Making 'Ends' Meet at Small Inns & Hotels
Local Inns in Bali Unable to Compete with City Hotels are Often Resorting to ‘Short Time’ Guests to Fill Their Rooms
(4/21/2013) Small Inns or “Hotel Melati” are an important sector of the economy for many indigenous Balinese. Bali’s accommodation building boom and the advent of low-priced city hotels have made it increasingly difficult for Hotel Melati to achieve viable occupancy, forcing some to resort to seek customers from the nefarious “short-stay” market.
According to Bisnisbali.com, 2011 data provided by the Bali Tourism Service (Dinas Pariwisata) counts the number of Hotel Melati operating in Bali at 1,026 comprising 20,199 rooms.
Meanwhile, Hotel Melati operating in Bali’s capital city of Denpasar in 2011 is put at 191 hotels with 4,287 rooms.
This large inventory of rooms is cited as the cause of intense competition between the Island’s small hotel operators. Desperate for business, these small hotels have few other resources than to compete on price.
The operational manager of Hotel Taman Wisata, Wayan Rajin, whose hotel is in downtown Denpasar, says his occupancy levels patterns follow seasonal trends. A mainstay of his business are local student groups undertaking study tours to Bali or families coming to the island to celebrate the New Year and Idul Fitri holidays. During these periods, the Hotel Taman Wisata can achieve occupancies of between 50-80%. Outside these peak periods, occupancy plummets to as low as 10%.
The hotels tariff at Hotel Taman Wisata ranges from between Rp. 50,000 to Rp. 75,000 (US$5 – US$7.50) per night per room.
In addition to accommodating traders on short business visits to Bali, some Hotel Melati are popular for 1 night stays or even shorter visits of 2-3 hours.
Those visiting Hotel Melati for only a few hours include both young unmarried couple, husbands and wives, and couples engaged in extra-marital relations.
Wayan Rajin told Bisnisbali.com that the unfavorable image of Hotel Melati is not absolutely correct. He defended the small hotel sector, saying that the facilities offered to all guests remain the same and the hotel operators are unable to monitor or control what goes on behind closed doors.
The vice-chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Nyoman Suwidjana, complains that Hotel Melati are finding it difficult to compete against the new City Hotels that are propagating urban centers in Bali. Suwidjana said the Hotel Melati room dimensions are small and difficult to renovate to become long-stay hotels or luxury boarding houses. He said that in the face of strong competition the Hotel Melati could be converted to backpacker hotels and inns for small-scale traders with limited travel budgets.
The PHRI official expressed concerns that when Melati Hotels are forced to resort to the “short time” market sector they will cause damage to their own branding and image that will prove difficult to repair later and is badly out of step with Bali’s goal to promote itself as a cultural destination.
Help Wanted: Best Job in Bali
Bali Hai Cruises Seeking Executive Chef for their Re-launched Bar, Restaurant and Boutique Resort on Nusa Lembongan Island
(4/22/2013) While Australia runs a very successful “Best Job in the World” campaign enticing the lucky winner with offers of life on an idyllic tropical island, an Indonesian Cruise and Resort Company - Bali Hai Cruises may have just done them one better.
Bali Hai Cruises – the well known and long-established Bali cruise and resort company has announced they're employment search for an Executive Chef to take on a lead role in the re-launch of Beach Club Restaurant and Bar on Nusa Lembongan Island, the nearest island neighbor to Bali.
The company is seeking a talented, motivated, energetic and creative chef to assist in the setup and daily running of the brand new Beach Club Restaurant and Bar.
Couples are open to apply as a secondary position as resort manager may also be available.
The job covers a small beach resort with 17 rooms and two food and beverage outlets. Responsibilities will include a soon-to-be-established a la carte restaurant and a Beach Club outlet. The company structure is not hotel based and the position will demand someone who can deal with both a challenging operation and location; able to use knowledge and experience to streamline and improve the day-to-day operation.
The person selected to this role with Bali Hai Cruises will:
Have a thorough hands-on approach, able to maintain and improve standards of product.
Maintain and improve standard of service and operations, ensuring maximum guest satisfaction.
Control departmental expenses including food costs and wages, in line with business levels.
Implement and monitor all health, safety and hygiene practices and procedures .
Implement and monitor departmental training and development plans via an appraisal process.
