can enhance the quality of bartenders in Bali, bringing them to an international standard."

Cost of registration is Rp. 200,000 (US$21.80).

Fun, Flair and Mixology – the Art of Bartending Challenge 2012
June 8-10, 2012
Vi Ai Pi Resto Club Lounge
Jalan Legian 88
Kuta, Bali

For More information telephone:
++62-(0)361-750425
++62-(0)81 805 668 648


One Island Under Law
After Closing Down Five Illegal Restaurants on Batubelig Beach for Zoning Violations, Badung Officials Cite W Retreat & Spa Bali for Zoning and Building Infringements

Steps by Bandung officials to enforce zoning and building regulations along the popular North Kuta stretch of Batubelig beach that started with the closure of five beachside restaurants has now widened in scope to include a critical review of the nearby five-star W Retreat and Spa, Bali.

The demolishment of five small restaurants along Batubelig Beach in Kerobokan, North Kuta, commenced on May 7, 2012, with the removal of the last of the five eateries has yet to be completed.

The restaurants, ruled by officials to be standing too close to Bali’s shoreline, were ordered demolished by the regent of Bandung, despite prolonged protests from local community members who cited the businesses’ value as a source of tax revenue and local employment.

The five restaurants ordered closed were: La Barca, Karma, Cantina Beach, Warung Pantai and Cozy Beach.

On of these businesses, the Karma Restaurant has yet to be torn down, while the remaining four establishments have been largely leveled.

Karma, said to be owned by a foreign businessman, received a final formal notification sent on Thursday, May 31, 2012, by the traditional head of the Kerobokan community, A.A. Kompyang Sutedja. That letter gave an absolute a seven-day deadline for final demolition.

Officials have threatened that if the seven-day deadline passes and the restaurant remains standing, bulldozers will be deployed to finish the job.

Meanwhile, Further Down the Beach

Following the crackdown on small businesses along Batubelig beach, zoning officials and members of the Badung House of Representatives (BPRD-Badung) have now turned their attentions to a nearby starred hotel.

According to Radar Bali, the W Retreat and Spa, Bali is being accused by legislators of erecting buildings not in conformance with the building plans submitted and approved for the building permit. Members of Commission B of the DPRD-Badung said that the W Resort has violated several zoning regulations and still lacks the operating permits that are required from the regency's tourism office.

Also according to Radar Bali, a check carried out by the Badung Zoning Office on November 3, 2011, uncovered discrepancies in the actual building construction that did not strictly conform with the plans and drawings approved by the regency on May 7, 2011. Cited as non-complying were a roofless building, an increase in the size of the swimming pool, and enlargements in the final construction of a bar and restaurant. The construction of some parts of the hotel are also said to exceed the maximum height limitation of 15 meters.

Like the nearby small restaurants that were recently ordered demolished, the Resort is also said to be in violation of minimum setback requirements.

Zoning officials told Radar Bali that the various violations have resulted in three formal warnings sent to the W Retreat and Spa, Bali, with the final and third warning sent on December 19, 2011. Because no alterations have been undertaken to bring the errant parts of the hotel into compliance with the law, the Zoning Commission has now written to the regency's enforcement agency and tourism office urging more definitive steps be taken against the hotel.

Meanwhile the head of the Infrastructure and Facilities section of the Badung Tourism Office, Nyoman Suradana, told the press that his office had never issued the “principle permit” (izin prinsip) or the operating permit for the hotel. Badung officials are postulating that the hotel may have used the “principle permit” issued in 1987 when the site was still occupied by the former Hotel Intan.

Suradana said his team’s efforts to visit the hotel and personally check the actual permits on file at the hotel were physically barred by the Resort’s Chief of Security.

Separately, the head of the Badung Enforcement Agency (Kasatpol PP), Ketut Martha, has warned that if the hotel does not demonstrate good will in the case they are prepared to take further firm steps in accordance with established procedures.

The owners of the hotel, PT Dua Cahaya Anugrah, represented by its director, Charles Sitorus, accompanied by a technical consultant, I Gusti Nyoman Putra Sardjana, were quoted by Radar Bali as saying that the W Retreat and Spa Bali holds an operating permit issued to a foreign investment company (PMA) by the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

Sitorus originally claimed that the resort holds an operating licenses issued by the regent of Badung. However, when Badung officials vehemently denied issuing the subject license, the company’s director withdrew his statement.

