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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #938 - 25 August 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


A Moving Experience
Lombok and Bali Unscathed by Moderate Earthquake on Thursday, August 9, 2012

Two earthquakes shook Bali in quick succession shortly after 7:00 pm local time on Thursday, August 9, 2012.

The quake occurred at 7:04 pm  with a measured intensity of 5.6 on the Richter scale.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in Central Lombok at a depth of 117 km some 88 km east of Bali’s eastern coast and 34 km south of Lombok’s capital of Mataram.

The earthquake struck just as local Muslim’s were breaking their daylong fast during the holy month of Ramadan. While the shaking caused some panic, particularly in Lombok’s capital, no injuries or structural damage have been linked to the seismic event.

In Bali many residents experienced the earthquake as they felt the ground move in two shakes just minutes apart.


Bali Bus System Expands
10 New Buses Join Sarbagita Bus System on New Denpasar to GWK Route

The Trans-Sarbagita Bus System continues to expand its routes and services to Bali’s residents and visitors.

According to Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), 10 new buses traveling between downtown Denpasar and the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park began operating on Friday, August 10, 2012.

The new routes join and intersect the  existing route system stretching from Batubulan – Kuta – Nusa Dua.

The 10 new buses operating the new route carry 35-passenger busses will operate in both directions along a 27-kilomter route that passengers schools and universities along the way with the following stops:
  • Kamboja 1/SMAN 7
  • Kamboja 2/Saraswati
  • Surapati 2/Surapati 3
  • Sudirman 2/Udayana University
  • Sudirman 3/SMAN2
  • Sanglah Hospital
  • Pesanggaran – Interchange with Batubalan-Nusa Dua Route
  • Pedungan – Interchange with Batubalan-Nusa Dua Route
  • Dewa Ruci – Interchange with Batubalan-Nusa Dua Route
  • Kedonganan
  • Jimbaran1
  • Udayana 1
  • Udayana 2
  • Udayana 3
  • Udayana 4
  • Udayana 5
  • Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
The new route intersects with Trans Sarbagita’s first route (Batubulan–Nusa Dua) at three bus stops:
  • Pesanggaran
  • Pedungan
  • Dewa Ruci.
In accordance with a special promotion announced by Bali’s governor in June 2012, all travel on the Trans-Sarbagita Bus System remains free-of-charge until August 31, 2012.

After that date the bus fare will revert to its standard tariff of Rp. 3,500 (US$0.38) for adults and Rp. 2,500 (US$0.27) for students. 



Passengers disembarking at Kedonganan or GWK can take smaller feeder busses to continue on to Uluwatu or Tanjung Benoa.

The Sarbagita Bus System is targeted to operate 17 main routes and 36 feeder routes by 2019.

Related Links

[Fare Play on Bali’s Bus System]

[You’ve Got a Ticket to Ride, But You Don’t Pay!]

[Sarbagita Bus System]


German Guilty of Fraud in North Bali
German Hotelier Gunther Meyer Sentenced to 18-Months Prison for Fraudulent Hotel Deal in North Bali

Radar Bali reports that a German businessmanm, Gunther Meyer, has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for committing a Rp. 9 billion (US$967,000) fraud against a business associate in the salr of shares in the Hotel Melka, located in Lovina, Buleleng, North Bali.

Prosecutors in the case had demanded a sentence of two years for Meyer for defrauding Michael Barg, a Danish national, in the trial held in the District Court of Buleleng. The sentence against the German hotelier was handed down on Thursday, August 9, 2012, in a trial with chief judge Made Ngurah Atmadja presiding.

Atmadja ruled Guther Meyer guilty of violating Section 372 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) dealing with fraud and sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment less time served.

Upon hearing the sentence the prosecution declared their intent to consider appealing the sentence against Meyer that they felt was too lenient, while the lawyer defending Meyer declared his client's intent to appeal the prison sentence of the court.

The substance of the court’s guilty verdict revolved around an offer made by Meyer to Barg to invest in his hotel project, offering a 25% share for Rp. 9 billion that did not materialized.

The lawyers for Barg told the press that they are filing a separate civil action to seek the missing Rp. 9 million from Meyer.

Related Article

[Fraud Trial for German Hotelier in North Bali]

[Expat Hotel Owner Jailed in Singaraja]


Blueprint for Disaster
PHRI Official Blames Government for Oversupply of Hotels; Wants New Hotels to Limit Time Validity for Special Price Offers

The secretary of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali) has reminded hotels in Bali, particularly new hotels, to limit the validity period of special price promotions.

The secretary of the PHRI-Bali, Perry Markus, speaking at a tourism competency certification program in Kuta, Bali on Thursday, August 9, 2012, declared that special promotional prices in effect for more than one year at new hotels would eventually result in an unwanted price war among all Bali hotels.