Be able to motivate, coach and build a team.
Will have a minimum of 5 years solid experience in various areas of hotel/resort kitchens.
Good understanding of all applicable health and safety legislation and experience working with strict health & hygiene regimes.
Full understanding of food control, experience in ordering and menu pricing.
Be self-motivated and able to motivate others to achieve.
Possess proven man-management, coaching and team building skills.
Have a desire and ability to deliver quality a la carte and buffet food.
Have experience in large volume functions and weddings
Have experience in interviewing, appraisal and training
The salary for this tropical island based position is negotiable.
The subject position commences July 1, 2013.
The deadline for sending job applications and resumes is June 15, 2013
BIZNET Bali International Triathlon: Blessed by a Bupati
Regent of Badung Voices His Continuing Support for BIZNET Bali International Triathlon
(4/21/2013) The BIZNET Bali International Triathlon will return for its 7th edition on June 23, 2013 – representing an international sporting event and, at the same time, an opportunity to showcase the Bali as a sporting destination to the world.
In a race briefing meeting and courtesy call with the regent of Badung on Friday, April 19, 2013 A.A. Gde Agung, the head of the regency that hosts the event, said, “BIZNET Bali International Triathlon is a promotional activity that can directly touch the European market segment.”
Joining the hour-long meeting with the Regent were John Daniels, President Director of Bali Discovery Tours; M. Fathur Rozi, Chief Operating Officer of Bali Discovery Tours, Onggo Wicaksono, Sports Division Manager at Bali Discovery Tours; Niken Rahayu, Media Coordinator, BIZNET Bali International Triathlon; the head of the revenue section for the regency I Wayan Adi Arnawa; head of the Badung Tourism Service Cokorda Raka Darmawan; head of the Badung Communications and Information Service I Made Sutama; head of Badung’s Education and Sports Service represented by A.A. Rahmadi and the chief of protocol for Badung A.A. Raka Yudha.
The Regent issued his thanks and support to the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon for the sporting event’s proven record of combining sports with Balinese cultural elements. “As a main tourism destination, promotion represents part an overall investment will pay off over time. Because of this, we must continually introduce the potential of our destination to the world,” said Agung.
The Regent ask the organizers to expand the Balinese elements at this years event by undertaking offerings in the days leading up to the race at Pura Khayangan Tiga, Segara and Pura Ulawatu to ensure the event runs smoothly and successfully.
John Daniels from the organizing committee of the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon reported to the Regent that the 7th chapter of the award-winning race is expected to draw a record number of athletes, with registrations running 28% ahead of last year in the final two months leading up to the event.
The BIZNET Bali International Triathlon includes an Olympic Distance Event, Sprint Event and a 5 kilometer fun run.
Your Chance to Vote for Sandhy!
Make Your Vote Count for Indonesian Singing Sensation Sandhy Sondoro in Hard Rock Café’s Global Battle of the Bands. Vote Before May 1, 2013!
(4/21/2013) In response to Hard Rock International’s call for musicians around the world to seek global stardom via this year’s edition of Hard Rock Rising – over 12,000 bands entered the competition that saw 390,000 fans vote.
From the final competition among 941 competing bands, Indonesian singing star Sandhy Sondoro is now in final contention for the opportunity of a lifetime to join a worldwide tour of six cities, including a spot on the bill at the Hard Rock Calling Festival to be held in London. Also at stake is a contract to produce a music video and CD with Hard Rock Records and a set of new musical equipment and gear worth US$10,000.
In an on-line competition that runs from April 22, 2013 (10:00 am ET) until May 1, 2013 (4:00 pm ET), fans can go on line and via the [Hard Rock Rising Star Face Book Page] .
Visitors to the Face Book Site will be able to listen to an original song sung by Sandhy Sondoro or other songs performed by the other 94 global finalists before casting their vote for the winner.
Those selected as the "top 25" will then move on to a final judging session on May 2 - 5, 2013 where a panel of music industry professionals including Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band, Live Nation Senior Vice President of Music Toby Leighton-Pope, Hard Rock International’s Head of Music & Artist Relations, John Kirkpatrick, and Hard Rock Records Co-Heads of A&R, James Buell and Blake Smith - who will jointly evaluate the bands and select the Grand Prize Winner and two-runner up bands.
The winners and runners up will be announced on May 6, 2013.
