Electing Not to Work
May 15, 2013 Declared a Public Holiday in Bali so the Balinese Can Get Out and Vote
The provincial government of Bali has declared that Election Day for Bali's next governor and deputy-governor, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, is an official holiday.
Confirmation of the “holiday” status is in accordance with a decree of the Minister of the Interior issued on April 29, 2013 and a circular announcement issued by the secretary for the Province of Bali issued on March 6, 2013.
The May 15th election will see the current governor Made Mangku Pastika and his running mate for deputy governor Ketut Sudikerta pitted again the current deputy governor AA Ngurah Puspayoga seeking the top post and his choice for deputy governor Dewa Nyoman Sukrawan.
A Great Way to Fly to Bali
Singapore Airlines Launches Surabaya Services and Increases Bali and Jakarta Flight Frequencies.
Starting in July 2013, Singapore Airlines (SIA) will significantly boost their Indonesian services from July, with the introduction of daily flights to Surabaya, and an increase in frequency to the capital Jakarta and the resort island of Bali.
From July 26, 2013, SIA will take over one of two daily Surabaya flights currently operated by regional subsidiary Silk Air. Surabaya is the second-largest city in Indonesia and the capital of East Java.
The Airline will operate 285-seat Airbus A330s for the daily Surabaya flights, increasing combined SIA and Silk Air capacity on the route by 48%.
Also on July 26, 2013, SIA will introduce a ninth daily service to Jakarta while simultaneously adding a fourth daily service to Denpasar (Bali).
SIA currently operates 56 weekly Jakarta flights – more than to any other destination in its network and 21 weekly Denpasar flights.
Silk Air – the SIA subsidiary – currently operates 60 weekly fights to nine Indonesian destinations, and in July and August will launch services to two more points, namely Semarang and Makassar.
“The Indonesian economy is growing and this has increased demand for both business and leisure travel,” said Ms Lee Wen Fen, SIA’s Acting Senior Vice President Marketing Planning.
Adding: “Indonesia is an especially important market for the SIA Group, as demonstrated by SIA’s new services to Surabaya, our additional flights to Bali and Jakarta, and Silk Air’s new services to Semarang and Makassar. These new flights will provide even more options to our customers for travel to and from Indonesia, as well as for travel beyond Singapore to the many other destinations in our global network.”
The Greening of Bali’s Airport
3,000 Trees Being Planted to Keep Bali’s Airport Green
Some 1,800 trees, mostly comprised of fast-growing Monkey-pod tree (trembesi/ Pithecellobium saman), have been planted in the vicinity of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.
The plantings, according to Kompas.com, are part of an overall planting program targeting 3,000 trees as part of the “greening” of Bali’s airport.
On Wednesday, May 8, 2013, the general manager of PT Angkasa Pura I at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, Purwanto, said, “Angkasa Pura is committed to make a contribution in protecting the natural environment.” The trees, according to planners, will make the airport greener and play a valuable role in absorbing carbon emissions.
The planting ceremony that was held on May 8, also included participation by members of the armed forces from the military, police, civil servants, students and members of the surrounding community. The date of the planting coincided with the 56th anniversary of Kodam IX/Udayana Military Command.
The Commanded of Kodam IX/Udayana Military Command, Major General Wisnu Bawa Tenaya welcomed the greening program being carried out at Bali’s airport.
Wisnu said that Ngurah Rai Airport represents the welcome gate of Bali and the rest of Indonesia.
Linguistically – Bali’s a Step Ahead
Bali Hotel Association Introduces Revolutionary Online Language Learning Program to Improve Guest Services
The Bali Hotels Association (BHA), a professional grouping of star-rated hotels in Bali representing more than 100 hotels containing more than 15,000 hotel room and employing some 30,000 employees, have engaged the services of Qooco © - a mobile-learning technology company to provide pioneering on-line language learning programs for hotel workers.
Initially, Qooco’s © online language program will be focused on improving the English and Mandarin language skills of hotel employees.
The training move is being undertaken by participating BHA members due to the rapid growth in Chinese arrivals to Bali. In 2010, Chinese tourist coming from the People’s Republic of China represented the second largest group of foreign visitors to the Island after Australia.
An online learning system easy accessible to all hotel staff, the Qooco © systems presents simulations of real life scenarios encountered by service staff allowing users to learn the vocabulary and dialogue necessary to handle specific situations in areas of food and beverage, kitchen, security, spa, housekeeping and front desk services.
Qooco’s state-of-the-art speech and analytics technologies instantly analyses and graphically illustrates the accuracy of tone and pronunciation, allowing for immediate feedback and live tuition. All lessons, conducted entirely online, are scored and tracked using data so that progress can be monitored over time – a particularly useful tool for management to identify problem areas and easily map the results of the program.
“At Qooco we believe in the potential that technology has to transform the way organizations train staff,” said David Topolewski, CEO at Qooco. “Mobile learning, also known as m-learning, offers cost effective training solutions with lessons that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and still provide immediate feedback. Language can only be mastered through frequent practice and Qooco’s ease of access and fun and engaging teaching methods will give staff and employees results that are measurable and effective.”
The Bali Hotels Association investment in language learning means that staffs are now able to communicate with guests in a more attentive and engaging way, positively enhancing the service experience.