Quoted by Bertiabali.com, Markus also called on the government to stop granting permits for new hotel developments in Bali.

Markus warned: “If were talking price competition, it is, in fact, the government that has created this situation. It is the government that grants licenses to new hotels. It the law of the marketplace that in periods of low demand and over supply the prices must go down. We’ve warned that there are enough hotels, but if new permits continued to be granted (by the government), prices will continue to fall.”

Perry Markus said the growing number of hotels in Bali has caused hotel occupancies to decline. He said proof of this situation could be found in observing that previously, during holiday high seasons the occupancy of hotels averaged above 80%. But, now, occupancy of many hotels during holiday periods averages below 80%.

Related Articles

[Empty Rooms Desperately Seeking Occupants]

[Blueprint for Disaster]




Eyes in the Back and Side of their Heads
Denpasar, Bali's Four-Faced Catur Muka Monument Getting a Face(s) Lift

With the government of Bali’s capital city of Denpasar busily trying to upgrade and gentrify the Jalan Gajah Mada area near the central square and Bali Museum, attention has now turned to the four-faced Catur Muka Statue that marks “kilometer zero” for the entire island.

To give a face life, in fact four face lifts, to the Catur Muka Monument the government has allocated Rp. 1.5 billion (US$161,000) to be spent by the Denpasar Hygiene and Public Parks Department (DKP).

As reported by Radar Bali, the head of DKP for the City of Denpasar, Ketut Wisada, said the refurbishment of the Catur Muka Statue would be done in stages. A design of the revamped monument has been complete by a project consultant hired by the City.

“The physical work will begin at the end of this year with initially a redesign of the garden and the areas surrounding the monument,” explained Wisada on Thursday, August 9, 2012.


Away for a Bakerís Dozen
Malaysian Drug Smuggler Sentenced to 13 Years Prison for Smuggling Drugs into Bali

A Malaysian national Hew Kok Seng (39) has been sentenced to spend 13 years behind bars after being found guilty of smuggling 146 grams of methamphetamines into Bali.

The sentence was handed down by the Denpasar District Court together with a dine of Rp. 1 billion (US$107.500) in lieu of which an additional two months will be added to the sentence.

As reported by Radar Bali, the presiding judge in the case, Nur Syam, said he agreed with the public prosecutor that the Malaysian’s acts represented a violation of the National Anti-Narcotics Law of 2009. Moreover, Hew’s acts, the judge ruled, were in direct violation of the Indonesian government’s efforts to halt the use of dangerous narcotics.

In not imposing a longer sentence or the death penalty the judge took into consideration the defendant’s polite demeanor during the trial and his ready admission of wrong doing.

The Court heard how Hew’s nervous demeanor when arriving in Bali on March 19, 2012, caused Custom’s officials to x-ray his luggage revealing the package of hidden narcotics concealed within his luggage.


Trying to Keep the Customer Satisfied
I Putu Agus Anuarta, Assistance Chief Concierge, The Laguna Resort And Spa Elevated to Adherent Member Of Les Clefs DíOr - The Society Of The Golden Keys

Les Clefs d’Or Singapore have welcomed Agus Anuarta, Assistant Chief Concierge at The Laguna Resort & Spa as an “adherent member.”

Prior to this promotion, Agus has been a “local member” of Les Clefs d’Or Singapore since 2010.

Les Clefs d'Or is an elite association of the world’s leading concierges employed at some of the world’s most highly regarded hotels and resorts in guest service roles within the concierge department. The organization aims to improve and maintain the quality of service provided by the concierge staff in their hotels.

Agus Anuarta has been with the Laguna Resort & Spa for almost 15 years. Previously working as a Bellman he was promoted to Assistant Chief Concierge in August 2011. He is currently supervising four concierges and fifteen Bellmen at the Resort. As an “adherent member” of Les Clefs d’Or Agus says his goals are, as far as humanly possible, to meet every guest request.

Agus next step in Les Clefs d’Or is to acquire a full membership status, a step that requires a minimum of 7 years experience in the hospitality industry and a minimum of 5 years in the capacity of a concierge.

As Agus contemplates his future rise that will earn him the right to wear the golden key of the organization on his lapel, he continues to his daily routine of looking after the needs of The Laguna’s Resort’s guests, championing the organizations motto of “service through friendship.

Related Links

[Key Man to Know in Bali]

[Book a Stay at the Laguna Resort and Spa]
 


Splish, Splash I was Taking a Bath
Banjar in North Bali Offers Visitors a Buddhist Monastery and Natural Hot Springs

Located in Banjar, about 5 kilometers west of Lovina in North Bali, is Banjar - home to two very interesting objects that should be included in a tour of the island’s north – the Brahma-Asrama Vihara Buddhist Monastery and the natural hot springs of Air Panas.

