Bali News 2015 week 7

Beautifying the People’s Victory

Bali Upgrades the Monument of the People’s Victory in Denpasar


The State News Agency Antara reports that the Provincial Government of Bali will beautify and upgrade the Monument of the People’s Victory (Monumen Bajra Sandhi) located in the Renon section of downtown Denpasar.


Plans are to improve perimeter lighting around the base of the monument and to create a surrounding pool.


Deputy-governor Ketut Sudikerta, during an inspection of the monument, told the press that the funds allocated for the improvements at the monument would be phased in over several years commencing in 2015.


Interior elements of the monument are also slated for enhancement that includes additional public toilets, the creation of a surrounding fence and the erection of a Balinese-style (Gapura) entrance portal.


Accompanied on the inspection by the Head of Bali Culture Service and the Manager of the Bajra Sandhi Monument, the deputy-governor shared technical suggestions on how the beautification program should be carried out. Sudikerta stated his views on the gardens' landscaping, the placement of outside seating, cleanliness and the removal of old trees from the parkland.


Sudikerta asked that priority be given to supplemental lighting at the monument to prevent immoral activities or criminal activity taking place at the monument after dark.


The sub-ground museum currently earns Rp. 747 million (US$ 65,000) annually in revenue from admission tickets - a total that Sudikerta hopes will grow in the future.


In the first year of the renovation program, the Government of Bali has allocated Rp. 7.6 billion (US$60,000) from the 2015 budget for work on the monument’s renovation.



Three New Tsunami Towers for Bali

Bali to Soon Have a Total of Nine Tsunami Warning Towers


The State News Agency Antara will is set to receive three additional tsunami siren towers from the National Climatology and Geophysical Agency (BKMG) and the Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).


The chief of the Disaster Mitigation Agency for Bali (BNPB-Bali), I Gde Made Jaya Serataberana, told the press on Thursday, February 12, 2015, “There are now six sirens. With the addition of three more, the total comes to nine.


The three new tsunami-warning towers will be installed on Serangan Island in Denpasar, the villas of Belelang at Tabanan (West Bali) and in Seririt in North Bali.


The six existing warning towers are located at Pantai Matahri Terbit (Sanur), Tanjung Benoa, the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC), Kedonganan, Kuta and Seminyak.


The three new warning towers will also be complemented with evacuation maps and evacuation signposts, resembling practice already in place at the six existing tower installations.


Serataberana added: “Moreover, for the Serangan Island location a temporary evacuation facility is being built with help from BNPB and the Ministry of Public Works, the construction of which has already reached 80%.”


The six sirens now in operation are being maintained an allocation from the Provincial budget of Bali totaling Rp. 870 million (US$69,600).


Seratabera concluded: “In other provinces upkeep is paid by the Central Government, but in Bali, and in keeping with the Governor’s policy, the care and maintenance is paid from by the Provincial budget. The Governor was concerned that if anything happens and the towers are not properly maintained, Bali will be blamed.”



When Snake Fruit Prices Slither and Slide

Bali’s Snake Fruit Salak Growers Face Low Prices Due to Bountiful Harvest


The salak farmers of Karangasem in East Bali are in the middle of the season for Bali’s fabled “Snake Fruit” (Salacca zalacca).  Because of a bountiful crop and the resulting seasonal oversupply the price of salaks has plummeted to just Rp. 1,500 (US$0.12) per kilogram.


I Komang Seni, a salak farmer in Karangasem, quoted by the State News Agency Antara, said, “This situation happens every harvest season with the salak farmers always suffering a loss.” Seni went on to jibe that the “sweetness” of the salak evades those who cultivate the fruit because of the depressed prices experienced when it comes into season.


Salaks purchased from farmers for Rp. 1,500 are sold to the public for between Rp. 1,600 – Rp. 2,000 per kilogram.


In order to preserve some small profit for themselves, farmers are bypassing salak distributors and bringing their produce directly to local markets or attempting to sell their salaks directly to the public.


To eliminate the excess supply of salaks on the market, farmers are also selling the fruit to confectionary producers (dodol), dehydrated salak chip producers (keripik) and salak wine makers.



Home Free

Bali Governor Supports Push to Eliminate Building and Property Taxes on Private Residences


Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has issued a statement saying he agrees with the proposal to eliminate building and property taxes put forth by the Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Land Use, Ferry Mursyidan Baldan.


Quoted by the State News Agency Antara and speaking at an open press conference held in downtown Denpasar on Sunday, February 8, 2105, said: “I agree, I fully agree.”


Moreover, the Governor is urging the idea of eliminating property taxes be expanded to also include no-build “green corridors” (Jalur hijau).


Pastika complained that he has found it difficult to maintain and preserve green corridors due to the property tax burden felt by those owning land in areas that prohibit construction.


The Governor insists that any loss in local tax revenues resulting from the proposed elimination of property and building tax can be compensated by taxes collected from other sources.


The Governor’s comments were prompted by earlier public pronouncements by the Minister of Agrarian Affairs who said he plans to eliminate building and property taxes for middle and lower class private residences.


Meanwhile, building and property taxes on homes used for commercial purposes such as restaurants, factory outlets, shops, offices and leased premises (villas) will continue to be collected.



The Shirt Off Your Back

Bali Governor Supports Moves to Ban the Import and Sale of Used Clothing reports that Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika is lending his support to efforts by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to ban the importation of used clothing into Indonesia.


Bali, like many cities across Indonesia, has large markets dedicated exclusively to the sale of used clothing items.


Governor Pastika agrees with rules banning the import of used clothing, saying: “I support and agree with banning the import of used clothing. Why must we buy used clothing; new clothing here is sold inexpensively.”


Pastika argues that Bali is home to many textile producers and that the price of new clothing varies little from those offered at used clothing markets. He also expressed that it would be better if the people of Bali did not buy clothing items feared to contain bacteria and mold.