“As an international destination, language is the first barrier that local talent has to overcome to deliver first-class service. It is also a skill that benefits from on-going practice and practical application. The BHA works with Qooco because it provides an easy and upgradable system that allows continuous learning at a personalized pace for every staff member and hotel.” said Alessandro Migliore, Chairman of the BHA.
The learning initiative between Qooco and BHA anticipates that several thousand users will benefit from the program this year.
Shown on Balidiscovery.com is Alexssandro Migliore, chairman of the Bali Hotels Associaiton.
Adjusting your TV’s Horizontal Hold
Bali Election Committee Punished Bali TV for Biased and Unbalanced Coverage of Provincial Elections
The Bali Broadcasting Commission (KPID-Bali) ordered the suspension of a news program – “Seputar Bali” on Bali TV for three days May 8-11, 2013 as a sanction imposed for biased and unbalanced coverage of the current governor’s electoral race.
The State News Agency Antara quotes the chairman of KPID-Bali, Komang Suarsana, who said on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, “We have decided to sanction (Bali TV) in a plenary sessions based on an analysis of the facts of the news broadcast, a letter of complaint, monitoring carried out by KPID and the application of the rules governing public broadcast.”
Suarsana said the sanction were given due to the contents of the program “Seputar Bali” which the commission deemed unbalance, specifically in its coverage of the vision and mission of the PDIP candidates for governor and deputy governor Puspayoga – Sukrawan. The subject programs was considered to have violated a benchmark for broadcast objectivity and the agreed 2012 standards for broadcast, specifically section 40 detailing the principles of journalism.
“The incident occurred in a public place, involved the public interest and influenced the political life to the extent that it became an important event in the eyes of the public who evaluate the news and consider it the obligation of the mass media, including broadcasters, to protect the sovereignty of the airways,” Suarsana explained.
He continued, explaining that the “Seputar Bali” program that exposed the “vision and mission” of Puspayoga – Sukrawan was unbalanced in failing to also include the vision and mission of their opponents Pastika – Sudikerta.
Suarsana continued: “Based on the principles of journalism, especially on the need to cover both sides of any story, both the media and reporters are obliged to broadcast news originating from both sides in the coverage of the vision and mission of the candidates for governor.”
In summary, KPID-Bali decided to sanction Bali TV – part of the Bali Post Media Group with a temporary suspension of broadcast rights for “Seputar Bali.”
In a subsequent development, the KPID Bali have now also confirmed that additional sanctions will be imposed on Bali TV, following what the Commission views as further violations of the standards for fair and balanced new coverage of the provincial elections.
As reported by Beritabali.com, the KPID-Bali chairman, Komang Suarsana has said additional sanctions are being considered for Bali TV who have broadcast additional news programs that are unbalanced and biased in coverage of the elections.
Commenting in Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), the news program editor of Bali TV, Dewi Tika, has accused the KPID of unfairness in the sanctions issued against the station.
In their defense, Bali TV have said that the “Seputar Bali” programs was, in fact, an advertorial exempting it from the need for balance and objectivity. Tika said advertising opportunities have also been offered to the opposing party, who has declined the opportunity.
Said Dewi “We are really disappointed about what the KPID has done. They are not independent anymore. Their decision is tainted by political interest.”
Stroke, Stride and Pedal on June 23rd in Bali
Course Improvement and New Challenges Await Record Number of Participants at 7th BIZNET Bali International Triathlon
In response to the growing popularity of the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon, organizers have introduced a number of innovations and new challenges for the record number of athletes expected to swim, cycles and run on the southernmost regions of Bali during the 7t edition of the event on June 23, 2013.
than 1,200 participants joining the Olympic Distance, Sprint Distance and 5-kilometer fun run will travel a new cycling route inside the Nusa Dua Complex, enjoy enhanced route security provided by a combined force of police and community members (pecalang), and traverse a totally separate running route past the Four Seasons Resort at Jumbaran Bay – up and down the road leading to the AYANA Resort and Spa, Bali.
Since the first race in 2007, the “Triathlon for the Soul” has enjoyed a steadily increasing number of participants each year. On target with a program of planned growth, organizers are confident that plans to attract 1,500 athletes by the year 2015 will more than materialize. To this end, discussion have commenced with local authorities on how Bali’s new toll way connecting Nusa Dua and Benoa can be incorporated in the 2014 running of the event providing a one-of-a- kind experience of racing over water during the 42-kilomter cycling component of the race.
As was the case in 2012, all three events will commence on the beach at the InterContinental Resort Bali. The Olympic distance triathlon starts with a swim of 1.5 kilometers at 7:00 a.m. followed by a 42-kilomter-bike race down the Ngurah Rai Bypass and ending with a 10-kilometer running race utilizing the new run route. The Sprint distance event, covering roughly half the distance of the Olympic event, will start approximately one-half-hour later at 7:30 a.m. Once the two-triathlon events are underway, the 5-kilometer road race will get underway down the beach and up “heartbreak hill” towards the AYANA Resort and Spa, Bali.
While the racers come and go from the nearby transition area, a morning-long Race Expo will be underway in the large beach side area generously provided by the InterContinental Bali Resort. Refreshments, live musical performances, free massages provide by Jari Menari and a bevy of booths operated by local businesses and non-governmental agencies will be in operation. Race commentators will provide real-time reports on the progress of the international field of athletes as they pass mid points and check stations on their way to the finish line.