Indonesians are justifiably proud of the hugely talented Sandhy Sandoro, who once worked as a European street busker in order to finance his education in Germany.
He has an international following having performed on European and American TV.
And, for those who can’t get enough of the talented Sandhy Sondoro, we’ve embedded a link from a the U.S.A. PBS special (2010) where he shared the stage with the likes of Celine Dion, Cher, Jane Fonda, Toni Braxton, Leann Rimes, Eric Benet, Due Voci, Gloria Estefan and Patti Austin. Note the standing ovation this superstar got after his televised U.S. performance.
A Pain in the Pass
Official Delegations Wishing to Inspect Bali’s Simpang Siur Underpass Project May be Delaying Timely Completion of Major Road Project
(4/21/2013) The Bali Post reports that official visits to Bali’s new Simpang Siur Underpass Project by various government departments and agencies has become something of a “pain in the pass.”
Supervisors and workers at the project, working against a strict June deadline to be ready for operations, complain that visits by government councils
It appears that the mega-project of the underpass at the Simpang Siur intersection in Kuta, Bali is drawing keen interest from a number of visiting legislative councils and other government agencies; so much so, that these frequent visits are now threatening a timely completion of the project.
“This has become an obstacle – the wide range of guests wanting to see the project; there’s even been a delegation from Papua which, in fact, has no point. Maybe they’re on tour and decided just to drop in. But we are obliged to honor and serve these guests. There are ministerial visits roo with Minister visiting the project site on several occasions,” said Achmad Syaiful Bahri, Project Manager, PT Adhi Karya, the company building the underpass.
Although seen in some instances as an obstacle to a timely completion of the project, Syaiful says he understands the underpasses linkage to a successful APEC Conference later this year. He also said he is thankful that the underpass is progressing is slightly ahead of schedule when compared to the new toll way.
Both projects are slated for full operation in June 2013, well in advance of the APEC Summit.
Recently, Commission III of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) paid a visit to the underpass project on Friday, April12, 2013. As a result of that visit, the members of the commission "directed" that the project be augmented with Balinese architectural finishes, add emergency escape ladders and even ordered that coconut trees be incorporated into the final design concept.
The project’s supervisor has promised to fully consider the recommendations of the legislators and accommodate their wishes providing thet did compromise the project's completion deadline.
The initial construction of the project was impeded to some degree by problems connected with land acquisition, maintaining traffic flows and the relocation of utilities.
Venal Bali Custom’s Official May be Axed
(4/21/2013) The custom’s official caught on video and published on YouTube accepting a bribe from Dutch journalist Kees van der Spek is being threatened with dismissal from his government position.
According to Kompas.com, the official, currently only identified with the letter “F”, has been relieved of his day-to-day duties at the airport.
Rachmad Subagio, the head of the Ngurah Rai Airport Customs Office, said at a press conference on Friday, April 19. 2013: “As soon as this case surfaced, our first step was to remove the suspect from the workplace. Secondly, as soon as he was suspended we began an internal review.”
The results of a preliminary examination show that “F” may be guilty of a serious violation of Regulation Number 55 of 2010 on Civil Servant Discipline.
“The punishment in accordance with Rule Number 55 can be light, medium or severe. The suspect may be guilty of a severe violation that can result in a non-honorable termination,” said Subagio.
Before taking a final decision. Rachmad is waiting for a report on the incident from an internal audit team who has interviewed the suspect.
“F” was one subject in one of a series of sub rosa video reports uploaded by van der Spek to YouTube catching dishonest Bali traffic policemen, crooked money changers and a bribe-compliant customs officer.
Employ Indonesian Workers First
Chairman of Bali Tourism Academy Says Foreign Workers are Robbing Career Opportunities from Qualified Indonesian Workers
(4/19/2013) The chairman of the Bali Tourism Academy (Sekolah Tinggi Pariwisata STP) in Nusa Dua, Dewa Gde Ngurah Byomantara, has called on tourism investors in Bali to stop recruiting foreign workers. Byomantara says the over supply of foreign workers in Bali is limiting work opportunities available to local workers.
Quoted in Beritabali.com, Byomantara said the quality of local tourism workers in Bali is internationally acknowledged. He said the rules intended to limit the use of expatriate workers were sufficiently strong, with only the implementation of those rules open to question.
