Tomy Winata Objects to Selective Enforcement of the Law in Benoa Bay Reclamation Project
Tomy Winata, the owner of the Artha Graha Business Group and the investor in the Benoa Bay Reclamation Project (PT Tirta Wahana Bali International – TWBI), continues to promote the “revitalization” of Benoa Bay claiming the massive project’s intention is to develop Bali tourism.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Winata said on Sunday, April 12, 2015: “If this project is cancelled, go ahead, but I ask for some justice. I challenge the public and public interest groups to also enact a moratorium for all other projects in Bali that have yet to obtain zoning exemptions, particularly those located on Tanjung Benoa and surrounding Benoa Bay. These project should also face a moratorium and those already under construction should be demolished.”
Winata who owns a number of tourism resorts in Bali and throughout Indonesia, said he is prepared to accept a moratorium if other projects also suffer similar sanctions.
Winata insists that Bali needs tourism development to effectively compete with other tourism destinations in the regions, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Moreover, according to Winata, foreign elements are behind efforts to thwart the TWBI project in order to prevent Bali as a destination for remaining competitive.
Winata explained how he had once undertaken a reclamation project in Kuta covering 4.5 hectares to develop a hotel and villa. “At that time and unlike the present.” he said, “no one objected to the project. (In the present case) nothing has been built and there are already public objections. This is a problem of justice for an investor who has already invested large sums of money.”
It is believed that the earlier project referred to by Winata is the LV 8 Hotel project he owns in North Kuta that technically violates set back rules from shore lines and waterways. Winata's description of this project as being free of public protest and objections is not correct, as evidenced from coverage on balidiscovery.com published in 2007 (see link below).
Tomy Winata told the press that he estimates that the total value of the TWBI project is Rp. 30 trillion (US$2.3 billion, with Rp. 1 trillion (US$77 million) already expended to pay for consultants, field tests and feasibility studies.
TWBI estimates that there are at least 61 buildings projects in South Bali that violate zoning rules and that some of them are disposing of wastes into the mangrove area.
Russian Woman Faces 17 Years Prison for Smuggling Drugs into Bali
Kompas.com reports that a Russian woman charged with smuggling methamphetamines into Bali may face 17 years in prison and fines of Rp. 10 billion (US$ 770,000).
Magnaeva Aleksandra (26) is undergoing trial in the Denpasar District Court, charged with importing more than 5 grams of a Class I Narcotic into Indonesia.
In defending their call for a stern punishment, prosecutors have told the panel of judges that Aleksandra’s criminal actions have damaged the reputation of Bali as a tourism destination and damaged Indonesia’s coming generation.
Magnaeva Aleksandra was arrested by Customs Officials at Bali’s airport on December 7, 2014 arriving on a Hong Kong Airline flight carrying 2.1 kilograms of methamphetamines.
The illicit narcotics were detected via an x-ray examination of the Russian woman’s luggage.
Bank Indonesia Warns Bali Hotels to Denominate Pricing in Rupiahs
The Bali office of Bank Indonesia has reminded hotels that they must, as a matter of law, prioritize the use of the Indonesian Rupiah in payment transactions.
As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the chief of Bank Indonesia in Bali, Dewi Setowati, says starred hotels in Bali would be among the fist businesses being warned by the Central Bank to use Rupiah in every transaction.
“In the near future we will be writing to remind hotels - beginning with five star, four star and boutique hotels, and also to handicraft stores,” said Setowati.
The requirement to use Rupiahs is in compliance with Law No. 7 of 2011 on foreign currency that requires that all domestic financial transactions be denominated in the Indonesian Rupiah.
The 2011 law expressly forbids anyone from refusing to accept payment in Indonesian Rupiah in the settlement of financial obligations taking place in the Country. Violators refusing to honor the Rupiah face possible fines and imprisonment of up to one year.
Despite the 2011 law, many businesses in Bali continue to post prices in U.S. Dollars or other foreign currencies.
Bank Indonesia is vowing to cooperate with the police in enforcing and applying sanctions against those found to be defying the law.
Dewi said, however, that the application of sanctions against violators would take into consideration that Bali is a tourism destination requiring time to make a total conversion into Rupiah-based transactions.
Getting Hounded in Bali
Drug Detection Dogs Intercept Smuggled Drugs Mailed from the U.S.A. to Bali
Custom officials at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport using dogs trained to detect narcotics have managed to intercept parcel post packages sent from New York City to Bali containing marijuana and cocaine.
As reported by Metrobali.com, the chief of the Ngurah Rai Customs Office, Budi Karjanto credited the K-9 detectors with finding the drugs in packages ostensibly containing lamps.
“The smuggling attempt was defeated based on indications given by our team of canines who sniffed out the suspicious packages," said Budi on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.
When the dogs indicated the package as containing an illegal substance, the packages addressed to “Brinkman Q-Bean Max Million” were sent for x-ray examination. The x-ray showed 3 plastic packages containing 57 grams of marijuana and 7.2 grams of cocaine.
A search of the tacking number for the subject package with the U.S. Postal Service indicated it was accepted by the U.S. postal service on March 30th in Elmont, New York and arrived in Indonesia on April 6, 2015 when it underwent customs examination on April 8th.
The indicated recipient in Bali has the initials KS at an address in Jimbaran, Bali.
Earlier, Custom’s officials also intercepted a package containing 3.10 grams of methamphetamines sent from China. That package arrived in Bali on March 26, 2015 together with another package from Africa containing 462 grams of methamphetamines.
