Bali News Update Week 32.

 

Take Good Care of My Heart

Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital Opens a Coordinated Cardiac Care Center

 

Bali News: Take Good Care of My Heart

(8/10/2013) Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital has opened coordinated coronary care unit, located strategically adjacent to the hospitals emergency room.

 

The head of the coronary unit at Sanglah General Hospital, Dr. I Wayan Wita, explained tat patients served by his center are admitted only on a referral basis. Members of the public who think they may be suffering a cardiac event should first go to the emergency room for initial assessment and, if need be, they will be referredl to the cardiac center right next door. “If people are having chest pain,” explained Dr. Wita, “this can usually be handled in the emergency room.”

 

Plans call for the coronary surgery and coronary catheterization unit to be move to the coronary center.

 

Also soon to be opened at Sanglah General Hospital is a helipad. Construction has been completed on the helicopter pad that only requires a few final alterations to permit licensing of the landing area by Indonesian aviation authorities.

 

Hospital officials say the upgrades of Sanglah General Hospital reflect the international certification of the facility and the need to be able to handle any emergencies that might arise during international conferences. such as the APEC Summit in October 2013.

 

 

The Need for a Hard-Headed Approach

Editorial: Bali Update Appeals to Bali’s Governor and Badung's Regent to Require Motorcyclists to Wear Helmets on Bali’s New Toll Way

 

Bali News: The Need for a Hard-Headed Approach

(8/10/2013) Bali has traffic rules. Really, it does

 

While many Bali visitors who have experienced the havoc and free-for-all that characterize Bali’s roadways, rules actually do exist – albeit they are often ignored.

 

While foreigners and locals spend a great deal of time complaining about drivers in Bali, we are not so naïve as to think that instilling common courtesy and respect for traffic rules is likely to happen on any widespread basis anytime in the near future.

 

At the same time, we do have a simple suggestion for Governor Made Mangku Pastika and the Regent of Badung A.A. Gde Agung that will definitely save lives and begin a slow movement to better road discipline.

 

Quite simply: Enforce the current law on the requirement to wear safety helmets while driving a motorcycle by refusing entry to the soon-to-open Bali toll way to any motorcyclist or motorcycle passenger arriving at a toll booth without the mandatory helmet.

 

No compromise. No warnings. No helmet means absolutely no entry to the toll way.

 

Camera’s already in operation would ensure compliance with the law. Tollbooth operators letting anyone enter on a motorcycle without a helmet would get a formal written warning. Three warnings and, in accordance with Indonesian labor law, the tollbooth attendant gets fired. The desire to remain gainfully employed would soon guarantee helmets would be worn by motorcyclists and their pillion riders whenever travelling on the new toll way.

 

The impact of such zero-tolerance enforcement of the helmet rule could have a significant impact on road safety in Bali while also saving many lives.

 

Such a program, if successfully enforced, could be extended over time to also include the BTDC – Nusa Dua Complex and the Ngurah Rai International Airport. Workers trying to enter Nusa Dua or the Airlport without a helmet, would be told to park their motorcycles outside and walk the remaining distance if they are unable show a crash helmet firmly  affixed to their heads.

 

Dear Pak Pastika and Pak Agung, a simple written reminder to PT Jasa Marga Bali – the operators of the toll way is all that’s really needed to make this work. The law already exists, all we need is a little political will coming from your respective offices to start saving lives on the very first day the new toll way opens.

 

How to Obtain a Balinese Smile

BIMC Hospital Dental Center Provides World Class Care at Affordable Prices.

 

Bali News: How to Obtain a Balinese Smile

(8/10/2013)  In keeping with it goal to develop medical tourism for the Island of Bali, The BIMC Hospital now not only offers an outstanding level of emergency and in-patient care, but also provide a cosmetic procedure center and a separate dental center from its Nusa Dua facility.

 

The BIMC Dental Center

 

The BIMC Dental Center offers locals and visitors a very highest standard of dental care at affordable prices.

