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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1077 - 24 April 2017

IN THIS UPDATE


Japan Beckons
Visa-free Visit for Indonesian Travelers to Japan Beginning December 1, 2014

The Japanese foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, that effective December 1, 2014, Indonesians can visit Japan without the need to obtain a visa beforehand.

On that date and thereafter, Indonesians landing in Japan will be issued a free visitor visa valid for 15 days.

The free visa given to Indonesians does not permit employment during the course of a visit.

Indonesia’s Ambassador to Japan, Yusron Ihza Mahendra, told the State News Agency Antara that he appreciated the announcement by Foreign Minister Kishida. Adding, “Through this public statement, the free-visa status awaited by the people of Indonesia is now clear and confirmed.”

The Japanese government has stipulated that only Indonesians holding an IC passport will be granted the free-visa privilege. This is being done to facilitate the processing and electronic scanning of the Indonesian passports upon arrival in Japan.
 
IC passports, embedded with a data chip are gradually being introduced in Indonesia as E-Passports that conform to standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

In addition, Indonesians who want to use the visa-free facility in Japan must, before their first trip to Japan, register with the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta or a Japanese Consulate-General in Indonesia.

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Eastern Promise
Garuda Indonesia Plans More Eastern Flights to Labuan Bajo and Tambolaka

Bisnis.com reports that Garuda Indonesia will soon add flight frequencies from Denpasar to East Nusa Tenggara in order to meet growing tourist demand for destinations east of Bali.

General Manager of Garuda Indonesia in Bali, Syamsuddin J S, announced that more flights would be added between Denpasar and Labuan Bajo (West Flores), bringing the total flight frequency from the current single flight to three flights per day.

Garuda will also open a flight service from Bali to Dili, Timor Leste.

No formal decision has been made at this time on the type of aircraft to be used on the additional flights, pending further study and review by Garuda.

At the present time the route Denpasar-Labuan Bajo-Tambolaka (Sumba) operates once a day leaving Bali at 6:15 a.m. and departing Tambolaka on the return leg at 9:20 a.m. This service is flown by ATR-72-600 aircraft.

Garuda reports average loads of 80% on the flight.

Garuda is responding to requests for more flights to Labuan Bajo and Tambolaka, with requests from some quarters for the addition of night flights.

The airports at Labuan Bajo and Tambolaka do not currently have runway lights, necessary for operations after sunset.


South Baliís Welcome by Sea
Bali Opens New Domestic Passenger Terminal at Benoa Seaport

The southern port of Benoa in Bali has formally opened its new domestic passenger terminal.

As reported by Beritadewata.com, Benoa is the port-of-call on regular domestic routes operated by PT Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia (PELNI) using three vessels: KM Tilongkablila, KM Awu and KM Kelimutu.

Ali Sodikin, general manager of PT Pelabuhan Indonesia III – the operator of the port of Benoa, confirms that in all of 2014 a total of 54 domestic ship visits will occur at Benoa serving an estimated 46,000 embarking and disembarking passengers.

“The domestic passenger terminal that has been built in less than 9 months combines a minimalist approach in concert with Balinese architectural elements,” said Solichin.

The new domestic passenger terminal comes equipped with lavatories, a room for nursing mothers, a VIP waiting room, air conditioning and a large waiting room. Solichin reported that the terminal covers 1,383 square meters and is  able to handle 700 passengers during a single ship’s call.
 
Speaking separately, the CEO of PT Pelabuhan Indonesia III, Djarwo Surjanto, said the new passenger terminal at Benoa was born of a responsibility of the seaport to the many passengers using it. The new port, he added, is needed to also welcome international ships’ passengers within the context of national efforts to welcome and develop marine tourism.

Efforts to promote international cruise ship visits have born fruit with 58 international cruise ships expected to call on Benoa in all of 2014.


In Florida Until Retirement?
Balinese Cruise Worker Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder and Sexual Assault to Be Sentenced in December 8, 2014.

Ketut Pujayasa, the 29-year-old room service steward on the Holland-America Line Nieuw Amsterdam, has plead guilty in a South Florida courtroom to attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault of a 31-year-old woman passenger that occurred in February 14, 2014.

The Balinese man was not offered a plea bargain and chose to plead guilty rather than go to trial. At the discretion of the Court, Pujayasa could be sentenced to life in prison.

The ex-cruise ship worker admitted to a federal judge Monday that he brutally beat, raped and tried to throw a passenger overboard because he believed she insulted his mother.

With no plea bargain offered, Ketut Pujayasa, 29, changed his plea from “not guilty” to “guilty “on the charges of attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault.

The Balinese man, who worked as a room service waiter, was reportedly incensed at being called a “son-of-a-bitch” by the victim, a 31-year-old female passengers on a “nudist cruise.”

Using a passkey to the woman’s room, Pujayasa attacked the woman in her sleep, beating her unconscious by using blunt objects that included a laptop computer and a curling iron, and then leaving so severely injured that she had to be evacuated by air ambulance from Honduras to South Florida.

