Bali News Update week 45 N.

Removing Obstacles to Tourism Growth

Indonesia to Grant Free Visas to Australia, Japan, South Korea, China and Russia in 2015. Private Yacht Visits Permit Process to be Simplified. reports that the Government will end the need to purchase visa-on-arrival for five leading source countries of foreign visitors to Indonesia.


In a related move, the Government is also promising to simplify procedures for visiting yacht sailing in Indonesia.


Indonesia’s newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, hosted a meeting at his office on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 with the Coordinating Maritime Minister, Indroyono Soesilo, to discuss visa policies and permit policies for visiting yachts.


As the result of the meeting hosted by the two Ministers, two important changes in tourism policy have been announced.


Effective January 1, 2015, the Indonesia will grant free visas upon arrival to tourist visitors from Australia, Russia, China, Japan and South Korean. Visitors from these countries currently pay US$35 upon landing in Indonesia for a 30-day tourist visa.


The Indonesian government will also introduce a one-stop on-line service for foreign yachts wishing to visit Indonesia. The Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transportation and the Indonesian Armed Forces will jointly administer the new permit facility.


In announcing the new policy, Arief cited the changes as part of the “quick wins” being sought for Indonesian tourism that will substantially increase the number of tourism visitors at a minimal cost to the Government.



Chilies as an Economic Indicator

Life and Food Losing its Appeal in Bali as Cost of Chili Peppers Escalate


Although not officially listed by the government as a “basic food need,” many Indonesians would argue that Indonesian daily dietary mainstays lose their culinary appeal if not accompanied by a mandatory daily dosahe of chili peppers.


And for that reason, chilies can be reliably used as secondary economic and political indicators inasmuch as food without chili or chili sauces is seen in these parts as reflecting hardship seriious enought to foment political discontent.


Radar Bali reported on Thursday, November 6, 2014 that cost of chili peppers in Bali’s capital of Denpasar is on the increase.


Rustini, a chili trader at the Badung Market in Denpasar, says chilies that once sold for Rp. 15,000 (US$1.25) per kilogram have now risen to Rp. 35,000 – Rp. 40,000 per kilogram (US$29 – US$33).


A kilogram of chilies at the Ubung Market in north Denpasar now costs Rp. 50,000 a kilogram US$4.20).


Traders say the supply of chilies at the Baturiti Market where traders usually obtain their  supplies is now limited due to continuing drought in the Island’s north.


A representative of the Denpasar Business and Trade Department, Wayan Gatra, said there is little his department can do as prices are set by supply and demand, other than suggest  to the public try to reduce chili consumption. While the government will intervene to limit price increases for the nine items considered as essential food produces, chilies are not - at least officially - counted as an essential food item.


The government provides market support to the nine food and nutritional commodities deemed essential to sustaining life, namely: rice, sago and corn; sugar; vegetables and fruits; beef and chicken; cooking oil and margarine; milk, eggs; kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas; and salt.



When Bali Chefs Sit Down to Lunch

November Bali Culinary Professional Lunch at The Stones Hotel on Saturday, November 22, 2014


The Bali Culinary Professionals monthly luncheon for November will take place at The Stones Kitchen, The Stones Hotel – Legian on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.


Attended by the chefs and food and beverage professionals from across Bali, the menu will be one of both exceptional quality and value.


Beverages for the lunch have been generously sponsored by Hatten Wines and Bir Bintang.



Bali Culinary Professional November Luncheon Menu

November Monthly Luncheon – Saturday, November 22, 2014

Stones Kitchen – Stones Hotel - Legian


Charcuteries and cheeses

Olives, marinated vegetable, marinated feta

Hummus, tomato tapenade, balsamic, olive oil

Baguette, lavosh, grissini



Nasi putih, acar, pappadums, roti john, chicken satay, peanut sauce



Aussie striploin

Roast potato, pumpkin and carrot beef jus, mustards, horseradish



sop buntut, bell peppers, white onion wedges

cabe rawit, sweet soy, lime, kentang carrot

tomato wedges



Red snapper Balinese spiced

Lemon baked salmon fillet

Toasted red quinoa pilaf



Whole roast duck with plum and hoisin sauce

Steamed bok choy and black mushrooms





“POD au chocolates”


Assorted cake and pies

French pastries


Ice Campur Station

Chin chow, fermented cassava, palm fruit, agar agar, condensed milk, avocado, young coconut, sago



Classic Caramel Classic Hazelnut, Modern Black Forest, Modern Rum & Raisin, Tropical Banana ,Tropical Coconut

Tropical Ginger Lemongrass


All are welcome with BCP members paying only Rp. 250,000 (US$20.80), Young Chefs Rp. 175,000 (US$14.60) and guests Rp. 350,000 (US$29).


Advance bookings are  required by telephone +62-(0)361-286283 (extension 101) or by [Email]




Meet, No Gravy

President and Vice President Move to Limit Costly Government Meetings in Hotels


Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla has reminded all government ministries, department and agencies to help reduce budget deficits by limiting meetings to government meeting facilities and avoid the costly use of hotel and convention centers.