Major centers for the sale of used clothing can be found in Bali in Tabanan and on Jalan Mahendradata in Denpasar.


Pastika warned that he will take firm action again people selling used clothing, adding, “I will coordinate with the provincial office of the Department of Industry and Trade and municipal authorities to end the trade in used clothing."


The import of used clothing is banned on a 2014 law and a 1977 regulation issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.


The Ministry of Industry and Trade claim they have conducted tests that have found “hundreds of thousands” of colonies of microbes and mold in used clothing imported for sale to the public.


Law enforcement authorities in Bali have announced that they will give the used clothing centers one week to close their operations before taking firm action to end the practice.



Ni Hao Ma?

Bali Travel Agents Providing Mandarin Language Lessons to the Employees


In anticipation of the fast growing Chinese market to Bali, the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA) will provide Mandarin language training to 60 employees of member travel agents.


As reported by, the chairman of ASITA-Bali, I Ketut Ardana, said: “Dealing with the Chinese market remains difficult for indigenous Indonesians (primbumi). To date, I see that every travel agent able to grab the Chinese market is an Indonesian entrepreneur of Chinese descent from areas outside Bali.”


Ardana said that communicating with Chinese tourists using only English is problematic. “Although we can communicate using English, they (the customers) want to speak to an ethnically Chinese person using Mandarin,” he added.


An earlier training course in Mandarin language conducted for 60 participants saw only 10 people successfully complete the program.


“In the future we will try to obtain financial support from the Minister of Cooperatives for additional Mandarin language training. A proposal has already been submitted to the Ministry; we are in the process of confirming matters with them, “ explained Ardana.


According to ASITA-Bali, China is the fastest growing inbound market to Indonesia and represents a key component in the Government’s plans to attract 20 million foreign tourists by 2019.


“Whether we like it or not, the people in Bali, particularly tourism operators and our (ASITA) employees, must be able to communicate in Mandarin,” said Ardhana.



A Drug Dependent Relationship?

Australian Foreign Minister Warns of Possible Boycott of Bali Tourism if Bali Nine Executions Proceed


The Australian reports that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has publicly warned that tourism to Bali from her country may be under threat if the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran go ahead.


Suggesting Indonesia may be misjudging the level of Australia opposition to the execution of the two drug smuggling ringleaders, Bishop said Australian may “move to boycott Indonesia” if the two men are shot before a firing squad. “I think the Australian people will demonstrate their deep disapproval of this action, including by making decisions about where they wish to holiday,” Bishop said.


While Bishop was issuing her warning, the Indonesian Attorney General and prison officials were reportedly discussing the technicalities of moving the two Australian men from Bali to their place of final execution, presumed to be the island prison of Nusakambangan.


Those sentenced to death are given 72-hour notice prior to their execution. It is unclear, however, if that “final notice” would be given to the men after their arrival in Nusakambangan or before they are moved from death row at Bali’s Kerobokan prison.


Entreaties for mercy by the Australian government and the two men’s families continued to be made to the government of Indonesia as the clock ticked down on the end of the young men’s lives.


Bishop told Fairfax Radio in Australia: “Executing these two young men will not solve the drug scourge in Indonesia. It’s a very tense situation.”


The two men were sentenced to death for their lead role in a 2005 attempt to smuggle more than 8 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia.


Both Chan and Sukumaran are repentant and claim they have reformed as the result of their prison sentence. During the period of their incarceration, the two men have organized a range of training programs for fellow inmates, while Chan is in training to become an ordained Christian Minister.



Back to Nature in Style

Ground Breaking for Plataran Menjangan Hotel, Resort and Water World at West Bali National Park


t phase comprising 5 beachside cabanas and a supporting restaurant are scheduled to open in April 2015. The Patio Restaurant, Bar and Beach Club including a 30-meter-long swimming pool will commence operations in June of 2015. The remaining 55 resort rooms and remaining supporting facilities are slated for completion in late 2015 or early 2016.


While attending the groundbreaking the Minister praised the natural beauty of the West Bali National Park, an area he cited as popular with tourism visitors to Indonesia. During his visit, Yahya shared his vision that the West Bali National Park could be developed as an eco-tourism destination similar to the Maldives.


The Plataran Menjangan as an environmental resort is committed to sustainable tourism practice, reflected in its ongoing endemic tree planting program and Bali Starling Conservation Program.


Plataran operates affiliate properties in exotic locations across Indonesia that include Plataran Borobudur Resort & Spa, Plataran Canggu Bali Resort & Spa, Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa Bali, Plataran Komodo Beach Resort and Plataran Puncak in West Java.


The company also operates a luxury traditional phinisi cruise boat.



Fabio’s Fabulous Fare Comes to Bali

Michelin-starred Chef Fabio Ciervo at InterContinental Bali Resort Bella Cucina March 4-8, 2015


The executive chef at the Michelin-starred La Terrazza Restaurant at the Hotel Eden in Rome, Fabio Ciervo learned his trade at the the renowned French School of Gastronomy Ecole Lenôtre before further honing his skills via assignments at some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants.

shoulder-to-shoulder with cooking greats, Fabio earned his cooking stripes at the Grosvenor House Restaurant at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, the two-star Michelin Cracco in Milan, Chez Nico in Innsbruck, and at Martin Berastegui's three-Star Michelin Restaurant in the Spanish city of San Sebastian.


Acquiring both culinary experience and a reputation of excellence along the way, the young chef then traveled back to the UK working at Michel’s .This brilliant young chef then perfected his trade in the UK as Michel Roux’s Sous Chef at the Waterside Inn in Bray  recipient  of three stars in the Michelin Guide for and almost unprecedented span of 25 years.


