A Northern Defense
Bali’s North Coast Under a Protective Shield During APEC
As part of the security umbrella in place for the APEC Summit underway in the south of the Island, the Regency of Buleleng in Bali's far north is under tight security stretching from the port of Gilimanuk to the borders between the regencies of Karangasem and Klungkung.
The APEC Summit will bring leaders from 21 countries to Bali October 1-8, 2013.
According to the State News Agency Antara, police and military personnel are maintaining a tight watch on ports, shorelines and even back trails across North Bali in anticipation of anyone who might wish to disrupt the world summit.
The chief of the 1609 Military Command in Buleleng, Lt. Col. Nugroho, said: “Up until now, we have yet to encounter any suspicious circumstances, not even on the back roads. Security remains under our control.”
While police and military maintain a watch on ports and road, a simultaneous program of checking the documents on migrants from other parts of Indonesia present in underway in Bali’s northernmost regency.
Budget Watchdog Group Criticizes ‘Lavish” Spending on APEC Conference in Bali
(10/5/2013) The Jakarta Globe reports that the large sums spent by the Indonesian government on hosting the 2013 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit is coming under fire for being wasteful.
In a statement issued as the conference got underway on Wednesday, October 2, 2013, Uchok Sky Khadafi, director of advocacy and investigation at the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Seknas Fitra) said: “For the APEC summit, the government has wasted a large amount of the budget and forgotten the poor and has neglected damaged infrastructure.”
Ucok described the APEC Summit as expensive and unnecessarily lavish.
Criticizing the way in government funds were handled and allocated, Ucok decried the fact that the Rp. 352 billion (US$30 million) spent on the Summit was spread across and managed by four separate government ministries.
The dispersion of APEC funds were roughly divided across the following ministries:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rp. 222.427 billion
Ministry of Finance Rp. 16.587 billion
Ministry of Trade Rp. 16.587 billion
Ministry of Communication Rp. 57.5 billion
Other amounts were distributed to the Corruption Eradication Agency (KPK).
Seknas Fitra believes one statuary body as opposed to the current involvement of 5 government bodies would have more efficiently handled the government funds spent on APEC.
“It should have been managed and distributed through one single door to prevent overlapping spending and programs. The government should appoint one ministry to manage the budget so the spending can be more efficient,” Ucok explained.
He also bemoaned that the funds spent on premium services for visiting guests that might have better been spent on Indonesia’s damaged infrastructure.
Uchok describes APEC as having more disadvantages than advantages for Indonesia, pointing to the national trade deficit of US$2.31 billion in July of this year. APEC officials have set as major target of the Summit the strengthening of free trade and investment in the region.
Waiting for a ‘Get Out of Jail” Card
Schapelle Corby Urged to be Patient While Awaiting Parole from He Bali Prison Cell
(10/4/2013) The Chief Warden of Bali’s Kerobokan Prison, I Gusti Ngurah, on Friday, October 4, 2013, publicly denied that “marijuana queen” Schapelle Leigh Corby has been freed on parole.
Australian Corby was arrested on October 8, 2004 at the Bali International Airport carrying 4.2 kilograms of marijuana in her checked baggage. After a highly publicized trial, Corby was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Ngurah explained to The Bali Post that the process of parole from prison, especially when involving a foreigner, was time-consuming matter. Corby has served the requisite two-thirds of her total remaining sentence and paid a Rp. 100 million fine imposed by the Courts, leaving only a number of administrative steps, including Ministerial approval, to be addressed before her prison door can swing open.
The Prison’s Warden explained that Corby must still submit a photocopy of her verdict, undergo investigation and review by the prison, submit to a public review board and a be the subject of written declaration to the Denpasar prosecutors’ office testifying to her good behavior.
Also, In the case of a foreign prisoner, the individual’s consulate in Bali has to accept responsibility for their national who must live in Bali until the period of parole is completed.
Ngurah said local and international media reporting that Corby is free or will imminently be released is premature and creating a misconception with the public.
Summit Preparations Costs Casualties
One Death and One Injury Among Indonesian Armed Forces During Pre-APEC Exercises
(10/4/2013) Two accidents during training exercises by Indonesian Army Special Forces (TNI Kopassus) in preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC) have resulted in one death and one serious injury.
Beritabali.com quoted the chief of communications for 9th Udayana Military Command in Bali, Col. Handoko, who said a training incident that claimed the life of First Sergeant Eko Wahyu Setiawan who suffered from acute asthma. “Wahyu was hospitalized for two days at the Army Hospital. He died at mid day,” explained Handoko on Friday, October 4, 2013.
Meanwhile, another Kopassus member suffered an injury while performing an exercise at sea. The officer has been identified as First Lieutenant Rienlas Wideslatu. “He works as a commander of a Kopassus Assault Unit,” said Handoko. Wideslatu was injured while practicing a beach landing on Serangan Island near Sanur Beach.
Handoko said that due to fatigue resulting from battling currents, Wideslatu is now resting and now recovering at the Army Hospital.