Brahma-Asrama Vihara Buddhist Monastery

The monastery is as an ashram or place of residence for visiting monks and is presided over by a local Brahman priest or Bhikku. Reverential and interested guests are always welcome.

The monastery runs a series to meditative retreats of ten days duration or shorter programs throughout the course of the year.

Air Panas – Hot Springs

In the same area is Air Panas - a picturesque hot water spring where guest and local alike are welcome to luxuriate in the ponds that have an average temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Air Panas is accessed via paved pathways from a large parking area where moderately priced admission tickets are sold. The ponds are set in constructed pools set in a verdant jungle setting. Popular with local residents, particularly on certain holy days, there are numerous shops selling food, drink and souvenirs surrounding the site.

While locals trace the hot springs back several centuries, it was only during the Japanese occupation that the more formalized decorative pools were established. The source of the warm waters sits near an ancient banyan tree, an object of local worship protected by a security fence.

The Hot springs are comprised of three separate sections, each with a differnet elevation. The first pool is fed by hot water spouting from the mouths of eight dragons statues. The sulfur-rich waters, thought to be beneficial to health, are fed to the main pool via five dragon statues. A third pool is arguably the most popular with visitors with waters falling from 3.5-meter high fountains. Guest enjoy standing under the cascading warm waters, receiving a natural water massage in the process.

The three pools vary in depth between 1 and 2 meters.

Visitors wish to bathe at the springs are advised to wear swimming apparel and are forbidden from bringing soaps and shampoos inside the pool area.

Little publicized and off-the –beaten-path in terms of major tours of the island, both the monastery and hot springs can form a relaxing and wonderful morning or afternoon while touring the island's north.

[Explore Bali’s North with Bali Discovery Tours]


This is London Calling
Balinese Woman to Participate in 2012 London Summer Paralympics

Bali will be proudly represented at the 2012 Summer Paralympics that will get underway in London August 29 – September 9, 2012.

First held in a seminal form in London in 1948 for returning WWII veterans, the Paralympic games is the world sporting championships for people suffering from physical disabilities. The organizers divide competing Paralympians into six categories: Amputees, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, wheelchairs, visually impaired and Les Autres - for physically impaired athletes who do not fit into any of the previous five categories.

Representing Bali will be 22-year-old woman Nengah Widiasih from the village of Kubu in Karangasem, East Bali. From a poor family with four children, both Nengah and her brother Gede were afflicted with infantile polio.

In search of a life rich with opportunity, Nengah moved at the age of six years became a resident of the [Handicapped Child Development Foundation (YPAC)]  located in Jimbaran, South Bali.

Through the generosity of the YPAC, Nengah’s daily expenses were paid by the foundation with additional help from a Dutch organization called Bali Bundar during her middle school years.

Confined to a wheelchair, Nengah is now in her second year of high school.

Inspired and trained by her weight lifter brother I Gede Suantaka, also stricken with Poliomyelitis, Nengah Widiasih took up the sports of weightlifting. Despite her disabilities, her athletic prowess has brought her to Kuala Lumpur, Thailand and various locations in Indonesia. Competing in the 40 kg weight class, Nengah won bronze medal in 2008 in Thailand and Kuala Lumpur in 2009 at the Asian ParaGames.

In the 2011 at the Asian Paragames in Surakarta Nengah won gold by setting a new record in her weight class lifting 87 kilograms, surpassing the previous record by 2 kilograms.

Competing in the Malaysia Open Power lifting Championship in Kuala Lumpur in February 2012, she won a bronze metal.

Her competitive record placed Nengah on the six-member shortlist to compete in the 2012 London Summer Paralympics. In June, this proud young competitor was selected to be part of the six-person delegation of Indonesian athletes, the only member of the red and white team competing in the power-lifting category.

London be warned!

Nengah's coming your way on two wheels with arms strong enough to carry back home to Indonesia some gold.


Empty Rooms Desperately Seeking Occupants
PHRI Says Growth in Accommodation in Bali Surging Ahead at Record Rates

According to Beritabali.com, the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali) calculates that the total number of rooms across hotels, villas, and tourism inns has reached 90,000 keys.

This total stands in stark contrast to the estimated 56,000 rooms counted by PHRI-Bali just one year ago.

The Secretary of PHRI-Bali, Perry Markus, blames the rapid increase is linked to the rapid increase in villas and new hotels taking place in Bali. Markus said that in the regency of Badung alone, there are 78,300 tourist accommodation rooms.

“This data for Badung is current as of June 21, 2012. In all of Bandung there are 78,300 rooms spread across villas, starred hotels, rented homes and condotels,” Markus explained.

Perry Markus repeated his call for the province of Bali and metropolitan administration to implement of a moratorium. He warned that the failure to do so would have grave consequences on the island’s carrying capacity, citing the availability of water as just one example of local resources now under severe strain.

