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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #975 - 11 MAY 2015

IN THIS UPDATE


Mack and the Knife that Cuts Both Ways
Heather Mack May Be Barred from Using Money from Motherís Estate for Legal Appeal in Bali

The Chicago Tribune reports Heather Mack, convicted on April 21, 2015 as an accomplice in the murder of her 62-year-old mother, Shiela Von-Wiese Mack, in a South Bali hotel room in August, is encountering problems trying to tap into a US$1.56 million trust fund for the money needed to pay for a legal appeal of her 10-year prison sentence.
 
The lawyers handling Heather Mack’s trust fund in Illinois have asked for US$200,000 to be released to pay the for legal costs in Indonesia of an appeal. In requesting the money, U.S. lawyers reportedly enclosed a letter from Mack’s Indonesian attorney demanding US$200,000 in legal fees insisting he must be “paid quickly and in one payment” for the 19-year-old legal appeal to be filed within the strict time limits set by the Indonesian Courts.
 
In a separate trial in Bali, Tommy Schaeffer (21), Mack’s boyfriend and the presume father of a daughter born in prison while awaiting trial, received a sentence of 18 years in prison.
 
An Illinois probate judge, Neil Cohen, had earlier authorized the release of US$119,000 to cover legal, food and medical expenses. After the Indonesian courts found Heather Mack culpable in the murder of her mother, Judge Cohen has delayed the additional request saying he won’t be emotionally blackmailed and is withholding any further payments to Mack pending a hearing to determine if the young woman is still entitled to funds from her trust fund.
 
Judge Cohn specifically wants to examine if under the terms of Illinois' slayer statue Mack is allowed to benefit from the estate of a woman she has been convicted of murdering.
 
The Illinois judge is awaiting an official translation of Heather Mack’s conviction in order to determine if the slayer statue applies in her case and therefore preventing further payments from her trust fund.

Cohen said: "She's now been convicted. I'm not going to stick my head in the sand and say it didn't happen."

The Illinois probate court will reconvene on May 14 to hear evidence and lawyer's pleadings in the case.

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Handicaps Welcome
Grand Nikko Bali Hosts 2nd Annual Golf Tournament on June 6, 2015

The 2nd Annual Grand Nikko Bali Golf Tournament takes place on June 6, 2015 at the Bali National Golf Club, Nusa Dua. Based on the success of last year’s event, the 18-hole tournament is expected to attract some 140 golf enthusiasts to compete in what is expected to be perfect weather conditions.

Participants can enter to compete in a range categories and skill levels. Prizes will be awarded for Best Net, Best Gross, Best Net & Gross Ladies, Hole-in-One, Longest Drive and closest to the pin. The tournament ends with a pre-dinner cocktail reception and buffet dinner at the awards ceremony. Every golfer stands a chance to win a lucky draw of a four nights stay at Okura Amsterdam, including return airfares.

“This tournament is a platform for both amateur and professional players to connect over their mutual love of golf. We are expecting a good turnout for this year’s event and are confident that it will continue to evolve as one of the island’s most anticipated golf tournaments,” said Jean-Charles Le Coz, general manager of Grand Nikko Bali.

Each participant is entitled to a one round of golf at the Bali National Golf Club, a golf shirt, hand towel, lunch box, refreshments, pre-dinner cocktail reception and gala dinner for the tournament entry fee of just IDR 1,750,000 net per person (US$135).

Golfers, together with their support teams and family members can stay at Grand Nikko Bali with a special offer based on our best available rates, including breakfast for two persons by using the promotional code GOLF2015.

For further information, tournament registration and room reservation, please visit The Grand Nikko Bali Golf Tournament Website 



Olly Olly Oxen Free
Bali Examines Free Admission to Museums and Tourist Attraction for Grade Schoolers and Pre-Schoolers

The province of Bali is exploring extending free attendance to a number of public tourist attractions for children in pre-school and grade school.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Made Santha, who is charge of revenue management for Bali, confirmed the plan for limited free admission to tourist objects is under review.

Among the tourists objects that would grant free access to children are the Bali Museum, the Monument of the Peoples Struggle and the Art Center.
 
“As the coming generation, these children represent an asset for Bali who need to appreciate museums, love history and embrace their own culture. But, with children required to pay as much adults, this is causing young students to be reluctant to visit museums,” explained Santha.
 
Santha went on to say that if it were discovered that regulations do not permit the government to grant free entrance to children, then the tariff would be set for this group at the lowest possible level.
 
