The Taxing North of Bali
Tax Officials in North Bali Estimate that 65% of Inns, Hotels, Villas and Restaurants Now Meet Their Tax Obligations
Hotel and Restaurant taxes (PHR) collected in Bali's northern regency of Buleleng are the largest source of regional tax revenues when compared with a pool of 10 tax streams. PHR collections in Buleleng through the end of August have hit Rp. 16.3 billion (US$1.4 million) from a yearlong target for 2014 of Rp. 19.5 billion (US$1.7 million).
The head of Buleleng's tax service, Ida Bagus Puja Erawan, said on Sunday, September 7, 2014: "For PHR alone, the total increases from year to year, as is the case this year where (at the end of August) we have realized 87% of our annual target. This has been influenced greatly by tourism in Buleleng that has become conducive to growth recording increases in both domestic and international tourism."
Erawan also credited the increase on the growing acceptance among Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) members of the need to pay taxes. He said that businesses in the past pretended not to understand the need to pay taxes, have now begun to meet their tax obligations.
Erawan remains confident that the PHR target for 2014 will be met or exceed last year's collections of Rp. 21.4 billion (US$1.86 million). A special team formed to visit inns, hotels, villas and restaurants that are not paying taxes continue to sweep across Buleleng issuing reminders to those not paying taxes.
Despite efforts by officials, Erawan estimates only 65% of tourism enterprises that should be paying taxes actually do so.
Given time and patience, Erawan remains confident that all tourism businesses will meet their tax obligations.
An Island with Many Empty Rooms
PHRI Calls for an Accurate Survey of Supply and Demand be Carried out for Hotel Rooms in Bali.
The secretary of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Perry Marcus, said on Sunday, September 7, 2014, that many hotel rooms in Bali remain empty and the government needs to carefully count carrying capacity in order that the amount of accommodation available is equivalent to the need for rooms.
Marcus said that regardless of whether it is high or low season in Bali, many rooms remain unsold.
Speaking to Bisnis Bali, he said the supporting structures for tourism in Bali represent an inter-connection between accommodation, transportation and other services. While efforts are underway to bring more and more tourists to the Island, the question must be asked: "Are the tourism facilities able to accommodate these numbers?"
Traditionally most tourists visiting Bali congregate in the Island's south, with a small portion traveling on to other regions of Bali. He called for the government to implement an equitable program of tourism development, encouraging facilities and tourist in the other regions of Bali.
Perry Markus said PHRI calculates that Bali has 80,000 rooms for sale to its visitors. This total included both starred hotels and small inns (Melati hotels). Not included in this total are villas that, he said, have yet to be tallied.
The amount of tourist accommodation in Bali needs to be shared across areas of Bali, Markus insisted.
Do Not Pass Go, Go Directly to Jail
Major Traffic Changes to be Trialed in Kerobokan Area of Bali September 15-October 15, 2014
Effective September 15, 2014, the Badung Regency Transportation and Information Service (Dishubkominfo) will change traffic flows and directions on a number of roads surrounding the Kerobokan Prison in Denpasar, Bali.
The head of Dishubkominfo for Badung, I Wayan Weda Dharmaja, accompanied by the head of traffic, Tofan Priyanto, on Sunday, September 7, 2014 told DenPost that that changes will be introduced in the Kerobokan Kelod area, on streets that will include Jalan Tangkuban Prahu, Jalan Mertanadi, Jalan Batubelig, Jalan Laksamana and the southern end of Jalan Raya Kerobokan.
The plan presented and agreed by a cross section of regional and district officials will change a number of two-way streets into one-traffic lanes.
Among the changes to be introduced:
Jalan Tangkuban Perahu in front of the Kerobokan prison will become a one-way street traveling from east to west for all types of vehicles until the intersection of Jalan Mertanadi - Jalan Merta Agung.
Vehicles traveling on Jalan Tangkuban Perahu and arriving at the intersection will only be allowed to turn right on to Jalan Merta Agung or left on to Jalan Mertanadi.
Traffic entering Jalan Tangkuban Perahu from the Petittenget intersection (traffic light) will travel in only one direction from the traffic light until the intersection of Jalan Mertanadi - Jalan Merta Agung.
Jalan Mertanadi will become a one-way street for all types of vehicles traveling in a north to south direction exiting on Jalan Sunset Road.
Jalan Merta Agung will become a one-way street for all types of vehicles traveling in a south to north direction.
Jalan Laksamana (Eat Street) will become a one-way street for traffic traveling east to west. Motorcycles will be excepted from the one-way rule and be free to travel in both directions.
For cars traveling in from the west and starting from the Kayu Jati "t" -intersection will be diverted to Jalan Beraban.
Parking on Jalan Laksamana parking will only be allowed on the south side of the road in areas designated for parking.
On Jalan Beraban traffic will only be allowed to travel in one direction from west to east, Four-wheeled vehicles are no longer allowed to park on Jalan Beraban.
All cars exiting Jalan Beraban at Jalan Raya Kerobokan are only allowed to turn right. Left turns that cut across the traffic flow are no longer permitted.
The changes in traffic patters in Kerobokan will be trialed from September 15 until October 15, 2014 when an evaluation will be made and a decision taken on whether or not to make the traffic changes permanent.
A Holiday Potpourri of Music
An Afternoon of Music at Bali Arts Center Performed by the Bali Community Choir, String Ochesra, Children's Choir and Music Students from Amabile Music Studio on Sunday, December 7, 2014
A special musical afternoon is planned for Sunday, December 7, 2014 at the Ksirarnawa Stage of the Bali Arts Center.
Running from 3:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. a program of "A Holiday Potpouri" of non-stop musical performances are planned, featuring:
The Bali Community Choir under the direction of Brendan O'Donnell.
A String Chamber Orchestra.
A Violin Ensemble.
Excerpts from "The King and I" performed by a children's choir directed by Amabile.
Piano Duets and Trios.
Performance by Amabile's students and instructors on Piano, vocal, flute, violin and guitar.