Earlier in the year on January 10, 2015, Customs Official seized a package ostensibly containing DVDs sent from Greece that contained 3.2 grams of marijuana. A Dutch national, Hans Havenaar, was taken into custody in connection with that shipment and is now being processed for trial.
Models of Impropriety
15 Models and Crew on Photo Shoot Deported by Bali Immigration
The Immigration office at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport has deported 15 models and photography crew from the United States and Canada for working illegally and misusing their tourist visas.
As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the group was apprehended after being observed by undercover investigators from immigration over the course of several days.
“All of the foreigners were using visa-on-arrival for photographing model sessions,” said the head of the surveillance and response section of the Ngurah Rai immigration office, Mohamad Soleh.
Soleh revealed that the people deported were comprised of 11 U.S. nationals and 4 Canadians. Of the 15 foreigners, nine were professional models and 6 were photographic crewmembers:
Dina Morel – a hairdresser from Canada
Aurielie Elisabth Renout – a make-up artist from Canada
Chloe Terae Thomson – a social media worker from Canada
Luis Monoz – a manager from the U.S.A.
Ronald Hansen – a marketing officer from the U.S.A.
Mariels Dulgicer – a lighting technician from the U.S.A.
A surveillance team from immigration witnessed photography sessions using the models undertaken at various locations in Canggu, Seminyak and a Zoo in Gianyar.
The group was observed starting from Wednesday, April 8 until they were taken into custody two days later on Friday, October 10, 2015 at 9:00 p.m.
Documents and interviews revealed that the group was part of a group called “Paradise Challenge” – an all-inclusive elite photo shoot charging aspiring photographers US$3,100 to spend a week at a private villa while participating in photographic seminars and photo shoots using professional models.
Before the Fall
Local Guides at Gitgit Waterfall Accused of Extorting Tourists
Foreign tourists are complaining about the quality of service provided by local guides at the Gitgit waterfall in Buleleng, North Bali.
As reported by Beritabali.com, in addition to paying for an admission ticket, local guide are demanding between Rp. 300,000 – Rp. 400,000 for their services (US$23-US$31).
Johnny, a tourist from Washington, D.C. (USA) told of how, together with three friends, he purchased an admission ticket to the waterfall only to be approached by local citizens insisting on a further Rp. 300,000 – Rp. 400,000 from his group for guide services.
According to Made Artana, a Balinese companion of the American, when Johnny and his friends declined the offer of guide services explaining this was not their first visit to Gitgit, the “local guides” reportedly denied access to the area unless the visitors agreed to pay the extorted fee.
Artana lamented the actions of his fellow Balinese, saying such behavior damages the tourism image of Gitgit and Bali as a whole. Adding: “With the sophisticated development of social media, bad experiences such as these can be shared with the entire world on the Internet. What’s more, these foreign tourists visit Bali frequently and observe the nature of tourism development on the Island.” Made Artana said tourism in Bali is much different from what it was 10 years ago when visitors felt more welcome.
Artana warned that problems such as these must be addressed or tourists will avoid Gitgit altogether.
Beritabali.com said the management of the Gitgit waterfall has declined comment on the purported incident.
Development Takes its Toll
State-owned Company Maps out Toll Toad Options to Connect Bali's South-West-North
PT Wastika Karya is proposing the construction of four toll roads connecting Bali’s south to the west and north. As reported by Beritabali.com, the four toll roads conceptualized by the State-owned company would connect Kuta-Canggu-Tanah Lot-Soka, Soka-Perkutatan, Pekutatan-Gilimanuk and Pekutatan-Lovina.
A preliminary feasibility for the new toll ways was presented to Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika in Denpasar on Thursday, April 16, 2015.
Desi Arryani, the operational director of PT Waskita Karya said the concept of the new toll roads for Bali is the direct result of a policy announced by President Joko Widodo to construct 1,562 kilometers of new toll roads before 2019. The President has called on State-owned Companies to undertake the proposed expanded toll way operations.
PT Waskita Karya is a State-owned enterprise.
Desi said surveys conducted by Waskita Karya showed that Bali is a prospective area for toll roads due to the congestion of its southern regions and the imbalances in development along its north-south axis. Toll roads, according to Waskita Karya, will hasten the balance of development trends across the island.
A consultant to Waskita Karya, Ahmad Faiz, said that 156.7 kilometers of toll roads are being proposed for Bali comprised of Kuta-Canggu-Tanah Lot – Soka (28 kilometers), Soka-Pekutatan (25.1 kilometers), Pekutatan-Gilimanuk (54.4 kilometers) and Pekutatan-Lovina (46,7 kilometers). An estimated Rp. 34,379 trillion (US$ 2.65 billion) will be needed to fund the proposed new toll roads in Bali.
The preliminary feasibility study for the project encompasses a region-by-region development survey, future traffic projections, alternative road paths and their respective environmental impact, costs and technical aspects, projected costs and financial analysis.
The Kuta-Canggu-Tanah Lot-Soka segment of the study examined three alternative routings. One alternative followed strict conformance to the provincial zoning rules (RTRW), a second alternative follows a beachside path, and a third path utilizes riverbeds. According to the consultant, the roadway built over existing riverbeds is the most economical, reducing the need for costly land acquisition. Adding: “If we follow the beach, the construction cost will be high and the road will not last long due to the strong currents of the Indian Ocean.
The first route following the RTRW development plan is the most expensive because is transects the Canggu tourism area.