The provincial official said that any loss in revenues was is far outweighed by the social benefits of encouraging the young to visit museums and tourist attractions. He told the press that he is working hard to expedite the free admission program for young children.
 
Santha said that the period of free admission would be limited, for instance, to Fridays and Saturdays between 7:00-10:00 a.m. in order to keep disturbances to other visitors to a minimum.
 
At the same time, Santha admitted that an upgrading of the exhibits at museums and attractions to improve the impression obtained by visiting these venues.
 
Plans are also afoot to raise the admission charges for foreigners to the museum and state-operated tourist attractions that Santha points to as a further need to improve the overall quality of these attractions.


Inbound for a Bali Landing
Three International Airlines Eye Routes to Bali

Three international airlines are exploring opening air routes to Bali.

The State News Agency Antara quotes Robert D. Waloni, the marketing and business development manager of PT Angkasa Pura I, the airport management authority for Bali, who confirmed the interest from the three foreign airlines and said that in anticipation of more flights Bali’s airport continues to improve its facilities and services.
 
“We are planning to add facilities such as a rapid exit taxiway to allow the current limit of 24 flight movements per hour to 28 -30 flight movements,” explained Waloni.
 
The three foreign airlines considering new services to Bali include Myanmar National Airlines and two Shanghai, China-based carries: Beijing Capital Airlines and Spring Airlines.
 
The growing demand for Bali as a destination by the Chinese market has also prompted Indonesia AirAsia to create a secondary air hub in Bali by stationing a wide-bodied aircraft on the island to conduct flights to Chinese destinations.


Nepal in our Thoughts
Deadly Earthquake in Nepal Reminds Bali of its Own Earthquake-Filled Past

The deadly 7.2 earthquake that caused thousands of death in Nepal on April 25 2015 has served to remind Bali that is not exempt from the deadly impact of similar seismic events.
 
While small tremors are regularly felt in Bali, earthquakes that cause widespread destruction and death are mercifully less frequent. The most recent significant fatal earthquake took place in Karangasem in 1979 causing 24 deaths. This was preceded by a moderate 5.5 -6.2 earthquake on July 14, 1976 centered in Seririt, Buleleng, North Bali that killed an estimated 559, injured 3,200 and left 70,000 homeless.
 
A major earthquake of unknown intensity shook almost the entire Island of Bali in 1917. Homes and temples were leveled, a natural land bridge connecting the sacred Tanah Lot Temple to the mainland crumbled into the sea and an estimated 15,000 people died. Such was the destruction of the earthquake that few structures exist in Bali today that pre-dates the 1917 earthquake.
 
When will the next major earthquake shake Bali? The art and science of earthquake prediction does not permit scientist to accurately pinpoint when the next quake – large or small – will shake Bali. Some experts claim that a major quake can be expected in any earthquake-prone zone about once every 100 years. Counting back to the quake of 1917 might mean the next big quake in Bali may be just around the corner in geological terms.
 
Further bolstering the “once a century” theorists is the fact that an earthquake in Gejer took place in 1815 that is blamed for causing 15,000 deaths.
 
In fact, Bali records an average of 10 tremors each day, acceding to officials at the Meteorology and Climate Agency (BKMG) due to the Island’s close proximity to where the Eurasian and Australian geologic plates meet.
 
Here’s a rough outline of earthquakes compiled from various sources of Bali’s earthquake-filled past:
  • Gejer Bali Earthquake of 1815 15.000 dead
  • Buleleng Earthquake of 1862 - fatalities unclear
  • Jembrana Earthquake of 1890 - fatalities unclear
  • Bali Earthquake of 1917 1.500 dead
  • Seririt Earthquake of 1976 - 560 dead
  • Karangasem Earthquake of 1979 – No deaths
  • Karangasem Earthquake II of 1979 - 24 dead
  • Karangasem Earthquake of 2004 – No deaths
  • Nusa Dua Earthquake of 2010 – No deaths
  • Nusa Dua Earthquake of October 13, 2011 – 90 injuries reported and property damage put at Rp. 3-5 billion.
  • Two earthquakes shook Bali on August 9, 2012. No injuries reported.
  • Three strong earthquakes struck off the southwest coast of Bali on September 3, 2012. No injuries reported.
  • Moderate 5.2 earthquake on Richter Scale on November 22, 2012 caused panic but no injuries in South Bali.
  • Moderate earthquake of 4.6 on the Richter scale on September 23, 2014. No injuries reported.
  • Moderate earthquake of 4.3 on the Richter Scale on July 24, 2014. No injuries reported.
  • Moderate earthquake of 5.9 on the Richter Scale on July 8, 2013.