“We will limit unnecessary costs, including the cost of meetings,” said Kalla at the Vice-Presidential Office Complex on Thursday, November 6, 2014.


According to the Vice-President, meetings outside of their respective ministerial offices are permitted if existing facilities of sufficient size do not exists. Kalla said that if the number attending a meeting exceeds the carrying capacity of the available meeting hall – involving regional heads of government fro governor to regents – the rental of private venues would be considered acceptable.


Continuing, Kalla asked: “But, if only 30-100 people are attending (a meeting), why must we use a hotel?”


Quoted by, the Minister for the Optimization of the State Apparatus and Bureaucratic Reform, Yuddy Chrisnandi, said that he is in the process of drafting a regulation for the President’s signature that will prohibit or limit government meetings that can be held in private sector venues.


The regulation is being drafted in direct response to an instruction given by President Joko Widodo at a cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.




Check Out for Children in Kuta, Bali

Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort Hosts ‘Zumba on the Beach’ and Raises Funds for the World’s Children and UNICEF


Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort in cooperation with UNICEF hosted an activity-filled day on October 19, 2014.  “Zumba by the Beach” saw 500 Zumba enthusiasts join a 60-minute session conducted by 6 certified instructors and, in the process, raised US$ 10,200 for the world’s children.

a Fitness is a Latin-inspired cardio-dance workout that incorporates music and choreographed steps in a fitness party atmosphere. While the dance and music was primarily Latin American, classes can also feature jazz, African, Country, hip-hop and pop.


The special day at the Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort also featured a special Zumba session for children, a healthy food bazaar, and ended with a lucky draw and fun games for all the participants that included dining and stay vouchers from  Starwood Hotels & Resorts from around the world.

t is amazing to see the happy faces from all the participants during the Zumba session,” said Dario Orsini, general manager of Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort. “The vibe and enthusiasm from the participants and supporters was amazing, and we are proud for being part of such an important cause that contributes to the children in need through UNICEF.”


Proceeds from the event were donated to UNICEF’s Check Out for Children Challenge – a long-standing joint fundraising efforts between UNICEF and Starwood Hotels. In the Asia Pacific region. UNICEF Check Out for Children Program has supported the immunization of thousands of young women and children against a number of preventable diseases.


Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort



Money on the Right Horse

Melbourne Cup Event at Canggu Club Nets Much Needed Funds for Solemen Community Service Activities


Canggu Club's Melbourne Cup Lawn Party in Bali on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 raised valuable funds for the Solemen Foundation – with no less than Rp. 268.5 million (US$22,375) yielded from the proceeds of raffles, auctions and sweepstakes sales going to help Bali’s less fortunate residents.


Recognized as one of Bali’s best known and trusted charities, Solemen was founded in 2010 life-long humanitarians Robert Epstone and Beat Schmid de Gruneck. A Bali-based non-profit organization cooperating with accredited agencies working to alleviate suffering among the disadvantaged in Bali, Solemen operates a sustainable nutrition program together with direct assistance to some of the island’s neediest families.

Canggu Club’s support to Solemen Indonesia forms part of a range of programs aimed to “give back” to the people of Bali. Each year the Canggu Club supports the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage. Moreover, children from the orphanage have been hosted to “fun days out” at the Club experiencing the thrill of bouncing on a trampoline and playing ten-pin bowling.


Later this year, the more than 90 kids housed at the orphanage kids will be invited back to for a visit to the Club’s Splash Waterpark.


Also forming part of the Club’s generous program of community support, December 1, 2014 will see the traditional Christmas tree reappear in the Club’s foyer, displaying nearly one hundred “Christmas tags.”


Each tag features a picture of a child at the Jodie O’Shea orphanage.


In keeping with the spirit of the Season, Canggu Club members, patrons and staff alike are invited to select a child for whom to buy a Christmas present. Presents are collected and, later in the month, Santa arrives at the Club together with his helpers to present each child with his or her personalized gift.



Pay and be Done with It

Transportation Minister Wants Airport Service Charge to be Included in Airline Tickets


Indonesia’s Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan has is asking all national airlines to include the airport tax or passenger service charge (PSC) in the ticket price in order to improve services at the Nation’s airports by eliminating the need for the separate collection of these items.


Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Jonan made the request of all Indonesian airlines following a meeting with Garuda Indonesia at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport on Wednesday, November 5, 2014.


Jonan said: “All airlines must be prepared (to do this). The PSC (payment) is only an IT problem (information technology). How it will be done is for Angkasa Pura II to sort out. If the airlines refuse, they must be forced to do it.”


Garuda recently removed the ASC from their ticket prices. The ASC ranged from Rp. 40,000 to Rp. 75,000 - depending on the airport.


The Minister of Transportation wants to simplify ASC collection and see the airport management focus on providing better service to passengers in terms of information and cleanliness.



Bali’s Economy Shows Sign of Slowing

Bali by the Numbers: Bali’s Economy: Sluggish Growth in Q3 2014


Bali’s economy grew 2.78% in Q3 of 2014 when compared to Q2 of the current year, measured on the basis of increases in the gross domestic product.