In an effort to rape the struggling woman, Pujayasa tore off the woman’s shorts. When the woman’s screams summoned a crowd outside her cabin door, Pujayasa, escaped the scene by climbing nude along the ship’s side.

According to the Sun Sentinel (Miami), the woman Pujayasa attacked plans to attend the sentencing on December 8, 2014.

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How Dry We Are
Bali Governor Orders Water Utility (PDAM) to Remedy Severe Water Shortage in South Bali

Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika has called on the management of the Public Water Board (PDAM) in Denpasar and the Badung Regency to quickly overcome a severe shortage of piped drinking water in South Bali.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, Pastika blamed the water crisis on the lack of water supply from PDAM.

The Governor called on PDAM to quickly complete the installation of piping connecting Denpasar and Badung regency with the water supply at Petanu in Gianyar.

Three water pumps at Petanu are intended to deliver water to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar.

Each of the three pumps has the potential to provide a water source of 100 liters per second. At the present time, however, only 90-100 liters per second is being channeled through the Petanu facility.

Pastika told the press that the Central Government and the Province of Bali contributed Rp. 70 billion (US$6.1 million) and Rp. 125 billion (US$10.9 million), respectively, to establish the Petanu pumping facility.
 
Due to a protracted and drier-than-normal dry season, South Bali is suffering a severe shortage of water. In some parts of South Bali local residents are compelled to purchase fresh water from roving trucks to meet their daily household water needs.
 
Water supplies to hotels in South Bali, howver, remain largely unaffected and no water rationing programs are in operation at this time.


Precarious Position of Baliís Australian Market
Delicate Financial Position of Airlines Connecting Bali and Indonesia Puts Future of Baliís Australian Tourist Market in Doubt

The ability of Australia to sustain its position as Bali’s lead source of overseas tourists could be threatened by the precarious financial position of the major carriers that fly tourists between Australia and the Island.
 
All Australian tourists coming to Bali from Australia are now flown on only five airlines: Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, AirAsia and Garuda Indonesia. This fivesome will soon be joined by AirAsiaX – part of the AirAsia group – who now hold an operating license to commence services between Sydney and Melbourne and Bali.
 
As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, the flight routes from Australia to Bali are highly competitive, dominated by low-fare offers.
 
Plans by AirAsiaX to operate A300-300 aircraft between the east coast of Australia and Bali starting in early 2015 may make Virgin Australia, who operates less economically viable Boeing 737s, in an increasingly less competitive position.
 
Operating with lower overheads, AirAsiaX may also be able to lure passengers away from its competitors through its ability to offer onward connections via its regional international and domestic network.

The imminent increase in competitionby airlines for Australian holidaymakers headed for Bali is happening as Virgin continues to hemorrhage losses linked to its Southeast Asia flights. Last month Virgin recorded a $51 million impairment on its international business, blamed by its chief financial officer on increased competition.

The picture surrounding Jetstar’s Southeast Asia services is also gloomy. The CEO of Jetstar, Jayne Hrdlicka, recently cited an “unprecedented” amount of capacity over routes between Australia and Southeast Asia. She was equally pessimistic adding she saw little prospect for the financial return on fares to increase in the near future.
 
The authoritative CAPA Centre for Aviation is sounding a warning saying it difficult to see Virgin able to sustain its Southeast Asian network in the increasingly competitive market.
 
CAPA said: "Bali and Phuket have been impacted by an increase in capacity from Asian carriers, notably low-cost carriers that have a lower cost base through their Asian geography but also (in the case of AirAsia X and Scoot) through wide body usage, lowering unit costs.”
 
Continuing, the organization whose members comprise a number of world airlines, added: "At the same time, Virgin's cost base has increased. AirAsia X and Scoot operate wide bodies near their certified maximum while Virgin has a medium density on its narrow bodies, which can be further hampered by having to block seats in order to fly non-stop."
 
While Australian arrivals are at a record high, up 17.7% this year for the period January-August, the predominance of this market among foreign sources of business to Bali will be difficult to sustain if the airlines that fly these routes incur continuing losses.


A Ghastly Idea
Experts Warn that Decision to Built LNG Depot at Baliís Port of Benoa is Ill-Advised

Plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility in Benoa Harbor is raising alarm and criticism from concerned experts and academics warning the project could threaten the ecosystem of the surrounding mangrove forest.

As reported by Beritabali.com, leading professors form the Surabaya Institute of Technology (ITS) Professor Dr. Ketut Buda Artana and Udayana University’s Professor Dr. Nyoman Merit have separately issued opinions warnings that suggest the proposed LNG storage facility would be better located in North Bali at the Port of Celukan Bawang in Buleleng.

Professor Buda, who teaches Technical Shipping Systems in the Maritime Faculty at ITS. explained that his university had undertaken a study in cooperation with a natural gas company in 2005 seeking the best location in Bali for the construction of a LNG storage facility. In reviewing the Port of Benoa that study determined that the narrow sea entrance to the port represented an unacceptable risk for the coming and going of LNG tanker ships.
 
