Bali News Update week 48 N.

Come Let Us Pray

Governor Says Televised Hindu Dharma Prayers Must be Standardized and Coordinated by the Bali-Indonesia Hindu Society (PHDI)


Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has protested the film clips being shown on both local and national television stations each day in which ritualized Sanskrit prayers from Bali are broadcast.


Those stations presenting the prayers – known as Puja Tri Sandhya - typically do so at 6:00 a.m., 12 noon and 6:00 p.m. each day.


A montage of images selected by the broadcasting stations accompany the prayers read by a Balinese priests - both selected by the television station.


The Governor, who is a devout Bali-Hindu, is complaining that the translation of the original text are often imprecise, and the intonation and articulation of the prayers and the accompanying music are also sometimes incorrect.  Pastika also finds fault with the images accompanying the prayers, citing one station that shows foreign tourists sunbathing on a Balinese beach.


Governor Pastika, quoted in Radar Bali, admitted that the people of Bali had erred in not bothering to create a standard and fixed format for the Puja Tri Sandhya for use on all television stations.


Meanwhile, the chairman of the Indonesian Hinduism Society (Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia – PHDI) for the province of Bali, I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, has admitted that the Governor’s assessment of the broadcast of the Puja Tri Sandhya is essentially correct and that there is no consistent standard of content or presentation from one television station to the next.


“The Governor’s protests and complaints are indeed correct. And, until the current time, there is not fixed format prepared by PHDI Bali,” said Sudiana.


Sudiana went on to pledge that in the near future PHDI would coordinate with the relevant parties to formulate and produce in a fixed format the Puja Tri Sandhya for distribution to all television stations.


In the past only three local television stations in Bali have broadcast the Puja Tri Sandhya: Bali TV, TVRI-Bali and Dewata TV. This has now been extended to a number of national television that facilitate local content by interjecting the Balinese prayers on their Bali broadcasts.



Cracking a Brazil Nut

Brazilian Tourist Sentenced to 9 Months Prison for Narcotics Use and Possession


A Brazilian tourist has been sentenced to nine months in prison after being found guilty in a Denpasar court of carrying 0.13 grams of hashish and 0.14 gram of marijuana.


The sentence of nine months given to Marolon Eduardo (32) on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 was less than the 14 months in prison sought by Public Prosecutors.


Eduardo was arrested on July 24, 2014 on Jalan Gunung Soputan in West Denpasar following a tip-off from the public that a man was consuming narcotics while sitting in a parked car.


Police arrived at the scene and searched the car and the man where they found the hashish and marijuana concealed in a candy box. A subsequent search of the man’s residence in Kerobokan uncovered a bong and an electronic scale used to measure narcotics.


In handing down the lighter sentence, judges took into account the man’s proclaimed regret for his crime and his polite demeanor during the course of the trial.



Don’t Like the Price? Try Walking.

Sampan Tariffs from Bali to Nusa Penida Increase 30% Following Fuel Price Increase


The recent increase in the cost of premium and diesel fuel in Indonesia is making itself felt in the cost of chartering a sampan for the trip between Bali and Nusa Penida – now priced at 30% more than the tariff prior to the fuel price hike.


As reported by Radar Bali, residents of Nusa Penida are complaining about the sudden cost increase, saying the higher price has been introduced by boat operators without any prior consultation. The public is angered that the Klungkung regency has remained largely silent in the face of the price hike, even though the Ministry of Transportation has directed that public transport prices should increase no more than 10% as the result of the increased fuel costs.


Sampans operating between Kusamba to Nusa Penida are now reported to be charging Rp. 60,000 (US$5) per person – an increase from the earlier price of Rp. 45,000. Similarly the price of a boat from Sanur Beach to Nusa Penida has increased Rp. 15,000 to Rp. 90,000 (US$7.50) per person.