A Symbolic Battle
Bali Community Members Protest Use of Sacred Tri Hita Karana Icon by Benoa Bay Project Developers

The use of the logo of the coveted Tri Hita Karana Award by PT PT Tirta Wahana Bali International (PT TWBI) in support of the controversial Benoa Bay reclamation project has prompted strong protests by Bali tourism and community leaders.

Beritabali.com quotes community activist Made Suryawan on Friday, May 8, 2015 saying the Tri Hita Karana Logo is being employed on banners printed by PT TWBI in support of the reclamation project.

The core Bali-Hindu belief that balance must always be maintained between man and God, man and nature, and man and his fellow man inspires the Tri Hita Karana awards and the logo.

Is announcing his displeasure, Suryawan said: “Usually, the Tri Hita Karana Logo is used in giving an award to an organization operating in conformance with the concept of Tri Hita Karana. We will investigate to determine if the use of that logo (on the banners) was meant to give honor to TWBI or merely as a symbol on a TWBI poster.”

Suryawan said that if the subject logo was intended to bestow honor on PT TWBI that would mean the bestowing the honor have no understanding of the meaning of a Tri Hita Karana Award.
 
Meanwhile, a community leader, Gusti Ngurah Harta, says that the use of the Tri Hita Karana logo in support of Benoa Bay reclamation has wounded the feelings of the many Balinese opposed to the project.
 
Ngurah continued: “The use of the Tri Hita Karana symbol – a symbol that embodies local sensibilities, has deeply wounded the feelings of the Balinese people. This is the responsibility of concerned Balinese. Don’t let this symbol reflecting the wisdom of our ancestors be used to disrupt the Island of Bali. Please use some other symbol, but don't use a spiritual symbol of the people of Bali. From my own observations, TWBi has used this symbol for weeks in support of their activities.”
 
Ngurah Harta said he intends to ask PT TWBI why they have chosen to arrogate the use of the Tri Hita Karana symbol.
 
“We will ask TWBI their reasons for using the Tri Hita Karana symbol as an icon for the reclamation of Benoa Bay? Did they use a Balinese symbol with the hope of earning the support and sympathy of the Balinese? Our ancestors did not create Tri Hita Karana to be decorative but to safeguard the traditions and nature of Bali; to protect good relations within the community; to protect the connection between nature and mankind; and to preserve the connection between mankind and the Almighty,” explained Ngurah.
 
The Tri Hita Karana concept first emerged in Bali on November 11, 1966 at a Hindu-Bali conference held in Denpasar.


The Port of Good Health
Indonesian Port Operator Declares Intention to Build International Hospital at Port of Benoa

PT Pelindo III has revealed plans to build an international standard hospital at Bali’s southern port of Benoa.

Metrobali.com
quotes the CEO of Rumah Sakit Professional Care Accountable (RSPHC), Iwan Sabatini, who says plans for the medical center are in keeping to plans to turn the Benoa port into a top class tourism destination.

RSHP is a subsidiary of PT Pelindo III – the state-owned company operating major port facilities in Indonesia.

Sabatini said the business world is infatuated with the concept of “hospital tourism.”  Continuing, he said that Benoa’s role as an international cruise port is also seeking to present top-class medical care.

“We plan to welcome tourists with an international-class hospital that is different and can serve high-class tourists,” said Sabatini.

He said the Benoa hospital would provide esthetic and plastic surgery, be home to a spa, provide reflexology and feature beauty services to serve visiting tourists. Adding, “At RSPHC we will not only attend sick tourists, but also those who seek beauty, want reflexology and such.”

Sabatini is still surveying the best location for the hospital at the Benoa Port.

“The project site is a 9.700 square meter plot on the north side of Benoa harbor. RSPHC will be packaged at an international class, in keeping with the international ships visiting Bali,” concluded Sabatini.


Langham Palace Resort to Open in Bali
Langham Hospitality to Open 173-Room Resort in South Bali in 2017.

Langham Hospitality Group has announced an agreement with PJM Group & partners (PT. Pilar Prambanan Investama) to manage the Langham Place Resort in Bali, scheduled to open in 2017.
 
The first Langham Hospitality luxury resort in Asia, the 173-room Langham Palace Resort will occupy a cliff-side location on the Ungasan peninsula overlooking the Indian Ocean.
 