Waskita Karya is now seeking input from Bali’s Governor on the best way to proceed with the proposed toll way projects.
The Governor revealed that the Province has plans to develop a 1,100-hectare site now used as a rubber plantation to build a new city in the Pekutatan-Jembrana corridor. The proposed roadway, says the Governor, would aid these plans for a new city.
Atis and the Tradewind Have Bali-inspired Song Adopted by Bali Tourism Board
The Island of Bali now has its own theme song – “Please Come to Bali” performed by the musical group “Atis and the Tradewind.”
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the producer of the song, Jesse Lantang, told the press on Wednesday, April 15, 2015: “This song was created because we love Bali. We all live in Bali and everything has happened here. Bali is our second home.”
One of twelve songs featured in the group’s album “The Beginning of the End” was released in a concert held on April 15th in Sanur, Bali.
As part of the album’s initial launch, 2,000 CDs and DVDs have been circulated in the market.
According to Lantang, “Please Come to Bali” tells the story of two people who fall in love in Bali, attracted by the beauty and culture of the Island of the Gods.
Lantang went on to explain that the album – almost entirely in English – took two years to make and mixes a wide range of musical genre from rock, soul, hip-hop, jazz and Balinese gamelan and was compiled under the inspiration of a company called Hidden Treasures Inc.
Lantang reportedly gave a copy of the song to the Minister of Communication and Information, Rudiantara. In time, the song arrived at the Bali Tourism Board who embraced the song as the official song of Bali.
Atis and the Tradewind are comprised of five members: Andy Atis (vocalist), Reza Boentoro (keyboard), Theo Kurniawan (keyboard), Eben Andreas (guitar), Melky Patty (bass) and Josh Risakotta (percussion).
Andy Atis who sings “Please Come to Bali” says he is proud that his song can contribute to Bali tourism and has no expectation of royalties or remuneration from the Government.
“We have given this song to the Provincial Government of Bali through the Bali Tourism Board without charge. We are seeking no royalties,” said Atis.
The song is available to download on iTunes or can be heard on YouTube.
Luck be a Lady
Bali Police to Commence a Three-Week Anti-Gambling Enforcement Campaign
The Bali Police have announced “Operasi Balak Agung” – a concerted drive to fight all forms of gambling.
As reported by Kompas.com, Bali’s chief of police General Ronny Franky Sompie announced the anti-gambling drive at a press gathering on Friday, April 17, 2015.
“All forms and types of gambling will form the target of Operasi Balak Agung 2015,” said Sompie.
The anti-gambling drive will span 21 days beginning from April 22, 2015 and is intended to close down all gambling operations and raise public awareness of the need to eliminate such activities.
“We will battle all forms of gambling, including on-line gambling, and modern and traditional forms of gambling. We will bring order (in this area). Hopefully, the people will be deterred from gambling. Gambling in Bali is illegal. We still have no real data on these activities,” said Bali’s top policeman.
Indonesian websites carrying banner for lotteries and other forms of on-line gambling are in criminal violation of Indonesian law.
It Must have been Something they Drank
Minister of Trade Issues Special Rules for Bali to Control the Sale of Beer
A ruling from the Minister of Trade limiting the sales of beer at convenience stores and warungs was set to take effect on April 15, 2015.
As reported by Beritadewata.com, minimarkets across Bali claimed they no longer have beer to sell and were not receiving new supplies from beer distributors. A few shops admitted to have old stocks of beer that they would sell until finished and then not restock.
A Reprieve for Bali Beer Sellers?
Meanwhile, the vice-chairman of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Ketut Suwandi, told the press that the Trade Minister has relented in the face of widespread protests and issued a special set of regulations exempting Bali from the ban on beer sales at minimarkets and convenience stores. The exempting regulation has reportedly been hand-carried to Bali by a member of the Minister’s staff stipulating how beer sales will be controlled in Bali, given the Island’s special status as a tourist destination.
While specific details are short, Suwandi says the new regulations will address the aspirations of the people of Bali to allow beer sales in tourist areas. It is believed that it will be left to local regents, mayors and village chiefs in Bali to specify what areas will designated as tourist zones and remain open to beer sale to tourist visitors over the age of 21 years.
Details of the special regulations for Bali will be shared once the new ruling is formally promulgated on the Island.
The Card You’re Dealt
Most Bali Toll Road Users Pay in Cash
PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol, the operators of the Bali Mandara Toll Road, say most people traversing the Sanur – Airport – Nusa Dua toll road overwhelmingly prefer to pay in cash, ignoring the cashless prepaid card option.
Open since October of 2013, the Bali toll road working with Bank Mandiri offers an express lane for vehicles wanting to pay with a prepaid debit card.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the regional manager of Jasa Marga Bali Tol, Budi Susetyo, said on Tuesday, April 14, 2014: “Payment for toll usage with electronic cards is minimal – only about 2% of the some 42,000 Bali toll road users each day.”
Despite this low level of usage, the Bali Toll operators plan to install more electronic payment card readers in cooperation with two government banks.
Budi said he hope more toll users will use the electronic payment method to facilitate the smooth and efficient movement of traffic.
The intensification of electronic payment methods for Bali’s toll road is in keeping with a nation-wide campaign by Bank Indonesia to promote cashless transactions in all sectors of the economy.
Army Officers Kill Colleague in Drunken Attack in West Bali
A member of the Indonesian Army assigned to the Mechanical Battalion in Jembrana, West Bali has died apparently after being beaten by a group brothers-in-arms after a drunken party.