 

As a result, an increasing number of overseas visitors are taking advantage of the affordable care on offer at The BIMC Hospital and scheduling  as part of a Bali holiday dental check-ups; scaling and cleanings; restorative treatments - such as fillings, crowns and bridges; and complex oral surgeries and dental implants.

 

State-of-the-art equipment and internationally trained dentists and dental technicians provide extractions, endodontic treatments, crowns, bridges, partial and full dentures and implants are all expertly handled with a minimum of fuss in a 21st Century clinical setting.

 

Foreign visitors, many from Australia, are delighted to receive dental cleanings and the removal of plaque and stains starting from Rp. 500,000 (US$50)and full denture for only Rp. 6 million (US$600).

 

A complete range of services and prices are available at [BIMC Hospital Dental Center] 

 

For more information telephone +62-(0)361-3000911.

 

Peek-A-Boo

After Long Delay, Police Begin Part-Time Operation of US$5.8 million in X-ray Surveillance Equipment at Bali’s Two Main Seaports

 

Bali News: Peek-A-Boo

(8/10/2013) New details are emerging on the long delay of putting into full operation US$5.6 million in X-ray equipment designated to inspect vehicles arriving at the Bali seaports of Gilimanuk and Padang Bai.

 

The Bali Post quotes Bali Police Chief General Arief Wachyunadi who claims that after some six months sitting idle in shipping crates, the X-ray machines are finally being operated at the two ports on an intermittent basis.

 

Speaking on August 6, 2013, General Wachyunadi said: “The X-ray equipment is now operating, both in Gilimanuk and Padang Bai. The operational costs are being borne by the provincial police.”

 

The Chief of Police said the grant that supplied the x-ray machines made no allowance for upkeep and ongoingoperating costs. What’s more, Wachyunadi says, the cost of running the machines is very high requiring the use of expensive top-quality fuel. Because of this, these high costs must be found from limited operational funds available to the police.

 

In order to reduce these costs, the x-ray machines are not turned on a daily basis, but only during peak traffic periods such as the current Lebaran crush of holiday travelers.

 

Requests have been made in the 2014 State Budget to pay the operation costs of the X-rays that will permit their full-time use at the two ports.

 

The Road Less Traveled

Trial Operations of Bali Toll Way to Go Ahead, But Presidential Inauguration on August 14th May be Postponed

 

Bali News: The Road Less Traveled 

(8/10/2013) The inauguration of Bali’s news over-water toll way connecting Benoa and Nusa Dua originally planned for August 14, 2013, may be delayed because of conflicts with the official schedule of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

 

NusaBali quotes Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika who announced that despite the fact that August 14, 2013, was chosen as a propitious date on the Balinese calendar and is a date that also coincides with founding of the Province of Bali, it may nonetheless be necessary to delay the inauguration due to a full program of other commitments in Jakarta for the Indonesian president.

 

Any postponement in the official inauguration should not necessarily, however, delay a full month of trial operation planned for the roadway.

 

The exact date when the toll way will be opened for trial traffic operations remains unclear.

 

Demonstrations Planned to Disrupt Toll Inauguration ?

 

It is unclear what, if any, connection the delayed inaugurationby the President has with rumored threats of demonstrations by environmental groups aiming to disrupt the President’s appearance for the highway's opening.

 

Separately, NusaBali had earlier reported that rumors were afoot that those opposed to reclamation plans for Benoa Bay would use the President’s appearance to increase pressure for a cancellation of a decree issued by the Governor on favoring the reclamation project’s developers.

 

There’s a Summer Place

Summer Cho Joins Westin Resort Nusa Dua as Director of Sales and Marketing

 

Bali News: There’s a Summer Place

(8/10/2013)

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali has recently appointed Summer Cho as director of sales & marketing. He replaces Jason Leung who was promoted to the position of hotel manager. 

 

Summer is a seasoned professional, highly respected in South Korea’s evolving hospitality industry.  He brings a wealth of experience to his new role having specialized exclusively in the areas of sales & marketing and revenue management for the past 15 years.  

 

A graduate from Korea’s Kyungwon University with a BA in Tourism Management, Summer’s first job was with Club Med in Phuket and Bintang. Later, Summer secured a position with The Westin Chosun Seoul as room & catering sales manager, promoted after a period to revenue manager.  