Main sponsorship for the race is provided by BIZNET Networks - a leading telecommunication, fiber optic Internet and multimedia provider in Indonesia. The event, which has won numerous awards and honors for Bali, also enjoys widespread support from the local community, the Bali Hotels Association (BHA) and direct support from the AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, InterContinental Resort Bali, Four Seasons Resorts Bali and the newly opened Le Meridian Bali Resort Jimbaran.
Changes On The Race Course
To accommodate growing numbers of racers, a separate foot race course down the western shore of Jimbaran and a modified bike race route at Nusa Dua have been introduced for the 2013 event.
The formal opening of the new underpass at Simpang Siur in Kuta and Bali’s new Toll Way connecting Benoa-Ngurah Rai Airport-Nusa Dua are expected to reduce traffic congestion by providing alternate routes for vehicular traffic during the race. Meanwhile, changes in the bike course and the new running race route pass the Four Seasons and towards the AYANA Resort are expected to tangibly improve the race experience.
Sporting Icons Join The Race
This year’s race will also welcome a number of the biggest names in triathlon racing back to Bali.
Three-time Ironman champion and 2009 World Championship runner-up, Chris Lieto has confirmed participation for this year’s race. The American pro-athlete is also a founder of “More Than Sport,” an organization for leading athletes to give back to communities in which they compete. Overwhelmed by the needs he saw in the cities where he has raced, Lieto began “More Than Sport” as a way for athletes and supporters to take their passion and drive and unleash transformation through compassion and practical needs.
In 2013, through partnership with BIZNET Bali International Triathlon, Lieto and “More Than Sport” will work together with Bali Sports Foundation to benefit less privileged children in Bali, Papua and Eastern Indonesia through sporting activities.
Another iconic name that will again join the race in Jimbaran is Indonesian swimming legend Richard Sam Bera. Bera, a three-time Olympian and four-time All-American at Arizona State University, is now the editor-in-chief for a leading men’s lifestyle magazine. Bera’s love for the sport of triathlon traces back to his competitive swimming days, but he was only able at his retirement to focus on racing triathlons.
Richard Sam Bera has now competed in several triathlon races in the region and international competition as well, including some long distance triathlons. A great sport ambassador in Indonesia, he has contributed to grow the popularity of triathlon in the country.
Supports and New Partnerships
Support also come from returning sponsors such as Jenggala Keramik – a leading exporter of quality ceramic, will provide their custom-designed trophies for all winners; and Jari Menari, who will provide post-race massage to race participants. BIMC Hospital will again be standing by with their dedicated medical team to handle emergency medical assistance for the race.
Joining as new presenting sponsor for the 7th BIZNET Bali International Triathlon is Herbalife – the world’s leading company for managing nutrition and weight control.
2013 BIZNET Bali International Triathlon
Shop and Fly in Bali
Bids Awarded for Retail and Duty Free Space at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport
After a lengthy bidding process, PT Angkasa Pura I - the managers of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport have appointed Inti Dufree Promosindo (DFS-Indonesia) to operate the specialist retail stores at Bali’s renovated and expanded airport.
DFS-Indonesia is Indonesia’s largest duty free operator and has been partnered for over 20 years with the DFS Group – the world’s largest luxury travel retailer.
As reported by Moodie Reports, the agreement with DFS is for retail shop space, but not for Duty Free Shopping which has been awarded to Dufry. Dufry will operate seven shops occupying 2,200 square meters of space selling duty free perfumes, cosmetics, liquor, tobacco, confectionary and fine food.
Inti Dufree Promsoindo will retail luxury and premium items, including watches, jewelry, fashion accessories, sunglasses and destination merchandise.
The duty free concession in the international terminal has gone to Dufry International who will also operate a few duty-paid stores at the airport as well. Airside Dufy will operate another 1,700 square meters of space and a 500 square meter arrival shop split into three stores.
Meanwhile three food and beverage concessions for the newly renovated airport have been given to Bogajaya, Sumber Mas Utama and Taurus Gemilang. The dining and refreshment concessions have been granted for a period of five years.
Angkasa Pura I is a State-owned company managing 13 airports in Indonesia. In December 2012, Angkasa Pura singed a strategic collaboration with GVK Airports, an Indian company operating airports in Mumbai and Bangalore, to transform the shopping experience at Bali’s newly renovated airport.
GVK Vice Chairman GV Sanjay Reddy said: “The high level of participation by Indonesian and International companies in the international tender process and the outcome demonstrates the success of two major international airports companies collaborating with each other. We will now shift our attention to assisting Angkasa Pura I to enhance the level of service and income not only at Ngurah Rai International Airport but also at their other airports."
Budi Wong said: ”Inti Dufree Promosindo and DFS are extremely pleased to be awarded the retail store concessions and will work closely with Angkasa Pura I to achieve our common objective of creating one of the best airport shopping environments in Asia and to deliver a memorable customer experience for visitors to Bali, We will bring in a strong line-up of international brands covering the fashion, watches & jewellery, fashion accessories and sunglasses categories. Additionally a selection of merchandise capturing the heritage and craftsmanship of Bali and Indonesia will be high-lighted in the Bali Living store.”
Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran Officially Opens for Business
New 5-Star Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran Introducing French Savoir Faire and Conviviality to Island Holidays
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and the Indonesian company PT Tiara Raya Bali International formally debuted the new Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran at a gala grand opening party on Thursday, May 9, 2013.