Boat operators defend the increase saying that not only has the cost of fuel increased, but also daily necessities such as rice now cost more. Where a 25-kilogram bag of rice once cost Rp. 215,000, boat operators now say they must pay Rp. 280,000.


Nusa Penida residents are calling on the Ministry of Transportation to summon boat operators to discuss what they see as a disproportionately large increase in the passenger tariff between Bali and Nusa Penida.



Blame it on Rio!

Bali’s Own Rio Sidik Records Live Album – The Sound of the Mystical Vibe


Bali’s preeminent trumpeter and songster, Rio Sidik and his quintet have released a new double-CD set of live recordings entitled the “Sound of the Mystical Vibe.”


Born in Surabaya, East Java to a highly musical family, Rio is a regular on the Bali musical scene where his magnetic stage presence, masterful jazz trumpetry and electrifying vocals leave audiences clamoring for encores.


Playing the trumpet since the age of 8, he is the third generation of  "tukang tiup" or horn players in his family. His grandfather, Maryono, played trumpet with the Indonesian jazz legend pianist Bubi Chen. By the tender age of 13, Rio was also on stage playing trumpet  standing next to Chen’s piano, an experience that the musician credits with giving him a start on the jazz club circuit.


Rio has shared the stage with the likes of not only Bubi Chen, but also Erwin Hutawa and Indra Lesmana. In 2014, he presented a memorable musical collaboration at the Bali Live International Jazz Festival performing with Incognito and Maurice Brown.


Recognized both at home and abroad as a Trumpet Master, Rio has performed in Australia, Malaysia, Africa, Portugal, Spain, U.K., Russia, South Korea and the U.S.A.


In Indonesia quality jazz recordings are rare and those recorded before a "live" audience even rarer. “Sound of the Music Vibe” qualifies on both counts, chock full with original compositions written and performed by Rio Sidik.


The strongest testament to the musicianship of Rio Sidik and his quintet is that they posses both the required skill and the courage to record a “live” album. Unlike studio recordings where every voice and instrument are recorded on a separate tracks, live recordings mean that even the smallest error can necessitate an entire retake of a song. Flying by wire and obviously loving the feeling, Rio and his quintet zoom into each recording with the élan and skill only the truly talented dare


Rio Sidik's new album was launched on Saturday, November 22, 2014 before an appreciative crowd at the Mozaic Beachclub in Seminyak, Bali. Very much in step with the times, “Sound of the Mystical Vibe” is a double disc set with one CD of music and another  DVD (digital video disc) allowing the world a chance to see Sidik’s stage work on video.


In all, 10 songs, most written by Rio Sidik, are presented, including: Barceloneta, Too Much to Forget, Whisper from God, Kesari, Autumn in Moscow, Oh Sayang, If, Hope and Love, On my Scooter and Make Someone Happy.


Rio Sidik's style of music defies categorization. As I listened to the album time and again, like sipping good wine, momentary nuance of Maynard Ferguson, Mile Davis, Doc Severinsin, Louis Armstrong, Art Farmer in his early bop period, Lee Morgan and the ultra-cool vocal-trumpet blends of Chet Baker - all came to mind.


True talent never mimics, but also never hesitates to drinks heartily from the inspiration of those "greats" who went before. Rio's  processes the long, rich heritage of jazz trumpet playing evokeing something new as the net sum of his game.


Rio Sidik on trumpet and vocals, Eddy Siswanto on drums, Jecko Fauzi on guitar and Andy Sulaiman on keyboard perform each Sunday from 12:00 until 3:00 pm at the Mozaic Beach Club at the “Big Easy Brunch.”




Here’s to Bali Life!

InterContinental Bali Resort Celebrates its Majority by Donating Rp. 338 million to Bali Life Foundation


Celebrating its 21st anniversary, InterContinental Bali Resort has presented a check totalling Rp. 338 million (US$29,391) to the Bali Life Foundation.

k handed by the senior executives of the InterContinental will be used to assist community support activities that will assist orphaned and abandoned children in Bali.