 

A return to his native South Koreas saw Summer serve as senior sales manager for Park Hyatt Seoul and then as director of sales & revenue management at The Ritz-Carlton Seoul. 

 

For the past three years Summer was the director of sales & marketing for the Sheraton Incheon Hotel. This was a pre-opening role whereby that saw him develop he was marketing strategies to position the property at opening. 

 

Summer’s arrival coincides with a multi-million dollar revitalization project and the imminent launch of brand initiatives by The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali. These include Westin Heavenly Spa, Prego - a Westin-themed restaurant and an entire wing of new rooms. 

 

A Place to Set the Jet Set's Jets

Bali Airport Certain They Can Handle Parking Requirements for VVIP Private Jets Coming to Bali for APEC Conference in October 2013

 

Bali News: A Place to Set the Jet Set's Jets

(8/10/2013) The State News Agency Antara reports that Bali’s renovated Ngurah Rai International Airport will be able to accommodate all the large number of VVIP private jets expected in Bali for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) set to be held during the first week of October 2013.

 

The Commander of the Denpasar Air Force Wing headquartered at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Colonel Sugiharto Prapto Waluyo, said, “All VVIP aircraft, in accordance with Presidential instructions, must be parked at Ngurah Rai Airport.”

 

Organizers in Bali now have 19 delegations registered as bringing private aircraft to Bali to attend the summit.

 

Waluyo said the VVIP aircraft will be parked in Bali due to the expansion of apron areas now underway that include parking for 14 narrow-body airplanes.

 

Some delegations, including the U.S. president, travel in wide-body jumbo aircraft. The larger aircraft will be parked at the north end of the airport.

 

You Lift Me Up

Hard Rock Hotel Bali and Sole Men Raise US$30,300 to Re-house To Two Bali Families and Seven Badly Disabled Children

 

Bali News: You Lift Me Up

(8/10/2013)

Two underprivileged and severely disadvantaged families in Bali have a better chance at a peaceful life now following a two-night charity befit organized by the Indonesian Sole Men Foundation and Hard Rock Hotel Bali.

 

The two nights of music on July 27 – 28, 2013, at the Hard Rock Hotel, saw all proceeds donated to the urgent care and rescue of the two Denpasar families caring for seven severely disabled children who, prior to Sole Men’s intervention, spent their days lying helpless on floor of a simple hovel.

 

Performances by Navicula, German Dmitriev, Goldvoice, Superman is Dead, Nosstress and Garden Grove were fundamental in raising US$30,300 that will now be used to provide new housing, medical therapies for the children and medical support.

 

Quoted by Bali Daily, Robert Epstone of Sole Men said: “The families’ ongoing needs will now be supported, as well as the formal education which we had already arranged for the unaffected able-bodied children. They will be continuing the three-times per week therapy sessions, which we started five weeks ago.” 

 

The family will soon move from their present shack to two, wheel-chair friendly modular recycled plastic houses that are maintenance-free, non toxic, earthquake-proof and extremely long-lasting.

 

The recycled house were donated by Global Nev Futureshapes (NFS) Pty.

 

Overjoyed at the success of the fund-raising project, Epston said that once the families are in their new home, they will be taught how to grow fruit and vegetables, and cultivate chilies and bamboo. Plans are afoot to teach the family how to make handicrafts that can provide an income stream for the family.

 

The seven children suffer from a degenerative disease that causes limbs to painfully constrict.

 

Sole Men continues it active program of fundraising on behalf of Balinese children and the alleviation of poverty.

 

Planning is underway for another event, to be held in early October 2013.

 

Tripping the Light Fantastic

Nyoman Sura – Bali’s Internationally Renowned Contemporary Dancer and Choreographer Dead at 37.

 

Bali News: Tripping the Light Fantastic

(8/10/2013) On Friday, August 9, 2013, Bali lost one of its most treasured performers with the death of I Nyoman Sura, a man considered a star of contemporary dance not only in Indonesia, but internationally as well.

