Bali News 2015 week 4

 

 

Two Mates Facing a Tragic Fate

President Rejects Clemency Plea from Bali Nine Member Andrew Chan

 

As expected, President Joko Widodo has formally rejected a plea for mercy from Bali Nine member Andrew Chan (31), the Australian who, together with fellow Australian Myuran Sukumaran, is facing execution before a firing squad for smuggling more than 8 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia.

 

Earlier, the President formally rejected Sukumaran’s request for clemency against a death sentence on December 30, 2014.

 

A spokesman for the National Chief Prosecutor’s office, Tony Tribagus Spontana, announced the President’s refusal to commute Chan’s sentence on Thursday, January 22, 2015 in Jakarta.

 

Spontana told the press that the Presidential denial of clemency was made on January 17, 2105 and noted in Presidential Decision No. 9/G of 2015.

 

“The date of execution and the location have yet to be determined,” said Spontana.

 

Separately, the Attorney General of Indonesia, HM Prasetyo has explained that current rules demands that capital crimes committed jointly, such as the smuggling of drugs by Sukumaran and Chan, should be punished at the same time meaning the two Australians will be executed at the same time and place.

 

Following the recent execution of 6 prisoners, Indonesian still has 64 people sitting on death row.

 

 

Gourmands in Chains

Bali Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Black Tie Induction Dinner at Sofitel Nusa Dua Saturday, January 31, 2015

 

The Bailliage de Bali of the ancient and esteemed La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs will hold an induction and black-tie dinner on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Resort.

 

Resurrected in 1950, the organization traces its founding principles to 1248 and the ancient Royal Guild of Goose Roasters established under King Louis IX to establish standards of excellence among trades and guilds.

 

Today, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs boasts 24,000 members across 75 countries. Organized into national and regional Bailliages, membership derives from professional chefs, food and beverage professionals, and aficionados of fine dining who regularly meet for the discerning enjoyment of outstanding cuisine and fine wine.

 

The January 31, 2015 gathering of the Chaîne will commence with cocktails at 6:30 pm followed by an elaborate 7-course degustation menu prepared by Sofitel’s Chef Daine Gilbert paired with wines carefully selected to complement each course.

 

Guest will adjourn to the Sofietl’s Nikki Beach Club for a post-dinner party.

 

Menu

 

Chaîne des Rôtisseurs – Baillage Bali

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Resort

+ + + +

Amuse Bouche

Truffle Crémeux, Truffle Dust, Vanilla Foam

 

Louis Roederer, Brut, NV

+ + + +

Homard

Lobster Bisque Cappucino, Tempura Nori

 

Louis Roederer, Brut, NV

+ + + +

Coquille

Sautéed Scallops, Green Pea Veloute, Crisp Smoked Potato

 

Henry Bourgeois, Sancerre Les Baronnes Loire Valley 2012

+ + + +

Trio of Canard

Pan Seared Foie Gras, Terrine, Cured Duck, Crisp Brioche, Beetroot Puree, Pickled Beets, Passion Fruit Foam

 

Dr. Loosen, Riesling, Mosel Saar Ruwer, 2013

+ + + +

Poisson

Oven roasted Barramundi, Cauliflower Textures, Sauce Polonaise

 

Louis Latour, Meursault, Bourgogne 2011

+ + + +

Trou Normand Calva

Boeuf

Pan seared Tenderloin, Mushroom Puree, Spinach, Baby Vegetables, Confit Garlic, Truffle Jus

 

Chateau Cissac, Haut Medoc, 2009

+ + + +

Fromage

French Cheese Plate

 

Chateau de la Tuuilerie, Syarah Grenache, Costiere de Nimes 2011

+ + + +

Chocolate

Dark Chocolate and Praline Gateaux, “Orange” Dust, Liquid Berry

 

Graham’s Ruby Port, Duoro Valley, 2000

+ + + +

Digestif

 

Remy Martin XO

Chateau du Tariquet XO

Amaretto Disaronno

 

Priority is given to members and their guests at Chaîne  events, but limited seating is open to members of the public eager to sample fine dining at its very best in Bali and conform to dress code and dining protocols of the organization.

 

The cost of the event - including dinner, wines and cocktails is

Rp. 1,800,000 (US$150) per person for members and spouse/guest.