The opening cocktail party commenced at 5:30 pm and included a jazz performance by the French group Nouvelle Vague, a batik fashion show by Mnda Rahardjo, a swimwear fashion show by Niconico Mare and a custom lighting show.
During the course of the evening gastronomique specialties were served by the Resort’s executive chef Paul Lewis.
Part of a year of unprecedented growth by Le Meridien, the Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran has 118 guests rooms and suites set around a spectacular water effect, The accommodation has interiors featuring batik accents and liquid art imagery by German artist Markus Reugels.
Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader for Le Meridien and Westin said: “Le Méridien is experiencing a year of significant growth. With a refined Le Méridien brand positioning focused on unlocking the destination and our best portfolio and performance levels ever, we are proud to return to Bali in such an ideal setting as the culturally-rich Jimbaran area," added Povinelli.
As part of Le Meridien’s re-entry to Bali, the Le Meridien Hub experience will redefine the lobby as a place of social gathering.
The new Resort presents four dining venues. The signature dining venue Bamboo Chic offering Pan-Asian cuisine and Balinese specialties; Smoqee Lounge and Sky Bar with drinks and evening aperitifs overlooking Jimbaran Bay; Latitude 8 serving wine, coffee and tapas at the hotel’s hub; and WALA specializing in gelato and gourmet coffees.
Speaking at the opening, Richard Wiriahardja, owner of the Resort said: “We are excited about our partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts to officially launch Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran We took Le Méridien brand’s vision of creativity to heart: arts in different mediums, designer furniture with stories to be told, and details in everyday objects that induce curiosity. We are pleased to welcome guests to explore our resort and the Jimbaran area,"
Malls as Malaise in Bali
New Mall in South Kuta, Bali Accused of Violating Zoning and Building Codes
According to Denpost, a new shopping mall being built in South Bali is raising questions, once again, as to whom, if anybody, is enforcing the zoning regulations and building codes.
The latest focus of public ire is the ongoing construction of what appears to be a new mall being erected across from the St. Fransikus Xaverius Catholic Church on Jalan Kartika Plaza in South Kuta.
Observers, including the adjoining Bakung Beach Cottage and Restaurant owner, I Nyoman Graha Wicaksana, are questioning if the new structure conforms to the maximum 15-meter height restriction in place under the 2009 RTRWP zoning law.
Graha complained to the press on Monday, May 6, 2013, that the new building is clearly taller than 15-meters. Because of this, he is calling on the government to enforce zoning and building laws.
Complained the hotel owner: “If this is not controlled, I am worried that it will have far-reaching effects. In addition to the negative impact on security, other projects will follow their negative example destroying Kuta for the people who work and live there.”
In a threatening tone, Graha warned: “If the government won’t take action (to enforce the law), the people will take independent action.” Graha, who also leads a Kuta community group, urged the regency’s government to undertake an inspection of the site, adding, “If the government won’t act, whom can we turn to?”
A similar warning was sounded by another Kuta leader, Nyoman Gede Aryana, who called for an end to granting new permits for malls in Kuta. Complaining the traffic congestion has become acute, Aryana questioned how can traffic be controlled if permits for new malls continued to be issued?
The Community Chief (Lurah) of Kuta, I Wayan Daryana, commented separately that he has received numerous similar complaints from his constituents. He said that these complaints had been forwarded to the relevant government agencies. He confirmed that a combined team for the regency had surveyed the new mall following complaints from local citizens that water mixed with sand was being pumped into drainage ditches creating floods in the surrounding areas.
In recent weeks a number of hotel building projects - all in seeming violation of zoning and building regulations - have been spotlighted in the local press.
Also adding fuel to the perception that the Regency has lost control of development is the fact that a hotel in Kuta is operating without a building permit, business license and standing in an area specifically prohibited for hotel operations.
Local officials appear impotent to close the blatantly illegal hotel down despite issue a number of warnings to the owner who local press depict as "politically connected."
A One-Sided Argument
PDIP Candidates for Governor and Deputy Governor Fail to Show at Final Public Debate in Bali
The last in a series of three public debates scheduled for Friday, May 10, 2013, between the gubernatorial tickets of Made Mangku Pastika-Ketut Sudikerta and AA Puspayoga and Dewa Sukrawan went ahead without the participation of the PDIP candidates.
The televised debate at the Aston Hotel in Denpasar changed from debate to an oration by the current governor and his running mater when Puspayoga and Sukrawan excused themselves, claiming they would prefer instead to pray.
The surprise non-appearance by Puspayoga-Sukrawan was announced to the Bali Election Commission (KPU-Bali) via a formal letter from their campaign team sent only one day prior to the scheduled debate.
A technical meeting held at the debate venue on Thursday also saw no representative of the PDIP ticket in attendance.
In an attempt to safeguard the debate process, previously agreed to by all parties, KPU-Bali immediately communicated with the Puspayoga-Sukrawan’s ticket urging that the original plan for the final debate be honored.
Ketut Sukawati Lanang Putra Perbawa, the chairman of KPU-Bali, explained to the press that the PDIP candidate had informed the Election Commission that they would be attending religious ceremonies instead of participating in the debate.