Related Articles

[Blueprint for Disaster]

[A Raging Redundancy of Rooms]


Enriching Baliís Coral Reefs
Pemuteran North Bali Reef Restoration and Conservation Cited by UNDP as Worthy of World Emulation

The United Nations is hoping that the management systems for protection and conservation of the coral reef near the community of Pemuteran in Buleleng, North Bali can become a positive example to other communities around the world.

The restoration and management of the coral reef at Pemuteran carried out by the Yayasan Karang Lestari has won numerous awards, including the 2012 Equator Prize and a United Nations Development Program Award (UNDP) for ocean conservancy.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, El-Mostafa Benlamlih, UNDP Resident Representative said that tourists come to Indonesia in search of environmental protection, cultural preservation, and oceans’ conservancy. He said tourists wish to see how people live in harmony with their environment and, when they see evidence of success in managing the environment, then tourism becomes a sustainable product.

El-Mostafa Benlamlih comments were made in Buleleng on Thursday, December 7, 2012, where he highly praised local restoration and management of the coral reef, saying other coastal peoples should emulate and study the example set by the people of Pemuteran.


Hombre in Hot Water
Spanish Resort Manager Working in North Bali Arrested for Narcotics Possession

A Spanish resort manager, Eloy Esteves Guitierrez (34), was arrested on Friday evening, August 3, 2012, by Denpasar’s Anti-narcotics police officers at unit 108 of the luxury Royal Segina Apartments on Jalan Mahendradatta.

According to Beritabali.com or Kompas.com, police found either 1.74 or 1.54 grams of ecstasy in a plastic parcel at Guitierrez’s apartment.

Police arrested Eloy after receiving reports from the public of suspicious behavior suggesting narcotics use. Placing the man under surveillance for one week, police eventually swept down on his apartment at 10:30 pm on Friday night.

When police searched the apartment they discovered a plastic clip containing the 1.74 grams (Beritabali.com) of purple pills determined by police to be ecstasy.

A police source said the man initially denied any knowledge of the drugs, but later admitted to police the pills belonged to him.

Press reports say the man stays at the Hotel Menjangan near Singaraja, traveling to the apartment in Denpasar every Friday. A Facebook listing showed Guitierrez’s occupation as "Operations Manager at The Menjangan at Lifestyle Retreats."

The Spaniard remains in custody while waiting for his case to be handed to local prosecutors.

Similar Article

[Not in His Mother’ Recipe]



Matters of the Heart
Governorís Extended Hospital Stay in Singapore Due to Heart Bypass Operation

The Bali Post reports that the mystery surrounding Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika’s extended hospital stay in Singapore from July 11 to August 5, 2012 has now been clarified.

While provincial officials originally described the hospitalization as a “routine medical check-up,” it has now been confirmed directly by Pastika that he underwent heart bypass surgery during his more than 3-week hospitalization at Singapore’s Mt. Elizabeth Hospital.

Accompanied by Deputy-governor AA Puspayoga, Mangku Pastika has shared with the press how he initially only went to Singapore for a routine check-up, something he had long-delayed due to his busy work schedule.

During the course of his check up, the Singapore doctors concluded the governor needed a heart bypass operation to ensure his heart received adequate supplies of blood.

Pastika told the press that the bypass operation went well and “according to the doctor he can live for another 20 years.”

Related Article

[Welcome Back Pak Made!]


There Ought to be a Law!
PLN Wants Bali to Pass Laws Controlling Kite Flying Activities

The State Electrical Board (PLN) is recommending to the provincial government of Bali that local regulations be urgently formulated addressing kite flying.

The proposed regulations, according to PLN, should contain rules covering specific locations in which kite flying is allowed and limitations on maximum height permitted for kite flying.

According to Beritabali.com, the regulations urged by PLN are needed to end the frequent power outages caused by kites that get entangled on power lines and transformers.

The area manager for execution and maintenance for PLN in Bali, Wayan Bujana, said that between 2006 and 2010 there have been 5 instances of total blackouts in Bali, 3 of which are linked to short circuits caused by errant kites.

An island-wide electrical blackout in Bali can cause financial losses estimated to be as much as Rp. 8 billion (US$860,000). This figure does not include damage to equipment caused by power failures.

Wayan Bujana said the proposed regulations should also contain laws forbidding people leaving their kites unattended overnight. Kites held to the earth with wooden or steel stakes, but without human supervision, are frequently linked to catastrophic results when the kites crash to the earth during the evening hours.

Bali has an existing Kite Flying regulation passed in 2000 stipulating the altitude and proximity of kite flying near the traffic patterns of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

[Don’t Go Fly a Kite!]

[Yikes! Watch out for Kites!]