Advance sale ticket prices through October 2014:
Adults Rp. 150,000
Children (3-6 years) Rp. 75,000
School Students Rp. 80,000
College Students Rp. 90,000
Advance sale ticket prices during Novemeber 2014:
Adult Rp. 175,000
Children (3-6 years) Rp. 88,000
School Students Rp. 100,000
College Students Rp. 115,000
Ticket Sales at the Door and between December 1-7, 2014:
Adults Rp. 200,000
Children (3-6 years) Rp. 100,000
School Students Rp. 125,000
College Students Rp. 140,000
Ticket Sales Counter at the Amabile Music Studio, Jalan Moh. Yamin 1 No. 9, Denpasar.
Stopping a Cycle of Madness
Denpasar Police Begin Seizing Motorcycles of Unlicensed School Student Traveling to and from School
Metrobali.com reports that a crackdown on unlicensed, under aged motorcyclists conducted at the Dwi Jendra Junior High School in the Kreneng district of Denpasar, Bali resulted in 3 trucks of confiscated vehicles being hauled away by police.
On Monday, September 8, 2014, AKP Mastra Budaya of the Denpasar Police pledged that law enforcement officers would continue conduct checks on under aged drivers at every school in Bali's capital.
"I don't yet know exactly how many motorbikes were confiscated. What's clear we've managed to seize three trucks full of motorcycles," said Budaya.
In order to obtain a driver's license in Indonesia the minimum age is 17 years. Despite this fact, Junior High Schools in Bali have parking lots filled with hundreds of motorcycles and classrooms almost exclusively filled with students under the age of 17,
In the latest operation 25 policemen led by 4 officers were assigned to carry out checks on motorcycles driven by students in school uniforms.
The bikes are taken from the students and kept by police until parents report to police to demonstrate ownership of the vehicles and pledge to take better control of their children.
Budaya said: "We will continue to conduct raids, not only at Junior High Schools but also at Senior High Schools across Denpasar. Earlier we socialized to every school that under aged children are not allowed to bring motorcycles to school."
Immersing Students in the Culture of Bali
24 Foreign Students Enrolled to Learn Balinese Dance and Music at ISI Denpasar
The Denpasar Institute of Arts (ISI Denpasar) has received 24 foreign students for the 2014 academic year, a slight decline from the 31 students enrolled the previous year.
Metrobali.com quotes the Rector of ISI Denpasar, Dr. I Gede Arya Sugiartha, who said on Monday, September 9, 2014, "They (the foreign students) originate from tens of countries around the world (and come to Bali) in order to study arts and culture, particularly Balinese percussion (tabuh) and dance."
Sugiartha said that the foreign students hailed from a number of countries, including Japan, the U.S.A., Poland, England, Russia and Turkey. Most of these students participate in a non-degree program lasting two semesters under Darmawisata Scholarships provided by the Indonesian government.
ISI Denpasar, like other school of fine arts in Indonesia, has been welcoming foreign students since 1998, Over the past 15 years, ISI Denpasar has provided an education in Indonesian culture and performance arts to 566 foreign students.
The performing arts faculty,chosen by most foreign students, permits students to acquire skills in playing in Balinese gamelan groups and Balinese dance.
Foreign students who study in Bali later return to their home countries, incorporating elements of Balinese dance and music in Western works of art. Other students hold courses teaching Balinese dance in their home countries.
In this way, according to Sugiartha, Balinese dance and music is preserved and advanced as a world-class art form.
Ladies in Love with Bali
Bali International Women's Association Mark 40th Anniversary with Gala Dinner at Sheraton Kuta on Thursday, September 25, 2014.
40 Years of making a difference in Bali will be celebrated by the Bali International Women's Association (BIWA) at a Gala Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel Kuta on Thursday evening, September 25, 2014.
For the past 40 years BIWA has worked to improve the health and welfare of communities across Bali. Founded in 1974, BIWA is a secular, nonprofit and non-political charity grouping whose members come from the different nations and cultures found in Bali. Fund raising programs spearheaded by BIWA aim to improve the quality of life and economic well being of the people of Bali.
Recent projects undertaken by BIWA CARES include hiring nannies to care for abandoned babies at the Sayang Bali Foundation, providing a new kitchen in a home for the elderly and support the Rama Sesana Foundation in their efforts to provide affordable healthcare for women in Bali.
The September 25th celebration of the 40th anniversary of BIWA at the Sheraton Kuta will be attended by hundreds of members and supporters of the organization and the valuable contribution it makes to the community.
Outstanding food, drink and entertainment will all be on offer.
The cost of a seat at an evening of free-flow cocktails, dinner, a fashion show, live music and complimentary valet parking is Rp. 500,000 (US$43.50) that also includes a chance to win an attractive door prize,
For more information or to order tickets on a first-come-first-served basis telephone Marijke Broerse-Zey ++62-(0)81236069019 or Ayu Winastri ++62-(0)361-7469607.
Domestic Air Terminal Opens in Bali
Bali's 'New' Ngurah Rai Domestic Terminal Opens on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 as Airport Service Charge for Domestic Flights Increases to Rp. 75,000
Formal operations of Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport's "new" domestic terminal will commence on the morning of Wednesday, September 17, 2014.
The handling of domestic departures will move from the old international departure terminal to the new domestic departure terminal.
One day prior to the changeover to the new domestic terminal, the last domestic flight arrival will be handled at 9:00 pm on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, after which the current terminal will close and no domestic flights will be handled until the next morning when the new domestic terminal goes into operation.
Over the night x-ray equipment and furniture will be shifted to the new domestic terminal.
With the formal commencement of operations of the new domestic air terminal on Wednesday morning the domestic airport service charge (ASC) will increase from Rp. 40,000 (U$3.50) to the new rate of Rp. 75,000 (US$6.50).
Traffic Changes At Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport
Traffic Patterns Change How People Travel Between Airport and Tuban-South Kuta in Bali
With the coming completion of the newly transformed Ngurah Rai International Airport, PT Angkasa Pura, I who manage the airport, is taking steps to improve traffic access and overall service.
In order to improve traffic flows in and around the airport, the Badung Transportation office, the sub-regent for Kuta, the Kuta police and airport police, and the village heads for Tuban and Kuta have jointly decided effective September 9, 2014 to alter traffic patterns surrounding the airport.
Among the changes now in effect:
Jalan Airport starting from the west side of the Horse Statue and leading into the airport is now reserved exclusively for cars traveling to and from the airport.