As reported by, Panusunan Siregar, head of the Bali Central Statistic Bureau, said on Wednesday, November 5, 2014, that growth in Bali’s economy is driven by high growth in selected sub-sectors. During Q3 2014, Bali highest rate of growth occurred in the services sector, which grew at 8.05%. Meanwhile, the lowest rate of growth was recorded in the agricultural sector that grew by only 0.3%.


When compared year-on-year to Q3 2013, Bali’s gross domestic product has grown 6.53%. Year-on-year, the construction sector has grown 1.86%


The nominal value of Bali’s gross domestic product in Q3 2014, when measured in constant year-2000 prices, reached Rp. 9.4 trillion.


Seen from the demand side, consumer household spending and exports made the biggest contribution to Bali’s gross domestic product in Q3 2014.


A slowdown quarter-on-quarter in the economy in Q3 2014 is blamed on reduced consumption as measure by household expenditures, non-commercial household spending and government spending.


Despite a somewhat slower Q3, year-on-year Bali’s economy has grown across all sectors with the exception of government expenditures and stocks inventories held.



Private Sector in Flight Command

Government Wants to Move Management of Major Airports to Private Hands


The Jakarta Globe reports that the government plans to privatize the operation of six major Indonesian airports currently operated by the State-owned PT Angkasa Pura I.


Slated to be handed over to the private sector are Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Yogyakarta’s Adi Sucipto Airport, Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport, Banjarmasin’s Symasuddin Noor Airport, Balikpapan’s Sepinggan Airport, and Makassar’s Sultan Hasanuddin Airport.


Angkasa Pura currently manages a total of 13 airports across Indonesia.


Indonesia has opened national airport management to foreign investment to a maximum participation level of 49%.



AirAsia Offering Better Connections Via Bali

AirAsia to Offer ‘Fly-Thru’ Connectivity via Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport


Following the successful launch at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in September 2014, AirAsia is preparing to offer “Fly-Thru AirAsia” at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.


As reported by, “Fly-Thru AirAsia” will facilitate travel to international destinations via Bali’s airport. The president director of AirAsia Indonesia, Sunu Widyatmoko, said, “Customers can now travel with more comfort and efficiency to a number of destinations such as Darwin, Perth and Melbourne via Bali flying with AirAsia Indonesia (QZ) and Indonesia AirAsia X (XT).”


Passengers flying via Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport will be able to check in flights and luggage from their originating airport to their final destination.


The new “Fly-Thru AirAsia” service will be available on five routes: Jakarta-Perth, Bandung-Perth, Surabaya-Perth, Jakarta Darwin and Singapore-Perth.



A Case of Misadventure

Police Continue to Investigate Tragic Death of Indian Tourist on Ayung River Rafting Trip


Following the death on Monday, November 3, 2014, of a 29-year-old Indian tourist, Bhavik Shah, in a rafting accident on Bali’s Ayung River, Bali Adventure Rating conducted Mecaru and Mekelam ceremonies - cleansing and devotional rituals 


As reported by, Wayan Sukianten, a spokesman for Bali Adventure Rating, said on Friday, November 7, 2014: “The ceremonies today were conducted in accordance with Hindu teachings. The purpose is the cleanse the location where the victim died, including the area passed through by the victim prior to his death.”

n described how the Mecaru ritual began at the embarkation point for the rafting trip on the Ayung River. Other rites, including the Mekelem ceremony presented sacred offerings and animal sacrifices, such as a black chicken and a black duck, followed. The offerings were laid at the points in the river where the Indian tourist disappeared and at the location where his body was later discovered. Finally, more offerings were made at the end point of the Bali Adventure rafting program.


The Balinese spokesperson explained that the prayers and offerings were made in accordance with local customs to ensure that the soul of the deceases was not left stranded at the scene of his demise.


When the accident occurred, Bhavik Shah was following a rafting trip in the company of six friends traveling in two rubber boats. The first boat carried two married couples and the second carried the remaining two members of the group. Each boat also carried a certified guide from the rafting company.


Wiji, one of the river guides, told how when the boat arrived at a part of the river with swift flowing water and large rocks it was recommended that the tourists go ashore to rejoin the raft a short distance down the river beyond the treacherous passage. The guide explained that the victim and a companion chose to ignore the guide’s recommendations, insisting on staying with the raft attempting to navigate the rapids and large rocks.


The victim later fell out of the raft and into the fast-flowing river. The ill-fated Indian reportedly shifted from one large rock to the next, before disappearing into the current.


Nigel Mason, the owner of Bali Adventure Tours, told that he was grief stricken by the incident, emphasizing that all safety and standard operating procedures were in place at the time of the accident. “It’s been 25 years since I opened Bali Adventure Tours and I am convinced that this incident was purely accidental. We are members of the Rafting Operators Forum that always prioritizes safety. Everything we do – including safety riding, helmets, and floatation jackets are in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures,’ explained Mason.