The dead man is identified as Chief Sergeant Rikiman, a member of the 741 Mechanical Battalion who was attacked and beaten by four fellow battalion members by First Sergeant I Made Alit Prawira, Chief Sergeant Andhitya Prima C.W., First Sergeant I Putu Mardita and Second Sergeant Satria Wirayuda.
Beritabali.com says the fatal beating occurred after a drinking party held by Mardita and Andhitya at the Café Ratu in Jembrana.
After leaving the Café, the two stopped at Hardy’s Supermarket to purchase more alcoholic beverages to bring back to their barracks.
Back at their barracks, the two men met Prawira who was invited to join the drink fest. The three drunken men then agreed to drive a car to the port of Gilimanuk.
The drinking continued inside the car driven by Wirayudha with the victim sitting alongside in the front passenger seat. The drunken Rikiman began shouting, demanding to be let out from the car.
A struggle ensued with the group agreeing to bring Rikiman back to his barracks. Screaming hysterically along the way the men tried to subdue Rikiman by delivering repeated blows to his head and body.
When arriving back at the battalion headquarters, Rikiman, now covered in blood, was given first aid before being sent to the Negara General Hospital. Due to the extent of his injuries, he was transferred to Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar where he expired shortly after arrival.
Military Police continue to investigate the case that is being treated as a homicide.
Call to Arms
Bali Governor Calls on the Island’s Coming Generation to Prepare for a More Openly Competitive World
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika is calling on Bali’s younger generation to prepare to become winners in the new ASEAN Economic Community (MEA ASEAN) that will come into force by the end of 2015.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, speaking at an open forum, Pastika said, “Bali’s younger generation must galvanize themselves and be prepared to work hard and improve their capabilities to become a generation of winners in the coming competition.”
The Governor predicts that Bali, as a leading international tourism destination, will become a major competitive center for employment in the ASEAN free labor market.
At the same time, the Governor lamented that many young people today are lazy in the search for employment. Pastika asserted that the indolent young are more content to sit alone, strengthening their two thumbs by playing a computer gadget.
This unfortunate state of affairs, said the Governor, is made worse by the large number of youth who care little about global developments. “It’s already clear that they will not be able to confront MEA ASEAN and end up becoming the unemployed,” he said.
Pastika issued a clarion call for Bali’s youth to rise up and sort themselves out by acquiring proficiency in foreign languages in order to better compete in the coming months and years.
At the same time, the Governor called on parents not to over indulge and spoil their children.
‘Let’s galvanize the coming generation to become winners, not to become losers. There are no longer any rose-covered paths, but journeys filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, and full of hidden thorns. Because of this, arm yourself for the future,” warned Pastika.
Running for Someone Else’s Life
PrimaFit Organizes Major “Stationery Run” to Raise Funds for Disabled Athletes and the Bali Sports Foundation
PrimaFit – a leading distributor of health and fitness equipment collaborated with sports and fitness enthusiasts at the “Fit for Charity” race held April 10-12, 2015.
Dozens of participants flocked to the PrimaFit Store on Sunset Road over the three-day period in order to earn kilometers on PrimaFit’scardio machines. Each kilometer run by the participants earned Rp. 25, 000 (US$1.90) from PrimaFit for the assistance of disabled athletes.
Participants competed individually and as team to rack up the most kilometers with more than 3 participants earning 100 kilometers each during the event.
In all, a total of 1,237 kilometers were racked up by all participants including PrimaFit employees resulting in Rp 30,925,000 (US$2,380) in funds raised for disabled athletes. In addition to the mileage and donation earned by the participants, PrimaFit also donated an additional Rp19, 075,000 for a grand total of Rp. 50 million (US$3,850) to be administered to disabled athletes by the Bali Sports Foundation.
“Fit for Charity is part of our community engagement program designed to solicit maximum collaboration from the fitness enthusiasts in Bali for a good cause. The idea is to run, bike, row and contribute collectively so that there can be more awareness of the cause and also raise more funds. The proceeds will benefit the disabled athletes under the Bali Sports Foundation,” said Michael Supit, marketing communications manager of PrimaFit. Supit said he hopes that similar activities can be conducted in other PrimaFit showrooms in other cities.
“We appreciate the effort by PrimaFit and the participants of this event. This event is very unique because it allows the sports and fitness aficionados to donate for charity by working out and earning their kilometers. We really love how it’s turned out and how excited the participants were,” said Rodney Holt, founder of Bali Sports Foundation.
Fit for Charity kicked off on Friday, April 10th and ended on Sunday April 12, 2015. Kilometers were accumulated on four state-of-the-art fitness machines.
Garuda Adding 18 Aircraft Before the end of 2015 at it Targets a 74% Average Seat Load
During 2015, Garuda Indonesia will add 18 new aircraft, commencing in May.
Plans for the expanding air armada were revealed by the Commercial Director of Garuda, Hadayani, on Friday, April 10 and reported by Bali Post.
Five of the new planes are wide-bodied Boeing 777 or Airbus, with the remaining 13 planes comprised of smaller CRJ or ATR aircraft.
The wide-bodied aircraft will be used on international routes, with Jeddah in Saudi Arabia a major destination for the new planes. Handayani revealed that the new aircraft would be used to serve Umroh pilgrims on the approach of the fasting month of Ramadhan.
In 2015, the peak season for Umroh traffic coincides with the holiday period of June-July.
Handayani said that Garuda is targeting an average seat load factor of 75%.