Chef Fabio’s philosophy is to explore the world of Haute Cuisine and create dishes that combine ingredients in an unusual but harmonious way - seeking inspiration from all cultures. His love of his native Italian cuisine is his birthright. Exposure to Oriental cuisine has taught him the art of the flavorful combination of spices. Kowledge of French gastronomy has given him an appreciation of the pivotal role that can be played by sauces. Secure in the knowledge that good food knows no borders – a world of kitchen traditions converge in the kitchen of Chef Fabio Ciervo.


Fabio Ciervo Comes to Bali


For a limited period in early March 2015, visitors and guests at InterContinental Bali Resort will be able to chose from a range of unique culinary events presided over by Chef Fabio that will include exclusive cooking classes, gastronomic dinners, Frescobaldi Wine seminars, and a superlative Frescobaldi Wine Dinner – all headquartered at Bella Cucina Restaurant from March 4-8, 2015.


Chef Fabio Ciervo’s gastronomic dinner at Bella Cucina will offer the choice of both à la carte or a menu degustation. Each will feature stunningly presented dishes such as Marinated Scallops; Red Mullet; Veal Tonnato and Red Cow Parmigiano with Reggiano Sauce; Ravioli del Plin filled with Baccalà and Sicilian Pecorino Cheese; and Loin of Lamb with Hazelnut Crust. The à la carte menu will offer smoked local lobster; risotto; ravioli; gnocchi; as Calamarata Shellfish, Roman Zucchini, Lemon Balm and Sun-dried VesuvioPiennolo Tomatoes - a specialty that reflects the culinary traditions of the Italian region where this innovative chef now lives.


Save room for Chef Fabio’s mouthwatering desserts that include Tiramisu with a Twist of Modernity.


Gastronomic Dinners


Chef Fabio will present gastronomic dinners each evening starting from 6:30 p.m. March 4, 5, 6 and 8 priced at Rp 1,150,000++ per person (US$111) for food only or Rp. 1,600,000++ per person (US$155) including premier wine pairings.


Cooking Lesson


Those wishing to tap into Chef Fabio’s cooking expertise would be well-advised to book one of the very limited spaces available at one of his cooking classes scheduled for Friday, March 7 or Saturday, March 8, 2015 from 10:00 am – 1.30 pm. 


The cooking lesson is priced at only Rp 800,000 ++ (US$77.50) per person, including lunch. 


Frescobaldi Wine Seminar


Chef Fabio Ciervo will head a Frescobaldi Wine Seminar pm March 7 and March 8, 2015 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm priced at Rp 500,000++ per person (US$48.50).


Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi wines have a 700 year old tradition of passionate wine making that celebrate the singular terroir of Mantaicino that is the home and inspiration of some of the world's highest quality wines.


From the Chianti region to that of Pomino DOC, from Montalcino to Maremma the estates and splendid vineyards of Frescobaldi bring a guarantee of constant quality and wines of distinctive personality.


Frescobaldi Wine Dinner


In order to enjoy an evening of outstanding Frescobaldi Wine expertly paired with the dishes of Chef Fabio Ciervo, book one of the limited seats available for a special wine dinner on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Pre-dinner cocktails commence at 6:30 followed by a multi-course dinner at 7:00 pm.


Dinner, including cocktail and wine, cost Rp. 1.5 million ++ (US$145) per person.


For more information telephone ++62-(0)361-701888 or [Email]



Top 5 Complaints Listed by Bali Visitors

Foreign Visitor Survey Cites Trash, Traffic Jams and Airport Service as the most Irksome Part of a Bali Holiday and National Geographic (Indonesia) recent revealed to an audience in Bali the results of a survey among international visitors listing their comments and criticism surrounding their holiday on the Island.


Speaking at an open forum held at the Bajra Sandhi Field on Sunday, February 8, 2015, the governor shared 11 top topics of complaints listed by foreign tourists.


According to the Governor, the top five areas of complaint named in the survey were:

Trash and rubbish

Traffic jams

Long immigration lines at the airport

Customs service at the airport

Dishonest money changers

The governor promised to undertake steps to address the areas identified as main sources of complaints from Bali’s international visitors.


In closing his comments to the large audience, the Governor said: “Let’s fix these things, because my brothers and sisters, we live from tourism. Yes, we must make Bali green. Bali must become an organic island free of chemicals – no more chemicals anyone! Bali is fertile and must become evergreen.”



The Chinese are Coming

Garuda Commences Charter Flight Between Chengdu, China and Bali, Indonesia


The State News Agency Antara commenced charter flight operations between Chengdu in China’s Sichuan Province and Denpasar, Bali.


The inaugural charter with flight number GA6210 and using a Boeing B747-400 aircraft with 435 economy and 20 business class seats departed Chengdu at 2:00 a.m. local time. The charters from Chengdu to Bali will continue to operate until March 29, 2015.


Garuda’s commitment to rapidly expand the inbound Chinese market to Indonesia includes flights now in operation between Beijing and Jakarta, Shanghai and Jakarta, Guangzhou to Jakarta and Beijing to Denpasar.


To greet the Chinese New Year Garuda Indonesia will operate charters from 10 Chinese cities to Denpasar, Bali. The Chinese New Year Charters operate between January 29 until March 29, 2015.


The vice-president for Garuda in China, I Wayan Subagia, said: “Charter flights for Imlek 2015 (Chinese New Year) began from Harbin on January 29th. This was followed by charters from Xi’an, Shenyang, Chengzhou, Tiayuan and, now, Chengdu.” On Saturday, February 14, 2015, a charter began from Chongqing to be followed by flights from Ningbo, Wuhan and Nanjing – all destined for Denpasar."


The intensive program of charter flights from China is part of the Indonesian government 'sand Garuda Indonesia’s plans to tap into the 100 million Chinese nationals who travel abroad each year, with peak travel period falling in the Lunar New Year period.