Bali Adventure Tours denied allegations that they were late in reporting the accident to the authorities, underlining they were committed to fully cooperating with those investigating the incident.


The head of Payangan Police Precinct confirmed to Radar Bali that the incident is under investigation, including interviews by police with all witnesses and the river guides from the rafting company. An autopsy on the dead man’s body was performed before its repatriation to India.


Meanwhile, the head of the Gianyar Tourism Office, A.A. Bagus Ari Brahmata pointed to the long-standing excellent safety record of rafting operators on the Ayung River, saying: “Frankly, I was shocked to hear about this incident. As far as I can recall, for years there has not been a similar accident. Therefore, we will continue to cooperate with the police to determine the actual cause of the tourist’s death.”


Brahmata continued saying that among the 12 companies operating on the Ayung River in Gianyar, Bali Adventure Tours is widely considered among the best from a number of aspects. In fact, Bali Adventure is a past recipient of the Bali Cipta Award in recognition of the quality of its service to its customers and its high standards of safety.


“I am always checking. Thus, they received the Bali Cipta Award from the Ministry. That award is because of quality, service and  safety standards are all considered the very best. Therefore I was shocked to hear that such an accident could occur,” added Brahmata,


The tourism chief for Gianyar cited Bali Adventure and Sobek Rafting for their adherence to local customs and traditions, performing rituals in accordance with Bali Hindu beliefs. Brahmata said he would soon be calling all rafting operators on the river for a precautionary briefing and review on safety and service standards.



Abandon Ship

Four Suffer Burns When Bali to Nusa Penida Fast Ferry Catches Fire as Passengers and Crew Abandon Ship


A JJ Fast Boat operating between Sanur Beach and Nusa Penida caught fire on Friday, November 7, 2014 at approximately 10:30 a.m. near Nusa Penida.


Just prior to the fire, the boat had left its anchorage at Jungut Batu bound for Sanur Beach. Approximately one-kilometer from shore a fire broke out on board causing a complement of 16 passengers to jump into the surrounding sea to escape the inferno.


The head of the Klunkung Police Precinct, Ni Wayan Sri Yudayatni Wirawati, who quickly attended the scene of the accident, confirmed that four people have suffered burns. There were no fatalities reported in connection with the fire and the need to abandon ship.


Injured were three foreign nationals Gabrielle Samsan, Oliver Robitaille and Bonnacorsi Sara together with one Indonesian Komang Indah. reports that the four injured received initial first aid at the Jungut Batu Community Health Center before being transferred to a hospital on the mainland in Denpasar.


Wirawati recounted how the fast boat captained by Wayan Puji departed with 9 foreigners and 7 Indonesian, catching fire one-kilometer from he shore of Nusa Penida.


Police say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.


The passenger and crew list from the ill-fated ship included:

Ngainan (25) from Java

Nurmaningsih (30) from Java

Philip Durent (52) Belgium

Lee Lay Hoon (38) Malaysia

Gabrielle Samsan (45) Canada (Injured)

Oliver Robitaille (40) Canada (Injured)

Jan Alinski (62) Sweden

Pascal Chopard (38) Switzerland

Jennifer Firmenich ( 3 ) Germany

Montanari Massimo ( 35 ) Italy

Bonaccorsi Sara (35) Italy (Injured)

Komang Indah (28) Jungut Batu (Injured)

Komang Awa ( 35) Jungut Batu

Nyoman Kate ( 37) Jungut Batu

Wayan Darma (35) Jungut Batu

Men Dana (60) Jungut Batu



Please Feed the Animals

Drought-stricken Monkeys and Deer From West Bali National Park Shift to Denpasar-Gilimanuk Highways Seeking Food Handouts


Hundreds of wild monkeys from the West Bali National Park have invaded the sub-district of Gilimanuk in Jembrana, occupying the main highway connecting Denpasar to its westernmost ferry port.


According to the State News Agency Antara, experts believe the primate exodus is caused by a lack of food in the animal’s original habitat brought on by a lingering drought.


The monkeys sit on the road seeking scraps of food thrown on the road by passing motorists.


Wayan Astika, a truck driver who frequently travels the road. said: “Since six months ago, hundreds of monkeys came out of the jungle. Maybe there was no more food there (in the jungle) because of the long draught.”


Those stopping to share food with the monkeys also say it is not unusual to see deer on the side of the road that have also left the confines of the nearby jungle in search of food.


The monkeys are losing any innate fear of humans and vehicles, emboldened to approach parked or stopped vehicles in search of a handout.


Aware of the animals’ plight, motorists are bringing bread and fruit to share with the monkeys.


Authorities have installed roadside signs warning drivers to be aware of the danger of colliding with animals in the area.



Keeping Bali’s Mangrove Unchanged

Protestors in Bali Call on President Widodo to Revoke SBY’s Decree on Benoa Bay reports that hundreds of people marching under the banner of “ForBali” demonstrated in Bali on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 protesting plans to reclaim wetlands in Benoa Bay.