Accordingly, the road that formerly connected the airport road and Jalan Dewi Sartika, passing the front of the Harris Hotel, is now closed to access from the airport.
Those wanting to access South Kuta and Tuban from the airport must now travel to the Horse Statue, turn left and transit Jalan Raya Tuban before turning left on Jalan Kediri to enter the Tuban/Sout Kuta area.
A Second Traffic Underpass for Bali?
Public Work Officials Consider a Second North-South Traffic Underpass at Entrance to Bali's Airport
The Department of Public Works is planning to build a second underpass in Bali. Following the successful completion of the underpass at the Dewa Ruci Monument, the second underpass is planned to tunnel under the Ngurah Rai Monument, bisecting the round about and allowing a free flow of traffic in a north-south direction.
The proposed new underpass would remove the traffic snarls at the roundabout at the airport entrance to the Mandira toll road.
The concept for the underpass was put forth at a meeting on September 8, 2014, at a meeting held in Jakarta at the Ministry of Public Works.
Still in its conceptual stage, the exact dimensions of the new vehicular underpass and its potential cost remain undetermined.
It is unclear how the new underpass will affect separate plans to build a 30-meter long pedestrian underpass to make the park surrounding the Ngurah Rai Statue accessible to the public.
Religious ceremonies in preparation for the start of construction of the pedestrian underpass were conducted at the traffic circle on September 6, 2014.
For now, it appears construction the pedestrian underpass will go ahead while bureaucrats in Jakarta continue to mull the cost, funding and details of a vehicular underpass at the same traffic circle.
A Very Short Term
Made Sudiana Sworn in as 'ad interim' Deputy-Regent of Badung in Bali
On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, I Made Sudiana was sworn in as the ad interim Deputy Regent of the Badung Regency of Bali replacing I Ketut Sudikerta who resigned in July 2013 to assume his current office as deputy governor of Bali.
Sudiana's selection to complete the term of Deputy Regent, once held by Sudikerta, was done by a the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) on July 23, 2014
Sudiana was sworn in by the Governor of Bali, I Made Mangku Pastika, at the DPRD-Badung at a ceremony attended by 469 attendees.
Sudiana (51) hails from Canngu. A businessman, he is a functionary of the Golkar Party.
Sudiana's, whose term of office will end in 2015, told NusaBali: "I will not make a vision and mission statement. But (I will) support the vision and mission now in place. I am ready to work together and maintain harmony with the head of the region until 2015."
The next election for Regent and Deputy-Regent of Badung will take place in May 2015.
Alila Villa Soori Responds
Alila Villa Soori Denies Information Withheld in the Drowning Death of a 3-Year-old in the Resort's Swimming Pool
NusaBali reports that spokeswomen for the Alila Villa Soori Resort are denying widespread reports in the Bali media that the resort was involved in a cover-up, failing to report the death of a 3-year-old Balinese boy in the Resort's that ocurred on Tuesday, August 19, 2014.
Representing the Alila VIlla Soory, Esther Leogenda and Devina Hindom, denied any cover-up surrounding the accidental drowning of the child, saying the parents of the child had asked the Resort not to publicize the accident. Leogenda and Hindom, however, insist that the death was reported to the Kelanting village Committee for Security and Order (Bhayangkara Pembina Keamanan dan Ketertiban Masyarakat- Bhabinkamtibmas).
"One day after the incident we reported to the police. What's more, the police came here to collect information," explained Esther and Devina to the press on Monday, September 8, 2014. They could not, however, recall the name of the police officer or whether he came from the Kerambitan or Tabanan police precinct.
Two weeks after the drowning, AKBP Dekananto Eko Purwono, of the Tabanan police precinct expressed surprise to the press when told of the death, saying his office would immediately investigate the matter.
The two spokeswomen said the one-day delay in reporting the death to Bhabinkamtibmas was caused by the Resort's preoccupation with assisting at the hospital and the home of the dead boy. Also, on the day after the accident they said simple ceremonies on behalf of the boy's soul were conducted at the Resort with the full knowledge of traditional leaders of the village of Kelanting.
The women explained that the child drowned when four women and the child were having lunch at about 2:00 pm on the Resort's restaurant. The toddler reportedly wandered off and at 3:30 the diners ran to the swimming pool in response to screams for assistance.
Removed from the pool, the Resort's doctor ordered the child be immediately brought to the nearby Wisma Prashanti Hospital where the child was pronounced dead on arrival.
Devina Hindom added: "This was purely an accident. There is a warning posted at the pool, but a small child cannot read." There was no staff in attendance at the pool when the child supposedly fell into the pool and drowned.
The pool in which the boy drowned is only 7-meters from the restaurant.
Tabanan police claimed no knowledge of the drowning nearly two weeks after the incident. Similarly, a village official (perkebel) of Kelanting, I Made Suama, told NusaBali he had no knowledge of the child's death in the Resort's swimming pool. Suama said: "Frankly, I did not receive a report and it is indeed very difficult to enter the villa."
According to NusaBali, the Alila Villas said they had purposely not reported the matter to the police because the matter was resolve in a "familial mannner."
Property Speculators Beware
Bali's Banking Sector Concerned that Increase in Non-Performing Loans Foretell a Coming 'Bust' in the Island's Real Estate Sector
The growing number of non-performing Bali real estate and property loans held by public banks is fueling concerns that a the "boom" in Bali property may be poised for a possible "bust."
Reading that the real estate market was becoming over-heated, Bank Indonesia in 2013 tightened loan to value ratios across a number of economic sectors, including real estate. The move by the Bank was expected to curb rampant property speculation by investors hoping to cash in on a market in which property prices have doubled in some areas of Bali in less than 12 month's time.
The growth of the property market in Bali as a whole is projected at 13%, almost twice the rate of growth for Bali's economy as a whole.
Concerned that a sudden drop in real estate values would, in turn, see many property owners holding loan balances that exceed the current market value of subject property. Investors, owing more money on a property than the current market price, could potentially walk away from the debt leaving the banks holding the bag.
By requiring investors using bank financing for Bali property purchases to hold a bigger equity share, Bank Indonesia's closer scrutiny of loan to value ratios may help to slow down the current uncontrolled land rush inundating the Island.