Gathering European Storm Clouds
Bali Business Leaders Says European Arrivals Likely to Decline in Face of Continuing Economic Crisis

The widening economic crisis in Europe is predicted to result in declining number of European visitors to Bali.

The chairman of the Association of Indonesian Entrepreneurs (APINDO), Panudiana Kuhn, said on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, he expects the expenditure of European visitors in upper class segment will remain stable.

As reported by Bisnis Bali, Kuhn said outbound travel from Europe to overseas destinations, including Bali, would decline as the economies of the European Union falter.

He said that any decline in European travelers to Bali may be compensated by increasing levels of domestic tourist arrivals to the island. Kuhn said that he predicts domestic tourism may increase 20% in 2012.

According to Balidiscovery.com and Bali by the Numbers, European tourist arrivals to Bali for the period January-June 2012 totalled  297,413 – an increase of 4.1% over 2011.

The APINDO chairman predicts that four and five star hotels will be favored by European visitors to Bali.

Kuhn said it will take Europe at least two years to emerge from its current economic crisis or even longer if firm steps are not taken to address that region’s economic ills.

He said that Europe’s sickest economies of Greece, Portugal and Spain remain minor markets to Bali. Meanwhile, European tourists from Germany, France and Holland remain chief markets from Europe to Bali.

Kuhn failed to mention the United Kingdom and Russia – both of which remain major players in term of Bali tourism.

Kuhn compared the current European economic crisis to the crisis experienced by Indonesian in 1997-1998 and the American economic crisis of 2008.


June Bali Foreign Tourist Arrivals Decline
Bali by the Numbers: Bali Foreign Arrivals Level Off as June Bookings Decline. Are Days of Arrival's Growth Ending?

Clearly, Bali arrivals have arrived at a plateau. Gone are the days of month-on-month double digit growth in arrivals to Bali calling into doubt optimistic projections by the island leaders that Bali will achieve 5 million foreign visitors by 2015.

In June 2012 a total of 238,296 foreign visitors came to Bali, a decline of 0.8% over June 2011 when 240,154 foreign tourists came to the island. June together with April is the second month in 2012 in which month-on-month foreign arrivals have declined.

On a cumulative basis January-June 2012 visitors are up 7.73% totaling 1,369,758.

3 Million Foreign Tourists Predicted for 2012

Extrapolating foreign arrivals by assuming a steady 7.73% growth rate through the end of the current year, Bali should welcome close to 3 million tourists by the end of 2012.

Arrivals by Major Markets

Australia – Australian arrivals month-on-month declined slightly (-0.003%) in June with 72,084 visitors from down under. Year-on-year January-June there were 379,372 visitors to Bali representing an increase of 8.15% over the same period in 2011.

People’s Republic of China – Arrivals from the PRC for June were equally flat at 19,648 visitors – up only 0.014% month-on-month. Due to the strong start on the year from the PRC, year-on-year PRC visitors are up 53.29% overall with 163,103 Chinese visitors for the period January-June 2012.

Malaysia – Is the shine off Bali for the Malaysian market? June 2012 arrivals totaled 13,654 – a decrease of 17.5% when compared to June 2011. Cumulatively, Malaysian arrivals for January-June are down 0.6% at 82,996 visitors.

Japan – Once the main source of foreign visitors to Bali, Japan has now slipped into 4th place. While year-on-year through the end of June Japanese arrivals are down 8.97%, there is some indication that the government’s policy of enhancing air access from Japan is paying dividends. June arrivals ex Japan at 14,643 represent a month-on-month improvement of 7.62%, and makes June 2012 the third consecutive month in which Japanese arrivals improved as compared to 2011.

Is a turn-around in Japanese arrivals to Bali now underway?

South Korean – South Korean arrivals now rank 5th overall with 10,200 South Korean visitors in June 2012 a decrease of 0.8% when compared to June 2011. On a cumulative basis for the first 6 months of 2012 South Korean arrival are up a modest 3.51%.

United Kingdom – U.K. arrivals are strong, moving up from a ranking of 7th last year to 6th for the current year. Month-on-month U.K. arrivals for June totaled 9.641 – an increase of 13.01% as compared to June 2011. On a cumulative basis for the fist six months of this year, U.K. arrivals are up 12.59%.

Taiwan – Taiwan arrivals to Bali appear to be troubled. June arrivals from Taiwan at 8,996 are down 31.9% compared to the same month one year ago. Taiwan’s ranking has slipped from 5th to 7th place in the course of one year. Cumulatively for the first six months of 2012 Taiwanese arrivals are down 18.21%.

U.S.A. – U.S. tourism to Bali improved 8.1% in June 2012 with 8,838 visitors. Year-on-year U.S.A. visitors are up 10.76%.

France – French tourists coming to Bali in June increased 4.3% as compared to June 2011. France sent 7.353 tourists to Bali in June 2012. Year-on-year arrivals from France are virtually flat, improving only 0.84% during the first six months of 2012.