 

Sura, aged 37, died in a Denpasar hospital after being hospitalized for a number of days. MetroTV reported the cause of death as pancreatic cancer

 

I Nyoman Sura was born in the Denpasar suburb of Kesiman on April 10, 1976, into a family supported by farming and traditional weaving. 

 

When not busy helping his father in the fields, Nyoman attended a local school where his attention was drawn to traditional dance programs.

Growing up in Bali, he was encouraged to dance at temple festivals and participate in the preparation of religious offerings.

 

Nyoman Sura’s significant contribution to the world of dance would have perhaps never materialized had he not failed the entrance exam for a course in accountancy at Bali’s Udayana University.

 

Failed as an aspiring accounttant, Sura fell back on his childhood love of traditional dance, drawn to enroll in the Indonesian Institute of Fine Arts (ISI), located just a short distance from his home. A naturally gifted student of dance, he immersed himself in both contemporary and traditional forms, absorbing both the theory and practice of dance that laid the groundwork for his eventual emergence as one of Indonesia’s most gifted choreographers.

 

By 1995 Nyoman began acquiring awards including the designation as “Best Choreographer” in a Java-Bali Dance Competition.

 

Graduating from ISI in 1996, the brilliant young dance-choreographer was kept on by his alma mater where he taught both dance and movement.

 

Eager to always learn more, in 2009 Nyoman Sura joined a Masters Program (S-2) in dance to ISI Surakarta, Central Java, shuttling back and forth between the two campuses, while also fulfilling a busy schedule of dance performance both at home and abroad.

 

As a choreographer, Nyoman Sura’s attention focused on contemporary dance, explaining that it was only through contemporary forms of dance that he could give full expression without restraint to his ideas and inspirations.

 

He credited his inspiration in contemporary dance to a ISI former teacher I Wayan Dibia, Indonesian contemporary dance prodigy Boi G. Sakti and Taiwanese choreographer Lin Hwai-min.

 

But Sura’s main source of fundamental inspiration remained the traditional dance of Bali. His contemporary dance program, highly acclaimed and performed on dance stages around the world, drew upon traditional elements in movement, music and costume from his Island home. This is aptly demonstrated in his works: Sri Tanjung (2009) and Ritus Legong (2002).

 

Dancing in the Nude

 

Contemporaneous in both movement and themes, Nyoman Sura as a leader in his field always danced on that narrow precipice navigated by anyone breaking new artistic ground. Ritus Legong (2004) tried to raise awareness of the ongoing threat to the environment by using costumes made from recycled trash and refuse. Perhaps anticipating, or some would say precipitating, the coming national debate on art and pornography, That Time (Waktu Itu) (2002) caused a national stir when he premiered the piece in Medan, North Sumatra, by dancing the scene depicting man’s return to infinity in the nude.

 

True to his principles as an artist, Sura calmly explained to those scandalized by his performance, that Waktu Itu portrayed man's transitions from birth to life to death. “Being naked reflects the state of man at the end of life when he must face God free of all earthly accessories,” he explained.

 

Other dance compositions Bulan Mati (Dead Moon) (2003) contrasted the close juxtaposition of happiness and sadness in daily life; The Lost (2010) told how power and wealth are but fleeting illusions in the course of human existence; Seribu Wajah (A Thousand Faces) (2001) criticized human greed and Dua-1 (2002) examines how to blend opposing elements.

 

Sura’s work revolved on movement and choreography. Technical skill on the part of the dancer ensured perfection in execution, while choreography enhances the appeal and quality of dance, especially when a troupe of dancers occupy the stage at the same time.

 

I Nyoman Sura will be sorely missed on the world's and Bali’s contemporary dance scene as both a teacher and a performer. There is no one approaching his competence or level of dance craft anywhere on the immediate horizon on the current  Bali dance scene. 

 

For now, that stage stands empty.

 

Meanwhile, Nyoman stands on another stage, naked before a loving God.

 

In the Soup Because of Turtles

Police Arrest Men at Serangan Island in Bali with a cache of Turtles and Turtle Eggs

 

Bali News: In the Soup Because of Turtles

(8/9/2013) The Denpasar Police have apprehended two men in connection with the smuggling of endangered green turtles.