The protestors carried posters and banners, accompanied by a traditional “Beleganjur” Balinese marching orchestra as they walked around the Bajra Sandhi Monument in Renon, Denpasar.


A field coordinator from ForBali at the demonstration, Bobby, accompanied by a director of Green Indonesia (Walhi), Suriadi Darmoko, voiced their opposition to Presidential Decree No. 51/2014 that changed the status of the wetlands from a conservation zone to an area rezoned suitable for commercial development.


“Beona Bay is a natural conservation area that must be preserved. However, with the issuance of Presidential Decisions Number 51/2014 an opportunity has been created to change the status of the area. Because of this we reject effort to undertake reclamation in that area,” said Bobby.


He went on to insist that the Central Government and the Government of the Province of Bali must accept democratic principles and listen to the public’s aspirations regarding Benoa Bay.


Bobby said it is the government’s responsibility to steer investor’s desires to other areas of Bali more suited to development and more likely to bring economic opportunities to neglected areas of – such as Karangasem, Buleleng and Jembrana.


Bobby said he hoped Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo will revoke Presidential Decision Number 51/2014, because the majority of the Balinese people reject that Decision. It would be best, said Bobby, if the President restored Benoa Nay's status as a Conservation Area.




Taking the Bite Out of a Bali Holiday

Provincial Authorities Say Ignorance is a Main Reasons Bali Can’t Bring Rabies Under Control


The province of Bali remains committed to reduce the number of dog bites as the vector for spread of rabies in Bali.


During the period January – October 2014 a total of 110 dog bite incidents were recorded in the province.


Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the chief of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department for the province of Bali, Dr. IKG Natakesuma said: “Of the 110 cases, the greatest number occurred in the regency of Karangasem with 24 bites.


The province has been socializing information on rabies and distributing vaccine to the Island’s eight regencies and one municipality in order to fight the disease.


Health officials say that continuing deaths attributed to rabies are due to the lack of public education on the dangers of rabies and the failure to seek anti-rabies inoculation after being bitten by a dog.


Also thwarting official efforts to bring rabies under control is the local tradition of allowing "pet" dogs to roam freely and the resulting large floating population of feral dogs. Poor control of rubbish on the island is also blamed for providing a ready food supply for the feral population of canines in which rabies can often thrive.




Abracadabra and Simsalabin

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran Works Magic to Raise Funds for Starwood Hotel's Check Out for Children Campaign


Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran will partner with the international charity - UNICEF to host a magical afternoon on November 22, 2014.

uo;Unlock Magic – Celebrate for Children Through Magic” - the event will offer a 60-minute Magical experience put together by “The Experience.” Starting at 3:00 pm and running until 5:00 p.m. “The Experience” is an internationally renowned stage act presenting Ceremco from Holland who specializes in Mentalism and Hypnosis and Josh Novendra from Indonesia who specializes in acts of Illusions and close-up-magic.


“Organizing this for the first time, our team is excited to partner with UNICEF to host this family-friendly event”, said Gregory Gubiani, general manager of Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran. ‘Our Unlock Magic event brings a mix of classic illusions and modern magic curated by ‘The Experience.’ We look forward to bringing together families over this afternoon affair to raise money for an important cause.”


The tickets are priced at Rp. 100. 000 net per adult (US$8.35) inclusive refreshements. Each paying adult may bring two children under age 12 on a complimentary basis.


All proceeds from the event  will help needy children through UNICEF’s Check Out for Children Challenge initiative – a shared fundraising effort between Starwood Hotels in Southeast Asia. The UNICEF Check Out for Children Program supports the immunization of thousands of young women and children against a number of preventable diseases. 


Containing Contagion

Bali Spending Nearly US2 million to Fight Rabies


The Province of Bali is allocating Rp. 9 billion (US$750,000) each year to fight and control rabies on the Island. This amount includes purchases of rabies inoculations for pets and anti-rabies vaccine for people bitten animals suspected to be infected with rabies.


Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the head of the Bali Provincial Health Department, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya, said, that if all financial resources used in Bali’s fight against rabies is totaled the actual total – including money spent on anti-rabies vaccines – is something between Rp. 18-25 billion (US$1.5 –US$2 million).


Suarjaya conformed that the province has a stand-by supply of 25,000 dosage of anti-rabies serum for human use for those suffering from animal bites.


Bali’s top health official called on villages across Bali to make local rules requiring the vaccination of dogs and limiting the ability of pets to free roam.


Suarjaya said the government has identified 75 points in Buleleng and Karangasem where they believe active rabies cases still exist.


Bali’s latest human fatality attributed to rabies took place on Friday, October 31, 2014 when a patient from East Bali dies in the isolation ward of Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital.




Promise or Smoke Screen?

Denpasar Mayor Promises Strict Enforcement of Anti-Smoking Laws in Bali’s Capital


The Jakarta Globe reports that Bali’s capital of Denpasar is moving towards stricter control of its anti-tobacco and anti-smoking regulations.