Tourism as a Job Generator
Tourism Sectors Credited with the Creation of 10 million Jobs in Indonesia
Bisnis Bali quotes the Deputy Minister for Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sapta Nirwandar, as claiming that the tourism sector has created 10 million jobs nation wide.
"The sector (tourism) contributes 10.13 million jobs, both directly and indirectly," said Sapta, speaking at a seminar marking the third year since the implementation of the Masterplan for Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia's Economic Development (MPEEI) in Jakarta.
According to Sapta (shown), tourism holds great promise and capital assets in terms of tourism that must be wisely used by the people of Indonesia.
"The quantity and increasing number of tourists and visitors who holiday in Indonesia are certainly one of the main reasons for the large number of jobs credited to the tourism sector," he said.
Saying employment is created by tourism in both the formal and informal sectors. Informal employment is created at roadside restaurants, souvenir sales and even photographers. Adding, "Tourism provided indirect employment to them all," Sapta said.
On the same occasion, the Deputy Minister of Education and Culture , Wiendu Nuryanti emphasized that the quality of employment created by tourism is also important. "Yes, we must be friendly and share our smiles, but that is not enough. This must be supported by a thorough understanding of local culture,' said Wiendu.
Wiendu said that one foreign tourist visiting Indonesia creates at least 12 employment positions in the tourism sector. "Beginning from trishaw drivers, tour guides, hotel employees and including museum guards - all are jobs created because of tourists visits. To support tourism we need quality workers," explained Wiendu.
Pulling the Plug on Lake Batur Festival
Batur Lake Festival for October is Suddenly Cancelled Following Criminal Indictment of its Founder Jero Wacik
Radar Bali reports that plans to hold the 4th Batur Lake Festival (Festival Danau Batur) in October 2014 have been suddenly cancelled by the Bangli Regency Culture and Tourism Service.
The Batur Lake Festival, first held in 2011, is the brain child of Jero Wacik, the disgraced former Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources who resigned in early September 2014 after being named a suspect in an ongoing corruption scandal. The first festival held in 2011 was officially opened by Wacik, who originally hails from Kintamani and the Lake Batur region, who served at that time as the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy.
Radar Bali suggests that the last minute cancellation of the Batur Lake Festival 2014 may be linked to Wacik's sudden downfall and naming as a corruption perpetrator.
The cancellation of the event was only announced on Monday, September 8, 2014 by I Wayan Adnyana of the Bangli Regency Tourism Office (Kasidhubpar), just one month prior to the 4th edition of the Festival. Although Adnyana made no connection between the cancellation and the naming of Wacik as a criminal suspect, he did blame the cancellation on a last-minute decision taken in Jakarta.
Adnyana explained that the Batur Lake Festival had been cancelled due to budget cuts undertaken in Jakarta. "The Lake Batur Festival has been funded to date from national funds from Jakarta with only a small portion paid from regional sources (APBD)," he explained.
Local funds set aside for the Festival this year amounts to Rp. 400 million (US$34,800) with the bulk of financial support expected from Jakarta.
The sudden cancellation of support from Jakarta means the Festival will not be held in 2014 and local funds will be used to finance a website and other items.
Adnyana said that originally another Rp. 400 million was pledged for the festival from Jakarta. Large budget cuts in Jakarta, Adnyana said, have affected a number of planned festivals across the nation, including the Batur Lake event.
While Radar Bali suggests the cancellation of the Batur Lake Festival is somehow connected to the criminal predicament of its founder, Jero Wacik, the Bangli Tourism office refused to confirm such speculation, but assured the Batur Lake Festival would return to the tourism calendar in 2015.
Driven to Drink and Corruption?
Are Rp. 27 Billion Distribution Label Fees Paid Annually by Alcohol Dealers to Local Association an Illegal Levy?
Radar Bali reports on a growing suspicion surrounding an illegal levy that is being charged in connection with the distribution of a mandatory "alcoholic beverage distribution label" (Label Edar Mikol).
In 2012 alone, an estimated Rp. 27 billion (US$2.35 million) was collected from people selling alcoholic beverages via an Association.
One business owner working in the production and distribution of alcoholic beverages told the newspaper on September 8, 2014: "Sure, this is a bribe. We were forced to pay. If we didn't pay; we wont get the necessary distribution label."
During a meeting in Denpasar, the distributor who asked that his name not be publicized, said that both the regional and provincial regulations (Perda Number 5 of 2012 on the Supervision and Control of Alcoholic Beverages in Bali and Governor's Regulation Number 68 of 2012) make no mention of an official cost for the distribution labels. According to the businessman, the distribution label should therefore be given to alcohol distributors without charge.
"Indeed, the label should be free as we have already paid duty. We should not have to pay duty (cukai) twice. But, the reality is that in the field we are compelled to pay for the distribution label." he said.
He went on to explain that, following Regional Regulation No. 5 of 2012 and Governor's Regulation No. 68 of 2012, there should be no further need to for the distribution label on alcoholic beverages. But, the reality remains that the provincial government does not want to miss a chance for more revenue, meaning that the labels must be "purchased" from the Bali Department of Trade after first obtaining a recommendation from the Association of Alcohol Distributors (APMB).
According to the business source, Class A alcoholic beverages require a distribution label costing Rp, 500 each; Class B alcoholic beverages Rp. 1,000 each and Class C alcoholic beverages Rp. 1,500 each.
"If you don't pay first, the association will not provide the needed recommendation. If there is no recommendation from the association, then we can't get the distribution label from the Bali Department of Trade. But, in fact, in both the regional and provincial regulations there is no authority given to the Association to grant recommendations or levy fees for the distribution labels. But, in any case, this is how the Department of Trade runs things now," the businessman explained.
Another business source said no one knows how much of the estimated Rp. 27 billion levied each year by the local association is eventually surrendered to the provincial government or retained by the association.
The Radar Bali report says those who choose to operate outside the strictures of the APMB and sell beverages without the distribution labels will inevitably encounter problems with enforcement agencies Bali.