Russia – Russian arrivals in June improved 22.6% totaling 3,863. For the first six months of the year Russian tourists are up 7.77%.

Germany – Germany arrivals slipped 2.28% in June at 6.750 visitors. Year-on-year for the first half of the year German visitors have improved 8.02%,

The Netherlands – Dutch visitors to Bali continue to decline, down 3.5% month-on-month for June 2012 with 4,784 visitors. Year-on-year Dutch visitors are down 3.04% for January-June 2012.

Geographically Asia-Pacific and ASEAN represent a combined 72.02% market share of all foreign tourist arrivals to Bali.


Comingled Smoke of Lovers and Friends
Images from Mass Cremation at Tampaksiring, Bali

A Balinese freelance photographer, I Nengah Januartha, recently published his images of a mass cremation held in the hillside community of Tampaksiring on Demotix.com

striking images of blazing Bali-Hindi style sarcophagi in the shapes of buffaloes, lions, leopards and rhino capture the an essence of the final Balinese ritual of passage that ends with the cremated remains committal to a river or the ocean.

“There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.”

Vincent Van Gogh

We encourage a visit to Junuartha’s powerful images published at Demotix.com

[Bali mass cremation at Tampaksiring – Images by Nengah Januartha


An Island Bad at Math
Validity of Baliís Tourism Statistics Doubted

The Indonesian Association of Tourism (GIPI) is openly questioning the accuracy and validity of statistics used to evaluate Bali tourism.

As reported by Bisnis Bali, GIPI claims the data compiled by regencies and metropolitan governments in Bali is confused and subject to overlaps.

Citing an example, Wijaya pointed to data on accommodations and hotels from the regencies and cities in Bali as being largely inaccurate; reported numbers far below the true number of rooms commercially available for sale.

Official data issued by the government states the total number of saleable rooms in Bali in 2010 stood at 45,408 rooms, a number that increased to 55,000 rooms in 2011.

At variance with these figures are 2009 figures that claimed 46,104 hotel rooms spread across 2,175 hotels. Those figures also estimated that 90% of all hotel rooms were located in the regency of Badung.

The chairman of GIPI, Ngurah Wijaya, speaking at a limited discussion on Bali tourism held at the offices of Bali Post, said the official figures on accommodation, hotels, villas and inns are inaccurate. These inaccuracies, he contends, are having a negative effect on the future development of Bali tourism.

“This is very ironic. How can Bali establish a future master plan for tourism development if the existing data is self-contradictory and invalid? We need accurate data in order to form a basis for developing Bali’s tourism both in short, medium and long-term,” declared Wijaya.

He said that he would soon meet with Provincial Planning Agency (Bappeda Bali), the Central Statistic Bureau (BPS), the Center for Research on Culture and Tourism at Udayana University and the local representatives of Bank Indonesia to discuss the synchronization of tourism data and statistics.

Wijaya complained that tourism development in Bali has somehow shifted its focus from true tourism to becoming a real estate industry. Visitors’ desire to own a part of paradise, he said, is closely linked to the sell-off of Bali now underway.

To stop the shift to selling Bali to the world lot-by-lot, Wijaya called on both the provincial and regional government administrations in Bali to implement a temporary moratorium on new accommodation projects.

Related Article

[Bali by the Numbers]


Whereís the Meat?
Bali Hotels Donít Want to Use Local Beef Products

Bisnis Bali reports that most of the large hotels in Bali are reluctant to use local beef products.

The chief of Bali’s Livestock and Animal Health Office, I Putu Sumantra, said on Friday, August 10, 2012, that beef products produced in Bali constitute and used by the island's hotels and restaurants represent only around 10% total local beef consumption.

The island of Bali slaughters around 44,000 heads of cattle each year to meet local demand for beef.

The government estimates only 4,000 heads of cattle are used by hotels and other tourism-related companies each year. “And that amount is only for select cuts sought by hotels and restaurants,” Sumantra explained.

He said the low consumption of local beef by the island’s tourism industry is due to the low quality of Bali-produced beef and an inability to compete with higher quality of imported beef products. Hotels and restaurants in Bali are primarily seeking the more tender cuts of meat that come from cattle slaughtered in their adolescence, a need more adequately met by imported cuts.

Local beef producers seek to sell their cattle at a heavier slaughter weight, preferring not to slaughter younger animals.

Imported beef also tend to have a higher fat content, with well-marbled beef preferred by Bali’s hotels and restaurants.


Time to Kiss and Make Up?
Governor Pastika Signals Readiness to End War with Bali Post

Beritabalii.com reports that Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika is ready to end his ongoing conflict with the island’s largest daily paper Bali Post, saying his door is open to accept an apology from the publication.