Careful Where You Put Your Nose
Police Make Major Cocaine Bust in Bali
(10/4/2013) Police from the national police headquarters in Jakarta on Thursday, October 3, 2013, thwarted an effort to smuggle 1.8 kilograms of cocaine from Columbia to Bali.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the Director IV of the Criminal Narcotics Division of the Indonesian Police, Brigadier General Arman Depari, said, “Two suspects with the initials SF and ED have been arrested.”
The two were arrested in the Blogor area of Denpasar after they brought Columbia cocaine through Bali’s Airport.
Arms identified ED as a dealer of cocaine for tourists visiting Bali and Lombok.
Police continue to seek a Columbian named "Brother" who is suspected of smuggling cocaine into Bali for eventual sale by ED and SF.
Arman credited cooperation between Customs Officials and police in making the arrests.
Obama Cancels Bali Visit
Budget Impasse with U.S. Congress Forces President Obama to Cancel Asia Tour and Visit to Bali APEC Conference
(10/4/2013) A continuing U.S. government shutdown with no end in sight has seen President Barack Obama cancel a planned 4-nation tour of Asia, including a stop in Bali to attend the APEC Summit.
The president was originally scheduled to visit Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Brunei and the Philippines. The White house, in its initial response to the congressional budget crisis, removed Malaysia and the Philippines from the schedule, only to finally cancel the entire trip 3 days before Obama’s planned departure from Washington on Saturday, October 5, 2013.
An official White House statement attributed the cancellation of the Asian trip to the government shutdown.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will now lead the U.S. delegation to Bali and contine on to a subsequent stop in Brunei.
As reported by the State News Agency Antara, plans for bi-lateral meetings at a Chief Executive level in Bali between Obama and Indonesian President Yudhoyono will be necessarily scuttled by the cancellation of the trip.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told the press that discussions planned between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Barack Obama will now need to be recast to a lower level during the APEC Summit October 1-8, 2013.
Natalegawa said: “The cancellation of the visit by President Obama will not have a negative effect on the relations between Indonesia and the U.S.A.
The Summit of Fashion
Heads of State attending APEC Summit to be adorned in Traditional Textiles and Immersed in Balinese Culture
(10/4/2013) The Bali Post confirms that the heads of state attending the gala dinner hosted on their behalf by Indonesia at the APEC Summit will wear Balinese endek cloth.
The regent of Badung, A.A. Gde Agung, told a press conference on Thursday, October 3, 2013: "Balinese endek cloth will be worn during the gala dinner attended by the world’s leaders, including Barack Obama. This is part of our effort to promote local culture.”
In addition to promoting the hand-made local textile of endek Gde Agung said that main roads, particularly in the Nusa Dua area, will be adorned with rows of traditional penjor flags and Balinese carvings to ensure the delegates come into contact with Balinese culture during their stay.
“We will also present the 'Sekar Jepun' dance as the mascot of the Badung regency. A group photo of the heads of state in a Balinese setting will also done,” Gde Agung added.
Up There, Where the Airway is Energized
In-Flight Internet Connectivity Lunched on Garuda Indonesian
(10/4/2013) Garuda Indonesia, the National Flag Carrier, continues to boldly pursue its Quantum Leap in customer service with the introduction of both WiFi connectivity and live TV.
Bisnis.com quotes the vice-president of corporate communications for Garuda, Pujobroto, saying, “Garuda passengers flying on the Boeing 777-300ER can enjoy Live TV from six international channels.”
The channels available to passengers include: CNN International, BBC World, BBC Arabic, HK World Premium, Euronews and CNBC.
The news service was launched on October 2, 2013 on all Boeing 777-300ER aircraft flown by Garuda.
The director of passenger service for Garuda, Faik Fahmi, said he hoped the in-flight connectivity offered by the Airline would represent an important added value to passengers allowing them to continue to work on the Internet or enjoy live TV while they travel.
“This service is offered in conjunction with a ‘New Service Concept’ now being launched, including a new ‘First Class Service’ and improved service to ‘Business Class’ and ‘Economy Class,’” added Fahmi.
First class passengers on Garuda will enjoy WiFi service without charge, while executive and economy passengers will purchase vouchers at US$11.95 for unlimited Internet for 1 hour and US$21.95 for 24-hours unlimited Internet.
While the new service will initially only be available on the Airline’s Boeing 777-300ER fleet, plans are in place to gradually introduce in-flight connectivity on all Garuda Airbus 330-200 and Airbus 330-300 planes.
The new “Inflight Connectivity” service of Garuda represents a collaborative effort between Garuda Indonesia and Telkom. Permission to operate the new service has been issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Communications and Information.
Please Prepare Correct Change
After One Week of Free Passage, Mandara Bali Toll Usage Drops Dramatically as Tolls are Charged.
(10/4/2013) While more than 120,000 vehicles travelled Bali’s new Mandara Toll Road in a single day during its opening week of free usage, those numbers declined markedly when the toll booths opened and began charging fees on October 1, 2013.