Rp. 2,250,000 (US$ 187) per person for non-members.

 

More information and bookings are available by [email to Bailliage de Bali]

 

 

No Longer on the Run

Remaining 2 Fugitives Captured in Bali Murder of Australian-British Expatriate Bob Ellis

 

Police have captured the two remaining suspects of a group of 7 paid murderers who killed Australian-British businessman Robert Kevin Ellis (60) at the behest of his wife, Noor Ellis on October 19, 2014 at the Emerald Villas in Bali.

 

The two remaining fugitives, Martin Rangga  and Adolf Mallo Rannga (34) were apprehended on the Island of Sumba on Sunday, January 18, 2015.

 

Noor Ellis is believed to have paid 5 of the 7 accomplices (Marten Rangga, Adolf Rangga, Adrianus Ngogo, Urbanus Yoh Ghoghi and Yohanes Sairo Kodu alias Yonis) Rp. 150 million (US$12,500) to brutally kill her husband.

 

According to Beritabali.com, a source, who did not want his name revealed, said the two remaining men were arrested at a private home in Sumba where they surrendered to police without incident. However, police claim the men tried to escape arrest, causing police to fire warning shots into the air before shooting both men who suffered almost identical wounds to their legs.

 

The two wounded men were flown to Bali on Tuesday afternoon, January 20, 2015, landing at approximately 5:00 p.m.

 

Prior to the arrest of the two men in Sumba, Bali police had completed investigative files for Noor Ellis and five of her accomplices (Adrianus Ngongo, Marlina Bela, Yuliana Bili, Urbanus Yoh and Yohanes Sairo Kodu). Police have recommended to State Prosecutors that the groups be charges under section 340 and 338 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) with premeditated murder - a crime that carries a possible sentence of death.

 

The murder took place on October 19, 2104 at the Emerald Villas on Jalan Karang Sari in Sanur. Bob Ellis’ body was wrapped in a sleeping bag and thrown by the accomplices in a car driven by Noor Ellis into a drainage ditch near the Abiansemal area of Denpasar.

 

 

OZ-Indonesian Relations Not Drug Dependent

Indonesian Officials Say Strong Bilateral Relations with Australia will Endure the Imminent Execution of Australian Drug Smugglers

 

The State News Agency Antara quotes a spokesperson for the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs, Arrmanatha Nasir, as saying he is convinced that Indonesia and Australia will continue to have positive diplomatic relations despite the fact that there are Australian nationals on death row facing imminent execution.

 

“Bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia are very strong and will remain so. Moreover, the government of Australia has also declared that whatever transpires (in the death row cases) it will not disturb the diplomatic relations between the two countries,” said Nasir.

 

Nasir confirmed that the Australian Government continues to communicate with Indonesia seeking the commutation of the death penalty for the two condemned members of the infamous “Bali Nine.”

 

Nasir continued: “Indonesia appreciates the efforts of Australia as a nation to defend its citizens living abroad. Nonetheless, the supremacy of Indonesian law must be respected.”

 

The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Spokesperson told the press that Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop are in active contact with President Joko Widodo and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

 

“Julie Bishop has telephoned and sent formal letters to the Indonesian Foreign Minister in connection with the death penalty. Indonesia has given its answer describing its continuing commitment in the war against narcotics,” said Nasir.

 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has now removed the last legal obstacle in the execution of Australian Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan by rejecting their requests for clemency.

 

Sukumaran and Chan, together with 7 accomplices now serving sentences ranging from life to 20 years, were caught trying to smuggle 8.2 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia.

 

 

Who Owns the Sari Club?

Governor Pledges Assistance to Bali Peace Park Planners in Effort to Find Owner of Former Sari Club

 

The Bali Peace Park Foundation who have been involved in a long-standing lobbying efforts to erect a Peace Park at the former site of the Sari Club bombed by terrorists in 2002, are again seeking the support of Governor Made Mangku Pastika to help realize their plan.

 

Kabar24.com reports that the Peace Park concept is being stymied by an inability to obtain clear title on the land in order to allow the facility to be built.

 

The head of the Bali Peace Park Foundation, Nick Way, said the erection of the Park would commemorate the 202 people who perished in the 2002 bombing.