Bali Marine Tourism Operators Seek to Fix Tariffs
The Third-Chairman of the Association of Water Sports Operators in Bali (Gahawisri), Ketut Arsana Yasa, on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 called on marine sports operators to agree on rates and tariffs in order to successfully confront the heightened competition of the ASEAN Economic Community.
Yasa said that agreements were in place setting rates for rafting and beachside water sports activities.
Expecting wider competition due to the free movement of workers between ASEAN member countries, Gahawisri wants to avoid unfair price competition and product prices on the market that are insufficient to cover operational costs.
Rumah Sakit Sehat
Bali Aiming for Hospital Accreditation for all Hospital by 2020
Although all hospital in Bali are required by law to have accreditation, from the 56 hospitals operating in Bali (15 of which are government hospitals), only 18% comply with the requirement for hospital accreditation
As reported by Bali Post, the head of health services at the Provincial Health Department for Bali,Dr. Ni Made Laksmiwati, Bali has ten accredited hospitals in 2015
Commission for the Accreditation of Hospitals (KARS – Paripurna) 5 Stars Hospitals in Bali:
RS Siloam Bali
RSK Bedah dan Penyakit Dalam BIMC
Commission for the Accreditation of Hospitals (KARS – Madya) 3 Stars Hospitals in Bali:
Rumah Sakit Khusus Bedah BIMC
RS Surya Husada Nusa Dua
RS Surya Husada Denpasar
Commission for the Accreditation of Hospitals (KARS – Perdana) 1 Star Hospital in Bali:
RS Surya Husada Ubung
Bali health officials have set a goal for all hospitals in Bali to be accredited by 2020. To that end, seminars and workshops are being conducted among non-accredited hospital in Bali to help them meet the standards in equipment and service needed to gain accreditation.
Hospitals that have already received accreditation are required to routinely re-qualify.
Bali Officials Asks Public Not to Oppose Elimination of Feral Dog Populations in Fight Against Rabies
The head of Bali’s Animal Husbandry and Livestock Health Service, Putu Sumantra, is calling on the public not to oppose the elimination of feral dog populations by provincial animal control officers.
Quoted by Bali Post, Sumantra said: “Dogs that haven’t been vaccinated have also become our enemies and are a scourge. Because of this, we hope the people will not oppose us when we are forced to eliminate dogs that can’t be vaccinated, especially in areas with active cases of rabies.”
Sumantra continued: “If we are still able to vaccinate, then we will vaccinate. But if the dogs have become a nuisance, what’s more in an area positive for cases of rabies, we will be forced to eliminate these wild dogs. This will be the case even though when we undertake eliminations there are many parties who oppose us and are against killing the dogs.”
Sumantra explained that unvaccinated dogs allowed to mix freely with vaccinated dogs would, over time, tend to eliminate any benefit brought through vaccination. For this reason, he insists that dogs that are wild and problematic to vaccinate, best be eliminated.
In the current year, the Provincial Government of Bali will undertake the sixth wave of vaccinations that started on April 17, 2015 and will continue until late July. The provision of vaccine for 2015 in the amount of 250,000 dosages has already been tendered.
The animal health chief said that he hoped at least 300,000 dogs would be vaccinated against rabies in 2015.
Rabies cases continue to be found in Bali, with the regencies of Buleleng (North Bali), Karangasem and Bangli among the worst affected.
The Wedding Bell Blues
Chairman of Bali Wedding Association Warns that 60% of Wedding Organizers are Illegal Businesses
The chairman of the Bali Wedding Association, Deden Asep Saefulloh, claims that of the estimated 200 wedding organizers operating in Bali at least 60% are unregistered businesses without legal basis.
Quoted in Beritabali.com, Saefulloh said: “There are still many wedding operators causing us losses. The public should be more cautious in choosing a wedding organizer to avoid suffering losses. The practices of illegal wedding organizers are most worrying. Illegal wedding organizers handle big cash customers without paying taxes. Illegal wedding organizers handle the rich customers, while we end up with the small fry.”
Deden claims that the illegal wedding organizers avoid legal incorporation to avoid taxes and having to comply with local regulation. At the same time, he claims these operators charge top prices and often cause losses to their clients.
“The wedding organizer business in Bali has excellent prospects. In addition to foreign tourists, the are many (Indonesian) artists who decide to get married in Bali. I recommend that wedding organizers operators establish legal business structures. By operating in a legal business structure wedding operators can then pay the tax obligations they have to the country,” Deden explained.
Deden is inviting wedding operators in Bali to join the Bali Wedding Association so that a unified voice is created in dealing with future problems for the wedding organizer industry in Bali as they arise.
The chairman of Bali Wedding Association complained that the government has yet to acknowledge wedding planning as a major tourism product.
Deden sees formal recognition by the Ministry of Tourism and professional certification of the Wedding Organizer Sector as the proper stance for Indonesia to take in confronting the ASEAN open market.
A Need for Better Social Security
Conference Participants at Denpasar, Bali Hotel Lose Computers, Phones and Cash During Luncheon Break
On Saturday, April 18, 2015, a thief infiltrated a meeting room being used by the National Social Security Administration (BPJS) at the Hotel Neo on Jalan Gatot Subroto Barat and made off with computers, hand phones and cash left in the meeting room during a lunch break.
Metrobali.com says police suspect several perpetrators carried out the theft, possibly posing as participants, When the group returned to the meeting roomn after lunch, around 7 participants discovered computers, hand phones and cash were missing.