Speaking at a job fair held at STP on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, Byomantara said: “I would like to take this opportunity to invite business to give opportunities to our children and other local workers who, if given the chance, can succeed. There is no need to keep importing foreign workers.”
Byomantara admitted that the employment of foreign workers was a two-edge sword. While the employment of foreigners reduces opportunities for Indonesian workers, at the same time the presence of foreign experts allows the transfer of their knowledge to local workers. Unfortunately, according to the tourism educator, not all foreign workers posses the skills required to train their Indonesian counterparts.
“Many of them are employed only a symbol and only contribute positively when it comes to marketing (Bali tourism) products in their own countries. Their ability to compete on other levels (with local workers) is less clear,” said Byomantara.
Neglect: The Worst Form of Child Abuse
2 Junior High Students Die and Death Toll Mounts as Bali Police Fail to Enforce Minimum Driving Age
(4/21/2013) A tragic road accident that has killed two teenagers and seriously injured three others has once again underlined the dire consequences for children and their devastated parents left behind when unlicensed children are allowed to drive on Bali’s roads.
As variously reported by Nusa Bali, Bali Post and Radar Bali - the tragedy unfolded when two trucks used for carrying soil and sand crashed into each other in Buanagiri Village, Karangasem on Friday, April 19, 2013.
The two trucks were climbing a hill when the brakes on the heavily loaded lead truck failed, sending it backwards and striking the second empty truck. Hurled backwards by the collission, the back of the second truck struck five motorcycles carrying six junior high school (SMP) students from SMPN3 Bebandem who were returning form a school briefing prior to the national testing scheduled for the following Monday.
Two students were crushed to death by the truck while four others were sent to hospital with head injuries, abrasions and broken bones.
News reports are unclear on whether the students were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.
Dead on the scene was a 14-year-old girl Ni Nengah Sudiani (one report listed her age as 16), while a second male student I Wayan Sulatra (15) died while being transported to the Denpasar’s General Hospital. The boy was briefly treated at the Karangasem Hospital for head injuries and a broken leg before doctors decided he needed to be sent to Denpasar for more expert care.
Another two students, Wayan Putu Durita (15) and Wayan Putu Juta (15), also suffered broken bones and severe head injuries and have been warded at Denpasar’s Sanglah General Hospital.
Meanwhile, another two casualties from the accident, Ni Luh Yuniasih (15) and I Wayan Oka (15) suffered less serous fractures and abrasions and are under the care of the Karangasem General Hospital.
Interviewed by DenPost, Luh Yuniasih said the accident occurred at 11:30 am when she was traveling with five fellow junior high students, returning on motorcycles from a pre-test briefing at her school. She was riding tandem on a motorbike with Nengah Sudiani who died in the mishap. She has little recollection of the accident other than the noise of the collision and being struck by the truck.
According to police, the first truck, laden with sand, was driven by Fitalis Wendi Minanonin (43), originally from Kupang. Wendi’s brakes failed and his truck rolled backwards down the hill striking a second empty truck driven by Wayan Bakti (33) of Manggis that was sent backwards by the collission into the path of the group of six students traveling on five motorcycles.
The driver of the first truck, Wendi, suffered head injuries and broken bones in the accident that left him pinned inside the crushed cab of his truck for an extended period. He is being warded at Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar.
The second driver, Wayan Bekti, suffered minor injuries and emotional shock in the accident.
Police have identified the driver of the first truck Fitalis Wendi Minanonin as a criminal suspect in the crash and he is expected to be eventually charged in the accident and the deaths.
It is not clear if the surviving students will be cited for driving without a license or their parental guardians for allowing children to operate vehicles on public highways.
The minimum age for the issuance of a driving license in Indonesia is 17 year.
An Offer You Can’t Refuse
Amanusa Celebrates Italian Food and Wine
(4/19/2013) One of Bali’s most iconic resorts will play host to the world’s favorite food destination this May in what is sure to be an event to excite lovers of stylish dining.
The venue is Amanusa’s Italian Restaurant that will resemble an operatic stage for the virtuoso performances of the Resort’s Chef Chau Doan, celebrated visiting Italian chef Diego Martinelli and the wines of the revered Umberto Cesari Wine House – in a series of culinary events taking place at the end of May 2013.