Big Bird Versus Little Bird

AirAsia Flight from Bali to Singapore Aborted as Flight Strikes Bird during Takeoff


AirAsia QZ506 flying from Bali to Singapore aborted its take-off roll and returned to the terminal after striking a bird on Friday, February 13, 2015.


Quoted by, the general manager of the Bali airport authority, PT Angkasa Pura i, Herry AY Sikado, confirmed the incident, saying: “The aborted take off was decided by the AirAsia pilot after reporting air traffic control that he suspected the plane had struck a bird.”


The incident occurred at 1:36 pm on Friday.


No injuries were reported among the 96 passengers who were disembarked and flown to Singapore on another aircraft that left at 4:00 pm.


PT Angkasa Pura I has a special team charged with monitoring and control of the movement of birds and other animals on or near Bali’s airport. Machinery designed to frighten birds away from the take off and landing path of aircraft are also deployed in this effort.



The Gentrification of Kuta's Back Lanes

Starwood to Open Four Points by Sheraton Hotel on Jalan Benesari in Kuta.


Now in the final phase of construction, Four Points by Sheraton Bali, Kuta is set to open in May 2015 on Jalan Benesari, heralding a gentrification of the back streets of Kuta shopping-dining-nightlife Mecca.

Dang, Regional Vice President, Southeast Asia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific, announcing the latest in a long list of Starwood properties in Bali, said: “Given its ideal location in a more family-friendly setting, while affording easy access to Kuta’s many attractions, Four Points by Sheraton Bali, Kuta is set to leverage the growth of Indonesia’s inbound and outbound travel sectors. With its down-to-earth and simplified guest services, Four Points will resonate with local and international travelers alike.”


Tucked away in Banjar Pendabetan on Jalan Benesari, the hotel stands in an area once occupied by second-tier local shops and business, just off the main thoroughfares of Kuta.


The hotel will be home to 186 rooms measuring from 28 to 55 square meters in size. Rooms will feature Four Point Signature Beds with luxuriant mattresses, down pillows, a duvet and 250-thread-count sheets.


The hotel will also be complemented by an all-day restaurant, a rooftop club, lobby bar and beer garden that will champion local brews.

Those staying at the hotel can also enjoy a fitness club, meeting spaces, a kids’ club and WiFi service.


The Four Points by Sheraton will represent the 15th Starwood property operating in Indonesia under Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, St. Regis, W Hotels and Luxury Collection brands.  The new Kuta property will be the seventh Starwood hotel to open in Bali.



New Village Pre School Opens in Ubud

Bali Children’s Project Inaugurates Pre-School and Library in Bali


Happy parents and children were on hand on January 8, 2015 for the opening of Anak Pertiwi – a pre-school and library opened in Ubud by the Bali’s Children’s Project.

g for its first ten years from a simple family compound, the new building is a dream come true for the Bali Children’s Project Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of impoverished kids on the Island.


Donations of US$10,000 from the public were matched by corporate donors in the USA making the opening of the pre-school possible.

ol is comprised of a classroom building and a public library.


Commenting on the school that has a capacity to educate 40 children, Linda Venter, Bali Children’s Project Founder, said, “Early stage education is absolutely crucial to the development of children. With so few pre schools in Bali, we are pleased to not only have this great new school, but also have the ability to support other pre schools.”

Bali Children’s Project runs a variety of programs to support the educational needs of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Their projects include providing sponsorships, sex education (HIV & AIDS), pre-school education and access to traditional teaching gardens.



The Right to Respond

Bali Post Wins Supreme Court Appeal Suit Filed by Governor Made Mangku Pastika reports that the Bali Post has won its appeal before the Indonesian Supreme Court against a 2012 decision of the Denpasar High Court that required Bali’s largest daily newspaper to print retractions and apologies to Bali’s governor who claimed his public statements had been prejudicially misrepresented by the newspaper.


In the Supreme Court ruling Number 1897K/Pdt/2013 the Supreme Court overturned the lower court ruling, accepting the Bali Post’s argumentation that the matter should be settled under the National Press Law that provide the right of reply instead of a civil matter before the courts.


The case dates from September 17, 2011 when fighting broke out between the traditional villages of Kemuning and Budaga in Klungkung. Covering Governor Pastika’s reaction to the civil unrest, the Bali Post carried the headlines on September 19, 2011 proclaiming: “Following Unrest in Kemuning-Budaga Governor Says: Just Disband the Traditional Villages.”


The Governor objected to the news as presented by The Bali Post, insisting he had never call for the dissolution of any Bali traditional village. As a result, the Governor filed suit against the papers who were determined by the lower court to have misrepresented Pastika’s comments and ordered apologies be published in a large number of local papers for that error.


In ruling in favor of The Bali Post. The Supreme Court did not necessarily rule on whether the Governor’s statement had be misconstrued by the newspaper, but rather that the matter should not have been brought before courts and subject to correction by Patiska’s absolute right to respond as a means of redress.


Meanwhile, The Bali Post is citing the Supreme Court decision as a victory for the Indonesian Press. Suryatin Lijaya, the attorney in the case for the newspaper, said on Monday, February 9, 2015: “In handling a case dealing the press, the established press law must first be followed. Sending cease and desist letters (somasi) does not represent the right to respond. If you want to exercise the right of response, you do not immediately resort to a remedy before the courts.”


Suryatin said the ruling of the Supreme Court reinforces the National Press Law of 1999. Adding: “This is not a victory for the Bali Post. But this is a victory for the press who perform their duties in accordance with the journalistic code of conduct."


The lawyers for the Bali Post said they now considered the matter closed, but would, if required, answer any attempt by the Governor’s office to continue to challenge the case.



A Paperwork Failure

Chinese Tourists on Bali-Bound Charter Flight Refused Boarding Due to Expired Passports


The inaugural charter flight of Garuda Indonesia from Chongqing, to Bali on Saturday morning, February 13, 2015 saw a small number of Chinese holidaymakers denied boarding because their passports had either expired or had less than six-months remaining validity.