When the vice-chairman of the APMB was approached by the press seeking clarification on the controversy surround distribution labels, he declined to comment saying internal coordination would be needed first with IGN Anom Masta who is the chairman of APMB and a sitting member of the Gianyar House of Representative.
The Bali police are also reported to be treading carefully, claiming that only clarifications are being sought on the distribution labels and the case has yet to be elevated to the status of a criminal investigation.
Also reportedly being asked for clarification are members of the APMB board of directors, the Bali Department of Trade and Provincial Revenue Authorities.
One Department of Trade Official said money paid to the government from any source must be accounted for and placed in public coffers. The same official said if these funds are being share among "certain parties" that fact would become highly problematic.
A follow up report in Radar Bali revealed what is now being termed as a "donation" (hibah) in return for the distribution stickers was originally scheduled to start on January 2, 2013, but was delayed until July of that year with distributors taking stickers and making their contributions directly to the Provincial Department of Trade until July 2013. After that date, the APMB took over the function of distributing the labels and collection "donations."
Between July and December 31, 2014 a total of Rp. 21.6 billion (US$1.9 million) was collected by the APMB with Rp. 18 billion of that amount paid to the government. Following a summons by the police issue to the chairman of APMB on April 23, 2014, another transfer of Rp. 1 billion for the label donations collected January - April 2014, plus the remaining Rp. Rp. 3.8 billion collected in 2013 were transferred to the government on April 28, 2014.
In April of 2014,the province stopped printing distribution labels for alcoholic labels in accordance with a Presidential decree taking the responsibility for control and supervision of acoholic beverages out of provincial hands. Despite this change, local distributors complain that police still threaten action against distributors who do not display the labels.
The chairman of the APMB insists he has actions in collecting and transferring distribution labels has been beyond reproach.
Misguided, at Best
Three Unlicensed Guides Fined Rp. 1 million or 20 Day in Jail
On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, three unlicensed freelance guides went on trial at the Denpasar Court following their separate arrests at Taman Ayun and Tirta Empul.
As reported by Bali Post, facing a panel of three judges were Hermawan (32), Yusiman (27) and Kadek Erna Johan (31) who were determined to be illegally guiding tourists (either working as drivers or guides) without possessing a licensed guide identity card (KTTP).
The three were charged for having violating Provincial Law No. 5 of 2008 on Tourism(Section 4, paragraph 14). The judges handed down a verdict sentencing each of the illegal guides to pay a fine of Rp. 1 million (US$87).
Failure to pay the fine will result in a 20-day jail sentence.
The three admitted their crime before the court and individually expressed their remorse.
The penalty was less than the Rp. 2 million fine sought by prosecutors or a jail term of one month.
Provincial law requires that anyone leading visitors for pay on tours of the island and local attractions must undergo a guide training program and pass a written test demonstrating accurate knowledge of local history and culture in order to become a licensed tour guide.
Citilink Not for Sale to Low Bidders
Garuda Subsidiary Citilink Says Continuing Profitability Makes IPO a Better Option that Sale of Shares to a Strategic Partner
Garuda Indonesia Airlines has dismissed earlier announced plans to sell its shares in it low-cost subsidiary Citilink to a new strategic partner.
As reported by detikfinance.com the CEO of Citilink, Arif Wibowo, explained that the airline he heads will not sell its shares cheaply.
"Don't sell Citilink cheap," he said on Wednesday, September 19, 2014.
He said that the current financial performance of the airline is improving with Citilink able to control a 16% market share of the domestic air market.
"Citilink has become profitable in the past three months and that profit has not been up and down. Citilink's growth demonstrates that the airline has permanently gotten its head above water. We have emerge above water and are breathing oxygen," Wibowo declared.
Wibowo told the press that there are suitors seeking to own a share of Citilink, but no deal would be made with a strategic partner seeking to get a "cheap" price for the airline.
He said that an IPO on the stock market may be a better alternative than seeking a strategic investor.
"If we maintain the current momentum for 2 to 3 years in the future, an IPO would be best. The price would be better," said the Citilink CEO.
CNNgo Names Six 'Must Eat' Dishes for a Balinese Holiday
Samantha Brown writing for CNNGgo has listed her take on Bali's six best dishes as part of a CNNGo focus on Bali travel. The CNN televised visit to Bali chatted with well know Balinese surfer Rizal Tanjung, explored the rice fields surrounding Ubud with Mozaic's Chris Salans, sampled Babi Guling and bar hopped with Natisa Jones.
The six dishes that Samatha Brown elevated to the Island culinary hierarchy were:
Babi Guling - Roast Suckling Pig
Lawar - minced meats, grated coconut and a range of spices
Bebek Betutu - Smoked, slow cooked duck
Satay Lembet- Balinese minced satay
Jimbaran-Style Ikan Bakar - roast fish
Be siap sambal matah - Chicken in Balinese Sambal
Read the entire article 6 dishes every Bali visitor needs to try - from CNN
29.09% drop in Exported Wooden Statues from Bali in January-July 2014
The State News Agency Antara reports that the value of exported carved wooden statues from Bali between January and July 2014 totaled US$43.88 million, decreasing 29.08% from the same period in 2013 when the value equaled US$61.87 million.
The industrial and Trade office for Bali said the volume of handicrafts exported from Bali during the first seven months increase 0.71%.
The head of the Central Statistic Bureau (BPS) office for Bali, Panasunan Siregar, said that the U.S.A. absorbs the bulk of statues and handicraft souvenirs made from wood.
The BPS said the U.S.A. orders 23.29% of wooden Balinese statues; followed by Italy (7.68%), Australia (5.74%); Germany (4.27%); Japan (4.06%); U.K. (3.92%); Holland (2.81%); Hong Kong (2.34%); Singapore (1.85%); and Thailand (0.79%). The remaining 43.25% of wooden statues are shipped to the remaining nations of the world.
Wooden statuary exported abroad is made in workshops in the Gianyar regency of Bali. Minor production centers for wooden statues can alco be found in Badung, Klungkung and Tabanan.
Waldorf . . . .Make it a Double
Bali to Be Home to Two Waldorf Astorias
More details are being revealed on the 96-villa Waldorf Astoria Bali to be located in the Bukit Pandawa area of South Bali and due to open in 2017 as plans are revealed for a second Waldorf Astoria in Bali located near Ubud to Open in 2018.