Denpasar’s mayor Ida Bagus Rai Dharmawijaya Mantra, speaking during the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona, Spain said: “The goal is, in the future, people can no longer smoke mindlessly, even in an open space or protocol streets. They can only smoke in the provided smoking corners.”


The municipality of Denpasar passed a strict ant-smoking law in 2013 but enforcement has, at least to date, been half-hearted at best.


Current plans are to socialize an anti-smoking message to the public and tourist visitors in December warning of the penalties that await those who violate the law.


The City Government also plans to address charges that they have been hypocritical in their approach to smoking, insisting they will not extend contracts for cigarette advertising on electronic billboards, prohibited under the 2013 law.


It is unclear if tobacco advertising via sponsorship of local musical events will continue under the promised stricter approach to law enforcement.


Casting doubt on Denpasar’s commitment to enforce the law and delay any real change, Mantra said: “We’re now preparing all the necessary signage to inform [people] about the smoking prohibition and the fine. After six months to one year we will begin stricter law enforcement, because if you enforce the regulation without introducing it first, people will complain.”


The Mayor said Denpasar aspires to be like Singapore where smoking in public areas is strictly enforced.


The stricter enforcement of the law, when and if it comes, will be equally applied on both Indonesians and foreign visitors.


Bali made world headlines earlier in 2014 when it closed down the Inter-Tabac Asia Conference, saying the pro tobacco promotional message of the conference violated the Island’s smoking law.



Room at the Top

Association of Indonesian Hotel General Managers Calls for Greater Appointment of Indonesians to Top Hotel Posts


The Indonesian Hotel General Manager Association (IHGM) – a grouping of Indonesian nationals serving as general managers of 3,4 and 5 star hotels held a meeting at the Grand Zumi Hotel in Bali on Friday, November 7, 2014.


As reported by, the chairman of IHGM, Arief Bonahianto said: “This association is a gathering of hotel general managers who are genuinely from Indonesia. We were established in 2012 and are total membership has now reached 69.”


His comments were made at the 2nd IHGM Innovation and Gathering 2014.


Arief explained that the gatherings were intended to find and explore new ideas that will advance the Indonesian hotel industry. Adding: “In the future we plan to conduct training for our general managers that will improve our skills. Hopefully, this can be undertaken next year.


Continuing, the IHGM chairman said: “General Managers originating from Indonesia are able to manage big hotels. As we all know, most 5 star hotels are managed by expatriate managers. Why aren’t these hotels managed by Indonesians? Why seek managers from distant places when Indonesian general managers are not inferiority in their quality?”


Arief said the IHGM and the government must join forces to advance Indonesian tourism. “We hope there is government support, particularly in the area of transportation. Main air gateways must be improved in order that visiting tourist can be impressed with our welcome. There must be more order in how new hotel permits are issued. Isn’t it better to develop existing hotels instead of opening many new hotels?” he asked.


Angkoso Soekardi, senior chairman of IHGM, said the group’s goal for the future is to ensure its managers are ready to “go international.” Adding: “We want to upgrade our human resources so they can compete internationally. Indonesian general managers feel they are competent to compete anywhere.


Angkoso said only a few Indonesians have successfully managed to take on general manager roles overseas. “I personally worked as a general manager for four years in the Middle East. In a short time one of my friends will become a general manager in Dubai,” he explained.


Speaking to his members, Angkoso said: “Believe in yourselves. Don’t be frightened when you see a foreigner. Don’t feel inferior; the color of our blood is the same. The main point: don’t be afraid to compete, because our abilities are no less than outsiders.”



Doubling Indonesia’s Tourism in 5 Years

Tourism Minister Admits Facing ‘Big Challenge’ Ahead to Double the Number of Tourism Visitors


Indonesia’s new Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya says that if the country is targeting 20 million foreign tourists by 2019, achieving that number will be a big challenge.


Quoted by, Arief, speaking at the Markplus Center for Tourism and Hospitality in Kuta on Saturday, November 8, 2014, said: “Our target is a tough one, but we have to achieve it. Therefore, I am asking the tourism members of the tourism industry to assist the Ministry of Tourism in realizing this target.”


The Tourism Minister compares Indonesia’s ambitious tourism targets with the current number of foreign tourists visiting Malaysia and Thailand each year, saying he is optimistic that over time Indonesian foreign tourist arrivals can surpass those achieved by its two neighbors.



Less Than Special Welcome for Bali’s VIPs

Bali Deputy-Governor Scold Airport Management for Uncompleted VIP Terminal


The Deputy-governor of Bali has joined the growing local chorus highly critical of the management of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport by calling on the senior management of PT Angkasa Pura to repair and upgrade the VIP waiting rooms.


As reported by NusaBali, Deputy-governor Ketut Sudikerta scolded the general manager of PT Angkasa Pura Herry Sikado and the chief of the Airport Authority Bintang Hidayat at a meeting attended by the Transportation Directorate of Bali I Ketut Artika on Thursday, November 6, 2014.