On the first day of tollbooth operation the number of vehicles on the road totaled 38,436 – a total roughly in line with daily projections by the road’s operator PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol of 40,000 but one-third of the peak usage during the free-trial period.
Of that total, 53% of the passing traffic was comprised of motorcycles using the specially designed separate motorcycle lanes with the remaining 47% comprised of cars, vans, busses and trucks. The composition is a variance somewhat with the operator’s projection that 55% of all traffic would be four-wheeled sedans or larger and 45% motorcycles.
Motorcycles are charged Rp. 4,000 (US$0.35), while sedans are charged Rp. 10,000 (US$0.87). Busses and truck pay higher fees.
BAWA Barks No More
Large Team of Gianyar Regency Official Seal the Doors of Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA)
(10/3/2013) Radar Bali (Jawa Post) reports that on Thursday, October 3, 2013, the Regency of Gianyar dispatched a coordinated team to forcibly shut and seal the doors of the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) in Lodtunduh, Ubud.
A team comprised of officers from the regency, animal husbandry (Disnak), manpower (Tenaga Kerja) and the Agency for the People’s Unity, Protection and The Agency for the National Preservation of Societal and Political Unity (Kesbanglinmaspol) participated in closing of the BAWA clinic. Gede Daging, the head of community enforcement in Gianyar (Satpol PP), explained, “Because there were so many violations committed by BAWA, we invited all these agencies to participate.”
A third and final warning letter was issued and delivered to BAWA on Wednesday, October 2, 2013, approved by the Regent of Gianyar, AA Gede Bharata.
A Shortened Itinerary
Obama’s Asia Tour Shortened by Continuing U.S. Government Shutdown
(10/2/2013) Voice of America (VOA) reports that the continuing budget impasse in Washington D.C. has caused U.S. President Barack to eliminate two stops in a four-country Asian tour slated to start on Friday, October 5, 2013.
As the U.S. budget crisis entered its second day, the White House announced that planned visits to Malaysia and the Philippines have been cancelled. VOA said that Obama would continue with plans to visit Brunei and Bali to at attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC).
The continuing shutdown of the U.S. Government started on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, as Congress missed a deadline to fund the ongoing operations of the government.
Republicans in the House of Representatives are stubbornly seeking to use the budget approval process to derail President Obama's signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act.
The budget approval process requires separate approval by both the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate. The Democrats who control the Senate are expected to reject any eventual budget put forward by Congress that attempts to defund Obamacare.
An estimated one million U.S. federal workers remain technically “unemployed” and without pay as the result of the shutdown. National parks and many federal agencies were closed on October 1st as the shutdown commenced.
Meanwhile, Air Force One carrying President Obama is expected to touch down in Bali on October 5, 2013, to attend the APEC Summit.
APEC Summit Disrupts Bali Air Connections
AirAsia Cancel Flights and Changes Timing for Bali Flights During APEC Summit
(10/2/2013) AirAsia Indonesia has cancelled 81 flights and altered the schedules of 53 more flying to and from Bali in connection with disruptions caused by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC).
Audrey Progastama Petriny, Communications Manager for AirAsia Indonesia, told the State News Agency Antara, “the management offered several solutions in connection with the changes in schedules and cancellation of flights due to VIP flight movements during the 2013 APEC CEO Summit.”
Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport will be closed during selected periods during the APEC Summit.
The airport will be closed to commercial flights during the following periods:
October 6, 2013: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
October 8, 2013: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
October 9, 2013: 7:00 am – 2:00 pm
Air Asia is offering a number of alternatives to their passengers affected by flight disruptions occasioned by the APEC Summit. Passengers ticketed on cancelled flights will receive a credit equal to the purchase price of their ticket for use on another AirAsia flight over the coming 90 days or full cash refund.
AirAsia Passengers are also being offered to use existing tickets in exchange for a flight over the same sector at no additional charge for flights departing in the next 10 days.
Passengers requiring more information should have their booking code in hand when calling the AirAsia National Call Center at ++62-(0)21-29270999.
AirAsia is emailing passengers holding tickets to and from Bali affected by cancellations or schedule changes.
How to Score a Touchdown in Bali
The Southernmost Landing in Bali - The Helipad at BTDC
Part of the preparations for the APEC Conference in Bali includes the construction of a large helipad within the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) complex at Nusa Dua in South Bali.
The helipad constructed at a cost of Rp. 2 billion (US$174,000) is claimed to be the largest rotary-wing landing facility in all of Indonesia.
The helipad’s location is on the Nusa Dua peninsula, near the Grand Hyatt Hotel and the Bali Collection shopping arcade.
Nyoman Cakra, a director of BTDC, said the pad was needed to accommodate the visit of more than 20 heads of state during the APEC Conference.
Measuring 46 meters in diameter, the helipad required two months to construct.
The helicopter-landing base has undergone extensive testing to ensure it is ready to handle VVIP helicopter landings during APEC.
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