The port entrance is located a short distance from the major tourist area of Tanjung Benoa and under the take-off and landing pattern of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

In outlining the risk, Professor Buda also highlighted the significant tidal flows in the area that represent a special challenge to ship’s operations. The 2005 study determined that any effort to dredge and widen the port’s entrance would prove financially untenable.

A review of the Pertamina depot in Manggis, Karangasem highlighted exposed sea conditions and the regularity of large waves as an obstacle to the construction of an LNG storage facility in that location.

“The most appropriate place for building a depot for LNG is the port of Celukan Bawang in Buleleng. The port is open, safe and, most importantly contributes to a more even distribution of development as Buleleng seldom benefits from big projects,” said Professor Buda.

The ITS academic pointed out that building the LNG depot in Celukan Bawang would be in keeping with the master zoning pan for Bali (RTRW) that designated the northern port area for industrial purposes. What's more, he said, the Port of Celukan Bawang is a natural harbor that is largely calm year round allowing ships to berth, protected by surrounding shores and mountains.

Buda said that upgrading the infrastructure at Celukan Bawang conforms with future plans of the Joko Widodo government to improve the delivery of energy resources to eastern Indonesia.

The maritime expert explained how smaller ships could be used to safely carry supplies of LNG from Celukan Bawang to south Bali and Benoa for use by the Pesanggaran Power Generating Plant.

The chairman of the Conservation Laboratory for Land and Sea in the Agricultural faculty of Bali’s Udayana University, Professor Dr. Nyoman Merit, said all large government projects should be built to conform to the zoning master plan (RTRW). “Clearly, Benoa is intended to be a tourism port, don't go changing these plans and designations,” he said.

Professor Merit is worried that the construction of an LNG depot at the Port of Benoa will threaten mangrove coastal areas. He said that even before a project of the size proposed for the LNG depot is commenced, there is widespread pollution in Benoa Bay, much of it emanating from the excavations connected to the Bal Mandara Toll road and other sources of local pollution.

Merit took pains to say he was not opposed to an LNG depot for Bali, but only wanted to see a more viable and environmentally friendly location than the Port of Benoa. On this point, echoing the comments of Professor Buda, he urged that the Port of Celukan Bawang should be considered for the LNG Depot.


A Bridge Over Troubled Traffic
Dewi Ruci Underpass Intersection Needs a Pedestrian Overpass

The heavy traffic surrounding the Dewa Ruci Underpass in the Kuta area of Bali has rendered the area a virtual “no man’s land” for pedestrians seeking to cross from one side of the road to the other.

One local resident, Nyoman Juliadi, told DenPost: “To cross (as a pedestrian) is very difficult. This is because of the heavy traffic. A pedestrian bridge is needed.”

According to Juliadi, the government needs to pay more attention to public safety. “The problem is that those crossing are not only local residents, but also tourists,” he warned.

When DenPost sought out Ida Bagoes Surya Suamba of the Badung Regency, he refused to comment in detail, insisting the responsibility to deal with the problem rests with the central government.

“Indeed it is very important to have a pedestrian bridge. But that is the responsibility of the Central Government, not the regional authority, “ said Surya.

He added that his office stood ready to coordinate with Jakarta in addressing the public’s concerns calling for a pedestrian overpass.


Waiting for My Letter from Brussels
Belgium Post Office Issues Two Stamps Celebrating Tintinís Exploits in Indonesia

The world famous comic book series “The Adventures of Tintin” created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi (1907-1983) celebrating the global exploits of an adolescent Belgian reporter and his fox terrier "Snowy" have been published in more than 70 languages covering 200 million comic books. More recently, Tintin and Snowy have been star of feature films, brining the continuing travels of Tintin to a new generation of admirers.

Special edition Belgian postage stamps depicting “Tintin at Kemayoran” – Jakarta’s former main airport and “Tintin at Komodo Island” have been launched in Brussels. Because of the stamps’ Indonesian identity, the Indonesian Embassy in Brussels was quick to adopt the collectable stamps as the “official stamp” to be used on all  postal communication from the Embassy.

According to detik.com, the issuance of the stamp is the result of cooperating between the Museum Herg (Remi’s nom de plume), Moulinsart – the company that holds the copyright licenses for the Herg estate and B-Post in order to mark the 65th year of bi-lateral relations between Belgium and Indonesia.

Riaz J.P. Saehu, a Counselor at the Indonesian Embassy in Brussels, said, “The design of the special official postal stamp of Belgium uses two pictures taken from actual Tintin comics.”

Presented as part of a diplomatic reception celebrating Indonesia’s 69th anniversary of its independence, the launch of the stamp took place on Monday, October 22, 2014, at Brussels Square’s Panoramic Hall, attended by the Indonesian Ambassador to Belgium, Europe and Luxembourg Arif Havas Oegroseno, the director and designers of the Museum Herg – Moulinsate, and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Belgium Jan Van Dessel.
 