Sudikerta demanded that the facilities for VVIP visitors to Bali be completed, bemoaning that that the original deadline of 2013 has long since come and gone for the promised completion of the VIP and VVIP waiting rooms at the airport. While putting the finishing touches on these areas, Sudikerta suggested to the airport management that they coordinate with the Provincial Administration, obtaining their input on the interior design and furniture elements.


Sudikerta also expressed his dissatisfaction with the current entrance and exit for the VIP terminal at the airport, asking for a new entrance to prevent traffic jams when a VIP movement is underway. He cautioned the Airport’s management that permission to use the VIP terminal must always be obtained in advance from the provincial government who are finally in charge of the facility.


Responding to the stern words from the Deputy-governor, Herry Sikado and Bintang Hidayat assured Sudikerta that the contractor was now undertaking the VIP terminal’s completion. They agreed that a separate entrance to the VIP II terminal was needed in order to separate special guests from regular users of Bali’s airport.



Bali Losing its Zest

Prolonged Draught Destroying Bali’s Orange Orchards in Kintamani


The prolonged drought affecting much of Bali is threatening hillside fruit orchards around Kintamani. Bali Post reports that most of the orange trees at the village of Pinggan in Kintamani have already died in the scorching heat that has been unabated by the very late seasonal rains. Meanwhile, local agriculturists warn that the loss of perennial fruit crops is likely to only 0worsen if seasonal rains fail to come soon.


Dead trees and dry conditions also have many worried about the growing threat of bush fires.


A local farmer, Wayan Duarsa, said on Monday, November 3, 2014: “We are forced to eradicate or cut down orange trees that are already dead. If we allow them to stand our losses will only increase further.” He said the current dry season has stretched into a drought, killing many local crops, including orange trees.


“I can confirm that hundreds of tree have died,” he said, “with more trees in the thousands showing sings of extreme distress.”


Worst affected are lands stretching between the villages of Pingan to Banjar Paketan. In Pingan, both orange orchards and labu siam (Chayote) plantings are succumbing to the drought.


The destruction of chayote crops, according to local farmers, demonstrates the extreme severity of the present drought. In the past, chayote crops have proven resilient to the effects of a long dry season, but the current dry weather condition is largely unprecedented in its length and resulting destruction.



What Part Don’t You Understand?

New Minister of Agrarian Affairs Affirms: Foreigners Cannot Own Land in Indonesia


The Minister of Agrarian Affair and Spatial Planning, Ferry Mursyidan Baldan, has reaffirmed the long-standing principle that land ownership in Indonesia is an exclusive right reserved for Indonesian citizens.


Quoted in NusaBali, Minister Baldan warned: “Foreigners cannot own land anywhere within the sovereign territory of Indonesia. This is in keeping with Section 33 of the Agrarian law of 1945 that governs the ownership of land and the resources within those lands.”


The Minister said there are special circumstance where foreigners living in Indonesia are permitted to rent, invest or build factories for specified periods of time, providing in every instance that the Indonesian people and the Country derive some clearly defined benefit from the foreigners using the Nation’s land.


Other conditions for foreign usage of Indonesian territory, said Baldan, is that the foreigner must be resident in Indonesia or a foreign company must have a branch in Indonesia.


Concluding his comments, the Minister added: “Although there are rights to use land granted to foreigners, ownership of land is never granted to foreign national because of the underlying principle that the lands, waters and resources of Indonesian must be under the control of the State.”



Denied Boarding

CEO of Angkasa Pura I Banned from International Travel Due to Suspected Involvement in Corruption in Purchase of Fire-Fighting Equipment


The CEO of PT Angkasa Pura I, Tommy Soetomo, is banned from leaving the Country due to his status as a suspect in an ongoing corruption investigation by Indonesia’s Anti-Corruption Agency (KPK).


Quoted by Nusa Bali, a spokesman for the State Prosecutor’s Office said, “Effective September 23, 2014, he (Tommy Soetomo) has been placed on a foreign travel ban.”


Soetomo is suspected of corrupting State funds in the purchase of five fire trucks for use by PT Angkasa Pura I in the management of major airports in Indonesia. The value of the five fire trucks was put at Rp. 63 billion (US$5.25 million). Also named as a suspect in the corruption case was a director of PT Scientek Computindo, Hendra Liem.


Tommy Soetomo was the object of a lambasting on after he publicly boasted that Bali’s newly renovated Ngurah Rai International Airport was, in his opinion, among the world best and most beautiful air gateways.




The Rainbow Connection for Positive People

Bali Rainbow Community to Host World AIDS Day Event at Royal Beach Seminyak on Monday, December 1, 2014


December 1, 2014 is International AIDS Day 2014.


Held each year since 1988, World AIDS Day sees people around the world uniting in the fight against HIV. The day is used to educate people about how HIV is spread; campaign against HIV discrimination and prejudice in the community; show support for those afflicted with HIV and to remember those who have died from the disease.


A Global Health Day – World AIDS Day first and foremost reminds the world that an estimated 34 million people are living with HIV and that more than 35 million people have died from the virus, making HIV the most devastating pandemic in world history.