The State News Agency Antara reports that Garuda counter staff turned away disappointed Chinese travelers with expired travel documents or with passports that did not have the required six months of remaining validity demanded under Indonesian immigration rules.


The Jian Zhou family, comprised of a husband, wife and their children were found to have passports that expire in less than six months time with at least one of their children presenting a passport that had already expired. Wang Yuan, the matriarch of the family, held a passport valid until 2020, but decided she would not go to Bali without her husband and children.


Jian Zou and Wang Yuan reportedly had a heated argument with the tour agent assisting at check in demanding some type of compensation for their cancelled holiday in Bali. The tour guide reportedly fought back, telling the tourists they had the obligation to check their travel documents when ordering their ticket.


Because all members of the family failed to depart the tour agent said they would lose the value of their ticket and accommodation booked on their behalf.


During the same check-in process, two additional passengers were discovered to be holding expired passports. Dismayed by their circumstances, the two passengers reportedly broke down in tears.


Except for the seats of passengers unable to fly due to documentation problems, the Garuda Boeing 747 left with a full load of passengers.



Yachts in Bali’s Basin

Bali Aspires to Become a Regional Center for Yacht Tourism


Barring unforeseen obstacles, by 2018 Bali’s southernmost Port of Benoa will transform into a modern cruise ship and yacht marina.


Construction of the marina is expected to take 18 months.


Quoted by, Ali Sodikin, the CEO of PT Pelindo III Cabang Benoa, the State-owned company that manages the port, said on Monday, February 9, 2015: “Plans to create Benoa into a marina have been on the drawing board for the past 3 years. The construction requires only 18 months; but the permit process takes a long time.”


Ali said the marina plan received the approval of Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika in 2013 who issued a permit for the project. Continuing, Ali added, "But, sadly, the mayor of Denpasar has yet to approve the marina plan and issue his recommendation that will allow the project to proceed,"


Ali said that the current pier at Benoa measure 306 meters long with plans to extend its total length to 600 metes. Final budgets for the renovation and upgrading will only be prepared once final permission and input from the Denpasar mayor is received.


“The marina bay will include a green zone for the planting of trees measuring 300 meters or more. The marina that we will prepare will be able to handle hundreds of yachts. The average price of a super yacht is Rp. 150 billion (US$12 million),” said Ali.


Ali also explained that the Marina Harbor would be home to garden areas, a shopping mall and a state of the art fish processing plant for the local fishing fleet.


“There will be an entertainment zone and space for restaurants and other facilities. With the creation of a marina visitors to Bali will increase and many jobs will be created. The security standards (for the marina) must meet the standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) published by the United Nations,” Ali explained.



Cleanliness Begins at Home

Bali Governor Wants People of Bali to Become More Aware of the Need to Clean up Trash


Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has again reminded the people of Bali to always guard the Island’s cleanliness and manage waste, stating the trash and waste management represents the number one source of visitor complaints.


Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Pastika said at a public forum: “Steps to overcome the problem of trash are underway, moreover I keep talking about this problem so people won’t forget. I say something today; an area is cleaned up in a week. But, after that, the trash reappears.”


The Governor said the three problems evoking the most complaints for tourists visiting Bali are trash, long lines at immigration and traffic congestion.


“A movement for cleanliness must be started in Bali because trash tops the list of visitors’ complaints. I also ask that toilets be cleaned,” said Pastika.


The governor stressed the need to create public awareness of the need for clean streets in order that Bali can once again become green, fertile and environmentally sustainable.


Concluding his remarks, Pastika said: “Let us quickly upgrade ourselves, take good care of our gardens, clean sewers and guts so to prevent flooding, and remove standing water to eliminate dengue fever.”



Transparent Ticketing

Minister of Transportation Orders Airlines Install Automated Ticketing Machines at Airports


Indonesian Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan who recently closed all airline ticketing office at Indonesian airports, is asking airlines to install automated ticketing machines at airports to serve people who arrive at an airport without having a ticket in hand.


The elimination of airline ticket offices was ordered by the Minister to eliminate ticket-scalping practices.


Hoping that all ticket offices will be closed by May, Ignasius told the Bali Post: “I don't want to see ticket lockets at the airport. Just replace the lockets with vending machines.”


The Minister’s comments were made at ceremonies in Jakarta at the launch of a new online system for the issuance of flight permits held on Monday, February 9, 2015,


The Minister of Transportation is calling on airlines to provide customer service representatives who will guide "go show" passengers to their flights, adding, “If the airlines can’t invest in this, then they should just close.”


Ignasius repeated that he was compelled to close airline ticket offices at airports because of the high level of activities by ticket scalpers (calo).


The Minister said that if any airport was unable to close their ticket office, he would not hesitate to transfer members of management at Angkasa Pura I and II to other positions. Angkasa Pura is the State-owned company that manages Indonesia’s main airports.


Minister Jonan is adamant that the introduction of automated ticketing machines at the airport is needed to maintain transparency in the process by which people obtain seats on Indonesian air carriers.



Cutting the Monkey’s Business

Temple Guards Reducing Monkey Population at Pura Lempuyang in Bali Through Castration


The traditional village of Purwayu in Karangasem, in cooperation with the government is capturing wild male monkeys that surround the Sacred Balinese Temple of Suci Pura Sad Kahyangan Lempuyang and castrating the primates in a move to reduce the large number of attacks launched against worshippers and tourists visiting the important religious site.


Following repeated failed attempts to poison the aggressive primates, the new approach of castrating monkeys saw only three male moneys trapped, sedated and castrated by volunteer veterinarians during a “catch and castrate” day held at Lempuyang Temple on Tuesday, February 10, 2015.


Two neighboring banjars of Kemuda and Lebuh set some 30 traps on the day before the operations, but managed to only capture 4 monkeys – one of which was a female.