Also attending the gala launch of the stamp were ambassadors of friendly nations based in Brussels, members of the European Parliament and the European Commission, the Belgium public, academics, business community members and art fanciers. Great praise was lavished at those who forwarded the idea of the Tintin stamps as a means to symbolize the strong friendship existing between Belgium and Indonesia.
 
Tintin aficionados will know that the comic scenes come from Tintin’s editiion entitled “Flight 714 to Sydney” where Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus landed at the Kemayoran International Airport in Jakarta  - the last stop on flight #714’s journey from London to Sydney.
 
During their Indonesian sojourn of Tintin he visited the East Nusa Tenggara Island of Komodo – home to the world’s largest monitor lizard. There, when Captain Haddock pointed at the world's largest lizard abd asked, “What’s that?”  Tintin replied, “That’s a Komodo.”


Change of Guard in Bali
Torry Djohar Banguntoro Now Heads 9th Udayana Military Command in Bali

After a Bali assignment of 2 years and three months as the Commander of the 9th Udayana Military Command, Major General Wisnu Bawa Tenaya (56) has been shifted to a coordinating role at national military headquarters and replaced in Bali by Major General Torry Djohar Banguntoro (shown).

Major General Banguntoro comes to Bali from a role in strategic planning at the National Defense Institute (Lemhanas).

The transfer of power took place in a ceremony held in Cilodong, West Java attended by Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika and Karangasem regent Wayan Geredeg.

The ceremony in West Java marked the routine reassignment of 27 senior officials in the Indonesian military command structure.

Major General Wisnu Bawa Tenaya was the first native Balinese to hold the top job at the 9th Udayana Military Command and the 32nd officer to lead the Command.

The deputy-governor of Bali, Ketut Sudikerta, who also attended the change of command ceremony in West Java, issued thanks to outgoing commander Major General Tenaya and a welcome to Major General Banguntoro on his Bali tour of duty.


Development at What Cost?
Tourism Minister Pangestu Urges Caution and Careful Study Before Deciding to Build LNG Depot at Baliís Benoa Harbor

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu has joined the chorus questioning the wisdom of building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) depot at the Port of Benoa, in close proximity of Bali’s largest mangrove preserve and the island’s sole airport.

As reported by DenPost, Minister Pangestu was asked her opinion about the planned LNG depot at a meeting with the Bali Tourism Board held on Friday, September 26, 2014.

Pangestu said that Bali must preserve its natural environment and local culture in order to sustain the Island’s sustainability as a tourism destination. She also issued a warning on carrying capacity, reminding Bali not to create capacities in rooms that exceed the ability of the natural environment and resources to cope.

Addressing plans to build a LNG depot at the Port of Benoa, Pangestu called for a detailed impact study to be carried out before embarking on such a project.

She reminded all concerned that the government’s original plan was to develop the Port of Benoa as an international and domestic cruise port. Speaking of the cruise port, Pangestu said: “The potential (of the cruise port) is very big. In two years the traffic has doubled. In 2016, a total of 600,000 cruise tourists are targeted for Indonesia with Benoa’s port a major destination.”

Pangestu admitted that the current development of the Port of Benoa is not progressing in the manner she envisioned. The development plans for the port, she said, must also make allowances for other activities that will not detract from its use as a tourism destination.

The Tourism Minister also questioned if an LNG depot would conform to the high standards for security and safety demanded by the cruise industry and its passengers.

Insisting that she was not qualified to determine the proper location for the proposed LNG facility, Pangestu urged acceptance of any final decision made by the State in the placement of the LNG depot.

She concluded, saying she hoped all the options and implications for the LNG Depot would be considered in coming to a final decision.

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Seeking the Chinese Holidaymaker
Indonesian Government Seeking a Larger Share of the Lucrative Chinese Tourist Market

Mainland Chinese tourists coming to Bali have surged ahead, becoming the second largest source of tourist visitors to Bali.

On a recent visit to Bali, Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, urged Bali and the rest of Indonesia to grab a larger share of the Chinese tourist market – now seen as the largest outbound travel market in the world.

“It’s important for Bal tourism and Indonesian tourism as a whole to seize their share of the Chinese market. This is because the Chinese now control the world economy and the majority of its citizens seek to travel abroad,” said Pangestu, while addressing a recent meeting of tourism stakeholders in Nusa Dua.

In order to earn a fair market share of the Chinese market, Pangestu said a coordinate marketing program addressing the Chinese market is needed.  Continuing, she said material used in the Chinese market for promotion must be presented in Mandarin Chinese, as many Chinese travelers do not speak English. “After we studied and undertook general promotions, it was determined that materials about Indonesia must be in the Mandarin language. In addition, websites (promoting Indonesia) must be in Mandarin. We also need to make more intensive promotions to China or make a TV show with a Chinese celebrity touring Bali,” said Pangestu.