Sitorus apologized to the legislators. Claiming he did not know the details of structures considered to be in violation of zoning laws, saying any such mistakes are merely the fault of an “egotistical” architect. When asked when repairs and correction would be made, Sitorus said steps were being taken and begged for time to be allowed to address the matter.

Related Article

[Five Batubelig Restaurants That are No More]
 


God Bless the Child
Brave Efforts of a Balinese Woman Trying to Break the Cycle of Poverty by Educating Baliís Street Children

Tourist, intent on having a good time during their Bali holiday, will often do their best to avert there eyes from the leagues of street urchins, begging for money on road sides and busy intersections.
these children scrounding for money on the streets of South Bali come from the community of Munti Gunung, in the Karangasem regency where poverty and the familiarity of practice has produced a multi-generational beggar class.

Intent that begging should not become a profession for any Bali child, a dedicated Balinese woman, Ni Pande Putu Etiarti, is pioneering a movement to break this cycle of poverty by providing educational opportunities to the island’s street beggars.

Putu Etiarti has slowly and patiently gathered the street children, bringing them to a corner of Bali’s Kuta beach where she teaches reading, writing and arithmetic. Employing patience and persistence to persuade children and their parents of the need to obtain an education, Putu's original class of 7 children has now grown to more than 30 pupils.

Describing her crusade Putu Etiartini said: “It needs a lot of time to gather the children and invite them to study together. For them time is for seeking money, not for studying.”

Working through a local foundation – the Foundation for Love and Care of Children (Yayasan Kasih Peduli Anak – YKPA) – a simple school building on the beach has been operating for the past five years. Student, who have acquired a basic education from the school, are place at schools in Denpasar to obtain continuing education.

When the children come to Putu Etiartini’s school they are literally in tatters lacking even the most basis educational skills. Joined by a friend, Putu uses the meager funds neded to teach reading and writing skills, seen by YKPA as the first critical step in changing the fate of the children and their families.

The path to obtaining an education is seldom smooth. “For months I befriend the children, exchanging stories and just talking with them, offering chocolate and drinks. Once a relationship is established, I invite them to join the study group,” explained Putu.

The difficulties do not end there. Sometimes the children's “bosses” or parents don’t agree with efforts to educate the children, complaining that their income declines if the children are in school. “Their 'bosses' come and complain angrily to the foundation. They want to bring the children back to work on the streets,” she says.

Nonetheless, Putu Etiartini remains steadfast in her commitment to educate Bali’s street children, pointing to the progress made in sharing knowledge with her young charges and their newly awakened hunger for learning.

In the words of one of the children, Riski: “I like it here. I can study many things with many friends. Now I can speak English, do Yoga, dance Balinese dances and even surf.” Riski, who once sold bracelets on Kuta Beach, has today become a dedicated 15-year-old student.

Monitoring the progress of former student transferred to junior and high schools in Denpasar, Putu Etiartini reports that many of her former students are distinguishing themselves academically and achieving high attendance rates.

Putu credits her father for providing her the inspiration to try to make a change in the community. Hailing from a simple family, her Father always prioritized helping others. “Eventually, I learned that by helping others we can obtain great personal happiness,” said Putu.

In operating the Foundation, Putu Etiartini is assisted by nine staff members. To continue her education efforts funds are always needed to meet operational requirements and pay the school fees of her student continuing their education in Denpasar junior and high schools.

The foundation recently acquired its simple school building and is seeking funds to expand that facility. When donations are insufficient to pay overhead costs, the children pitch in making and selling handicrafts to keep their school operating.

[Yayasan Kasih Peduli Anak Website]


 
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Bali Update #616
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Bali Update #612
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Bali Update #610
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Bali Update #607
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Bali Update #564
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Bali Update #559
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Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
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Bali Update #555
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Bali Update #554
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Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
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Bali Update #549
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Bali Update #548
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Bali Update #547
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Bali Update #546
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Bali Update #545
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Bali Update #544
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Bali Update #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
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Bali Update #540
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Bali Update #536
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Bali Update #535
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Bali Update #534
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Bali Update #533
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Bali Update #531
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Bali Update #529
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Bali Update #528
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Bali Update #527
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Bali Update #526
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Bali Update #525
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Bali Update #508
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