The theft was reported to the hotel who in turn contacted the police. Police came to the scene and interviewed victims and witnesses. Police are also reviewing surveillance camera footage and speaking with the employees of the hotel.
Police estimate total losses to exceed “tens of millions of rupiahs.”
The police investigation continues,
Brazen Bogans on Nusa Lembongan?
Lawmaker Claims Widespread Use of Illegal Foreign Workers on Nusa Lembongan Island
A legislator from the Klungkung House of Representatives (DPRD-Klungkung), A.A. Sayang Suparta, is complaining that many expatriates working on Nusa Lembongan Island at Nusa Penida are doing so without the required work permit. This situation Suparta blames on poor control by immigration and manpower authorities.
Located a short distance of Bali’s southeast coast, Nusa Lembongan is home to many diving operators and accommodation providers.
Suparta shared his complaint on illegal workers with The Bali Post, saying there were at least 8 dive operators on Nusa Lembongan who he contends lack proper legal working permits. He also complained that foreign diving instructors were working on the Island without the proper paperwork.
Saying foreigners found to be working in Indonesia without possessing the required working permit should be deported, Suparta called on Commission I of the DPRD-Klungkung to conduct a field trip to Nusa Lembongan to determine if his complaint of widespread use of illegal workers is correct.
South Bali has Exceeded its Carrying Capacity in Water Consumption
Participating in a tourism forum in Bali on April 14, 2015, the chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-BALI) and former regent of Gianyar, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, said that Bali has exceeded its carrying capacity in terms of water usage.
Tjokorda told the forum:
PHRI-Bali estimates the current total number of rooms in Bali is 77,946.
The estimated average consumption of water per person per day in metropolitan areas is 120 liters, while consumption in rural areas is put at only 60 liters.
Because of tourism development, the average consumption of water per person per day in Bali as a whole is higher than the national average at 183 liters.
The chief of the Denpasar Water Board (PDAM-Denpasar), Putu Gede Mahaputra, said when localized for just the southern part of Bali where most hotels are located, water consumption increases to an average 196 liters of water per day.
Denpasar has a water demand of 1,440 liters of water per second against a total production by PDAM-Denpasar of 1,253 liters per second. This results in a water deficit in Denpasar of 187 liters per second. Over the course of a 24-hour period, Denpasar has a shortfall of 16.16 million liters.
Tjokorda warned that Bali is dangerously ignoring limits on the Island’s carrying capacity for new hotel rooms, at the risk of destroying Bali’s attractiveness as a tourist destination.
PT TWBI Asked to Come Clean on Who Has Received Funds Spent on Promoting Benoa Bay Project
Data released by PT Tirta Wahana Bali International (TWBI) - the developers of the Benoa Bay reclamation project, has raised questions in Bali that those opposed to the controversial project say demand an answer.
The Rp. 30 trillion (US$2.3 billion) project by TWBI is claimed to have already expended Rp. 1 trillion (US$77 million) in project studies and “contributions” to local entities.
Bali Post quotes the director of TWBI, Heru Budi Wasesa saying that Rp. 350 million (US$26,900) has been paid to the Forum Peduli Mangrove – a “conservation group” established by the Artha Graha Group controlled by Tomy Winata. Wasesa says the funds have been used to care for the mangrove and basic food supplies for Benoa Bay residents.
The admission by Wasesa of Rp. 1 trillion spent to date in support of the Benoa Bay project has fueled speculation that money has been channeled to certain parties to ensure the reclamation project proceeds without pause. “If it is true that PT TWBI has expended almost Rp. 1 trillion, the people of Bali are then prompted to ask where and to whom these funds have been paid? I think the investors (TWBI) must have the courage to be transparent about to whom among public officials and members of government bodies payments have been made in order to ensure the Benoa Bay project can go ahead,” said, Gede Bangun Nusantara, secretary-general of the Refuse the Reclamation of Benoa Bay Movement.
Gede Bangun Nusantara urged investors in the Benoa Bay Project to be forthright: “Open up everything, letting the people of Bali know who has received their funds. They have lied to the other investors and the people of Bali.”
Bangun said he applauded statements by investors in the Benoa Bay project who said they were prepared to cancel the reclamation. He said it was now time for the Governor, President and relevant Ministers to end the processing of permits now underway and revoke Presidential Regulation No. 51 of 2014 authorizing the Benoa Bay project. “Hopefully the statement from investors that they are prepared to cancel the reclamation project appears to be a sincere statement,” he said.
A Bali-based environmentalist, Ngurah Karyadi, has sounded a similar call for openness and transparency by TWBI. Saying there have been indications of payments made to various elements in Bali, Karyadi said: “Those who have received payments must exhibit knightly characteristics (and reveal themselves) or perhaps the investors in PT TWBI can share this information?”
Karyadi urged Governor Pastika to seize the offer made by TWBI to comply with a moratorium on the Benoa Bay project and use this time to approach President Joko Widodo to revoke the permit for the project granted by his predecessor.
A leading academic from Udayana University, Dr. Gede Sudjana Budhi warned the investors in the Benoa Bay project to stop linking their self-interest with the common good of the people of Bali. Budhi also sharply chided TWBI to stop mentioning the trillions spent on the project, adding: “The people have no connection with the payments made by PT TWBI, because the people never invited PT TWBI to undertake the reclamation of Benoa Bay.”
Budhi said any money spent to date and lost by PT TWBI on the Benoa Bay project was a business risk that should be borne directly by the investors.