Pangestu is convinced such tactics will increase the number of Chinese visitors to Bali and the rest of Indonesia. This type of promotion undertaken by Thailand and Malaysia, said the Minister, have brought nearly 2 million Chinese tourists annually to those destinations. Meanwhile, Indonesia is targeting only one million Chinese visitors for 2014, a number that is twice the number of Chinese visitors to the Republic in 2013.

The Tourism Minister also identified the need to train Indonesians on how to serve the Chinese traveler from both a linguistic and cultural standpoint.

In response, the director of the Bali Hotel Academy (STP Bali), Drs. Dewa GN Byomantara, said efforts have been made to provide supplemental courses in Mandarin to help anticipate the growing number of Chinese visitors. 

“We have engaged Mandarin language teachers, but they only stay for a couple of years. Leaving later to start their own businesses. We are currently having problems obtaining Mandarin-speaking guides to teach here,” said Byomantara.


Jembrana Regency: To Serve and Protect?
CCTV Surveillance Cameras Installed by Regency at Bali Port of Gilimanuk Havenít Work for More than a Year

Bali Post reports that CCTV surveillance camera installed at Bali’s westernmost port of Gilimanuk have been inoperable for more than a year. 

The cameras, meant to monitor people entering Bali passing through port’s entry gate, don’t work. Moreover, radio equipment installed at the port is also broken.

When Bali Post visited the Gilimanuk Port on October 1, 2014, they observed a large number of inoperable CCTV cameras with many cameras missing and only dangling cables in their place. Of the cameras installed, the lenses focussed off into the distance and were not aimed at areas of human traffic. According to the press, no cameras were seen to be operating.

The cameras are owned by the regency of Jembrana and were installed to provide surveillance of travelers entering the province. One of the officials on duty at the port said, “In the past these cameras were connected to regional government office, but now, whether they are functioning or not, the current condition is like this. “ 

Camera located outside the crossing post and connected with police headquarters in Denpasar continue to function. The operating cameras are located at both the entrance and the exit point at entrance gate to Bali.

An official of the Jembrana Regency, Putu Cahyadi, said repeated requests have been made for the repair and maintenance of the CCTV equipment, but admitted also that the weather conditions at the port were “unfriendly” to such types of electronic equipment.


Spat his Dummy
Bali Police Evacuate Erratic Acting Australian National from the Australian Consulate in Bali

An Australian man, Liam Smyth (60) was admitted for observation at Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, following an emotional outburst during a visit to the Australian Consulate in Denpasar.

According to NusaBali, Smyth arrived at the Consulate at 8:00 a.m. and reportedly became highly agitated when guards refused him enty to the heavily guarded building.

After reporting the man’s behavior to their supervisors, Smyth was eventually allowed entrance to the Consulate only to be evacuated by ambulance a short time later.

Apparently, Smyth’s escalating erratic behavior once he stepped into the consulate caused officials to seek assistance from police who rushed to the scene to subdue the Australian and bring him to the nearby hospital.

When the NusaBali visited Smyth at the hospital they reported the man was talking to himself. Medical personnel reportedly sedated the man.


Playing Taps in Bali
Bali Environmentalist Claim Hotels Shown Favoritism in Access to Baliís Water Supply

An exceptionally dry “dry season” is currently being experienced in Bali, most felt in the southern portions of the Island heavily populated with hotels and private residences.

The Bali Post reports that the small pockets of agricultural land surrounding Denpasar are parched. Planted rice fields are bone-dry and lateritic, with half-developed rice now standing dead and yellow.

Coinciding with the drought in Bali is a generalized Water Crisis, worst felt in the areas of Jimbaran and Nusa Dua.

The executive director of the Bali branch of the Indonesian Environmental Movement (WALHI), Suriadi Darmoko, complained that local residents are most affected by water shortages, with hotels and resorts seldom complaining of the poor water supply affecting many private residences.

Dartmoko claims  the water utility (PDAM) acts unfairly in how they distribute water, ensuring hotels receive priority before local residents.

Suriadi blames the water shortage, in part, on uncontrolled boring of wells. This, he claims, is overwhelming practiced by hotels who drill illegal wells to supplement their water supplies, The WALHI officials also blamed the government for not placing limits on new hotel construction or the amount of water they are allowed to use.

He said efforts by the government to improve the water supply infrastructure might, in the end, prove inadequate in the face of the current unbridled building boom of new hotels.

Suriadi estimates that Bali now has more than 90,000 hotel rooms, underlining the need for controls on the supply of fresh water to hotels and resorts in South Bali.

A South Kuta resident, Agus Astapa, told Bali Post that the water crisis has become acute over the past month. He calls on the government to evaluate the building permits given to new hotels and residential complexes. He contends that the rate of housing and hotel development is outstripping limited water supplies in Bali.
 
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To Catch a Thief
Surveillance Camera at Bali Airport Helps Police Catch Bag Theft

A 58-year-old German national, identified only with the initials SK, was robbed of a waist-belt bag at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport on Saturday, July 26, 2014.