Natalia Irena Tee, president director of PT Pilar Prambanan Investama, says, "By virtue of its location, the land where the resort sits is truly a beauty of nature; and by partnering with Langham Hospitality Group, we are confident Langham Place, Bali will be a luxurious resort and a gem in Bali."
 
With interiors designed by Budi Pradono Architects, Langham Place, Bali features a prime location overlooking the Indian Ocean. All 173 rooms, suites and villas, ranging from 50 to 276 square meters will have outdoor terraces. A leisurely seven-minute stroll away from the resort is Pandawa beach, a public beach accessible by the resort’s guests. The property will include 56 villas and suites, each have their own private plunge pools.
 
"We are proud to be partnering with PT. Pilar Prambanan Investama to present our first luxury resort in Asia," said Robert Warman, chief executive officer of Langham Hospitality Group. "We have waited for the right opportunity for our debut in this region, and we believe that this Langham Place resort, with its magnificent location and Langham Hotels and Resorts' beautiful design aesthetics, will be the epitome of luxury in the beautiful island of Bali."
 
Langham Place, Bali will have its own private wedding chapel. Special occasions may be held at the exclusive bridal room, a 400-square meters outdoor event lawn and two ballrooms that are up to 500 square meters in size.
 
An award-winning Chuan Spa will showcase treatment rooms, a whirlpool, as well as therapies based on traditional Chinese medicine. Catering to family holidaymakers, there is a dedicated pool and deck, club and an outdoor playground area just for children.
 
Guests will be able to choose from the all-day dining restaurant: The Place - offering both indoor and terrace seating; and a destination restaurant – the Beach Club.


From Jero to Hero to Zero
Jero Wacik - Former Minister with Two Portfolios Under Arrest by KPK

The Indonesian Anti-corruption Agency (KPK) has placed under arrest Bali-born Jero Wacik who served as both Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources and Minister of Culture and Tourism.

Wacik is accused of misappropriating states fund while in charge of tourism from 2008-20122 and while the energy minister from 2011-2013. In all, Wacik is charged with corruption involving Rp. 16.9 billion in State funds (US$1.3 million).

Awaiting formal charges of corruption to be laid against him, Wacik remains incarcerated at a prison in Cipanang, West Java and has seem all his bank accounts frozen by KPK.

Wacik is accused of misusing state funds, coercing payments from suppliers and businesses, and creating fictive charges for meeting that were never convened.

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Spending to Keep Indonesian Aviation Safe
Time Running Out for 11 Indonesian Airlines to File Financial Status Reports with Ministry of Transportation

Jakarta Globe reports that 11 Indonesian airlines have failed to meet the April 30 deadline set by the Ministry of Transportation for the submission of detailed financial reports.

Those failing to meet the deadline are all pleading that more time is needed to compile the needed figures.

Among the eleven failing to report are Lion Air Mentari Airlines and Indonesia AirAsia – the two largest Indonesian low-cost carriers and two companies frequently under scrutiny for their flight safety.

The tightening of safety reviews by the Ministry has followed the appointment of a new Minister and fatal crash of an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore in December that cost 162 lives.

Also among the airlines failing to submit the required financial audits are Wings Abadi and Batik Air Indonesia, AirAsia’s long-haul carrier Indonesia AirAsia X, Sriwijaya Air, Nam Air, Tri MG Intra Asia Airlines, Trigana Air Service, My Indo Airlines and Cardig Air.

To help the airlines meet their reporting obligations a new deadline of June 30th has been set by the government. The reason for the extension of the deadline is because this is the first year such reports have been required with the implied suggestion being that in coming years the deadline will be more rigorously applied.

The reports are intended to show the financial soundness of each carrier and ensure adequate funds are being spent on repairs and maintenance.

Among the airlines that have met the filing deadline of April 30, 2015 are Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, ASI Pudjiastuti Aviation,Travel Express Aviation Service, Transnusa Aviation Mandiri, Aviastar Mandiri, Kalstar Aviation and Jatayu Gelang Sejahtera.
 
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Strawberry Fields Now Nether
Heavy Rains Decimating Baliís Strawberry Crop

A number of strawberry farmers in the village of Pancasari, in Buleleng, North Bali are suffering crop damaged caused by heavy rains.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Gede Lantur (50), a strawberry cultivator working on the edge of Lake Buyan, said, “Due to continual heavy rain over the past few months production of strawberries is down 70%.”
 
He described how his small strawberry plantation of 50 are (5,000 square meters) required Rp. 3 million (US$ 230) to purchase seeds and fertilizer.
 