 

Way told the Governor in a meeting on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, that the plan to build the Peace Park is being urged on by a group of people who care for those who died in the blast, many of whom were Australians.

 

In response, Governor Pastika promised to help facilitate a resolution of the land issue by deploying a member of his expert staff to help resolve the land ownership issue.

 

Pastika said the completion of the proposed Peace Park is important to commemorate the Bali Bombing and create international peace.

 

“In building this, we do not need to connect it with either Indonesia or Australia. Connect it to Bali, because Bali is the place it will be constructed,” said Pastika.

 

The idea to build the Peace Park at the site of the former Sari Club first surfaced in 2009.

 

Since that time, however, efforts to ascertain the true owner of the plot of land have made it impossible to seek a donation of the 800 square meters land or, alternatively, secure it through purchase

 

The Sari Club location is located across the street from the “Ground Zero” – the monument listing the 202 names of those who perished in the bombing.

 

A road sign posted on the Sari Club Site asking for the owner to come forward and identify him or herself have been unsuccessful to date.

 

Paddy’s Bar – scene of a secondary blast across the street from Sari Club has reopened as a nightspot.

 

 

TripAdvisor’s Top Ten in Bali and Java

TripAdvisor Names Top Ten Travelers’ Choice Award Winners in Java and Bali

 

Trip Advisor has named its top ten hotels in Bali and Java as part of its Travelers’ Choice Award 2015.

 

Selection to the Trip Advisor list is based on millions of reviews and users’ opinions on services and facilities standards at the hotels selected by reviewers as Indonesia’s best.

 

Detik.travel quotes the Chief Marketing Officer of TripAdvisor, Barbara Messing, who said the hotels winning Travelers’ Choice Awards serve as an inspiration to tourists planning a holiday in 2015.

 

The top hotels according to TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award 2015 were:

(Click on Hotel for more information current best price.)

Komaneka at Bisma, Ubud, Bali

The Legian Bali, GHM Hotel, Seminyak

Mulia Villas, Nusa Dua, Bali

Ayung Resort, Ubud, Bali

The Oberoi Bali, Seminyak

The Samaya Bali, Seminyak

Amanjiwo Resorts, Borobudur, Magelang

The Villas Bali Hotel & Spa, Seminyak, Bali

The Mulia, Nusa Dua, Bali

The St. Regis Bali Resorts, Nusa Dua, Bali

 

 

Sooner. Rather than Later

Bali Anti-Narcotic Czar Calls for Speedy Execution of Australian Narcotic Offenders

 

The State News Agency Antara quotes the chief of the Bali Anti-Narcotic Bureau (BNP-Bali), Brigadier General Gusti Budiartha, declaring his wish that Australian “Bali Nine” member Myuran Sukumaran be executed as soon as possible.

 

“We support the government in rapidly carrying out the death penalty. It must be done to give a deterrent effect,” said Budiartha on Wednesday, January 21, 2105.

 

It is Budiartha’s view that there are no remaining obstacles to carrying out Sukumaran’s execution now that President Joko Widodo has denied his final request for clemency.

 

He expressed the further hope that there will be no further delay in Sukumaran’s execution despite the entreaties being made on his behalf by the Australian Government.

 

At the time of Budiartha’s statement, the Bali Nine’s Andrew Chan was awaiting for a response from President Joko Widodo to his last-ditch plea for clemency.

 

Meanwhile, Sujonggo, the head of the Kerobokan Prison in Bali where the two Australians are housed says has yet to receive any formal notification on an execution date for Sukumaran. He also said he does not know where the death penalty will be carried out, as that matter is in the hand of the Police and State Prosecutors.

 

Chan and Sukumaran, together with 7 more Australian accomplices, were found guilty of trying to smuggle 8.2 kilograms of heroin through Bali’s airport to Australia in April 2005. The remaining seven members of the “Bali Nice” have received sentences ranging form 20 years to life imprisonment.

 

 

Bali to Select Regional Chiefs in 2015

Bali 2015 Election Schedule Announced for Regents and Mayor in Denpasar, Badung, Tabanan, Bangli and Karangasem

 

The Provincial and Regency level Election Commissions (KPU) in Bali have commenced formal discussions and planning pursuant to the election of regents and a mayor that will take place in four regencies (kabupaten) and one municipality in Bali on December 16, 2015.