The bag contained the man’s passport and EURO 20,250.

The theft occurred shortly after the German landed at the airport, as he submitted his personal belonging to an x-ray examination. Then German was told by security officials to remove the bag and pass it through the x-ray machine. On the other side of the machine he retrieved suitcase and a shoulder bag, but could not find the waist-belt bag.

The man reported the incident to the police who reviewed the CCTV tape from the camera monitoring the x-ray process. Police identified a person behind the German in the x-ray line who managed to grab the man’s waist bag. The film showed how the thief placed his jacket over the German’s waist bag and then quickly slid the waist bag into his hand luggage to conceal the theft.

Using the man’s photo from the CCTV tape it took police nearly two months to track the man down to his residence in Seminyak, Kuta. 

Arrested at the Dunkin Donuts shop on Jalan Teuku Umar, the man initially denied stealing the bag, but later admitted the theft to police when confronted with the CCTV tape.

The thief who works at a laundry in Bali told police that the money was used to purchase a car, a motorcycle, send money to friends and family, and make personal bank deposits.


Pump Up the Prices
Will Premium Gasoline Cost Rp. 9,500 per Liter in November 2014?

NusaBali reports that the incoming regime of Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla may increase the cost of subsidized fuel by Rp. 3,000 per liter starting in November 2014.

If the price hike is introduced it would bring the price of a liter of premium gas at the pumps to Rp. 9,500 (US$0.80) per liter, while the current price is Rp. 6,500 per liter.

The plan to increase the cost of gasoline was disclosed by Luhut Panjaitan, a member of the Presidential transition team during the launching of the book "Outlook Energy Indonesia 2014” in Jakarta.

Panjaitan said the decision to implement the politically volatile decision to increase in price of fuel was taken at a meeting on September 26, 2014 with the President and Vice-president elect.

The presidential advisor defended the increase in the price of gasoline, citing the extreme burden of fuel subsidies paid by the government on the State Budget (APBN). The new national leaders will come into office and have to immediately deal with a budget deficit estimated at US$7.2 billion.

The planned increase in the cost of fuel, according to Luhut, will save between US$13-14 billion in State expenditures in the 2015 budget.

To prevent an undue burden on the poor, the Joko Widodo presidency will prepare a package of emergency relief amounting to Rp. 5 trillion that will be made available to the poorest members of society in order to alleviate the impact of the fuel price hike.

The final decision on the amount of the increase will be taken soon after the new Presidential Cabinet is seated at the end of October. Most informed observers believe that President Joko Widodo has little choice but to increase the cost of gasoline, addressing an unpopular but necessary political decision sidestepped by his predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.


Royal Penance
Supreme Court Rules Tjokorda Pemecutan of the Puri Pemecutan Palace Must Serve One-Year Prison Term for Manslaughter

The Denpasar Court has confirmed that they have received a copy of a decision by the Supreme Court affirming the criminal conviction and sentence of a member of a Denpasar Royal Household, Tjokorda Pemecutan XI, Anak Agung Ngurah Manik Parasara (A.A. Ngurah Manik Parasara).

The Denpasar Court has handed the Supreme Court’s decision to Bali prosecutors who now have the responsibility of taking the Raja into custody so he can begin serving his prison sentence.

The prison sentence is the outcome of an incident that occurred more than a decade ago, on October 11, 2003, during a meeting between Cokorda Pemecutan and his son A.A. Dharmaenegara Putra with a group of relations including A.A. Purwa, AA Parama Suwarna, A.A. Parawanta and A.A. Ngurah Putu Prana.

The meeting was convened ostensibly to discuss the construction of a wall at the Pemecutan Palace located on Jalan Thamrin in Bali’s capital of Denpasar.

The discussion became heated to the point there Cokorda, the former chairman of the Denpasar House of Representatives (DPRD-Denpasar) fought Prana. In the ensuing struggle, Cokorda inflicted a mortal stab wound on Prana.

Prana was pronounced dead on arrival at the Sanglah General Hospital and Cokorda surrendered to the Bali police a short time later.

When the case came to court Pemecutan was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to one year’s prison. In rendering the sentence, the judge ruled that although Cokorda’s actions resulted in a death, his service to the community and the aggressive behavior of the victim mitigated gthe amount of punishment.

On appeal to the Supreme Court the original sentence of one year was affirmed clearing the way for the imminent imprisonment of the Raja.


Japanese Woman Found Dead in Ubud Bungalow
Foul Play Not Indicated in Death of 53-Year-Old Japanese Woman in Ubud

Radar Bali reports that the dead body of a Japanese female tourist was discovered in her rented accommodation at the Kerti Bungalow in Ubud on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

The woman, identified only as Toshiyasu (53), was found dead on the floor of her room late on Wednesday evening after she failed to keep an appointment with two friends who came to the hotel to meet the woman who had been on and extended holiday in Bali since July 21, 2014.