Born in Modena in northern-central Italy, Chef Diego Martinelli graduated from the I.A.L Institute of Culinary Arts in Serramazzoni, Modena. Having acquired considerable experience in Eu¬rope and the Middle East, he traveled to Asia to explore new challenges. After assignments as the Chef de Cuisine of the Bulgari in Bali and the Fullerton in Singapore, Chef Martinelli is now travelling the world creating regional Italian menus that will be available in Amanusa during the special promotion in May.
He is currently the international ambassador for Emilia Romagna’s regional food and wine.
Umberto Cesari Wine House
The wines of Cesari are internationally recognized for their excellence. Established in 1965 in the hills of Castel San Pietro, Umberto Cesari took over the vineyard from his father and the family tradition of turning the locally famous Sangiovese grape into an outstanding wine. Finely structured wines are the signature of the house, using classic techniques and modern technology, the house is now world famous for its production.
The heart of its production is finely structured wines obtained from local grape varieties that undergo an extended ageing process using modern technologies while respecting traditional techniques.
The five-day long event culminates with an invitation-only gala dinner event on June, preceded by four days of exquisite dining open to the public.
May 28-29, 2013
Emilia Romagna degustation dinner menu paired with Umberto Cesari’s wines served at Amanusa’s Italian Restaurant. The menu will feature regional produce from this area paired with wines from the same region. Price per person Rp 950,000++ (US$115).
May 30, 2013
An Afternoon featuring an unique wine and food tasting introduced by chef Diego Martinelli, who will join forces with winemaker Ricardo Cesari for an afternoon of food and wine.
Chef Martinelli will take ingredients from the region and transform them into simple, rustic dishes. Guests will sample the ingredients, the final dishes and the wines chosen to compliment each dish.
This is an “invitation only” event.
May 31, 2013
Midday: Bali Wine Club Luncheon, members and invited guests only.
Evening: An evening featuring a degustation menu created by Chef Martinelli and Amanusa’s chef Doan, will feature a menu of dishes created from the regional produce of Emilia Romagna paired with wines from Umberto Cesari’s award-winning wine house.
Price per person Rp 950,000++ (US$115).
June 1, 2013
A gala dinner to celebrate classic regional dishes paired with wines from the award-winning wine house of Umberto Cesari will feature five-courses carefully matched with the very best of the wine house’s selections.
Ricardo Cesari, the winemaker, will take guests on personal tour of the history of each vintage in this stunning culmination of a week of fine food and remarkable wines.
Bookings or invitations are essential for all events,
For information and bookings, contact [Email] or telephone ++62-(0)361-772333.
Illicit Channel for Illicit Drugs
Chilean Woman and Iranian Man Arrested at Bali’s Airport for Smuggling Drugs
(4/19/2013) Customs officials at Bali’s airport have arrested two foreign nationals, one from Chile and the other from Iran, trying to smuggle narcotics into Indonesia.
The head of the Director General of Customs and Excise for Bali and East and West Nusa Tenggara, Rohmat Subagio, told the State News Agency Antara that Chilean Maria Veronica Lama Fernandez was arrested concealing 22.27 grams of hashish in vagina.
Said Subagio on Friday, April 19, 2013: “We inspected her baggage and we searched her body, but found nothing. But because we were suspicious we sent her to a hospital for an x-ray and discovered the drugs hidden in her reproductive organs.”
Fernandez’s passport shows her place and date of birth as Recoleta, Santiago on October 27, 1960.
Fernandez was seen to be acting suspiciously when she disembarked Malaysian Airline MH-715 from Kuala Lumpur on April 17, 2013. The woman said her profession was in clothing sales.
Earlier, on April 7, 2013, Customs officials at Bali’s airport also arrested an Iranian, Anthony Simonian Kordolia Alexander, discovered to be carrying 6.8 grams of marijuana in his baggage.
The case files for both are now in the hands of Indonesian police and prosecutors.
Windfall or Wind Shear?
Lion Air to Pay Rp. 55 million to 101 Passengers on Plane that Crashed Near Bali’s Airport
(4/19/2013) Lion Air has confirmed that they will pay Rp. 55 million (US$5,500) to each of the 101 passengers on board its ill-fated Boeing 737-800 that did a water landing just short of the runway at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
As reported by The Jakarta Post, the Lion Air service manager Captain Daniel Putut said: “The company has allocated Rp 5.5 billion for all 101 passengers, meaning that each passenger will receive Rp 55 million.”