 

The following budgets have been allocated for the elections as follows:

Denpasar mayoral election Rp. 16.6 billion

Badung regent election Rp. 18.4 billion

Tabanan regent election Rp. 16.4 billion

Bangli regent election Rp. 8 billion

Karangasem regent election Rp. 13.9 billion

The figures were announced at a meeting at the KPU headquarters in Renon, Bali on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, as reported by Bali Post.

 

The agreed schedule leading up to the election:

Registration of declaration of interest in running as a candidate January 26 – February 15, 2015

August 15, 2015: Final Slate of official candidates announced

December 16, 2015: Election day

March 23, 2016: Run off election (if required)

Under the recently ratified direct election law (Perppu) the political parties eligible to nominate candidates are those holding a minimal of 20% of the seats in the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD-Kabupaten).

 

Individual candidates not affiliated with a party must be able to demonstrate support from 5% of the local electorate.

 

 

Death in Room 221

Balinese Family of Five Dies in Mysterious Tower Hotel Fire in Klungkung

 

A mysterious fire of uncertain origin has supposedly claimed the lives of a young Balinese family of five in Klungkung.

 

The tragic incident took place at the Hotel Tower in Klungkung.

 

At 6:00 am on Friday, January 23, 2015, a staff member was passing room 221 when he smelled something burning inside the room. When efforts to get a response to repeated knocks on the door failed, the hotel employee, Hery Widiatmoko, retrieved the pass key and brought along a fellow employee, Made Aprianty, as he used the key to gain access to the room.

 

Once he opened the door he found the burnt remnants of the room and the charred remains of a Balinese husband and wife and their three young children scattered across the matress and floor.

 

Hery immediately informed the nearest police station after which officers arrived and cordoned off the area as a crime scene.

 

Dead inside the room were Gusti Ketut Karpica (38), his wife Gusti Ayu Eka (30), and their three children Gusti Ngurah Narendra (6), Gusti Ngurah Satria (4) and Gusti Ayu Gita (6 months).

 

Gusti Ketut Karpica owned a small repair shop “Putra Urip” located on Jalan Untung Surapati in Nearby Amlapura that also served as the family home.

 

Neighbors told Metrobali.com that the family left the repair shop earlier in the day dressed in traditional Balinese costumes with the declared intention to offer Bali-Hindu prayers.

 

The family checked into the hotel on Thursday, parking the family car near the hotel.

 

The actual cause of the fire and the family’s death remains under investigation by a forensic team from the Bali police.

 

Meanwhile, Tribune-bali.com is reporting the deaths as a murder-suicide.

 

Preliminary forensic results indicate the family may have ingested a commercial insecticide before their bodies were burnt.

 

 

Last Round up at the Circle K Corral?

Indonesia to Outlaw Sale of Alcohol at Minimarkets and Convenience Stores Effective April 16, 2015.

 

Indonesia’s Minister of Trade Rachmat Gobel has announced a new policy that will outlaw the sale of “Class A” alcoholic drinks contain 5% or less alcohol by content at minimarkets and convenience stores across Indonesia.

 

Tempo.co reports that minimarkets and convenience stores have until April 16, 2015 to remove all drinks containing alcohol from their shelves.

 

The vice-chairman of the Indonesian Retail Association (Aprindo), Tutum Rahanta said he regretted the Minister’s decision given the fact that in tourist destinations, such as Bali, many foreign tourists purchase beer and other drinks from minimarkets.

 

“These retail outlets sell alcoholic beverages to meet the needs of foreign tourists,” said Tatum to Tempo on Thursday, January 22, 2015.

 

The Minister of Trade addressed the prohibition on the sales of alcoholic beverages in regulation Nomor 06/M-DAG/PER/1/2015 signed on January 16, 2015.

 

Currently, the effort to control the sale of alcohol at minimarkets and convenience stores includes measure requiring special permits, prohibitions against selling to persons less than 21 years of age and rules against drinking alcohol purchased at the stores on the premises.

 

After April 16th the public will have to purchase beer from hypermarkets or supermarkets.

 

 

English as the Key to Success

Bali Governor Wants All Senior Provincial Employees to be English Proficient.