Initial investigations by police indicate the woman may have been intoxicated when she became nauseous and fell, injuring her head in the process.

Police have asked the woman’s family for permission to perform an autopsy to more firmly determine the cause of death.


Fading Souvenirs
Bali and Beyond: 850 Souvenir and Food Kiosks at Borobudur Temple Complex in Central Java Destroyed by Fire

A mid-day fire destroyed 850 souvenir and food kiosks surrounding the Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java on Thursday, October 2, 2014.

The blaze started at 12:30 pm during a power outage when a generator set owned by one of the food kiosk operators caught fire.

The fire quickly spread, fed by the wood construction of the kiosks strong winds at the time of the incident.

The 850 kiosks consumed by the fire represent nearly 90% of the 956 kiosks operating in the area at the foot of the Buddhist monument.

Retno Hardiasiwi, the operational director of PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur Prambanan and Rato Boko said the fire would not disturb operations at the park and Borobudur continues to be open to the public.

The exit to the Borobudur shrine has been moved as a result of the fire.


Birdie, Eagle or Par!
Rotary Club of Bali Canggu Golf Tournament with an IMG Trophy at the Bali Nirwana Golf Club on Sunday, October 19, 2014.

The Rotary Club of Bali Canggu will hold its first IMG Trophy Golf Tournament at the Nirwana Bali Golf Club on Sunday, October 19, 2014.

Organized in collaboration with International Management Group (IMG), the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort and Nirwana Bali Golf Club - the tournament will be played on a course voted “Asia’s Best” and designed by the legendary Greg Norman. The course is both breathtakingly majestic and supremely challenging with five ocean-side holes, three cliff-to-cliff tee shots and eight holes sculpted into the terraced rice fields.

Hole in One honors are on offer for Hole #7 that overlooks the distractingly inspiring Tanah Lot Temple.

Formal play commences at 1:00 pm with a shotgun start with time for a practice round in the morning before official tournament play commences.
 
Texas scramble will rule tournament play with 4-persons per team. Awards will be given for the best five teams, “beat the pro,” longest drive, nearest to the pin, nearest to the line and for a hole-in-one.
 
Entry fee for the tournament covers:
  • 18-holes of tournament play
  • Snacks and mineral water during play
  • Awards Dinner starting ay 6:30 pm
  • Lucky Draws
  • Auctions (Silent and Live) 
Tournament fees:
  • Rp. 465,000 net for members
  • Rp. 1,165,000 net for member’s guests
  • Rp. 1,365,000 net for Indonesian nationals and KITAS holders
  • Rp. 1,765,000 net for international guests
Proceeds from the event will go to Rotary Club Bali Canggu’s community service projects.
 
For more information or to register telephone ++62-(0)361-815900 (extensions 2952 or 2964) or [Email]


A Hierarchy of Power
Citizens at Celukan Bawang, North Bali Power Project Refuse to Allow Passage of High ĖVoltage Lines Over their Lands

Radar Bali and Jawa Post report that a large contingent of police are standing by near the Steam-Generating Power Plant (PLTU) at Celukan Bawang in Buleleng, North Bali following protests from local residents refusing to allow high voltage lines to transect their land and residential areas.

The high voltage lines (SUTT) running out of the plant are essential to the power plant's operation and its plans to distribute the badly needed power it will produce to other regions of Bali.

Technicians have only been ably to attach the power lines to towers standing within the PLTU grounds with local citizen refusing access to their adjoining land where the towers remain unconnected to the grid.

One local resident, Muhammad Sadli, told the press he had refused the offer of Rp. 100 million (US$8,300) in compensation for allowing the high-power lines to be strung across his land.

Sadli said their the only acceptable alternative is for the high power lines to be moved to a new location, far away from homes, residences, places of worship and businesses. 

The head of the police precinct at Celukan Bawang blamed the continuing refusal of local residents to allow the power lines to be put in place on a lack of information and understanding on high-power lines.
 
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The Rules are for Other Folks
Building and Zoning Law Violators in Denpasar, Bali Ignore Citations and Continue to Break the Law

Further underlying the ineffectiveness of the rules governing building codes in Denpasar and the ineptness of those charged with enforcing them, a report in DenPost confirms that 42 building owners in Bali’s capital have been cited for zoning or building violations, but are ignoring summons issued by the Zoning and Housing Authority of Denpasar (DTRP).

Part of a joint effort to improve enforcement of zoning and building rules carried out by the DTRP and regency’s enforcement agency (Satpol PP) in August, 26 building were found to have no building permit (IMB), 14 buildings violated general setback rules and 1 building violated setback rules from a river.

The buildings discovered in the joint sweep to be violating the law are located in south Denpasar, North Denpasar, East Denpasar and West Denpasar.

The chief of the DTRP for Denpasar, Dewa Made Wesnawa Wedagama, told DenPost on Thursday, September 25, 2014, that reprimands issued to building owners who answered summons for building violations have largely been ignored.