This amount also includes and compensation for lost or damaged luggage.
Passengers wishing to claim their compensation must present a valid identification document with actual payment to take several days thereafter.
It is not clear if the Rp. 55 million compensation is exclusive of medical costs, with some 52 passengers requiring hospitalization following the mishap.
Nearer Our God to Thee
Bali Governor Calls for Religious Rituals at Lion Air Crash Site to Cleanse Area and Restore Cosmic Balance
(4/19/2013) A traditional Bali-Hindu religious ceremony will soon be conducted close to the location where Lion Air Flight JT 904 crashed into the ocean in Bali on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
According to the State News Agency Antara, the ceremonies are dictated by local beliefs that religious rituals must be undertaken at locations wherever tragedies or calamities occur.
Bali’s governor, Made Mangku Pastika, while attending religious ceremonies in North Bali, declared his desire to undertake Hindu-Bali rituals in connection with the Lion Air crash site.
Explained Pastika, “(Bali’s) Religious Leaders have certainly thought about this (the ceremonies) because the belief of the people are especially strong in addressing the physical and metaphysical worlds, mandating that whenever a tragedy occurs rituals must be held .”
Local beliefs demand that balance be maintained between the physical and metaphysical in order to ensure peace and harmony be maintained between Bhuana Agung (macrocosm) and Bhuana Alit (microcosm).
Although no loss of life occurred in the mid-afternoon crash of the Lion Air aircraft, the Balinese believe that even when a near-tragedy occurs, the community is obligated to undertake ceremonies that will restore balance to the cosmos.
Because of this, Pastika has issued instructions to Hindu religious leaders in Bali for ceremonies to be held that will cleanse the crash scene of Lion Air JT903 on Segera Beach in Kuta.
Slaps on the Wrist
Two Bali Policemen Caught on Youtube Extorting a Dutch Journalist Receive Disciplinary Sanctions
(4/19/2013) The two Balinese traffic policemen disgraced before the world via Youtube extorting a Dutch journalist have been given disciplinary sanctions.
The Jakarta Globe quoted National Police spokesman, Agus Rianto, who said, “Second Inspector Komang Sarjana will get a longer detention [period] of 21 days in a special cell and Sergeant Major Putu Indra Jaya will be detained for 14 days.”
In addition to being caged at police headquarters in Bali, both men will be exempted from participating in educational programs for one year, which, together with their now blemished service records, will retard their future advancement through the ranks.
Both policemen also potentially face criminal charges for their involvement in corruption that carry maximum penalties of Rp. 1 billion (US$100,00) in fines and 20 years imprisonment. Continuing, Rianto explained: “For the time being, this is a disciplinary violation. But we’re still going to look into it. If we slap criminal charges, it’s going to take a while because we will have to look for van der Spek, who could already be in another country by now. That’s why we’re giving disciplinary [sanctions]. We will definitely impose criminal charges if criminal elements are met,”
The police contend that Kees van der Spek, who works for Dutch TV channel SBS6 and produced the now viral video clip would need to bear witness against the two policemen in order for the criminal charges to move forward.
This is however, legally problematic, as the video which also documents van der Spek offering and paying the bribes, which opens the possibility, endorsed in many quarters, of charging the Dutchman with corruption.
A series of three videos, viewable via the link below, show van der Spek paying bribes to the two policemen for failing to have a license and wearing a helmet; "glad handing" a customs officer for turning a blind eye to the importation of broadcast equipment; and being swindled by a number of Bali moneychangers.
© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.
Beware of Dutchman Bearing Cameras
Busy Dutch Undercover Journalist Files Damning Coverage of Bali Traffic Police, Money Changers and Customs Officials
(4/10/2013) Kees Van Der Spek, a Dutch investigative journalist, is at the center of growing controversy over three separate and very explosive videos now going viral– each depicting Bali's tourism industry in a most unfavorable light.
The first video that surfaced was apparently recorded several months ago at a busy traffic intersection in Kerobokan, Bali. Using concealed microphones and multiple hidden cameras, the Dutch journalist managed to capture a very amiable but no less corrupt traffic cop extorting Rp. 200,000 (US$20) for the journalists for his failure to wear the required helmet or bring a valid driving license.