 

Metrotvnews.com reports that Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika is preparing to require that all those heading departments in the provincial government of Bali must be able to speak English.

 

Pastika announced the coming requirement to have the ability to speak English at a meeting evaluation provincial development held in Denpasar on Thursday, January 22, 2015. Speaking before the heads of various government agencies, Pastika asked that all Echelon 1 and Echelon 2 heads of provincial government be prepared to communicate in English.

 

“From time to time if they are receiving guests discussing cooperation in any sphere, the officials must be able to communicate in English. Talk about anything. Let’s not have me always asked to do the talking in English. At times, the head of the government agency must also be able to talk,” explained Pastika.

 

Apparently, Pastika's language proficiency order is not without reason. He told the audience how he recently received a report prepared by a provincial government department that repeatedly used the term “tripel woning.”

 

Pastika continued: “I was reading the report late at night in my home and began laughing like a madman. Perhaps the term used meant 'Travel Warning,' but the report kept mentioning 'Tripel Woning.' This was really embarrassing. Those of you in Bali must be able to converse fluently in English.”

 

For this reason, the Governor invited all those desiring promotion to higher positions in the provincial government to study English.

 

“If you can’t speak English, then you shouldn’t be promoted to a higher echelon and we need to demote you. I ask for all provincial workers to speak English,” warned Pastika.

 

Pastika justified the demand saying that as an international tourist destination, civil servants in Bali should speak English as a pre-condition of employment.

 

He stressed that in the future, qualifying examinations to become a civil servants in Bali should be more than fill-in-the-blank exercises and must include essays requiring applicants to review a problem in English.

 

“Maybe this must become the standard for Bali. The other provinces of Indonesia can do as they like,” he said.

 

 

Bali to Regulate Hotel Tariffs

Governor Proposes Price Regulation of Bali Hotels to End Room Rate War

 

Travel.detik.com reports that the provincial government of Bali is considering enacting regulations that will regulate the prices charged by hotels in order to prevent a decline in services provided to tourists.

 

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has advanced the idea of regulating hotel prices via a provincial or gubernatorial regulation as a response to his concern that the condition of hotels in Bali may be declining due to the ongoing hotel price war.

 

“A tariff war between hotels can ruin Bali tourism,” said Pastika on Thursday, January 22, 2015.

 

The Governor admits there is contradictive dilemma to be found in how hotel tariffs are applied in Bali. Specifically, the prices offered by budget hotels or city hotels in Bali more-or-less matches the quality of service provided to their guests. But, according to the Governor, if the quality of service eventually declines, it is the tourist visitor who will suffer the consequence.

 

Pastika suggests that a provincial regulation could set minimum prices for all hotels across Bali and prevent a decline in services. Failing to take such a step, the Governor warns, could cause both domestic and international tourists to eventually abandon Bali.

 

Governor Pastika has asked the head of the Provincial Tourism Office, Anak Agung Gede Yuniartha Putra, to quickly undertake an examination of the Tourism Law in order to formulate a provincial or gubernatorial regulations.

 

 

Keeping Landings Happy

Surabaya Emergency Runway Repairs Cause Flight Diversions to Bali

 

Repairs being carried out the runway at Surabaya’s Juanda Airport on Monday, January 19, 2015, forced the diversion of a number of flights to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

 

As reported by NusaBali, the co-general manager of PT Angkasa Pura I – the operators of Bali’s Airport, IGN Ardita, confirmed a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was issued by Surabaya advising of the emergency runway closure.

 

As a result three flights were diverted from a landing in Surabaya to Bali.

 

Commenting on the condition of Bali’s runway, Ardita insisted the single runway in Bali was in excellent condition to handle the estimated 360 daily take-offs and landing.

 

Ardita said that runway maintenance is routinely undertake in Bali, including the removal of rubber adhering to the runway deposited by landing planes.

 

 

Home Alone

87-year-old German Woman Margaretta Falkenberg Dies at Villa in Tabanan, Bali

 

An elderly German resident of Bali, Margaretta AB Falkenberg (87) has been found dead in her villa at Banjar Yeh Gangga in Tabanan, West Bali.

 

As reported by NusaBali, Falkenberg is suspected to have died from kidney failure after her body was discovered on Sunday, January 18, 2015.