While he has begun to reap strawberries from his current plantings, heavy non-stop rains have killed many of his strawberry plants. Moreover, those plants producing fruit are bearing strawberries that are often spoiled.
 
He said this years crops is down considerably from last year and farmers are certain to suffer losses.
 
Last year the farmer produced 500-600 kilograms of strawberries, while this year he expects to produce only 200 kilograms. One kilogram of strawberries will sell for between Rp. 15,000 – Rp. 20,000 (US$1.15-US$1.54).
 
The same farmer who once managed a monthly income of Rp. 7 million (US$538) now earns only Rp. 4 million (US$307). Meanwhile, his monthly expenditures for fertilizers and seeds demands Rp. 3 million (US$230).


Japan and Indonesia: Reciprocal Respect
Japanese Tourists Promised Visa Free Visits to Indonesia in June 2015

Indonesia’s vice-president is assuring that Japanese tourists will soon be entitled to visa-free entry, a step being introduced to increase tourism from a nation that was once Bali’s top source of tourist visitors.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, vice-president Jusuf Kalla said: "The Japanese government has requested that we immediately implement a free visa regulation for their people because Indonesian people enjoy that facility in Japan. Currently, we are processing the free visa regulation, and we promise them the service (free visa) in June."

Japanese arrivals to Bali are on the increase. Now ranked as the third leading source of foreign visitors after Australia and China, Japanese visitors are up 29.85% for Q1 2015.
 
Kalla sees the relaxed visa policy as a first step in a broad range of efforts to increase trade and development cooperation between Indonesian and Japan.
 
Indonesians traveling to Japan with e-passports and are registered with the Japanese embassy in Jakarta are able to visit Japan on a visa-free basis for 15 days.


Too Big for its Own Beaches
Hotel Crystal on the Bay Answers Complaints of Height Restriction Violations by Building a Roof Top Structure

DenPost reports that despite allegation against the Hotel Crystal on the Bay Project of blatant violations of zoning rules on maximum building height and setback from protected mangrove forests, the hotel has responded by adding an additional structure to its roofline trespassing even more dramatically against the rules for a maximum height restriction of 15 meters.

The increasingly scofflaw attitude of the hotel has caused legislators from the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) to question the poor level of control over the project by the Badung Enforcement Agency (Satpol PP Badung) and the Coordinated Licensing Agency (BPPT).
 
I Made Duama from Commission I of the DPRD Badung asked: “Are they (the hotel) following the rules or simply ignoring them? Satpol PP and BPPT must supervise and control this project on a continuous basis, determining the current developments and ensuring compliance with the rules.”
 
Legislators contend the severity of any violation of the 15-meter height requirement depends on how authorities determine the building's starting point (titik nol) of the building. If the current basement is determined to be titik nol then the building appears to be in gross violation of the maximum height rule. If on the other hand the titik nol point is measured from ground level the building height is accordingly lessened. If, however, measurements are commenced from ground level that would mean that the buildings basement can then only be used for car parking.
 
The contractor employed at the building is claiming to have little knowledge of the additional structure no protruding from the building’s roofline, suggesting it might be a stairway cover.
 
The hotel is planning to launch its opening in June.

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Defying Gravity in Ubud
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan Opens Dharma Shanti Yoga Bale

The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan has extended its commitment to wellness with the opening of the new Dharma Shanti Yoga Bale offering programs of meditation, Life Talks, yoga and Bali’s first AntiGravity® Yoga classes.

Set on the banks of Bali’s Ayung River, the lotus petal inspired structure – envisioned and created by Balinese bamboo aesthetes - Ibuku, is constructed entirely from sustainable local bamboo. Environmentally conscientious and daringly experiential in design, the bale offers shelter from the elements while remaining sensitive – and open – to the undulating curves, gently sloping terraces and rich natural energy of the Ayung River basin.

“The name ‘Dharma Shanti’ is directly connected to that understanding of the experiences at the heart of our lives,” explains Luisa Anderson, spa director of Four Seasons Resorts Bali.  “Drawing from the spirit of Buddhist philosophy, the concept of ‘dharma’ refers to the intrinsic nature of things, the path – sometimes referred to as your true purpose  – while the word ‘shanti’ comes back to peace. Watching the bale take shape felt like the architectural embodiment of those concepts.”