 

One of the men detained by police Holik (44) told police on July 27, 2013, that he was hunting for green turtles to use in the traditional evening meal enjoyed by Muslims during the fasting month.

 

The spokesman for the Denpasar Police Precinct, police commissioner Ida Bagus Sarjana, told Seputarbali.com that another man, Ridwan (27), was also arrested with Holik. Unfortunately, a third man, Bogel (27), managed to escape at the time made their arrest.

 

Said Sarjana, “All three suspects come from Kampung Bugis on Serangan Island in Denpasar.”

 

The arrests were made based on reports received from the public concerning the theft of turtles being rehabilitated at Serangan Island.

 

The arrests were made on Friday, July 26, 2013, at 10:00 pm. Police discovered the three men landing a “jukung” traditional boat. When police approached the boat, Bogel took flight while police captured Holik and Ridwan.

 

Police found 2 endangered green turtles in the boat. One of the reptiles had been slaughtered while the second was still alive. 77 turtle eggs were also confiscated by police.

 

The men can be charged for violations of conservation laws carrying a maximum penalty of 9 years in prison.

 

A Natural High

Garuda Vindicates Expat Co-Pilot Accused of Narcotics Use

 

Bali News: A Natural High

(8/11/2013) Garuda Indonesia expatriate co-pilot Viktor Munoz Lopez, widely reported by the State News Agency Antara and other media as grounded after testing positive for psychotropical drugs during random tests carried out by the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN) has been vindicate of any wrong doing.

 

An independent urine analysis performed by the Siloam Hospital in Makassar, South Sulawesi and the Makassar Prodia Laboratory on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 showed no indication of drug use in the co-pilot's system. This was further supported by an intensive internal review conducted by Garuda under the supervision of an impartial outside team of experts.

 

Both Medical laboratories and Garuda Indonesia arrived at the same conclusion that Victor Munoz Lopez was free of any traces of psychotropical drugs in his system.

 

“False positives” for use of the drug can often be traced to the use of prescription drugs used by a person who subsequently tests “positive” for narcotic.

 

Following the initial tests, later proven incorrect, showing psychotropic drugs in Lopez’s system. Based on the initial test by BNN, Garuda Indonesia took the precautionary step of grounding the Spanish expatriate pilot pending a final resolution of the case.

 

The chief of BNN for South Sulawesi, police commissioner Richard P. Nainggolan, initially announced that Lopez had tested positive for using narcotics, saying further tests were needed to resolve the case.

Richard Nainggolan later took special pains to tell the press that his office had never confirmed that co-pilot Viktor Munoz Lopez had tested positive for drugs.

 

A clarification vindicating both Garuda and the pilot was issued during a press conference held in Makassar. Participating in the press conference were the South Sulawesi chief of BNN, Richard Nainggolan; the head of the Police’s narcotics squad, Bambang; Chevy, the police commissioner for South Sulawesi’s narcotics squad; the general manager of Angkasa Pura for Makassar, and the vice-deputy chairman of the Ujung Pandang (Makassar) Airport Authority.

 

Meanwhile, a vindicated Lopez has returned to his right-hand seat in the cockpit flying scheduled services by Garuda.

 

Garuda routinely conducts its own “DAMP”(Drug and Alcohol Management Program) that provides for random testing of cockpit crew, cabin crew. Garuda employees found to abusing drugs are summarily relived from service permanently banned from future employment with the National Airline.

 

Sun Tzu’s Rules of War

Local Travel Agent Reports Manager and Owner of Feyloon Chinese Restaurant to Police for Physical Assault

 

Bali News: Sun Tzu’s Rules of War

(8/9/2013) An altercation broke out at the Feyloon Chinese Restaurant on Jalan Raya Kuta on Sunday, August 4, 2013, involving the manager of a local travel company and management and staff from the restaurant.

 

As reported by The Bali Post, the travel agent, Hendra Haryanto (34), told police he was attacked by the manager of the restaurant, a man called Fred from Malaysia, and several of Fred’s associates.