Bali Chefs Plan a Beachhead
Bali Culinary Professional Luncheon on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at Mozaic Beachclub
The April luncheon of the Bali Culinary Professionals (BCP) will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the MOZAIC Beachclub, Jalan Pantai Batubelig, Seminyak, Bali.
The monthly gathering of chefs and food and beverage professionals from across Bali begins at 12:00 PM with pre-lunch drinks sponsored by Hatten’s Wines and Beer Bintang.
Dress code for the Thursday lunch is beach dress. Door prizes will be drawn.
Bali Culinary Professional Luncheon – April 25, 2015
Nibbles to Begin
black truffle marscarpone
Beef Rendang Cromesquis
with green chili ***** Appetizer
Chargrilled Yellow Fin Tuna
tumeric and lemon dressing, spiced cauliflower salad **** Main Course
Seared Beef Tenderloin Mozaic’s peppercorn jus, confit potatoes and toasted spice **** Dessert Crème Catalan
Lemon jelly, goldenpine apple and lychee
All are welcome with BCP members paying only Rp. 250,000 (US$20.80), Young Chefs Rp. 175,000 (US$14.60) and guests Rp. 350,000 (US$29).
Advance bookings are required by telephone +62-(0)361-286283 (extension 101) or by [Email]
Bali Safari & Marine Park Celebrate the Contributions made by Today’s Women on Kartini Day.
The 136th anniversary of the birth of the Indonesian heroine Raden Ajeng Kartini and her fight for human rights in colonial Indonesia is celebrated every April 21st. A Javanese woman of noble birth, Kartini championed women’s education and maintained an active correspondence with Dutch colonial officials, now preserved in print, defending the emancipation of women, and rallying against the stifling constraints imposed by both the colonial and traditional Javanese society on Indonesian woman of the day.
g a premature death in childbirth at the age of 25 in 1904, her letters published posthumously and her success in setting up a progressive school for Javanese girls just one year prior to her death have formed a lasting legacy in Indonesian history. Her teachings served as a precursor for the Indonesian independence and earned her a lasting notoriety in Indonesian history with her words and life story familiar to every Indonesian student more than a century after her death.
In order to honor the role played by woman in modern-day Indonesia and in the successful operation of the award-winning animal park, the management and staff of the Bali Safari & Marine Park recently organized blood donor programs and free Pap smear examinations.
William Santoso, the general manager of the Bali Safari & Marine Park, welcomed the enthusiastic support for “Kartini Day” shown by his team members, saying: “The majority of the employees of the Bali Safari and Marine Park are women and in acknowledgement of the tremendous contribution played by Indonesian women in the day-to-day operation of the Park, we feel issues of women’s health must be highlighted. Our women workers are fantastic! The have boldly and diligently dedicated their working lives in helping to progress the development of the Bali Safari and Marine Park.”
Five Modern Day Kartini’s
Mirroring the celebration of Kartini’s birthday taking place in schools and communities across the Nation, “Kartini Day” at the Bali Safari & Marine Park provided the opportunity to pay special homage to five modern-day Kartini’s who tirelessly dedicate themselves to serving the guests visiting the Park and the more than 400 animals and 60 species that make their home at the world famous Gianyar animal park.
The five outstanding women honored by the Bali Safari and Marine Park on “Kartini Day 2015” are:
Ni Luh Putu Putriani, - Elephant Keeper
Born in Gianyar on December 12, 1982, Putu Putriani began her zoo-keeping career as an elephant keeper 6 years ago. Excelling in an exacting training program in elephant care, training and psychology, Putu was eventually assigned to oversee the welfare of Dela, a highly intelligent 21-year-old Sumatran elephant.
Demonstrating a deep understanding of her area of responsibility, Putri explains that elephant recognize the people by their voices and body odors. Absolutely convinced of the mental acuity of Dela and elephants in general, Putri says the large size and power of these animals’ demands that their handlers practice vigilance and caution at all times.
Illustrating her point, Putri said: “There have been times when my foot has been stepped on due to my failure to be careful when walking an elephant. If you are riding an elephant, you really never know when they will suddenly stoop to pick up something on the path. And, there are also times when the elephant will suddenly decide to run, requiring anyone sitting on its back to always be ready to stay balanced to prevent falling off.”
In further recognition of her skill and dedication, Putri was named the “Best employee of the Bali Safari and Marine Park”2013."
Gusti Ayu Komang Nila Puspasari – Head of Education
Born in Negara, West Bali on January 30, 1987, Nila is an English Faculty graduate of Bali’s Udayana University in 2008.
A dedicated mother and wife, Nila is the hard working chief educator at the Bali Safari & Marine Park. When she first joined the Park ten years ago, while still a university student, Nila admits that she had little admiration and even less understanding about animals. Over time, however, her appreciation for the animal kingdom grew by leaps and bounds to the point where today she is widely regarded in zoo circles for her knowledge of the wild kingdom.
A natural educator and communicator, Nila is now an authority on the fauna of Australia who has served as a tram guide in 2013 for the APEC Conference and Miss World competition. An inspiration to her co-workers, she was named “Best Employee of Bali Safari & Marine Park 2009.”
As a modern-day Kartini, Nila’s advice to women is to embrace new challenges without fear of failure. Adding. “It’s all a process, failure is never an ending, but only the beginning of future success.”
Ni Made Herawati -Veterinarian and Head Keeper Fresh Water
Hailing from Bali’s capital of Denpasar where she was born on April 19, 1984, Hera is a qualified Doctor of Veterinarian Science and the person in charge of the Park’s animal living in and on top of fresh water. Her postgraduate studies at Bali’s prestigious Udayana University were completed with honors in record time.