Each hand-carved pole used in the construction of the bale is unique. Curving and tapering in different ways, pieces were chosen for their structural integrity, smooth texture or individual beauty. The radial clusters of soaring bamboo columns are bound by rope, and hand-whittled pegs are used in place of nails to connect sections. The result is an incredibly durable structure that utilizes bamboo’s natural strengths, whilst delivering an ecologically sensitive space designed to create, support and deepen the experience of all who enter and spend time within it.

At the heart of the Dharma Shanti Yoga Bale experience each week are daily 60-minute AntiGravity® Yoga classes, created and founded by former gymnast and dancer Christopher Harrison. A dynamic and groundbreaking ‘flying’ technique, it uses bespoke hammocks to support bodies of all ages and abilities into enhanced and inverted postures to relieve stress, encourage healthy blood circulation, and, in short, have fun.

In addition to AntiGravity® Yoga, the Dharma Shanti Yoga Bale offers guests 16 complimentary yoga and meditation classes each week. A daily 7:00 am class of Sunrise, Power or Laughter Yoga is complemented by the popular Life Talk series: a program of talks hosted by resident Wellness Mentor, Ibu Fera, that guide guests towards inner peace, happiness, stress management and compassion. The bale is also a sanctuary for private classes, cultural experiences and quiet introspection, with views across the Resort’s lush rice terraces to the Ayung River, which winds through the valley floor just 100 meters away.

Speaking at the launch of the Dharma Shanti Yoga Bale, the Resort’s general manager Uday Rao said, “Our guests come from all over the world to retreat and rejuvenate at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan. The Dharma Shanti Bale supports them on that journey – connecting on both an emotional and physical level with themselves and the surrounding nature. Not many expect to be hanging upside-down in the middle of a paddy field, but the intensely therapeutic aspect of AntiGravity® Yoga – and the depth of our entire wellness offering – really showcases the soul and spirit of the whole Four Seasons Sayan experience.”

Book a Stay at the Four Seasons Resort at Sayan


Bali Visa Fees are Big Business
US$95,7 Million in Visa-on-Arrival Fees Paid in Bali in 2014

Bali collected US$95.7 million dollars in visa-on-arrival (VOA) fees in 2014.

Quoted by Bisnis Bali, the head of Bank Indonesia’s office in Bali, Dewi Setyowati, said in Denpasar on Friday, May 8, 2015, “the increase in VOA fees is due to an increase in the tariff by the government since July 2014.”

In July 2014 the government increased the visa fee for VOA from US$25 to US$35. Because of this, US$60 million dollars of the total US$95.7 million collected was done so between the months of August-December 2014.


Keeping Baliís North Pristine
Protests Continue Over Plans to Erect a Private Resort on Menjangan Island Nature Reserve

The Bali Post continues to cover local opposition in North Bali to efforts by an investor to secure permission to use 10 hectares on the Menjangan Island Nature Reserve. Seeking to obtain a license to build a resort complex on the Island is PT Pulau Tirta Properindo.

The plan has been the object of protests and refusals by the regent of Buleleng and local citizens who fear the proposed resort complex will destroy the natural habitat of the Island and rob local boat, marine operators, nature guides of their livelihoods.

Ngurah Putu, a local resident at Menjangan said: “We object to building there a resort and villa, because this is a sacred temple area. Guides and boat drivers in the area also strongly reject the resort project. I only ask that if someone wants to build something it be coordinated beforehand and make sure that the people in Bali be given lead roles. Sure the investor has the money, but sacred areas must also be taken into consideration.”

Ahad Jalil, who drives a boat at Menjangan Island, also opposes the establishment of the Menjangan Resort, fearing local small-scale tourism operators will lose their jobs.

Joining the protests against the resort is the Group for Tourism Consciousness (Kelompok Masyarakat Sadar Wisata – Pokmasta) who vice-chairman, Ketut Danu have taken a lead role in protesting the proposed tourism development in a nature reserve.

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Elusive Injections
Badung Regency in Bali Runs Out of Anti-Rabies Vaccine Due

NusaBali reports that supplies of anti-rabies vaccine for human victims of dog bites is out of stock in the Badung regency of South Bali.

The anti-rabies vaccine (VAR) stock in Badung regency at government hospitals and community health centers has been at zero since late April 2015, despite government assurances that VAR would be available to the public without charge.

Patients are being referred to the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar that still has a limited supply of VAR.

Doctors unable to provide their patients with the potentially life-saving VAR, claim to have no information regarding the failure of the Badung Health Office to provide a steady supply.

The head of the Badung Health Agency (Diskes – Badung), Dr. I Gede Putra Suteja insists that money for VAR is available and the lack of stock is due to a supply chain problem.
 