 

As the result of the attack, Haryanto suffered injuries on his lips, cheek and arms. 

 

Initial reports suggest the fight wa linked to a misunderstanding on the amount to be paid for dinner by a group brought by Haryanto to the restaurant.

 

Agustiawan, an officer from the criminal division of the Kuta Police Precinct, confirmed the incident has been reported by Haryanto and a criminal investigation was currently underway. 

 

Hendra told police he was attacked by at least ten men. He only knew three of his assailants, namely the manager of the Feyloon Restaurant Fred, the owner of the restaurant Joe, and an employee of the establishment from Kupang.

 

Hendra said he was summoned to the location of the attack to settle a problem concerning a booking for a group at the restaurant. His guests had booked a dinner at Feyloon Restaurant costing Rp. 150,000 per person (US$15). After he made the booking, Hendra claims the restaurant increased the cost to Rp. 190,000 (US$19) precipitating the disagreement.

 

Upon leaving the restaurant, Hendra claims he was pursued to his parking space across the street from the restaurant where Fred commenced pushing him. Shortly thereafter, the owner of the restaurant and one of his employees joined in the attack. When the travel agent ran to a nearby gas station to evade his attackers, they reportedly pursue him, pummeling him along the way.

 

Hendra is asking the police to continue to investigate the attack.

 

Bali Exports Decline 10.25%

Bali Exports for June Declined With Major Commodities Shipped Aboard Seafood, Jewelry and Gems

 

Bali News: Bali Exports Decline 10.25%

(8/9/2013) The State News Agency Antara reports that data from the Bali Center for Statistics (BPS) indicate Exports from Bali in June totaled US$44.58 million dollars, declining 10.25% from the total exports in the same month one year before (US$46.68 million).

 

The June 2013 figure was also a decline of 5.32% from May 2013.

 

The chief of BPS-Bali, Gede Suarsa, said that a number of large shipments by sea had been sent in June to the United States, Japan, Australia, Singapore and China.

 

The U.S.A. represents 23.70% of Bali’s total exports, followed by Japan (13.31%), Australia (8.04%), Singapore (6.69%) and China (3.70%).

 

Gede Suarsa reports that the five main commodities exported form Bali are fish and shrimp (26.57%), jewelry and gems (12.43%), ready-to-wear clothing (12.20%), Wood products (11.22%), furniture and household accessories (8.56%).

 

Suarsa said that on an overall basis exports to these five main countries declined when compared to the same month one year ago.

 

Exports to the U.S.A. declined 0.64%, Singapore declined 28.45% and China declined 17.97%. Meanwhile, June exports to Japan increased 7.25%.

 

A Topic of Great Currency

Despite Slipping Value of Australian Dollar, Indonesia Remains Excellent Value for Australian Visitors

 

Bali News: A Topic of Great Currency

(8/9/2013) The Indonesia Institute has published a press release pointing out that the recent and rapid decline in the value of the Indonesian Rupiah couldn’t have come at a better time for Australian holiday makers who have also seen their dollar decline by almost 9% against the U.S. dollar and Euro in the past few months.

 

Ross Taylor of the Indonesia Institute said: "As the Aussie dollar has been falling from its highs of just four months ago, the good news for Aussie holiday-makers is that the Indonesia rupiah has been coming down as well, thus ensuring Australians, on holiday in Bali, are still finding food, accommodation and services remarkably cheap."

 

Taylor said that the rapid fall in the Aussie dollar had impacted slightly on our purchasing power for the rupiah, but it was 'only marginal'.

 

"We have seen the Aussie dollar fall from buying around 10,000 thousand rupiah to near 9,200", said Taylor, "but traditionally we get about Rp 8,000 so at the current rate it is still very good value when compared to other currencies where the Aussie has fallen far more dramatically.”

 

Conversely, the shift in currency rates has made Australia more expensive for Indonesians contemplating a visit down under.

 

Taylor is traveling to Indonesia to attend National Day celebrations at in Jakarta at the invitation of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He has been distinguished by being named as Australia's “Presidential Friend of Indonesia for 2013.”