Hera’s post-graduate thesis was a groundbreaking examination of extracts from the Moringa Olefiera (drumstick tree) and their application in inhibiting the growth of hydrophilia bacteria among populations of carnivorous piranha fish.
The former secretary to the Indonesian Kennel Society (Perkin), Hera first joined the Bali Safari and Marine Park in 2009 as part of the educational team. A gifted communicator, she can still often be found guiding a group on a tram tour or serving as master of ceremonies for the Animal and Elephant Show. After only nine months with the Park, Hera was asked to take charge of the fresh water aquatic collection, a responsibility she accepted while simultaneously undertaking a post-graduate degree in ichthyology – the study of fish.
Hera says she considers herself doubly blessed to be able to make her avocation into a vocation. Committed to modern zoo keeping mantras that demand all the creatures “great and small” at the park be provided an enjoyable, stimulating and enriching environment, Hera’s spends a great deal of time acquiring a “fish eye perspective” on life at the Bali Safari & Marine Park.
Puspa Ayudis Husadi - Head Operational Life and Science
“Adis” was born in Denpasar on September 13, 1986 before graduating from the English faculty of Udayana University in 2009.
Joining Bali Safari & Marine Park immediately after graduating from college, Adis has quickly risen through the ranks to her present position as Head Operational Life and Science. Working in a coordinating role, she leads a team made up of animal educators, curators, veterinarians, animal keepers and animal nutritionists – all working together to ensure the animals at the Park remain healthy and happy. Adis collects information from her Life and Science Team to share with the staff of the Bali Safari & Marine Park in order to foster “best practice” on every level of animal care.
Famous for her inquisitive, questioning nature in perpetual search for knowledge and information on how to optimize the care and handling of captive animals, Adis relentlessly pursues zookeepers with a list of questions on animal husbandry.
The knowledge Adis acquires regarding environmental practice and animal care is eagerly shared with co-workers. She is convinced that major advances in environmental sustainability and the understanding of “best practice” in animal care results from the small incremental changes introduced each and every day at the Park.
She counsels other members of Indonesia’s female work force to “be strong, be smart” and constantly seek opportunities to demonstrate their personal potential. Continuing, Adis said: “We must improve our surrounding environment. And, as women, we must become more aware of the natural environment. If we fail to do this, what is to become of this planet?
Wellah Hatta - Head of Show and Entertainment
Wellah Hatta is one of the youngest managers at the Bali Safari & Marine Park and is in charge of the Bali Theatre. A graduate of the London School of Public Relations where she has been acknowledged as a “distinguished alumni,” Wellah first moved to Bali to join the Park in 2010.
Bali Theatre is the first performing arts theatre in Bali, Indonesia -– the largest indoor theatre in Southeast Asia. The international-quality theatrical complex with a 1,200 seating capacity is equipped with advanced multi-media technology and a state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems.
“Bali Agung” - the spectacular show presented 6 days a week (except Mondays) at 2:30 pm at Bali Theatre combines traditional dance, stunning visual effects and lavish costumes, hundreds of dancers and performers, giant puppets, musicians and animals in a breathtaking theatrical performance that opens with a herd of Sumatran Elephants parading through the audience.
Wellah joined the cast and crew of “Bali Agung” in 2010 at the tender age of 22 as an Assistant Stage Manager supporting the theatrically complex production. Six months later, she has risen to become Stage Manager and was designated as the “Park’s Best Leader” in 2012.
As the “lady in charge” managing a stage crew of 80 – most of whom are men – Wellah succeeds in presenting a flawless performance six days a week by treating each member of the cast and crew as valued individuals each with an important part to play in a critically acclaimed theatrical tour de force.
Elaborating on her proven managerial style, Wellah explains: “I think the differences and the diversity found in my team is a thing of beauty. It is really interesting to handle hundreds of people with such different personalities. My department is full of interesting, creative and very ‘artsy’ people. We love our jobs, we love what we're doing and we are happy doing it. That brings everyone together into a solid team with a shared vision performing a common mission.”
Determined to create a life-long memory for the thousand who view “Bali Agung” each week, Wellah admits to being an exacting perfectionist who says “maintaining artistic excellence day after day is harder than creating.”
Describing her workday, Wellah said: “I love working here because live performance has always been a passion of mine. Working in a show or a theatre has been my dream since I was little. I also love animals and to include animals in a show is something special. Every day I have a chance to see and play with elephants, cheetahs, lions and other animals. It’s so true that animals can relieve stress and that is the best part of my job. For me this is the best job in the world!”
Addressing her female co-workers at the Park, Wellah's words of wisdom echo the philosophy of Raden Ajeng Kartini: “Just because you are a woman, doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself. Never think you can’t do a job just because it is supposed to be a man’s job. Be honest and kind to everyone, give your love a 100 percent in your professional and personal life and live in it.”
The Dream Continues
Five bright and professionally accomplished woman – just part of the female work force at Bali Safari & Marine Park that wholeheartedly embrace the words of Raden Ajeng Kartini uttered more than a century ago: “Never stop dreaming, never stop dreaming, dream as long as you are able to dream. When you no longer dream, what will become of your life? Life is cruel (without dreams)!”
The battle for the emancipation of Indonesian women and the continuing struggle to advance the welfare of the Indonesian nation – all form just part of the job carried on every day by the professionals working at Bali Safari & Marine Park.
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