Bali’s Rainbow Community is organizing the Island’s commemoration of World AIDS Day via an evening full of entertainment from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. at The Royal Beach Seminyak.


The evening's theme is “Studio 54” and reflecting an evening that will include International DJ sensation Ms. DJ Kittle Gliiter, performances from Bali’s large drag scene, generous door prizes that include a Honda Scoopy and many auction items.


Tickets cost Rp. 250,000 (US$21) and cover admission and cover beer, Plaga Wines and soft drinks.




The Waiting Can Kill

Fate of Two Australian on Death Row in Bali May be Linked to a Balinese Man Awaiting Execution for the 2008 Murder of a Family in East Bali.


Former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) left a large amount of unfinished business on his desk to be addressed by newly elected President Joko Widodo.


Among those items sitting infinished in the “Presidential In-Box” are formal requests to grant clemency to Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan – the two members of the infamous “Bali Nine” caught trying to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin into Australia from Bali and subsequently sentenced to death before an Indonesian firing squad.


With every avenue of legal appeal now exhausted, Sukumaran and Chan's last chance for life is a Presidential remission of their death sentence to life in prison or to a fixed term of punishment. A formal application has been filed with the President who must, under Indonesian law, formally grant or reject the request. Only with a formal rejection of the request for remission in hand can the execution of the two drug smugglers proceed.


SBY’s failure to respond to the request for a remission means it is now left to President Joko Widodo to respond by granting the request for leniency or affirming that the execution of the two Australians can go ahead. The President can also follow the example set by SBY and choose to do nothing; leaving the two men to languish on death row during the entire term of his presidency.


In a separate and morbidly-related case, the fate of I Putu Suaka, a 56-year-old Balinese man sitting on death row convicted of killing a policeman from the Karangasem Police Precinct, the policeman’s wife, child and a nephew on January 29, 2008 may determine the the ultimate fate of Chan and Sukumaran.

editation and cruel circumstances of the murder of two adults and two children by Suaka conforms in every way to the requirements set down under Indonesian law for the imposition of a death sentence. Moreover, public sentiment remains strong in Karangasem, where the murders occured, supporting the execution of the man who killed Komang Alit Srinatha and his young family.


Suaka’s lawyer filed a formal application with the Presidential Palace for a remission on February 28, 2013.


It’s anyone guess if President Joko Widodo will clear the way for the execution of Suaka or leave him on death row for Indonesia’s next president to deal with in 5 or 10 year’s time.


Loose logic suggests that “Bali Nine” members Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan would not jump the queue and be executed before Suaka. It is also something of a “given” that were Suaka granted a remission in sentence, then the two Australians might necessarily follow suit and be granted remissions to a life behind bars.


If, however, the execution of Suaka proceeds then all bets are off the table on what lies in ahead for the two Australians.



Aging Tourists on Motorcycles

70-year-old Australian Dies in Motorcycle Accident in North Bali


A 70-year old Australian, Joseph Austin, driving a motorcycle in North Bali has died after being involved in a single vehicle accident on Saturday, November 8, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.


The man suffered severe head injuries and was bleeding from his mouth, nose and ears immediately after the accident. He was brought to the General Hospital in Buleleng where he remained in a coma until he died the following morning at 8:00 a.m.


According to,Joseph was an amputee and, according to forensic examination, had his right leg amputated at some pointin the past. The forensic examination also indicate the man died from severe head injuries resultinf from the crash.


The case remains under investigation.



Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Kuta, Bali Officials Raid ‘Magic Mushroom’ Cultivation Center


Officials from the traditional village of Kuta in Bali raided a “magic” mushroom production shed on Sunday, November 9, 2014.


As reported by, the warehouse forming the subject of the raid covered 300 square meters and was dedicated exclusively to cultivating Psilocybin mushrooms. Three temporary residents of Bali from Banyuwangi, East Java had recently rented the structure.


The raid reportedly had its roots in a recent survey of the area in which village officials quizzed local residents to ensure they have the permits needed to take up residence in Bali. Official’s suspicions were piqued when the three men running the warehouse had no local stay permits.


Dewa Made Oka, the village head (Kelian) of Banjar Jabe Jero Kuta, told the press: “The mushrooms or fungi grown in cow manure were ready to harvest. The warehouse covered 3 are (100 square meters), All space was dedicated to mushroom production.”


The three men have reportedly been in the business of producing and selling “magic” mushrooms in Kuta for more than two years. The warehouse raided by local official, however, has only been in operation for three months.


A member of the local uniformed civilian security force (Hansip), Made Suardana, said that the traditional village of Kuta rejects the production and sale of Psilocybin mushrooms - plants under Indonesian law thatare considered an illicit narcotic.


Suardana added: “Tourists who consume these mushroom lose control and can appear naked in public. It has happened that tourists will climb up on roofs and refuse our requests to come down, throwing roofing tiles at us for trying to save their lives. The negative effects of “'magic mushrooms'are very great if the authorities continue to ignore their open use and sale in Kuta.”


The three men operating the warehouse are now in the custody of the Kuta Police Precinct awaiting further legal disposition.


© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to



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