 

Police have contacted the woman’s son, Hans, who was away in the U.S.A. at the time of his mother’s death. Hans reportedly asked assistance to have his mother cremated.

 

According to neighbors, the woman suffered form a kidney ailment, but refused repeated offers to visit a doctor.

 

 

Seeking 20 Million Tourist Visitors

Government Must Keep its Promise to Increase Tourism Promotional Budget to US$100 million

 

The former deputy-minister of Tourism, Sapta Nirwandar, views plans to increase the tourism increase the tourism promotion budget from Rp. 250 billion (US$20.8 million) to Rp. 1.2 trillion (US$100 million) as appropriate and necessary.

 

As reported by Bisnis Bali, Nirwandar said: “It’s right if the cost of promoting Indonesian tourism is increased by a factor of three because the tourism arrival target has been increased to 20 million by the year 2019.

 

Moreover, Sapta Nirwandar said that Indonesia is obligated to increase its promotional budgets in light of the fact that current promotional funds are equal to only 8% of the promotional budget for neighboring Malaysia, a country able to attract 20 million tourists each year.

 

Nirwandar, who now runs a tourism consultancy and event company, said Indonesian must focus its promotional activities on its main markets and new emerging markets. Money, he said, must be spent on digital marketing, conventional marketing media and tourism events.

 

Recently, the Indonesia vice-president promised a group of tourism industry executivesthat the tourism promotional budget would soon be increased to Rp. 1.2 trillion.

 

 

Best if Not Shot in Bali

Bali Governor Says He Prefers Execution of Bali Nine Members be Done Outside of Bali

 

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has publicly stated that he would prefer if the execution of the two Bali Nine members took place somewhere outside the Island.

 

Quoted by Metrobali.com, Pastika comments were made while attending a joint Christmas celebration hosted by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Udayana Military Command on Friday, January 23, 2015.

 

Bali’s Governor feels it would be best if the death sentences against Myuran Sukumaran and Andre Chan were carried out somewhere outside of Bali, emphasizing at the same time that his position was not a reflection on whether he agrees or disagrees with the imposition of the death sentence.

 

Continuing, Pastika said: “It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing (with the death penalty), but, it’s just in Bali…well, it would just be better if it happened somewhere else.”

 

Explaining further, Pastika said that Bali is known as a place that is safe, peaceful, quiet and harmonious, and he did not want to see anything disturb Bali’s tranquility.

 

Separately, Bali media have reported that the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) of the Bali Police has firing squads prepared to carry out the sentences of the two Australians and are awaiting detailed orders as to time and place of their assignment.

 

 

The Sky Knows No Limit

Employees Accuse Sky Garden in Kuta of Tax Manipulation

 

DenPost and other Bali media are reporting that the conflict between the management of Sky Garden (PT ESC Urban Food Station) and its disgruntled employees is widening to include accusations of tax manipulation.

 

DenPost reports that on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 a number of employees of the Sky Garden repeated their accusations that the management of the popular nightspot is disordered and inflicting losses on both its employees and the government.

 

The group of employees, who asked DenPost that their names not be published, is lobbying the Department of Manpower office to be allowed to form a labor union as provided for under Indonesian law.

 

The protesting workers have also questioned the large number of between 40-50 expatriate workers at the club, only a small portion of 7 hold legal work permits.

 

In the continuing saga of employee protests against Sky Garden’s management has now been widened to include accusations of tax manipulation. Based on the assumption that the large and well-attended nightspot reaps an income of between Rp. 6 – 8 billion each month, this should result in taxes paid to the regency of Badung of between Rp. 600 – 800 million.  According to DenPost, only Rp. 47-50 million is submitted to Badung tax authorities each month.

 

DenPost also report a suspicion that a regency employee is receiving a payment for unspecified services of between Rp. 25-27 million every month. The disgruntled employees claim to have proof that the subject Badung civil servant was paid Rp. 27,241,728 in April, Rp. 24,882,414 in August, and Rp. 25,865,831 in September. The employees are telling the press that the government officials no longer comes to the club to collect the monthly payments, with the funds now delivered directly to the civil servant’s home.

 

Yuliana, a director of Sky Garden refused comment to DenPost, telling reporters to seek answers from Erna Pingkan, a member of the club’s management.