A Rp. 30 million (US$2,400) allocation of funds from the province of Bali has been used to buy medical supplies and anesthesia for the operations with medical help donated by Vets for what will become a series of operations.


The three monkeys castrated each underwent an operation that required some two hours of anesthetic treatment and about 10 minutes for the actual procedure.


Officials estimated there are thousands of monkeys living in 17 colonies surrounding the Pura Sad Kahyangan Lempuyang. Volunteer doctors have medicine and equipment on hand sufficient to perform about 50 castrations.


Doctors and guards at the temple say that once a male monkey is castrated it becomes almost instantly tame, losing any of the monkeys former aggressiveness. Also lost is any sexual desire and the ability to procreate.


Plans are now underway to capture more male monkeys in an effort to end a series of aggressive attacks by the primates on temple visitors.



Mass Rabies Vaccination in April 2015

Vaccinated Dogs in Bali to Get Special Identifying Collars


The Animal Health and Husbandry Service of Bali is preparing 200,000 dog collars to be places on free-roaming dogs receiving anti-rabies vaccination during a mass inoculation planned for April 2015.


Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the head of the Service, Dr. Nata Kesuma, said, “We hope that is enough collars to go round allowing the program for the prevention of rabies to operate optimally.”


If, however, the number of dog collars is insufficient, a request has already been filed with the Central Government requesting additional supplies of collars for a total dog population estimated at 370,000.


Animal Health and Husbandry Unit is also preparing vaccines, syringes and other supplies need for the coming mass innoculation. 310,000 vials of anti-rabies vaccine is in hand, a shortfall of 60,000 vials.


To obtain the additional vaccine assistance has been asked from the Central Government.



DK 1234 ABC

Bali Police Say Two-Letter Suffix on Bali License Plate May Soon be Expanded to Three-Letters to Accommodate Vehicle Growth


Bali’s Traffic Police are now considering changing the two-letter suffix on Bali license plates to three-letters as the remaining supply of two-letter suffix plates is only sufficient for a further 1.5 years.


As reported by NusaBali, Djoni Widodo of the Bali Provincial Police told the press on Friday, February 6, 2015, that it is now taking an inventory of the remaining number of two-letter suffixes available for use on license plates needed to meet the demand of the steadily increasing number of new vehicles traveling Bali’s roads. “I have coordinated with all vehicle registry offices in Bali asking them to report their remaining supply of license plates, the number of mutated plates and the plate numbers of inoperable vehicle that are still available for use,” said Widodo.


Based on these reports and if its confirmed that the supply of new numbers are insufficient, police will commence planning the introduction of three-letter suffix plates.


Three-letter suffix plates are now in use in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta and other major metropolitan areas of the Country.


The remaining 1.5 years supply of license plates is based on rough calculations by the police that, if confirmed, will necessitate the introduction of a three-letter license plate in Bali.



Combustible Kiosks

Six Beachside Cafes Destroyed by Fire on Balangan Beach, South Bali


6 local food warungs with an estimated value of Rp. 1 billion (US$80,000) were destroyed along the popular bathing and surfing beach of Pantai Balangan in South Bali on the evening of Tuesday, February 10, 2015.


According to NusaBali and DenPost, the fire started at approximately 9:15 pm after the dining places has closed for business. Firefighters and local residents managed to bring the fire under control shortly after midnight.


The cause of the fire is thought to have been caused by a short circuit in one warungs that quickly spread to adjoining businesses.


Efforts to extinguish the blaze were thwarted by their remote location and its inaccessibility to responding fire trucks. The stall owners, assisted by tourists, tried to quell the flames with a traditional bucket brigade.


The restaurant destroyed in the fire included: Bala Café, Nasa Café, Suzuki Café and the Santa Café.




Bal Toll Road Blamed for Flooding in Bali

Poor Drainage at Southern Entrance to Bali Mandara Toll Way Blamed for Severe Flooding During Seasonal Rains


Heavy rains during the current rainy season are causing floods in many areas of Denpasar and South Bali.


DenPost and NusaBali report that during periods of heavy rain Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai in front of the southernmost entrance to the Bali Mandara Toll Way suffers flooding sufficient to bring traffic to an absolute standstill.


On Wednesday, February 11, 2015, heavy rains caused backlogs of traffic from the intersection of Taman Geria Jimbaran to the entrance road of the toll way. Rains completely submerged the southbound lane of the By Pass, causing the northbound lane to accommodate traffic in two direction that moved at a snail’s pace.


The floodwater with an estimated depth of one-meter completely submerged several vehicles that stalled in the southbound lane.


A local resident said the deepest flooding occurred in front of the BCA Bank branch in Nusa Dua and the Oleh-Oleh Kahuripan Shop.


Despite the fact that drainage work was only recently completed in the area, many cite drains clogged with trash as the cause of the flooding.


For future reference, three areas have been identified as prone to flooding on the Nusa Dua Peninsula:

The Bypass at the southernmost entrance to the Bali Toll Way

The Bypass in front of the Oleh-Oleh Kahuripan Store

The Bypass in front of the Kertha Semadhi Crematorium

Jalan Siligita near the Hotel Santika

The head of the Public Works Department for the Badung Regency, I.B. Surya, told DenPost there was little his office could do to address the flooding caused by poor drainage at the entrance to the Toll Way. Surya said that the toll way was a national highway under the control of Jakarta.


Letters written to the Ministry of Public works and the National Highway Department have not received a response.



Bali’s Beaches are Public Land

Buleleng Officials Demolish Breakwater Built by German Expatriate at Anturan Village, North Bali


On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, task force from the Buleleng Regency Government in North Bali supervised the demolishing a breakwater built by German expatriate Erents Erwin Baur in front of his property in the village of Anturan.


The German told the press that the removal of the breakwater caused him a loss of around Rp. 100 million (US$8,000) in addition to a Rp. 15 million (US$1,200) “donation” paid to a representative of the Aturan Village.