The secretary of the PDIP in Bali, Nyoman Adi Wiryatama, defended the decision saying that while the candidates honored the electoral process, a busy program of religious activities prevented their participation. Said Wiryatama: “We will be praying at a number of temples in Bali together with the campaign team. The debate is important, but this is an issue involving the Almighty.”
Wiryatama extended his apology to the KPU-Bali and Metro TV who were hosting the televised debate. Meanwhile, the secretariat general of the PDIP-Bali, Hasto Kristiano, provide more insights on the sudden cancellation that indicate "plans to pray rather than debate" may be, at best, a disingenuous explanation for the candidate's non-appearance.
Hasto outlined three principle reasons behind his candidate’s decision not to participate in the third debate - none of which mentioned prayer. First, according to Hasto, two debates have already been televised and the material covered was already sufficient for the public to consider. Secondly, because of the fast approaching election on May 15, 2013, Hasto feels the little time remaining be best used for developing harmony, peace and maintaining the conduciveness of the coming vote. Third, Hasto believes that the second debate held at The Grand Bali Beach Hotel in Sanur saw Pastika and his supporter become too emotional and the PDIP did not wish to see a repeat of “emotionalism” in a third debate.
As a result of the three reasons listed AA Puspayaoga and the PDIP party members purportedly decided a program of ritual and prayer was preferable to a third debate before the public.
As a result of the late decision by PDIP-Bali not to participate in the debate, Metro TV in Bali televised a “debate” in which AA Ngurah Puspayoga and Dewa Nyoman Sukrawan failed to appear, allowing governor Pastika and his running mate Sudikerta to have the stage to themselves for the entire program.
Pastika opened the televised program by outlining his plans for development if he is re-elected to the post of Governor for 2013-2018. Among the programs Governor Pastika desire to continue and expand in his next term is the Bali Mandara Medicare program, the integrated agricultural program, and the continuing repair of low-income housing.
One of the expert panelist selected to moderate the “debate” told the State News Agency Antara that in his experience as a panelist on political debates, the refusal of a candidate to attend a programmed debate was a "first" in Indonesian politics.
Bali Popular Destination for Jet Setters
More than 1,000 Private Aircraft Charters Visit Bali Each Year
Kompas.com quotes the general manager of PT. Angkasa Pura I, Purwanto, who confirms that Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport handles more than 1,000 charter flights every year, 60% of which originate from overseas.
PT. Angkasa Pura I is the State-owned company that manages Bali Airport.
Purwanto said: “Many (of these flights) come on charter flights due to the lack of an airline offering direct flights from the originating countries of the subject charters.”
Those arriving on charter flights are clearly from the upper economic classes. Many stay a short time in Bali due to prohibitions and limitations against keeping charter flights parked on an extended basis at the Bali Airport.
Hark! Save the Sharks
World Wildlife Fund Indonesia Calls for Boycott on the Consumption of Shark’s Fins and Shark Products
The World Wildlife Fund Indonesia (WWF-Indonesia) is asking the public not to consume sharks’ fins and other shark products via a campaign titled “SOSharks” or “Save Our Sharks.”
According to MetroTV News, WWF Indonesia have declared that sharks are an endangered species.
“Of the 400 species of sharks in the world, nearly 180 were considered to be endangered in 2010. This is a dramatic increase in comparison to 1996 when only 15 species of shark were considered endangered,” said Bycatch Coordinator at WWF Indonesia Ahmad Hafizh Adyas in Jakarta on April 10, 2013.
Hafizh also quoted data from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) that depicts Indonesia as among the top 20 nations harvesting sharks form the oceans.
The FAO estimates that 100 million sharks are killed each year by man.
WWF Indonesia hopes that the Save Our Sharks campaign will help end the trade of shark fins and other products in supermarkets, shops, hotels and restaurants in Indonesia - seen as a necessary step to preserving the shark population.
Bali has a number of shops – many catering to Chinese visitors – selling shark fin products. A number of Chinese restaurants in Bali also continue to serve shark’s fin on their menu.
An Underground Movement in Bali
Trial Lane of Traffic Opens at New Simpang Siur Underpass in Bali
Although only set for formal opening and operations in June 2013, a single lane of traffic opened at Bali’s new Simpang Siur Underpass in Bali on Wednesday, May 8. 2013.
The projects executive officer told the local press that a one-way lane of traffic connecting Tuban and the Sunset Road is now open, with the lane in the opposite direction expected only to come on line when the President declares the road formally open in mid-June.
The tunnel project is the first underground traffic road built in Bali. The Underpass and a new suspended toll-way connecting Benoa – the Ngurah Rai Airport and Nusa Dua will both be formally opened in June as part of infrastructure preparations for the APEC Summit to take place in Bali in late 2013.
Power Hungry Java and Bali
Power Consumption on Java and Bali Power Grid at All Time High
Electrical consumption on the Islands of Bali and Java hit a new record-high on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 6:00 pm with the Java-Bali power grid recorded 21,968 megawatts of power consumption.
Seputarbali.com quotes the Senior Manager of corporate power consumption at the State Power Board (PT PLN), Bambang Dwiyanto, who said the new record represents an increase of 731 megawatts or around 3.4% form a record level of consumption recorded on October 15, 2013.
67% of the added power demand was attributed to increased power demands in Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java and Bali.
The remaining 33% of additional power was attributed to electrical demand in West Java, Jakarta and Banten.
The current total carrying capacity of power on the Java-Bali power grid is 24,000 megawatts.