 

IB Oka Dirga of the Badung Manpower Department said his office is trying to facilitate the formation of a workers’ union at Sky Garden and is looking into allegation of illegal foreign workers employed at the establishment.

 

 

2014: The Year that Was

Bali by the Numbers: Bali Ends 2014 with Record High 3.76 million Foreign Visitors

 

In keeping with predictions made by Balidiscovery.com and exceeding official government projections, Bali ended 2014 with 3,768,362 foreign visitors, 14.92% more than the 3,278,598 recorded in 2013.

 

Month-on-month, December 2014 arrivals hit 349,094 and improvement of 16.75% over the 299,013 arrivals in December 2013.

ali projecting a relatively modest 10% growth in foreign visitors in 2015, look for foreign arrivals to easily surpass the 4 million mark in the current year.

 

Australia maintained its top position as a source for foreign visitors ending 2014 within striking distance of 1 million at 991,024 visitors. Australian arrivals increased 19.92% for the year.

 

Mainland Chinese visitors increased a phenomenal 51.26% for the whole of 2015 ending the year at 586,197. Plans for charters and new flight frequencies between Bali and China should see Chinese visitors totals continue to grow in 2015.

 

Malaysia became the third largest source of visitors to Bali in 2014 improving 12.91% to achieve 224,962 arrivals.

 

Japan – once the largest source of tourist visitors to Bali – slipped into fourth place among sources of Bali visitors in 2014, despite improving 4.43% at 217,330 in 2014. Japanese arrivals remains doubtful for 2015 with a deepening recession and a weakening Yen.

 

Singapore arrivals, boosted by cheap airfares, held on to fifth place among foreign source markets in 2014 with 217,330 visitors – an increase of 29.55% over the preceding year.

 

South Korean arrivals improved 8.49% in 2014 hitting 145,873.

 

Among European source markets, France is the largest source of visitors (7th overall), followed by the U.K (8th overall), Germany (11th), Netherlands (13th) and Russia (14th).

 

Russian arrivals declined 9.09% in 2014 and slipped three slots in the rankings. Bellicose policies, a weakening Ruble and international trade embargoes suggest Russian arrivals to Bali may decline even further in 2015. Demonstrating that the crisis in Russian arrivals may be deepening, month-on-month Russian arrivals were down 25.62% when comparing December 2014 with December 2013.

 

Worth noting also is a 10.06% decline in Taiwanese visitors and a dramatic increase of 36.35% improvement in Indian visitors in 2014. Look for Indian travel to continue to grow in Bali.

 

Despite much fanfare from Indonesia's newly elected government in October of last year that Australia, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia would be extended visa-free status with the dawn of 2015, this has not happened, creating ill will among the affected source markets and generalized doubts on the ability of the government to grow tourism arrival numbers.

 

 

Paris Comes to Bali

Paris Hilton Tweets her Arrival Details to Bali

 

Paris Hilton – model, actress, singer, media object and perfume arrived in Bali Saturday, January 24, 2015 according to a tweet from her Twitter account @ParisHilton that said:

 

@ParisHilton Good Morning from Malaysia!

#BreakfastTimebefore our flight to Bali!

 

Subsequent Tweers indicated that Paris Hilton is staying in a villa at the W Seminyak Resort and Spa in Bali.

 

Once labeled “New York’s leading it Girl” for her colorful antics and life live in the media, Paris Hilton is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton who founded the Hilton Hotel chain.

 

Paris Hilton claims Bali to be one of her favorite holiday destination in a life lived much like a holiday.

 

 

Revolusi Mental: Drivers Licenses in Bali

Revolusi Mental: A Small Change in Driver License Rules Would Make a Big Difference in the Daily Life of Many Bali Visitors

 

Bali’s recently elected president Joko Widodo has called for a nationwide “mental revolution” – new ways of considering old problems guided by an unwavering desire to improve the quality of life of those who live in the Republic of Indonesia.

 

Part and parcel of such "mental revolusions" are significant change offer occurs in small, almost indiscernible steps that, over time, create significant waves of change.

 

 

One such change we 'd like to propose is for the Indonesian police to accept as valid driving permits the driver licenses of holiday visitors.