In demolishing the breakwater regency officials deployed a front loader to knock down the breakwater erected by the German to stop erosion of the beachfront in front of his villa.


As reported by NusaBali, Erents Baur and his Balinese wife, Komang Sutrani, were forced to stand by and idly watch demolition crews remove the breakwater. The couple admitted no small amount of confusion watching the destruction of the structure constructed at the invitation of local officials who suggested the breakwater would help  end beach erosion.


Also, at the suggestion of village officials, the breakwater was built to include stairs and a small bridge in order to permit free access to people walking up and down the beachfront. At the same time, the Anturan village head (Perbekel), Made Arsana, requested and received a donation of Rp. 15 million for the village.


Komang told the press: “My husband and I will ask about that donation because when we originally planned to remove the breakwater (at the request of the regency), we were told by the village that this was not necessary if we simply added a bridge and stairs. I was also asked to make the donation, which I did. But now the cement structure is being demolished. I have suffered losses.”


In response, the head of the Regency’s Enforcement Team (Satpol PP), Made Budi Astawa, said the demolishment of the breakwater was done on the basis of the evidence in hand. Baur’s breakwater was, according to Astawa, a clear violation of setback rules that do not allow construction of permanent structures near the high water mark that infringe on the public right-of-way along the beach. The official said that the destruction of the breakwater now allows local fishermen free access to the beach.


When the press asked about a bar built on top of an old wooden ship located within the setback zone on Baur’s land, Astawa said he had Baur’s promise that he would remove the illegal structure. The Satpol PP gave Baur one week to demolish the bar, before regency wrecking crews would descend on the site and knock it down.


The 2009 Zoning Law (RTRW) forbids permanent structures from being built within 100 meters of the high tide mark.



We Get Mail!

Bali Update Readers Offer Comments on Heritage Tax, Eliminating Stray Dogs, Declining Quality of Tourist Experience, Senior Citizen Tourism, Convenience Stores and Garuda Indonesia


We’ve received many emails from Bali Update and readers over the past few weeks on a whole range of topics we’ve covered. Here’s just a sampling from our inbox.


Pay at the Door reporting plans to impose a heritage tax on people visiting Bali to pay for cultural and environmental preservation prompted a number of notes, including:

Reiner Verkijk who wrote:

“It is better to address the overall corruption. Like now with Mr. Wacik and use this money to protect nature and heritage. Then it is not necessary to let the donating tourists pay. Tourists are urgently needed to improve the life of the population. Everything is already extremely increased. Not normally 3, 4 or 5% more expensive but often double or sometimes 3 times the old price. Take Airport taxes and provide better service. Consider Tanah Lot, additional Alcohol tax of 300% and so on.”

Don Rutledge wrote:

“Wouldn't it be more practical to ‘share’ the proceeds of entry visas and exit taxes collected at the airport, all of which goes to the coffers of the central government in Jakarta?”

Rick Powell added:

“(This is) another extortion racket. Wonder where this money will go? It would be OK if they used it to build new toilets and keep them clean. Clean up the streets and rivers from the rubbish dumped into them. Have a look at Vietnam, years and years of war nearly flattened the place but their waterways, toilets and streets are clean, nice parks etc. Why can't they do the same here?"


"Bali keeps boasting about how many visitors it gets so what happens to VOA fees? That’s why you see so many flash cars with escorts around the place. Put some money back into the place."


Dog Gone and the news that Governor Pastika has asked for the widespread extermination of free-roaming dogs evokes strong reactions, some of them printable:

Doug Decker wrote to say:

“Yes there are too many dogs in Bali, yesterday morning walking my dogs on Jimbaran beach I counted 12 dogs hanging around at the first seafood place. Would you eat at a restaurant that allows dogs to roam freely, while it is open and while it is closed? That is why I don’t eat there, and I think it should be boycotted until they clean up the dogs there."

Glenis Crumpton from Australia had this to say:

“Wow 1 dog for every 8 people; does he really think that's a lot? If he allowed BAWA (Bali Animal Welfare Association) to practice their rabies injection program without hindrance from the government, a lot more dogs would be free of the disease. Does the Governor understand how many tourists privately get beach dogs injected and provide ongoing care for them? Every time I visit, I make sure I get at least one dog to the vet's for de-sexing and injections. About time the government stopped hassling rescue people and let them get on with helping the animals. The government is the problem."

Rahil wrote to support Governor Pastika, saying:

“Very good decision Mr. Governor. I hope people in Bali get educated in providing better living for all and don't let their dogs roam freely to disturb or attack people. I suggest the Governor provide a hotline number where people can call to complain about Dogs that are disturbing people. Please help with such information, as my area has many dogs that are a big pain for the neighborhood. Hope for your cooperative action against it."

Tanya Straatsma added:

“Look, I know to a lot of people who may think this inhuman, but I agree. We are living in Nusa Dua Hills and when I walk my two Labradors there are so many feral dogs that try to attack who have no rabies vaccines. This is frightening. I agree they should be eliminated. Tourist do not like them, I see expats at Geger beach feeding them and then they leave and the dogs roam around looking for food and have bitten people. This causes problems at Geger beach that now must have about 20 dogs that hang around under the sun lounges. This is not good for Bali. If the government wants 10 million tourists here they certainly need to clean it up.

Adele Baker from Australia who has spent many years helping people in the remote areas of the island, sang praises of Governor Pastika, adding:

“I applaud Governor Pastika's decision to finally rid Bali of one of the Island’s eyesores - a dangers to residents and tourists alike! BRAVO!”

“This is not a new problem in BALI! Mangy dogs hogging the footpaths, roaming in packs in beach resorts and endless barking in the evenings!”

“These dogs are sick, homeless and a danger to health!”


“Yes, the ‘do gooders’ will provide arguments, but these should be ignored!”