Waldorf Astroia Bali - Bukit Pandawa
Operated under a management agreement with Hilton Worldwide, the property owned by PT Bali Ragawisata will be the first Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts property in Indonesia and the fourth hotel in Indonesia operated by Hilton.
"Waldorf Astoria has experienced unrivaled growth in recent years as we continue to expand our footprint with iconic signings in landmark locations," said John Vanderslice, global head, luxury brands, Hilton Worldwide. "Bali is an immensely popular tourist destination that is renowned for its rich culture and arts. Waldorf Astoria Bali will be perfectly placed to offer global luxury travelers a unique and inspirational environment where they can experience True Waldorf Service and unforgettable experiences."
Perched 40 meters above sea level on a prime cliff-front land of Bali's southernmost peninsula, Waldorf Astoria Bali will offer panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Situated in Bukit Pandawa, the resort is approximately 10 kilometers away from the Ngurah Rai International Airport.
"Bali, a prominent holiday spot in Asia, is one of the largest tourist destinations for Indonesia, and we are pleased to be working with a reputable partner like PT. Bali Ragawisata to showcase our top of the line luxury brand for the first time in this market," said Andrew Clough, senior vice president, development, Middle East & Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.
Designed by SCDA Architects, Waldorf Astoria Bali will span a sprawling 13 hectares and offer 96 luxurious guestrooms, ranging from one-bedroom villas to six-bedroom suite villas. Reflecting the brand's distinctiveness, the resort will feature the finest dining experiences including two specialty restaurants and a destination bar.
Waldorf Astoria Bali will also offer a range of exclusive events facilities with its wedding chapel, outdoor event lawn, event courtyard and a business center. A stunning outdoor sea-facing pool with a beach club, an 8,000 square-meter private beach as well as a health club and spa will invite guests of Waldorf Astoria Bali to enjoy a luxurious experience in one of the world's most exotic destinations.
Built in cooperation with Sharandy Land, the Waldorf Astoria Bali in Ubud is scheduled to open in 2018.
Djoni Hasjim, president director of Sharandy Land, was quoted by the Jakarta Globe, saying: "We are pleased to partner with Hilton Worldwide to build an Iconic luxury resort in the heart of central Ubud."
Despite Hasjim statements regarding Central Ubud, other reports indicate the hotel will be located alongside the Ayung River, a location west and well removed from the Ubud city center. The property will occupy an eight-hectare site and be home to 100 suites and villas.
Airport Service Charge to be Included in Cost of Domestic Tickets Traveling form Bali's Airport
Bisnis.com reports that all people flying domestically in Bali will soon have the cost of the airport service charge (ASC) included in the price of the ticket.
The Minister for State-Owned Enterprises, Dahlan Iskan, confirmed that airport managers PT Angkasa Pura I and PT Angkasa Pura II have undertaken coordination with the Minister of Transportation regarding including the ASC in the purchase price of the ticket.
The Airport managers and the Ministry of Transportation have agreed to introduce the new method of collection the ASC as soon as possible. Airlines will be required to collect the ASC and remit that amount to PT Angkasa Pura.
Garuda Indonesia - the national flag carrier of Indonesia - has been collecting the ASC and including these charges in its ticket cost for some time. The new policy will bring all other domestic carriers into line with this procedure.
When, exactly, the change in policy come into effect at Bali's airport has yet to be officially announced.
Thai-Style Hospitality Comes to Bali
Centara Hotel and Resorts Opens 14-Villa Property at Nusa Dua, Bali
Centra Grand Villas Nusa Dua - a 14-villa property comprised of one, two and three bedroom private pool units - opened on August 21, 2014.
The first five-star property operated in Bali by Thailand's Centra Hotel & Resorts, the villas are set in extensive gardens, providing privacy to each villa.
Designed in a Peranakan style with spacious interiors, marble floors and rich tones of teak and rosewood furnishings, Each villa has its own private swimming pool accompanied by a large sundeck, loungers and an outdoor shower.
Each of the One-Bedroom Luxury Pool Villas has a minimum of 225-square meters of total living space, with an airy living and dining area flanked by an expansive garden with private pool and outdoor shower.
Bedroom Luxury Pool Villas can accommodate families and groups of four adults and three children in a minimum of 350-square meters of living space. Each villa features two spacious bedrooms, and two bathrooms with a shower and freestanding bathtub or Jacuzzi. The villa opens on to a private garden with a pool.
e-Bedroom Luxury Pool Villas provides over 680-square meters of total living space and can accommodate up to six adults and two children. The 75-square meter private pool is set in an expansive garden that also has an outside gazebo fitted out for massages and yoga lessons. The villa has three bedrooms, each with a freestanding bathtub and separate shower.
as are "Club Class" - providing access to the Club Lounge with complimentary service and an around-the-clock villa host.
The Centara Grand Villa Nusa Dua Bali also offers two signature restaurants, a bar, a swimming pool, the executive club lounge, spa and fitness centre, meeting rooms and a Chrysler Limousine service.
The Resort's all-day restaurant is The Long Table - open 24-hours a day with dining at a long tables on which chefs prepare both Western and Asian cuisine from an open kitchen.
i offers fine Chinese dining, preparing recipes from mainland Chins and Hong Kong, served in an opulent indoor environment or by the terrace adjoining the Resort's main pool.
The 8 Degree Bar, adopting a British vintage ambient, serves cocktails and a wide selection of fine wines.
Traditional Thai and Balinese healing therapies use local ingredients in an extensive menu of treatments at Spa Cenvarees that is located adjacent to a fitness center open 24-hours a day,
The Resort has its own Beach Club where refreshments are on offer.
Centara Hotel & Resorts is one of Thailand's leading operators of hotels with 47 deluxe and first-class properties in the Kingdom of Thailand. A further 21 Centara Resorts are in operation in the Maldives, Vietnam, Bali, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Qatar, Laos and Oman.
Have Lunch with Bali's Best Chefs
Bali Culinary Professionals September Lunch - a Bavarian Affair at Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel on Saturday, September 27, 2014
Bali's association of food and beverage experts - Bali Culinary Professionals will hold its September luncheon gathering at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel on Saturday, September 27, 2014.