The two Balinese policemen, later identified as 2nd Police Inspector Komang Sari and his assistant Brigadier Putu Indra Jaya, have been formally relieved from duty pending their processing through a complex legal and administrative review.
In the film, the unfailingly polite policeman Indra Jaya takes a bribe while engaging in a jocular conversation with the Dutchman, even treating the tourist to a cold beer caught on film and an invitation to drive for the rest of the day without a helmet or a license on “his street.
The spokesman for the Bali Police, Hariadi, confirmed to the State News Agency that the police caught on film are undoing investigation. Meanwhile, the head of the Badung Police Precinct where the two officers are assigned told the press that the film was made some five months ago
Police have confirmed that the policemen have been taken into custody in keeping with instructions issued by the Bali Chief of Police General Arif Wachyunadi.
As the corrupt policeman video was going viral, Van Der Spek launched a second video via YouTube this time documenting the thieving shenanigans and sleight-of-hand practiced at several corrupt moneychangers. Confronting moneychanger staff captured on film siphoning off a few bills, one of the shots shows a moneychanger demonstrating for the Dutchman how he steals currency notes - all filmed while he man stood in front of the official logo of the Association of the Foreign Exchange Dealers (APVA).
A third video, also recorded by Van Der Spek on a concealed camera at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, showed a uniformed officer receiving a fistful of currency via a handshake from Van Der Spek in order to speed the inspection process.
Upon hearing of the video made at Bali’s airport, the head of the Ngurah Rai Customs Office, Made Wijaya, told Beritabali.com that he immediately formed an investigative team to determine if his staff were involved in receiving corrupt payments, pledging to punish any customs officers proven to be involved in illegal acts.
Bali Tourism Responds
Ignoring that at least one of the moneychangers caught on film was a APVA member, the head of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Association of Tourism (GIPI-Bali), Ngurah Wijaya has told the press: ”We have repeatedly revealed to the government the actions of dishonest moneychangers, asking authorities to undertake sweeping actions against unlicensed money changers. It is those money changers that are unlicensed who have the potential to commit fraud.”
Wijaya did add that if the latest fraud took place at a licensed money changer the operation should be closed.
This Train, She's Bound for Glory, Well, this Train
Governor Claims Bali Rail System Has Endorsement of Hindu Religious Leaders
(4/19/2013) Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has said any reluctance to move ahead with a monorail transportation system for Bali has dissipated with official blessing now bestowed on the project by Hindu leaders in Bali.
Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, the governor said: “Thanks you to the sulinggih (Hindu religious leaders) who have laid the philosophical foundation for the monorail plan. There will certainly be many who do not agree and will be upset with this endorsement, but now that we have a philosophical foundation (for the monorail system), I have no fear to move ahead with this plan.”
The governor’s comments were made at a meeting held with religious leaders held in Denpasar on Monday, April 15, 2013.
At the gathering, Ida Pandita Empu Jaya Dangka Ramana Putra, a leading religious figure on the Island, said he agreed with plans by the provincial government to build a monorail as a means to provide more equitable access to the Island’s economy for all Balinese.
Pastika explained that plans to build a monorail system have been in the planning stage for more than two years, but have been prevented from moving forward due to cost issues.
“From an economic perspective based on the study conducted by PT Kereta Api Indonesia (State Railway), the project was labeled as ‘non-feasible’ because of its estimated cost. Earlier this year the Chinese Rail Company declared its interest in developing a monorail system, but there’s been no follow up from that meeting,” explained the Governor.
The Governor’s vision is that the proposed rail system will open up all areas of Bali for economic development, spread the economic benefits of the Island’s tourism development and reduce traffic congestion.
Ida Pandita Mpu Jaya Dangka Ramana Putra - speaking as a ’sulinggih’ or leading representative of the Hindu faith in Bali, told the press that island rail concept is in keeping with religious teachings. Said Pandita: “Hinduism knows the philosophy of ‘Bedawang Nala’ that champions balance in the world. ‘Bedawang Nala’ is symbolized by a turtle and a dragon representations that can be found on every 'padmasana' shrine. In connection with Bali, this concept can become the basis for creating balance between the various regions of Bali.”
Pandita said the monorail can play the role of the dragon that will bind Bali into a solid unit and provide stability to the Island. That stability will be the outcome of creating balance in every aspect of that word
© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.