On Saturday, August 11, 2012,  as a further sign of his desire for reconciliation, Pastika said that the newspaper does not need to meet him directly to offer its apology.

Pastika said the problem of his polemic with the Bali Post was now a matter of the past. Nonetheless, the governor said it was time for the Bali Post to also demonstrate its desire to put the conflict at an end by withdrawing its legal appeal of the Court’s decision that declared the governor victorious in his defamation claim against the paper.

“I have forgiven them. But, don't appeal (the Court’s ruling). Because, if they (The Bali Post) appeal, the legal matter will continue. Legal teams will become involved again. If forgiveness has been granted, then let the matter end there. Everything (can be considered) finished.” said the governor.

Pastika said there are many more pressing issues that need to be addressed than continuing his conflict with the Bali Post. “Many of Bali’s assets are under legal threat. Some are being claimed in legal proceedings where there are unclear issues. We are weary of trying to address all these matters. It would better if these things were taken care of,” explained the governor.

The governor's conflict with the Bali Post originates from a report in the paper with the title “After Battles in Kemoning-Budaga, Governor Declares: Just Dismantle the Traditional Villages.” Pastika denied ever making a call for the dismantling of all traditional villages (Desa Pakraman), suggesting that this solution was put forth for only two warring villages unable to peaceably resolve their differences. The governor felt the Bali Post report was inaccurate prompting him to eventually seek a legal resolution of his published misrepresentation.

The Bali Post continues to claim the news was accurately presented.

The Bali District Court recently ruled in favor of the governor, granting him damages of Rp. 170 million (US$18,280) and requiring the Bali Post to publish full page apologies for six consecutive days in The Bali Post and a number of other major newspapers.

The Bali Post has filed a formal appeal of the court’s ruling.

Related Article

[An Island Most Appealing]
 


Fire at North Bali Mosque
Police: Fire at Mosque in Singaraja, North Bali Accidental

Beritabali.com reports from Singaraja, North Bali that a devastating fire on Saturday, August 11, 2012, at the Al Asri Mosque located on Jalan Ahmad Yani is being treated by police as unintentional.

According to the head of operations at the Buleleng police station, Police Commissioner Ida Putu Wedana Jati, the fire that destroyed the mosque was not due to sabotage or criminality.

Official assurances that the fire was unintentional were made by the police in Buleleng in the midst of clashes between young men from the two sub-districts of Banyuning and Penguyangan in Singaraja that saw police forced to deploy a water cannon to prevent the conflict from widening.

Wedana Jati said the fire was due to mistakes made by a caretaker at the mosque. Based on preliminary investigations and interviews of witnesses, it was determined that the mosque’s caretaker lit a gas stove that accidentally set fire to curtains in one room of the complex.

The fire that consumed the mosque and momentarily panicked local residents started at around 10:30 am. Efforts by firefighters, aided by community members, localized the damage, preventing it from spreading to other homes in the crowded housing complex.

After the fire, the mosque is no longer useable as a place of prayer by the communities Muslims.


Home for the Holidays
58 Additional Flights at Baliís Ngurah Rai Airport to Handle Idul Fitri Holiday Rush

In anticipation of a rush of holiday travelers over the Idul Fitri holidays, some 58 extra flights will operate into and out of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport from August 24-28, 2012.

Airport officials say the 58 additional flights are needed to handle daily flow-throughs of passengers that can reach totals as high as 21,000 over the Muslim New Year period. During non-holiday periods the Bali airport handles an average 16,000 passengers.

The routes experiencing the heaviest traffic during the coming holidays are flights operating to and from Jakarta, Surabaya and Yogyakarta.

Passengers during this period are comprised of both non-Muslim holidaymakers and Muslims traveling to spend the holiday period with family and friends.


Swear and Swear Again
Governor to Install Regents and Vice-Regent of Buleleng for Second Time

Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika will hold a second inauguration for the Bupati and Wakil-Bupati of the North Bali regency of Buleleng, Putu Agus Suradnyana and Nyoman Sutjidra.

The second swearing in ceremony will be held in Denpasar at the governor’s official residence in Denpasar, Jaya Sabha, on Monday, August 27, 2012.

The State News Agency Antara said the decision to hold a second inauguration was made after consulting with the Minister of the Interior and is being done in order to avoid any future problems.

Suradnyana and Sutjidra were initially installed in their roles as regent and vice-regent at a ceremony conducted by the vice-governor of Bali, AA Puspayoga, conducted in Buleleng on July 24, 2012. The governor was unable to preside at that event due to his incapacitation while recuperating from heart surgery in Singapore.

Because some have publicly questioned the legitimacy of the installation performed by the vice-governor, Pastika decided to remove any vestiges of doubt on the new regent and vice-regent's mandate by personally holding the ceremony once again.