 

Taylor will meet with senior Indonesian officials during his visit where he will discuss live cattle exports, Indonesian fishermen arrested by Australia as people smugglers, and what the institute sees as ‘an urgent need” for Australia and Indonesia to upgrade the exchange of young people between the two countries as part of the “Asian Century” vision.

 

"When you consider that last year, 100% more young people came to Australia on 'Holiday and work' visas from Bangladesh than from our nearest neighbor, we are obviously doing something wrong", said Taylor.

 

And as for Bali, over 900,000 Australians will travel to their 'Paradise Island' over the next 12 months. But Indonesia needs to be attracting But Taylor says Australians need to see 'the real Indonesia' beyond Bali with its natural beauty and friendly people.

 

"A falling rupiah will help maintain strong tourist growth and that is a good thing for holidaying Aussies; and the Indonesian island of Bali," added Taylor.

 

Airing Bali’s Dirty Laundry

Widespread Money Laundering Blamed for Bali's Sky-High Property Prices

 

Bali News: Airing Bali’s Dirty Laundry

(8/9/2013)

Bisnis Bali reports foreigners, using the names of local counterparts, own many investments in Bali. The report contends, misrepresented ownership is a firm indication of the presence of money laundering and Bali needs to be more vigilant in uncovering and ending such practice.

 

A Balinese economist, Professor Dr. Wayan Ramantha on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, confirmed that money laundering is taking place on the Island. “Money laundering takes place everywhere, including Bali,” said Ramantha, adding “that money laundering in Bali involves financially strong individuals.”

 

The economist said greater caution and closer monitoring of foreign investment in the name of local a business partner is needed. Saying such investments are in violation of the law from their inception, Ramantha continued: “they (the investors) use take advantage of easier investment requirements extended to local business people. They also manage to save money on the cost of permits and licenses.”

 

Ramantha said the Provincial Investment Coordinating Board (BKPMD) must scrutinize and coordinated with the Central Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) in sharing information on quality investors. “When there are irregularities or suspicious elements (in investments) checks must be undertaken,” he said.

 

He said domestic and foreign investors in Bali should use the facilities prepared for domestic (PMDN) and foreign investment (PMA). In so doing, funds can be monitored by Bank Indonesia (BI) and Financial Services Authority of Indonesia (OJK). 

 

Investors  in Indonesia are compelled to make regular reports including clarifications on the source of their funds.

 

As reported by a number of media, there is a growing suspicion that money launderers are active in Bali. This suspicion has been strengthened by a number of cases in Bali where investments have been linked to corruption. However, the true extent and size of investments linked to money laundering and corruption remains anyone’s guess.

 

Separately, the chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjok Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace), said proof of money laundering practice abounds in Bali in the form the large number of hotels being built without reference to their future financial viability and also by expensive hotels being built but unprofessionally managed with little concern if the subjects hotels are full of empty of guests. Cok Ace says individuals desperate to grant legitimacy to “dirty” funds by creating reportable assets are responsible for building these hotels.

 

The PHRI-Bali chairman said the current rise in property prices in Bali is also linked to the prevalence of money laundering by local businesses with unscrupulous investors prepared to pay any price for land, with no regard that their actions marginalize the endemic population of Bali.

 

The Cost of Land

 

Cok Ace, who is also a prominent hotel owner, said it is now difficult to find land in Denpasar priced at less than Rp. 100 million (US$10,000) per are (100 square meters). In fact, he said, the current price for one are is closer to Rp. 300 million (US$30,000) per are with some parcels of land selling at Rp. 3 billion (US$300,000) per are.

 

He described the current free-for-all in Bali real estate as being controlled by Jakarta business interests. He also blamed a lack of control on the number of cases in Bali where blacklisted individuals involved in major corruption cases are investing freely in Bali. Cok Ace said this was, however, less the fault of investors and more closely related to a lack of local control over the investment process.

 

In closing, Cok Ace, said that the people of Bali do not want to make the Island a heaven for criminals and corruptors, adding that Bali must be made into a heaven for the people of Bali.

 

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

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