The Night is a Lonely Hunter
North Kuta and Canggu Now Viewed as a ‘Red Zone’ for Burglaries and Robberies. Police Vow Better Security
The Badung Police Sector remains unable to take significant steps to improve security in North Kuta and Canggu – an area now labeled by DenPost as a “Red Zone.”
The many cases of robberies and burglary of villas include three major cases involving foreign visitors or residents that remain unsolved.
Paul Douglas Gill, an Australian, was stabbed repeatedly by an intruder at Villa Chloe on Jalan Pantai Berawa, Gang Bisma on January 4, 2013. In that attack, Gill sustained stabbing wounds to his neck, shoulder, face and back.
Also unsolved is the robbery of Leylani Taylor (28) who reports she was raped and robbed at Villa Damais on Jalan Bumbak in North Kuta on April 27, 2013.
On Saturday, May 4, 2013, a Canadian Man, identified only as Peter, was robbed at knifepoint in a villa on Jalan Tegal Cupek, North Kuta.
Burglaries at villas located in North Kuta numbered 13 in March 2013, including:
A Columbian Numa Hontus who lost more than US$10,000 in personal belongings while staying at Villa Sunyl on Jalan Umalas.
Trent Nathan Tighe of Australia staying at The Padi House on Jalan Danau Batur, Gang Mangga, Tibubeneng on March 9, 2013 who reported a loss of US$10,000 in personal property.
Richard John Smith of the U.K. suffered US$8,000 is losses while staying at a villa on Jalan Mutiara.
Steffan Seaton of Sweden suffered unspecified losses in person belongings while staying at Villa Nadia on Jalan Petitenget in North Kuta.
Marcelo of Brazil was robbed while staying at a villa on Jalan Pura Warung in Canggu.
John Daniel Schroeder of the U.S.A. told police his possessions were stolen from his place of residence at the Baliku Complex on Jalan Raya Semer, Kerobokan.
Maxim Kim of Russia was robbed during a stay at a villa on Jalan Bumbak Dauh, North Kuta.
On Monday, May 6, 2013, a spokesman for the Bali Police, Hariadi, assured the press that the police continue to innovate in their efforts to safeguard local neighborhoods. The police have extended a special status to North Kuta and are now dedicating extra resources to reduce crime in the area.
Meanwhile, the police report that statistics maintained by their office show a definite increase in crime during the first quarter of 2013. Increases in crime have fallen into three categories: grand larceny, armed robbery and robbery using a motorcycle.
Bali as a Waypoint for Illegal Immigrants
Bali Police and Immigration Officers Arrest 42 Illegal Iranian Immigrants
Bali enforcement officers, working in two locations, have arrested 42 illegal immigrants of Iranian descent. The Iranians were believed to be preparing to soon depart for Australia.
According to Beritabali.com, combined forces from the Bali police and immigration office arrested the 42 people in two locations. 27 were apprehended in Kerobokan near Kuta while another 15 were captured in Sanur – both in the southern regency of Badung.
An immigration spokesman on Saturday, May 11, 2013, confirmed to the press that all 24 Iranians had entered Indonesia via the Soekarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta.
The Iranian are now being held at the immigration detention center in Jimbaran. Authorities are seeking to trace the syndicate that facilitated the group’s movement to Bali.
Indonesia: Pretty as a Picture
Garuda Indonesia World Photo Contest - Entries through July 28, 2013
The national air carrier Garuda Indonesia is currently hosting an international photography exhibition – Garuda Indonesia World Photo Contest 2013 (GAWPC-2013) targeted to attract 15,000 images submitted by 10,000 photographers from 45 countries.
est has adopted the theme of “My Enchanting Town” and runs from May 1 until July 28, 2013.
Quoted by Bisnis.com, the vice-president of marketing for Garuda Indonesia, Amelia Nasution, confirmed that the 2013 event represents part of a continuing program first launched by the Indonesian airline in 2007.
Said Nasution: “This year the contest will hopefully attract 15,000 photos and 10,000 participant hailing from 45 countries. Last year, the contest attracted 12,500 pictures and 6,000 participants from 43 countries.”
Continuing, Nasution said: “In keeping with the service concept of ‘Garuda Indonesia Experience’ this event seeks to further explore the richness of Indonesian culture.”
The contest encourages participants to send their best photos depicting nature, culture and the people of Indonesia to the [Official GAWP Website].
Visit the website for the full set of contest rules and to view a gallery of outstanding images submitted by entrants.
There are four rounds of judging leading to a final in which 15 finalists will be invited to Medan, North Sumatra for a competitive photo shoot.
Total prizes are worth US$10,000, plus trophies, other prizes and round trip tickets on Garuda Indonesia.
The team of distinguished international photographers will evaluate the entries. Included among the panel of judges is Tom Hunter (U.K.), Michael Hudson (Australia), Ryp Phwada (Japan), Raphael Olivier (France), Aaron Frienberg (U.S.A.), Budhi Ipoeng (Indonesia) and Arbain Rambey (Indonesia).
Bali Developing as Eastern Hub for Garuda Indonesia
Garuda Indonesia Opens Bali Crew Center
Garuda Indonesia has opened a crew center in Denpasar, Bali as part of the operation of Denpasar as an international hub for the national flag carrier.