Insisting the installation done by the deputy-governor in July was 100% valid, the governor said the August 27th event would be largely a pro-forma affair, done without fanfare of any kind, including the absence of drinks and snacks.


Give Some Kids Lemons; Theyíll Help Bali
A Group of U.S. Kids Recall a Memorable Visit to Bali by Selling Lemonade to Help the Children of the East Bali Poverty Project

On Saturday, June 30, 2012, a group of American children, who spent last August on the Island of Bali, held lemonade and used toy sales in the yard of a Washington, D.C. residence to raise money to help buy school uniforms for 183 Balinese friends they met during a two-day visit to their remote village in North Bali.

Hugo and Della Carney, the children of U.S. Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney and ABC TV’s “Good Morning America” reporter Claire Shipman; and Evie and Ricky Hardart - the offspring of Film Producer Tom Hardart and Virginia Shore - held their lemonade fundraiser in the Carney’s backyard in suburban Washington, D.C..

Both the yard’s lawns and the art of neighborhood lemonade sales may never be the same after this enterprising group of juveniles turned the sale into a society event managing to raise nearly US$3,000 – a sum that included matching funds from their generous parents.

The sale included lemonade, cookies and used toys and was supported by posters in key locations in Washington,  creating sufficient “buzz” to warrant extensive [photographic coverage in Washington Life Magazine]. 

And, with a Dad who speaks to the world's press every day from the White House in his role as Presidential Press Secretary and a Peabody Award-winning Mom who visits households across America each morning on ABC TV,  it's little wonder that word of the lemonade sale got around.

But the full credit for the event rests with the children who were motivated to try to make a difference in the lives of a large group of underprivileged children near the village of Ban in a remote area of Northeast Bali by assisting the [East Bali Poverty Project - EBPP]. The kids spent  August 17, 2011 – Indonesian Independence Day - celebrating with the children of EBPP.

Delighted with the success of their project, 7-year-old Della Carney and her 11-year-old brother Hugo shared the following message with Balidiscovery.com, asking us to pass it along to their friends at EBPP: “I can’t believe we raised $1,000! I hope the money we got from our sale helps with uniforms. Your villages are so beautiful and we liked meeting you.”

The money collected was used to produce 183 school uniforms and purchase new undergarments for children from the villages of Bunga, Manikaji and Darmaji – all part of the large community served by EBPP.

David Booth M.B.E. the Bali-based founder of EBPP, recalling the 2011 visit of Claire Shipman and Virginia Shore, said: "After Claire, Virginia and their children joined me to see some of our remote schools, bouncing up very steep and bumpy dirt tracks on 16th August 2011, they all were impressed at our children's good education but more so by their children joining activities with EBPP students, especially when they donated 2 ukuleles to our schools. When they all attended our 17th August Independence Day event, their children competed with ours especially in the krupuk eating competition and they were totally hilarious!"

Continuing, David added: “Claire's children were so moved and inspired by their visit and connection with impoverished children that they did a fundraiser in July this year in USA with a goal to raise what they could towards the over $3,000 to provide school uniforms for as many of EBPP's students as possible. Awesome! Their children's one-day fundraiser achieved $1,000 and then with addition from the parents, we proudly received $3,000 - sufficient for our 280 students basic school uniforms. This is particularly special because we have not been able to provide new uniforms for our children for almost 2 years now - and it's not only the children's pride self esteem that is rapidly elevated when they wear their distinctive uniforms, but also their parents and complete communities: because their children are the first generation to get a complete, relevant and integrated education. EBPP school uniforms are different from government schools and they stand out, becoming the pride of their village. Claire and Virginia's children do want to keep in touch and I am sure that this is the start of a long, enjoyable and culturally mutually beneficial loving relationship!”

Travel arrangements for the Carney-Shipman's and Shore-Hardarts during their Bali visit were handled by Balidiscovery.com.


 
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Bali Update #531
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Bali Update #530
November 06, 2006

Bali Update #529
October 30, 2006

Bali Update #528
October 23, 2006

Bali Update #527
October 16, 2006

Bali Update #526
October 9, 2006

Bali Update #525
October 2, 2006

Bali Update #524
September 04, 2006

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
August 14, 2006

Bali Update #517
August 07, 2006

Bali Update #516
July 31, 2006

Bali Update #515
July 24, 2006

Bali Update #514
July 17, 2006

Bali Update #513
July 10, 2006

Bali Update #512
July 03, 2006

Bali Update #511
June 26, 2006

Bali Update #510
June 19, 2006

Bali Update #509
June 12, 2006

Bali Update #508
June 05, 2006

Bali Update #507
May 29, 2006

Bali Update #506
May 22, 2006

Bali Update #505
May 15, 2006

Bali Update #504
May 08, 2006

Bali Update #503
May 01, 2006

Bali Update #502
April 24, 2006

Bali Update #501
April 17, 2006
 

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