While the bureaucracy sorts itself out, health officials are urging those in need of VAR go directly to the Sanglah General Hospital for treatment.

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The Postman Always Rings Twice
Head of the Indonesian Postal System Suspended in Corruption Probe

The Minister for State-owned Enterprises (BUMN) Rini Soemarno has suspended two directors of the National Postal System (PT Pos Indonesia) who have been named suspects in a corruption case surrounding the procurement of Portable Data Terminals (PDT) – devices meant to assist in the tracking of documents and packages.

Put on indefinite suspension are PT Pos Indonesia’s CEO Budi Setiawan and director of technology and financial services Budhi Setyawan (not related).

A spokesperson for BUMN, Teddy Purnama, said on Thursday, May 7, 2015, “The decision to suspend the CEO of PT Pos Indonesia is to allow him to dedicate himself on the legal case he is now confronting.”

The legal cases faced by Setiawan and Setyawan began in 2013 with the procurement of PDT that has resulted in an estimate loss to the State of Rp. 10.5 billion (US$808,000).

According to the Bali Post, the Attorney General’s office seized 1,650 PDT units from the Jakarta headquarters of PT Pos Indonesia as evidence in the developing criminal case.

PT Pos Indonesia has employed the two men since July 2013. The now-suspended CEO is credited with increasing revenues in the national postal service from Rp. 2.59 trillion (US$199 million) in 2012 to Rp. 4.362 billion (US$336 million) in 2014.


A Steamy Proposition
Efforts Underway to Restart Controversial Geothermal Energy Project in Bedugul, North Bali

Proposals to restart the suspended geothermal power-generating project in Bedugul Bali are again meeting with strong opposition.

Public opposition to PT Tenaga Bumi Bali’s (TBB) geothermal power-generating project grows despite having recently received pledges of support from members of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali); and the PDI, Gerinda and Golkar parties.

The project was suspended in 2005 after widespread community protests and a formal resolution in opposition from the DPRD-Bali.

Governor Pastika has restated his refusal to allow the geothermal project in Bedugul in a statement from his office on May 6, 2015. The Governor’s spokesman said that despite Bali continuing power shortage, there are still many other sources of energy that can be explored, even though geothermal energy sources are considered environmentally friendly.

The Governor’s office said that the people of Bali would never tolerate any geothermal project that trespasses on protected forest area in a religiously sacred area of Bali. Balinese religious belief holds that the forested areas in the hills at Bedugul are home to the headwaters of Bali and must remain undisturbed.

Because the opposition to the project was formalized with a DPRD-Bali resolution in 2005, any permission to now allow the Bedugul Geothermal project to resume would require a new resolution and majority approval from the House.



God Gave you a Head. Protect it!
Gianyar To Require Balinese Motorcyclists in Traditional Garb to Wear Helmets

The legal requirement to where a helmet while driving a motorcycle in Bali has always received a “free pass” from police when the motorcyclist was traditionally dressed in Balinese style.

The police precinct in Bali’s Gianyar regency have decided to depart from the dispensation from the requirement to wear a helmet and will soon issue tickets to all helmetless drivers – even those wearing Balinese traditional dress.

Farman, the chief of the Gianyar police, commenced a program of enforcement of the new rules on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, by organizing a parade of motorcycles around Gianyar with the drivers wearing traditional clothing and motorcycle helmets. Farman said the parade’s intent was to remind the public of the need to wear helmets and maintain safety when traveling Ginayar’s roads.

Asked by Bali Post if the next step in the campaign would be to issue tickets to traditionally dressed Balinese motorcyclist failing to wear helmets, Gianyar’s top cop said he would begin by first compelling police in Gianyar to follow the rules. Police traveling on motorcycles while wearing traditional dress but without a safety helmet would be ticketed. Farman did not discount the possibility that in the future civilians failing to wear helmets would also be ticketed.
 
Farman said that he has no desire to oppose tradition and religion in Gianyar or Bali, but, at the same time, wants safety standard improved on the regency’s roads.

Farman called on the public to report whenever they saw a police office without a helmet while wearing traditional clothes and riding a motorcycle.  He assured the offending officer would be issued a ticket.

Farman recommended that Balinese motorcyclists remove their udeng (tradition head scraf) and replace it with a helmet while traveling Bali's roads on a motorcycle.


Making a Bad Entrance to Bali
Chinese Tourist Arrested at Bali Airport with Methamphetamine

Customs and excise officials at Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport apprehended a 24-year-old Chinese national on Monday, May 4, 2015, attempting to bring methamphetamines into Indonesia.