The CEO of Garuda Indonesia, Emirsyah Satar, told Bisnis.com that the crew center has been established as a base for crew preparing themselves for their next flight. At the Center, crew can check flight assignments, get flight briefings, and prepare flight documentation.
Satar said the Denpasar facility is the first crew center located outside of Jakarta and is located in a shopping center some 15 minutes away from the Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Speaking to the press, Satar said: “At this time, Garuda Indonesia have placed 170 cabin crew in Bali, a number that will become 300 cabin crew by the end of this year. The basing of cabin crew in Bali will reach 500 personnel by 2015 to keep up with flight frequencies to and from Bali.”
The crew center covers an area of 611.3 square meters and includes a reception area, a crew dispatch center, briefing room, meeting room, cabin crew luggage room and a crew transport room.
Garuda also has future plans to open additional crew centers in Makassar and Medan.
The Garuda Indonesia hub in Denpasar, Bali services flights to Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and a number of domestic destinations.
And Take Me Koala Back, Jack
Bali Tour Agents Team Up to Secure Australian Market
The Bali Chapter of Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents – (ASITA-Bali) has formed a committee focused on the Australian market.
The chairman of ASITA-Bali, Ketut Ardana, said that the formation of the Australian Marketing Committee is targeted to help Bali maintain its current market share and potentially increase the number of Australians coming to the Island.
Saying many Australians view Bali as “their second home,” Ardana said Bali benefits from its close proximity to Australia and the value-for-money of a Balinese holiday.
Australians represent the largest inbound market of foreign tourists to Bali. While growth numbers of tourists from Australia are beginning to slow, ASITA-Bali views such fluctuations as normal with Bali still very strong as a location for repeat visitors from Australia. In ASITA's View, armed with a strong currency, it is only normal that Australians will use the opportunity to travel further afield on their holidays.
At the same time, ASITA-Bali accepts that it must become more creative in managing the Australian market by creating travel packages aimed specifically at the Australians.
Nobody Wants to be Watanabe
Japanese Tourist Gets Five Months Prison for Possessing Less than 1 Gram of Marijuana
A 35-year-old Japanese tourist, Watanabe Sinishi, had been sentenced to 5 months prison after being convicted for possessing 0.72 grams of marijuana when he was arrested at a Kuta, Bali night spot.
The sentence was handed down by the court on May 7, 2013 in the Denpasar District Court and was less than the nine months sought by State prosecutors.
Kompas.com reported that the chief presiding judge Cening Budiana found the Japanese shop owner guilty of breaking the anti-narcotics laws of Indonesia.
In meting out the lighter sentence, the judge found that the man had remained polite throughout the trial process and given straightforward answers to all question put to him during the proceedings.
Upon hearing the court’s ruling, the Japanese man and his lawyer signaled their acceptance of the verdict, while prosecutors have a set period to consider whether or not to appeal the decision and seek a heavier sentence.
Watanabe was arrested on December 23, 2013 when narcotics officers conducted sweeps of a number of nightspots, finding the 0.72 grams of drugs in his backpack. Held in detention since that date, the sentence given by the judge, if not challenged by prosecutors, will mean that the man would be imminently released from detention and allowed to return to his home country.
Women and Children First
Sudden Surge in Bali HIV/AIDS Cases Linked to Lack of Knowledge on How Disease is Spread
The Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports an alarming increase in the number or new HIV/AIDS cases being reported in Bali, with at least 100 new cases emerging every month, a doubling over the 50 new monthly cases reported in 2012.
The head of the Bali Health Agency, Ketut Suarjaya, confirmed that through April 2013 the total number of people in Bali suffering from HIV/AIDS in Bali was put at 7,400. This was a jump of 300 from the 7,100 cases recorded in December 2013.
Suarjaya cited ignorance as the leading cause of the spread of HIV/AIDS in Bali with most ignoring the need to use condoms. He also reports that 70% of sexually transmitted disease in Bali is spread via heterosexual contact.
Number of new HIV/AIDS cases is skyrocketing among poor, rural housewives – especially among pregnant women. This, in turn, opens the possibility that more babies being born with the disease.
Health experts suspect that husbands who are sexually unfaithful are to blame for infecting the impoverished, rural women. Also to blame is the poor understanding or reluctance to adopt safer sex practice among Bali’s commercial sex workers.
There are an estimated 3,000 commercial sex workers in Bali, 20% of who are presumed to be HIV positive. It is also estimated that there are around 80,000 commercial sex transactions taking place each month in Bali.
Half a Decade to Think it Over
German Martin Robert Moller Given Five Years in a Bali Prison for Smuggling 287 Grams of Hashish
A German national, Martin Robert Moller (42), has been sent to prison in Bali for 5 years and ordered to pay a US$100,000 fine after being found guilty of trying to smuggle 287 grams of hashish. Failure to pay the fine will result in an additional three months of prison being tacked on to the man’s prison sentence.
The Denpasar District Court handed Moller the sentence on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, - a punishment slightly less than the 5.5 years sought by State Prosecutors.
The maximum sentence that could have been imposed in the crime was 15 years.
Moller was arrested on December 14, 2013, off a Thai Airways Flight from Bangkok when 22 capsules of hashish were discovered hidden in his stomach.
Police estimate the street value of the drugs is Rp. 172 million (US$17,200).
Moller has accepted his sentence, indicating he will not appeal the court’s decision.