“Our vision is to provide hope, dignity, and purpose to children who have been orphaned, abandoned, or rejected. By supporting our work you have helped us to fulfil this vision in the most tangible way. The work of Bali Life is only made possible by the generosity, support, and partnership of groups of people such as InterContinental Bali Resort. We are humbled by your involvement in Bali Life Foundation,” commented Piter Panjaitan, director, Bali Life Foundation.


The employees of the hotel donated their own funds together with other items including books and clothes to assist Bali Life.


“Since twenty one years, InterContinental Bali Resort has contributed significantly to the hospitality industry and the local community in Bali. We have a strong Corporate Social Responsibility program in place. This entails carrying our initiatives that support the local community and taking eco-friendly measures to reduce its overall impact on the surrounding environment. We make a difference in the lives of those that we touch every day,” commented Michel Chertouh, general manager of InterContinental Bali Resort.   


Shown on are members of the management of the InterContinental Bali Resort holding a facsimile of the check presented to Bali Life.


Best Rate at InterContinental Bali Resort



Meritus Bali Seminyak Resort and Spa

Meritus Hotels to Open First Indonesian Property in Seminyak, Bali in 2014


Meritus Hotels & Resorts have signed an agreement with an Indonesian partner PT Bali Seminyak Sejahtera to operate a new resort in Seminyak, Bali.


Scheduled to open in 2016, Meritus Bali Seminyak Resort and Spa will feature 181-guestrooms, backstopped with a range of trendy restaurants and bars. Each room will have an advanced in-room entertainment system and efficient connectivity. The developers and managers promise that the design will reflect a blend of classic Balinese architecture and modern oriental interiors, with Chinois-inspired motifs.


Also on offer at the Meritus Bali Seminyak Resort & Spa will be an infinity-edge swimming pool, a fitness center, and a wellness spa. A full-service business centre will complement the resort's comprehensive conference and event spaces.


Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ricky Thomasia Naro, president and director of PT. Bali Seminyak Sejahtera, said, "The Meritus brand has always resonated strongly in Indonesia. We are excited about this partnership, and confident that with Meritus' track record and expertise the new resort is well-poised to elevate the standards of high-end resort accommodation in Seminyak whilst contributing to the growth of tourism in this dynamic destination."


"Bali presents an exciting opportunity for us to enhance our brand presence in this important market by delivering the Asian hospitality experience unique to Meritus," said Tan Choon Kwang, chief operating officer of Meritus Hotels & Resorts. "As we extend our brand footprint in strategic destinations across Asia Pacific, we shall continue building upon the service philosophy we have championed for over 40 years -- one that is inspired by the genuine care we have for our guests and the warm, intuitive service by our people." 


The Meritus Bali Seminyak Resort and Spa will be the first hotel operated under the Meritus brand in Indonesia.



Enroll in a School of Fishes

Bali Hai Cruises Introduces the Aquanaut Pontoon as Part of Popular Nusa Lembongan Day Cruise Programs


Bali Hai Cruises  - the well known and popular daily day-cruise program from Bali to Nusa Lembongan has introduced a new pontoon as the exclusive base of operations for their Bali Hai Aquanaut Program.

ill continue to arrive at Nusa Lembongan at the Bali Hai Reef Pontoon after disembarking Bali Hai II - the Company’s mother ship.


Operating as cruise central, Reef Cruise guests can spend the day on the purpose-built reef pontoon that provides changing rooms, underwater viewing galleries, semi-submersible tours of the surrounding reef, snorkeling and diving excursions, banana boat rides, ocean kayaking, an exhilarating 35-meter water slide and a delicious on-board lunch. Those who have opted for the Beach Club Cruise are tendered ashore at the nearby Bali Hai Beach Club’s private beach where they can sample a range of water sports, have a spa treatment and partake of the excellent BBQ buffet accompanied by refreshment from their well-stocked bar.