A Bavarian lunch will be served starting at 12:30 p.m. and will also include a food tasting and veal presentation by Hennie Coenrad of SCENIA (PT Surya Cemerlang NIaga Abadi).
Reservations are required by email to the BCP Secretariat or by telephoning ++62-(0)361-286283 (Ibu Katrin).
Cost of lunch for BCP members is Rp. 250,000 and for guests and non-members Rp. 350,000.
Bali & Beyond Travel Fair 2015
2nd Bali and Beyond Travel Fair Returns to Bali June 10-14, 2015
Registration is now open for the 2nd Bali & Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) to be held on the Island June 10-14, 2015.
Open exclusively to professional buyers or sellers from the international travel industry, BBTF 2015 aims to be the most comprehensive B2B travel and tourism event in Southeast Asia.
Headquartered at Nusa Dua, BBTF 2015 will showcase tourism across Indonesia, travel and tour operations, resorts, hotels, cruise operators, convention planner and venue operators.
Attractive early bird discounts are now available to sellers of travel via the Bali & Beyond Travel Fair 2015 Website
We Have a Search Warrant!
The ongoing investigation of corruption by PT Angkasa Pura I (PAP I), the managers of Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, entered a new phase on Thursday, September 11, 2014, when a team of seven prosecutors conducted a surprise search of PAP I's offices seeking evidence of alleged malfeasance of taxes paid for airport advertising.
According to Radar Bali, tempers flared during the surprise search that saw prosecutors shout at PAP I staff who appeared to be reluctant accepting the search.
The team of 7 prosecutors walked into the office of PAP I shortly after 10:00 a.m. demanding access to the office of the former commercial manger, Nurspato - an office now occupied by his replacement Ida Bagus Mandala.
"We have come on official business," said one of the prosecutors, "please provide us with the data we seek. Don’t hide things. Or (if you do), we bring all the data back to the prosecutor's office."
This reportedly happened after staff of PAP I were unresponsive to the team of prosecutors who arrived wearing jackets identifying them as a member of the "Corps to Fight Corruption."
When screamed at by prosecutors, some of the PAP I staff were reported by Radar Bal to have suddenly gone quite pale.
Over time, PAP I staff members began complying with prosecutors request for data. Investigators remained at the PAP I until approximately 3:00 pm and returned with a number of files in cardboard boxes..
Three employees have already been named as suspects in the ongoing corruption case.
During the surprise raid by prosecutors, the Communications and Legal officer of PAP I Shively Sansaochi became angry with members of the media covering the raid, claiming the reporters had no right to be in the office, asking them to leave.
Clearly angry, Sansaochi shouted: "The airport belongs to us; everyone is required to follow the rules in place here. Reporters are not allowed to enter here. Get out! Get out!."
When reporters from Jawa Post and Radar Bali asked what rules banned reporters from covering the new, Sansaochi continued: "These are our rules. Please leave. Please leave so you don't disturb people trying to work."
Eventually the reporters were escorted out of the office. But Shively continued to protest, ordering reporters to leave.
"If later you want explanations, ask the prosecutors," she said.
Climb Every Other Mountain
Bali's Mount Agung Closed to Hikers Until November 21, 2014
Bali's sacred Mount Agung volcano has been closed to climber for two months starting from Tuesday, September 9, 2014.
The mountain's closure to hikers and climbers is connected to the Pancawali Krama Wana Kertih Ceremony underway at Pura Pasar Agung in the village of Sogra in Karangasem, East Bali.
The closure of climbing on any part of Mount Agung at an elevation higher than Pura Pasar Agung was announced by Wayan Suara Arsana, on behalf of the organizing committee of the Pancawali Krama Wana Kertih Ceremony, who said the prohibition will remain in effect until November 21, 2014.
As reported by Radar Bali, hikers and others present on the slopes of Mount Agung at elevations higher than Pura Agung would be an affront to those participating in the ceremony. Pura Pasar Agung is located at the foot of Mount Agung, it's location effectively barring use of Mount Agung by hikers for the entire two-month period.
The only people allowed to climb Mount Agung during the two-month period would be Hindus performing mendak tirta or ngaturang pekelem rituals at Mount Agung.
The committee has written to a number of Bali travel and tour companies and guide associations requesting that the sacred quality of the ongoing ceremonies be honored and tours that involve climbing the mountain be halted until November 21, 2014. "We have emphasized that this prohibition applies not only to hiking paths near Pura Pasar Agung, but all climbing paths. Only Hindu devotees performing religious rituals are allowed on the Mountain during this period," explained Arsana.
Roller Coaster Effect
Bali Hindu Support a Mass Transit Rail System that Honors Local Sensitivities
Plans under consideration to reduce traffic congestion in Bali by building a Monorail system has received a "green light" of sorts from the Hinduism Society (PHDI) chairman, I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana.
As reported by Radar Bali, Sudiana said plans for a monorail in Bali deserves support in order for the Island to meet the need of its local populace and tourist visitors. Such support, however, is not unconditional, with Sudiana requesting that the monorail be located in remote, less populated regions.
The request to build a mass transit system in areas away from the masses seems contradictory, at best. Moreover, Sudiana wants any monorail to honor local Hindu cultural sensibilities regarding height and distance by building a "roller-coaster" like rail system that would descend to street level whenever passing in close proximity to a Balinese temple.
Said Sudiana: "It would be better if Bali had a monorail that encircled the entire Island. It needs to be coordinated. If it is close to a 'pura'it should descend. If it is close to a 'Pura' let not have a dispute later."
He explained that any move that eases public transportation and does not offend the sanctity of temples, it would receive the support of the PHDI.
He also cautioned those planning to build a rail system near Bali's beaches to ensure that areas used for seaside Melasti ceremonies not be disturbed.
Holiday of No Return
Suicide Suspected in Death of 31-Year-Old Australian at a Kuta Hotel
A 31-year-old Australian man from New South Wales reportedly leapt to his death on Friday night, September 12, 2014, from his room in an upper floor of the Harris Sunset Road Hotel.
As reported by News Corp Australia, Mark David Sansom of Alstonville, northern NSW, was found at about 9:00 p.m. on the grounds behind the hotel with severe injuries to his head after falling from his room.