“Round all the stray dogs up. Euthanasia is the kindest method to stop the spread of rabies and dog attacks.”

BaliRob asked a practical question:

“I can understand the Governor's plight and would tell him it is not just the rural areas that suffers from stray dogs. Just look at the streets of Sanur at night. However, while it's OK for him to say "Kill them" how on earth is one to do that and where does one deposit the carcasses LEGALLY here?


A Number to Double by 2019 reporting increasing tourist number and plans to double present arrivals by 2019, saw a response.

Shorty from South Bali write:

“This is an projected 10 million extra tourist a year over the next 5 years. On current data most will come to Bali.”


“Praise god (which ever one you want) that it will never happen. The current infrastructure cannot support things as they are now, let alone a 100% increase over 5 years. Further there are no committed funds for projects to handle the existing problems, let alone those that would be generated by such an increase.”


“Like so many predictions and projections these are based on the false premise of more is better.


A simple example: Ngurah Rai could not handle double the current traffic in the next five years. In 5 years time we'll still be arguing over the site for a northern airport.”


Will You Love Me When I'm 64?  our coverage of the lack of investment in projects in Bali aimed at the Senior Citizen market, caused one reader to write and question the quality of life for older people in Bali:

Charlotte in Indonesia wrote:

“Some years ago a 5-year Retirement Visa was introduced to bring Seniors to Bali by making it easier for them to obtain the KITAS (Temporary Stay Permit). But, today’s situation has changed to the worst - fingerprints, photos and the whole paperwork has to be done again every year - all this in crowded Denpasar. No reason to retire in Bali for the time being."  


No Tears over Spilt Beer  and related articles over new rules that will outlaw the sale of beer at convenience stores after April 16, 2015, earned several letters, including:

This from Bart-Jan Mathot:

“It becomes more and more apparent that the people that are elected in office have, after they are sworn in, only one concern, to stay put or better their position.”


“In this particular case, the outlets involved will only lose turnover, getting people off their payroll, while the beer itself will still be available (at a higher cost, of course) - possibly resulting in a downward trend of people returning to Bali for their next vacation. Doesn’t the Governor understand that Bali has to compete?”

Steve Bradley from Perth questioned the policy:

“What bird brain came up with this 'bird brain idea?' I'm guessing it wasn't a Balinese. It has been so ‘sophisticated’ in Bali to be able to go the convenience store at any hour and buy a couple of beers, some cokes, carton of milk and some chocolate, before strolling home after a meal. Unlike the dramas in Perth if one should want to do the same! And now you want to be as regressive as us! Reconsider please. It will gain little but cost plenty!”

Steve Riches added a warning if he can no longer buy beer at a convenience store:

“I read your excellent newsletter each week, but mostly what I read is now making me feel that tourism is not welcome. We have been to Bali 6 times in total, and one of the pleasures on a hot day is to nip out to the supermarket to pick up some cold beers at a reasonable price. Now it seems that pleasure is to be banned. I shall choose somewhere different for my holiday, then. “


You Wonder Where the Culture Went containing a warning from Bali’s top tourism officer that overbuilding of hotel threatens local culture saw:

James Dell-Robb contribute:

“During the last few years I have said to my Balinese friends that they are letting their island and heritage be destroyed by lack of control of over-development. Their lack of interest in the situation has always amazed me. Now they are starting to wake up but I fear it may be too late. Closing stable doors after the horse has bolted seems to be a genetic trait. The Balinese have no one else but themselves to blame for the wrecking and destruction of their environment and culture. Don't blame the investors they are just money sucking crooks....”

Henry in Bali added:

“I applaud this last somebody has spoken out what I have been saying for years.”


It's a Dune Deal reporting objection of unfair price competition from three Persian Gulf Airlines by three American carriers, prompted one reader to write:

Graham wrote to speak about one of the American airlines:

“Flying on United to the US last week was like stepping back into the dark ages. If US airlines want business, they will have to exponentially lift their game!”


When Parents Won’t be Parents  our editorial on the continuing carnage of under age drivers on Bali road:

Jeff Ball wrote:

“What can one say? The stupidity and lack of resolve of the parents and the authorities beggars belief. The only law that the Balinese police seem capable of enforcing is the checking of licenses. However it seems it is never done anywhere near the schools, probably because the children riding without a SIM (driver’s license) wouldn't have sufficient graft money. The situation is a joke. Tragically, not a funny one."

Meanwhile, David Liscumb addressed the subject:

“The police not only ignore underage drivers they actively support and encourage this behavior. I have seen many occasions where the police are directing traffic at middle schools so the underage drivers can safely enter and exit the school grounds. I have seen on numerous occasions the police take down one of their checkpoints just before lunch so the school children can ride home without being hassled by the police. Where are the school officials in all of this, why are they allowing the children to drive to school. Parent should be responsible, but they are under a lot of pressure to allow their children to drive. When the police and schools encourage this behavior it makes it very difficult for the parents to enforce safe practices.”


Five Stars in the Indonesian Skies on Garuda Indonesia’s elevation to the status of a Five-Star airline by Skytrax:

Jess offered something of a barbed message of congratulations:

“Congratulations on your 5 star rating. Keep up the great service. Shame Ngurah Rai Airport doesn't support Garuda.”


Tourism Minister Visits Bali covering the first official visit to Bali by Indonesia’s ebullient new Minister of Tourism prompted:

Charles Weber to write:

“While the Minister is touring Bali, he should for a moment focus on an irrevocable reality. The quality of foreign visitors to Bali has dropped ‘vertigineously!’ The new visitors will hardly spend a coin on anything related to Bali Culture or Bali Handicrafts. Their expenses are now limited to food and drinks and the minimum to survive a holiday. This may be due to the (eternal) world economical crisis, but is also certainly the result of a bad management aimed at quantity and not quality of visitors!”



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