Out to Vote. Out in Force
Extra Police and Military Force on Alert During Bali May 15 Vote for Governor
The Bali Police will receive supplemental support from the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta in maintaining public order and peace during the May 15, 2013 election of Bali’s governor for the period 2013-2018.
Tempo.co quotes Bali’s Chief of Police, Inspector General Arif Wachyunadi who said on Saturday, May 11, 2013, “There will be 300 personnel from National Police Headquarters to help with the security of the gubernatorial election.”
The additional police will strengthen the presence of the Bali police who must also still attend to routine duties during the election period.
Vowing to keep the election process peaceful, the Bali police will deploy 8,082 officers or two-thirds of the entire complement of police assigned in Bali.
Indonesian Armed forces and community members will also be assisting the police in maintaining security.
The head of Bali’s Kodam IX – Udayana Military Command, Major General Wisnu Bawa Tenaya said all his soldiers would be ready to help keep the peace, saying, ”We will deploy all our battalions.”
Slow Boats to Freedom
Recent Arrests Prove Bali’s Role as Way Station for Illicit Human Traffic from Middle East to Australia
Following the apprehension of 42 Iranian illegal immigrants in Bali in Kerobokan and Sanur, the Bali Water police have taken into custody a further 100 people of Middle Eastern origin on a wooden boat sailing a short distance off Bali’s southernmost port of Benoa.
This arrest of the 100 illegal immigrants on Sunday, May 12, 2013, added to the 42 arrests made just days earlier, underline the role of Bali and Indonesia as a way station for those seeking to illegally immigrate into Australian territory.
The director of the Bali Water Police, Tumbuh Musyareh, said on Sunday, May 12, 2013, “Earlier, during a routine territorial patrol, we encountered a suspicious ship.” When police boarded the ship and found its documents incomplete they escorted the ship to shore where a further inspection found the more than 100 illegal immigrants sheltering below deck.
Tumbuh said that when the ship’s passengers were taken into custody many appeared to be weak and in a state of shock, making it difficult for police to collect personal details. “The total number of people is more than 100; we are still surveying the passengers so we can hand the people over the Human Smuggling Team at Bali’s Police Headquarters,” explained Tumbuh.
Keeping Promises Made to Bali
Editorial: With Bali's New Benoa-Ngurah Rai-Nusa Dua Toll Way Nearing Completion, It's Time to Keep Promises to Restore Bottom Lands and Protect Mangrove Areas
The President of Indonesia is scheduled to come to Bali in mid-June to formally inaugurate two important new infrastructure projects. President Yudhoyono will preside over the opening of the new Simpang Siur Underpass Interchange in Kuta and the opening of a magnificent new toll way suspended over coastal waters connecting Sanur to the Southern tip of the Island.
Both projects are being completed in record time and are certain to help reduce traffic congestion in Bali and improve the daily experience of both Island visitors and residents. With the inauguration of the two projects there now exists a hope that bottlenecks at the Simpang Siur intersection will become a thing of the past and the one-hour or more drive from Sanur to Nusa Dua will be reduced to only 10-15 minutes.
Amidst these bright prospects of less traffic congestion, we’d like to pause briefly and remind PT Jasa Marga – the company building and supervising the new toll road, of a critical promise they made to the people of Bali.
The original environmental impact study undertaken before the toll way project commenced openly acknowledged the importance of protecting the large mangrove forest area that skirts the shore line under and surrounding the elevated road way. Accordingly, pledges were made to take extraordinary measure and use floating pontoons to install “minimally invasive” pylons that will raise the roadway above the mangrove, allowing the natural ebb and flow of tides, wild life and sea life to go on unimpeded.
Engineering miscalculations, however, underestimated the difficulty of keeping the promise to use floating pontoons, causing the project to resort to using landfill to construct access roads under the path of the roadway.
This change in construction method prompted Friends of the Earth-Bali (WALHI) to scream “foul” – claiming the road project’s failure to stick with the original construction plan was causing massive, possibly irrevocable, damage to an eco-system that plays a central role in the propagation of sea life and in protecting Bali from tidal surges.
When the temporary access roadways were built, WAHLI sent letters of protest to the project managers and Bali’s governor, asking the project be halted until protections could be put in place that would ensure the protection and sustainability of the nearby mangrove forest.
PT Jasa Marga responded to the protests issuing public assurances that all the temporary roads used in the construction of the highway would be completely removed and the natural state of the mangrove restored.
We take this opportunity to remind PT Jasa Marga of the promises they made and the need to spare no expense in protecting mangrove and Bali’s environment.
At the same time, we also call on Bali’s Governor and the Republic’s President to steadfastly refuse to participate in any formal inauguration of the new project until they personally inspect the area and confirmed that PT Jasa Marga has honored its pledge to the people of Bali and the Island's future generations by removing all the roads beneath the new toll way.
Does the deadline need to be so absolutely enforced? We think so.
Absolute promises made not to strangle the mangrove by building access roads were broken early in the building process. Therefore, now is the time for the project’s manager to demonstrate good faith and do all possible to set things right, even if that entails delaying the opening of the road.
Linking the operation of the highway to the removal of the access roads will also serve as an added incentive for the roadway’s investors to waste no time in keeping promises made to both the mangrove and the people of Bali.
The need to preserve this precious island's environment should never be assigned a less than fundamental priority.