Hotel staff questioned by police and a review of CCTV footage indicate that Sansom was confused and disoriented in the period leading up to his death.
Staff who encountered the man confirmed a confused exchange about the noise of chickens and birds near his rooms when, in fact, there are no birds of any kind near the man’s room.
CCTV footage showed Sansom moving repeatedly in and out of his room.
A 1.5 meter fence surrounded the balcony from where the man fell to his death.
An inspection of the man’s room found no alcohol or drugs.
Police will perform an autopsy to try to determine additional information connected to the man’s death.
Sansom, who was traveling alone, checked into the hotel on September 8th and was scheduled to depart the hotel on the 13th, a day after his death.
Harambee, Buana! Harambee!
Hat-trick Win for Kenyan Kennedy Kiproo Lilan on His 3rd Win of BII Maybank Bali Marathon
Kenyan runner Kennedy Kiproo Lilan turned the 3rd running of the BII Maybank Bali Marathon into a hat trick performance – covering the 42.195 kilometers course in 2 hours 18 minutes and 52 seconds, 18 seconds in front of fellow-Kenyan Elijah Mwaniki Mbogo who clocked in 2 hours 19 minutes and 10 seconds. Ensuring the winners platform was strictly a Kenyan affair, Geoffrey Birgen came in third in 2 hours 21 minutes and 53 seconds.
The three Kenyans took home US$17,500, US$12,500 and US$7,000, respectively, for the their two hours of road work on a Sunday morning in Bali with winning checks handed to them by BII President Director Taswin Zakaria
Kennedy Kiproo Lilan’s third-time winning performance was only one-second slower than his time for the 2013 race and one minute 58 seconds off his results at the inaugural race in 2012.
A record 4,464 runners from 49 countries participated in a race roster that included the 42.195-kilometer full marathon; 21.0975-kilometer half marathon; 10-kilometer race; a 5-kilometer wheelchair race and short sprints for chidren.
A Belgium participant, Stanley Appermont, using a high-tech wheelchair joined the grueling full-marathon race cheered on by Balinese villagers and fellow marathoners.
The BII Maybank Bali Marathon 2014, as in past years, was headquartered at the Bali Safari and Marine Park in Gianyar – a short drive from Bali’s capital city of Denpasar.
The first group of runners embarked in the dark on the full marathon course at 5:00 a.m. with the remaining division staggered over the ensuing hour and culminating in the send off of the 10-kilometer runners at sunrise.
The 2014 running of the Bali Marathon marked the first-year in which the course was officially certified as an Association of International Marathons and Distance Race (AIMS), with times recorded by racers to be used to qualify in other international races, such as the fabled Boston Marathon.
The race also enjoys support and recognition from the Indonesian Athletic Association (PB PASI).
Partial List of Winners of the BII-Maybank Bali Marathon 2014:
Full Marathon Open Category - Men
1.Kennedy Kiproo Lilan – Kenya - 02:18:52 - US$17,500
2.Elijah Mwaniki Mbogo – Kenya - 02:19:10 - US$12,500
3.Geoffrey Birgen – Kenya - 02:21:53 - US$7,000
Full Marathon Open Category – Women
1.Elizabeth Jeruiyot Chemwen – Kenya - 02:47:35 - US$17,500
2.Viola Jepchirchir Kimeli – Kenya - 03:06:11 - US$12,500
3.Agieszka Sawicz-Orska – Poland - 03:43:54 - US$7,000
Full Marathon Indonesian Category - Men
1.Hamdan Saban – Indonesia - 02:36:12 – US$5,000
2.Nicolas Albinus Sila – Indonesia - 02:36:27 –US$ 2,500
3.Asma Bara – Indonesia - 02:38:54 – US$1,500
Full Marathon Indonesian Category - Women
1.Meri M Paijo – Indonesia - 03:03:53 US$5,000
2.Supriati Sutono – Indonesia - 03:21:14- US$2,500
3.Rumini Sudragni – Indonesia - 03:21:14- US$1,500
Half Marathon (21 K) Open Category - Men
1.Joseph Ngare Mwangi – Kenya - 01:04:06 – US$7,500
2.Samwel Kiptanui Maswai – Kenya - 01:04:21 – US$3,500
3.Kim Thomas – Australia - 01:24:09 –US$2,500
Half Marathon (21 K) Open Category - Women
1.Peninah Kigen – Kenya - 01:15:11 – US$7,500
2.Esther Karimi – Kenya - 01:17:44 – US$3,500
3.Jackline Musyawa Nzivo – Kenya – 01:20:40 – US$2,500
Half Marathon (21 K) National Category - Men
1.Ari Swandana – Indonesia - 01:14:05 – US$1,500
2.Saiin Alim – Indonesia - 01:14:06 – US$900
3.Rudi Febriade – Indonesia - 01:29:38 – US$650
Half Marathon (21 K) National Category – Women
1.Odekta Vina – Indonesia - 01:26:14 – US$1,500
2.Abigail Dwi Setiadi – Indonesia - 01:27:27 – US$900
3.Anjhani – Indonesia - 01:30:38- US$650
10 K Open Category – Men
1.Daniel Kiarie Gachui – Kenya - 00:29:49- US$2,500
2.James Munyi Maregu – Kenya - 00:30:19 – US$1,500
3.Charles Kipsang – Kenya - 00:32:05 – US$1,000
10 K Open Category – Women
1.Alice Kabura Njoroge – Kenya -00:36:43 – US$2,500
2.Carolyne Mitei – Kenya - 00:39:17 – US$1,500
3.Kwee Eng Poo – Singapore - 00:49:53 – US$1,000
10 K Indonesian Category - Men
1.Saeful Rahman – Indoneisa - 00:33:49 – US$700
2.Feri Junaedi – Indonesia - 00:34:08- US$600
3.I Made Indrawan – Indonesia - 00:35:00 – US$450
10 K Indonesian Category - Women
1.Nyai Prima Agita – Indonesia - 00:40:19 – US$700
2.Ni Kadek Ayu Sukarniti – Indonesia - 00:43:53 – US$600
3.Mutia Proborini – Indonesia - 00:44:32 – US$450
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