 

The reasons for such a change are straightforward and practical:

Reciprocity. Indonesian traveling in many places of the world, including most of Europe, Australia and the United States can rent and operate vehicles using their Indonesian driving license (SIM). Isn’t it time Indonesia returns the favor and reciprocates?

The Nonsense that is an International Drivers License. Currently, foreign visitors wishing to drive in Indonesia should first secure an International Drivers License. In fact, the possession of an International Driving Permit merely proves that you have paid a fee and presented a copy of your home country driving license. International permits are typically issued without any test or examination and, therefore, signify no level of driving competence except that the holder has a valid license in their home country and took the time to fill out a form and pay a fee to the issuing agency. So why demand such a superfluous document from foreign drivers in Indonesia?

Curb Malpractice. Current practice surrounding drivers licenses for foreigners in Indonesia is both embarrassing and a source of needless corruption. Allowing foreign visitors to use their home country driver’s license in Indonesia, as Indonesians are allowed to do when visiting abroad, would end the all-too-frequent roadside shakedown of tourists by traffic police that forms an all-too-frequent part of an Indonesian visitor experience. Allowing foreigners to their home country license would immediately eliminate the “need” for the vast majority of traffic checks that end badly for the tourist and tarnish the Nation's reputation.

In short, there is little to be lost and much to be gained from Indonesia reciprocating and allowing short-term visitors to use their home-country driving permits.

 

 

Higher Level of Consumer Protection Needed

Indonesia Consumer Protection Foundation Says Strong Sanctions Needed for Errant Airlines

 

The Indonesia Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI) has recorded Indonesian Airline Lion Air as the airline receiving the largest number of complaints from the public during 2014.

 

A reported by Kompas.com, the day-to-day chief at YLKI, Sudayatmo, said on Sunday, January 25, 2015, that among the leading six domestic airlines Lion Air had received the largest number of complaints at 24.

 

Sudaryatmo reported to Tempo.co that the consumer complaints received by Lion Air  primarily concern the slowness of refunds due passenegers, flight delays and baggage security.

 

Meanwhile, Tiger Mandala Air and AirAsia Indonesia occupy the second tier of airlines receiving the most complaints filed with YLKI with 6 complaints each.

 

Next in line was Garuda Indonesia Airlines that received 5 complaints – a number equal to those also received by Sriwijaya Air.

 

Sudaryatmo said the large number of complaints from the public concerning commercial air carriers and the proliferation of Indonesian air carriers underlines the need for a fully empowered regulator to protect consumer rights.

 

The YLKI administrator compared the situation for airlines in Indonesia with other countries, such as the United States, where regulators can impose significant sanctions on undisciplined airlines. Adding, “In Indonesia the sanctions that a regulator can impose on an airline are minimal.”

 

During 2014, YLKI received a total of 1,192 consumer complaints.

 

Transportation complaints formed the fourth largest group of complaints (84), following banking (210), housing (157) and telecommunications service (133).

 Dietzsch to Enrich Dining in Westin Nusa Dua

German Alex Dietzsch to Head Food and Beverage at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua

 

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua has announced the appointment of Alex Dietzsch as executive assistant manager of food & beverage.

 

A German national, Alex served in the military before embarking on a career in the hospitality industry. His educational portfolio includes diplomas in Hotel Management and Financial Management along with certificates in Advanced Food Hygiene.

 

With more than a decade of practical experience, Alex brings a wealth of culinary knowledge and enthusiasm to his new role. He has been with Starwood Hotels & Resorts for almost 10 years known as a firm adherent to Westin’s brand philosophy of “Preserving wellness in travel”.

 

A succession of career appointments has enabled Alex to work in a number of fascinating destinations including Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He also gained extensive experience in catering via prestigious automobile and sporting events.

 

Prior to his arrival in Bali, Alex was director of food and beverage at The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok where he oversaw three restaurants and banquet facilities. During this period, he was also a member of the Starwood F & B Council Asia Pacific, which included supporting culinary teams at properties in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

 

Alex will now take charge of the F&B team at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali.

 

Apart from eating and cooking, Alex enjoys aviation and going out. He is looking forward to immersing himself in Bali’s evolving dining scene where innovative restaurants are opening on a regular basis. Additionally, Alex has expressed a keen desire to visit areas where local ingredients are grown while learning more about the island’s traditional dishes.

 

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

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