The current procedures in place for zoning and building code violations requires three “warning letters” be sent to the building owner before handing the case over to Satpol PP for legal action.

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We Must Go Down to the Sea Again
Thousands of Balinese Flock to the Shores for Banyu Pinaruh Ė a Quest for Clarity of Wisdom

The streets near Bali’s Sanur Beach shoreline were crowded by thousands of devout Hindus on Sunday, October 5, 2014 as Bali residents made their way to the beach to make offerings and perform ritual bathing that form part of the celebration of Banyu Pinaruh.

After the celebration of Hari Saraswati one day earlier – a day dedicated to learning and literature, the Balinese form processions to seaside’s, rivers and other sources of water in order to cleanse their souls via ritual and thorough cleansing.

Banyu Pinaruh is derived from the word for water (banyu) and Knowledge (pinaruh or pengewuruh). Participants combine flowers and water as they bathe, metaphorically immersing themselves in knowledge, while washing away all dark thoughts.

As taught in the Bagavadgit (IV.36), “even though you are the most sinful among all sinners, by using the ship of knowledge the sea of sins can be crossed.”
 
And, while people may acquire great knowledge, through the ritual cleaning that forms a part of Banyu Pinaruh they can also acquire the clarity of thought and wisdom needrd for the application of knowledge to good ends.
 
In its traditional performance, the ritual of Banyu Pinaruh prescribes that an offering or sesajen – comprised primarily of flowers – be presented to the ocean, river or natural spring. Prayers are then offered followed by bathing and purificationin the waters.


Our Numbers are Up
Bali by the Numbers: Q3 Arrival to Bali in Record Territory

Foreign tourist arrivals to Bali January – August 2014 were up 15.52% in comparison to the same period in 2013.
nd of Q3 2014, a total of 2.43 million foreign visitors came to the Island, further confirming balidiscovery.com’s long-standing prediction that Bali will end the year with more than 3.75 million foreign visitors.

Growing in Double Digits

Bali’s double-digit growth in foreign tourist arrivals is led by the following source countries also growing at double-digit or near-double-digit growth:
 
Australia – With year-to-date growth of 17.70%, Australians continue to make Bali their favorite overseas destination. While AirAsiaX have announced plans to start flight between Bali and Melbourne and Sydney, keep an eye on the precarious balance sheets of airlines flying between OZ and Bali. Continuing losses may herald higher fares or curtailment of flight operations – either of which could bring to a halt the current fast rate of growth from the Australian market.

Mainland China - Look for Chinese travelers to Bali to exceed 600,000 visitors this year. By the end of Q3 2014 Chinese travelers to Bali were up a remarkable 47.31% at 389,622 visitors. Recent events in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines have greatly enhanced Bali and Indonesia’s attractiveness as a holiday destination for the millions of Chinese suffering from wanderlust.

Malaysia – Malaysian arrivals year-to-date at the end of Q3 stand at 137,060 – up 13.09%. Malaysia is now the third largest source of foreign visitors to Bali.

Japan – Once the number one source of foreign visitors to Bali, Japan’s ranking has now slid to #4 in what may prove to be a continuing decline. Year to date arrivals from Japan at the end of August were 131,484, a year-to-date decline of 5.85%.

Singapore – The small island republic of Singapore represents the 5th largest source of Bali visitors. 113,445 visitors through the end of August is up 40.01% on a year to date basis.

France – French visitors to Bali are up 11.03% on a year-to-date basis through the end of August.

India – The Indian market has emerged from obscurity to become the 12th largest source of visitors to Bali. Year-to-date Indian arrivals are up 33.28% through the end of August.


 
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Bali Update #690
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Bali Update #686
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Bali Update #685
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Bali Update #684
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Bali Update #683
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Bali Update #682
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Bali Update #681
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Bali Update #680
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Bali Update #678
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Bali Update #676
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Bali Update #675
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Bali Update #664
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Bali Update #661
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Bali Update #660
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Bali Update #659
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Bali Update #657
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Bali Update #656
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Bali Update #655
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Bali Update #652
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Bali Update #650
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Bali Update #649
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Bali Update #648
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Bali Update #647
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Bali Update #646
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Bali Update #645
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Bali Update #644
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Bali Update #643
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Bali Update #642
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Bali Update #640
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Bali Update #634
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Bali Update #632
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Bali Update #631
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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 #609
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Bali Update #607
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Bali Update #606
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Bali Update #605
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Bali Update #604
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Bali Update #603
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Bali Update #602
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Bali Update #600
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Bali Update #599
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Bali Update #598
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Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #596
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Bali Update #595
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Bali Update #594
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Bali Update #593
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Bali Update #592
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Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
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Bali Update #589
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Bali Update #588
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Bali Update #587
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Bali Update #586
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Bali Update #585
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Bali Update #584
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Bali Update #575
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Bali Update #564
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Bali Update #562
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Bali Update #561
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Bali Update #560
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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 #555
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Bali Update #554
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Bali Update #553
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