Under arrest is Lin Jia Ling of New Taipei, China, who was in the company of two friends, Wang Cheng Wei (32) and Syu Jia Cing (25) when they disembarked from a Hong Kong Airlines Flight.

0.8 grams of methamphetamines were discovered concealed in Lin’s luggage

Police continue to investigate the case.


Donít Leave Your ATM Card Behind
Australian Tourist Suffer Thousands of Dollars in Losses Due to Missing ATM Card in Kuta, Bali

Credit Card and ATM fraud committed against visitors remains a problem for Bali visitors, particularly in the Kuta area.

Bali Post reports that Kurt Cockburn (23) of Australia misplaced his ATM card while making a withdrawal from an ATM machine on Jalan Poppies II in Kuta.

Based on information provided to the police by Cockburn, police arrested two men on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 identified as IN (36) from East Nusa Tenggara and MDS (38) from Medan, North Sumatra.

Ida Bagus Dedy Junartha of the Kuta police precinct said: “The modus operandi was typical. The perpetrators pounded on the door of the ATM as the victim was withdrawing money in order that the Australian would become confused and leave his card inside the ATM machine.”

Police say Cockburn, who was staying at the Hotel Bali Legian, had been drinking prior to leaving his debit card in the Commonwealth Bank ATM machine. When he returned a few moments later, his card was gone.

Police tracked the use of the missing card at a shoe store in Jalan Dewi Sri in Kuta. CCTV cameras in operation at the shop enabled police to later arrest the two men and identify the motorcycle parked outside the shop.

Before their arrest the men had used he ATM card to purchase sandals, a Samsung Galaxy hand phone, and four hand phone cases.


That a Lot of Visitors to Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot Records 436,919 Visitors January Ė April 2015

A total of 104,798 foreign and domestic tourists in April 2015 paid to visit the sacred Tanah Lot Temple in Tabanan, West Bali.

Compared to April 2014 when 98,411 visitors came to the iconic, this year’s visitor’s totals increased 6.5%.

Thus far in 2015, visitors to Tanah Lot for January – April totaled 436,919 – broken down as follows:
  • January 2015  - 93,336
  • February 2015 – 140,145
  • March 2015 – 98,640
  • April 2015 104,
The operational manager of the Tanah Lot complex, I Ketut Toya Adnyana, said there are ongoing efforts to improve the infrastructure and facilities at Tanah Lot. Additional traditional guards have also been employed to ensure safety and security while visiting Bali’s most photographed tourist icon.
 


 
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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 #583
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Bali Update #582
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Bali Update #581
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Bali Update #580
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Bali Update #579
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Bali Update #578
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Bali Update #577
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Bali Update #576
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Bali Update #575
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Bali Update #574
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Bali Update #573
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Bali Update #572
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Bali Update #571
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Bali Update #570
August 13, 2007

Bali Update #569
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Bali Update #568
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Bali Update #567
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Bali Update #566
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Bali Update #565
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Bali Update #564
July 02, 2007

Bali Update #563
June 25, 2007

Bali Update #562
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Bali Update #561
June 11, 2007

Bali Update #560
June 04, 2007

Bali Update #559
May 28, 2007

Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
May 14, 2007

Bali Update #556
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Bali Update #555
April 30, 2007

Bali Update #554
April 23, 2007

Bali Update #553
April 16, 2007

Bali Update #552
April 09, 2007

Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
March 26, 2007

Bali Update #549
March 19, 2007

Bali Update #548
March 12, 2007

Bali Update #547
March 05, 2007

Bali Update #546
February 26, 2007

Bali Update #545
February 19, 2007

Bali Update #544
February 12, 2007

Bali Update #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
January 22, 2007

Bali Update #540
January 15, 2007

Bali Update #539
January 08, 2007

Bali Update #538
January 01, 2007

Bali Update #537
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Bali Update #536
December 18, 2006

Bali Update #535
December 11, 2006

Bali Update #534
December 04, 2006

Bali Update #533
November 27, 2006

Bali Update #532
November 20, 2006

Bali Update #531
November 13, 2006

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
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Bali Update #521
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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
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Bali Update #513
July 10, 2006

Bali Update #512
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Bali Update #511
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Bali Update #510
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Bali Update #509
June 12, 2006

Bali Update #508
June 05, 2006

Bali Update #507
May 29, 2006

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

Bali Update #502
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Bali Update #501
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