Moored a short distance from the Reef Cruise Pontoon is the Company's Apollo Hai Pontoon that serves as the base for the popular Aquanaut Program. Participants are provided with specially designed Seawalker helmets that provide a comfortable and steady flow of compressed air during a 25-30 minute leisurely stroll on the ocean’s bottom communing and feeding schools of inquisitive fish. The Seawalker helmets are built and operated in strict accordance with international safety standards. No experience or swimming skills are needed as Aquanauts enjoy a dry face inside the helmet. Experts and guides are in attendance at all times during what has proven to be a very safe, fun and easy way to see the amazing underwater world in the stunning area of Nusa Lembonagn Bay.


The custom-built Apollo Hai pontoon is a moveable platform that can shift locations depending on local conditions, guaranteeing optimum visibility and a hassle-free commune with the rich range of underwater life that come to greet seawalkers that include colorful Clown Fish (Nemo), Butterfly Fish, Angel Fish, Surgeon Fish, Sergeant Major, Trumpet fish, Zebra fish and many more species.


Apollo Hai also serves as an alternative base for snorkeling and Scuba diving trips offered by Bali Hai Cruises.


The Aquanaut Program is available as an option program to both Reef Cruise and Island Cruise Programs.




Resting on a on Dock in the Bay

Bali Toll Road Operators Announce Plans to Build a Benoa Bay Rest Area


The CEO of PT Jasamarga Bali Tol (The Margarana Toll Road), Tito Karim, told that the operator of the Bali’s only toll road is considering building a “rest area” in connection with the Bali roadway.


The proposed rest area would be built over the waters of Benoa Bay.


On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, Tito Karim told the press: “We will build a ‘rest area’. We are currently studying the project. It has a high cost.”


The operators of the Bali toll road have said that they hope the construction of a rest area would increase the number of vehicles using the roadway. Karim added: “The construction (of the rest area) we are studying whether or not it will increase the number of vehicles using the toll road. The ‘rest area’ must be free-of-charge. We will sell bottled tea and other drinks.”


Tito says plans to build the ‘rest area’ over the water is prompted by the aspirations and desires of the public. “There have been such requests (for a rest area); there are people who want to stop and take photos – this is what are trying to accommodate. At this point, the rest area cannot be built because of its high costs of between Rp. 8 million and Rp. 10 million per square meter. If we want to build a cheap rest area we could do that by reclamation, but we do not want to do that,” Tito explained.


According to government regulations, rest areas are only required on toll road of more than 50 kilometers in length, while the total length of Bali’s toll road is around 12 kilometers.


Tito was quick to emphasize that plans for the Bali toll road had no connection with controversial plans to reclaim large area of Benoa Bay.


Current data shows that an average of 43,000 vehicles travel the Bali toll road every day with 55% comprised of 4-wheel vehicles and the remaining 45% comprised of 2-wheel motorcycles.



Sky High Sales

Indonesia’s Lion Air Group Becomes the World Largest Purchaser of ATR Aircraft


The State News Agency Antara reports that the Lion Air Group who operate Indonesia’s largest private airline, has become the first airline in the world to purchase 100 ATR 72 aircraft, making Lion Air the largest purchaser of the turboprop aircraft.


On Thursday, November 27, 2014, Lion Air confirmed the purchase of 40 more ATR 72 via a contract signing that took place in Rome, Italy.


The CEO of ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale), Patrick de Castelbajac signed the contract on behalf of his company together with the CEO of the Lion Air Group Rusdi Kirana at a ceremony held at the Italian Government’s cabinet Building in Rome.


In 2008 Lion Air ordered an initial 60 ATR 72 via a contract that will see the remaining aircraft from the first order delivered to the airlines in 2015.


The contract for the additional 40 ATR 72-600 valued at US$1 billion is the largest sale in history for the Italian-French aircraft producer.


The fast growing Lion Air Group has also managed in the past five years to place the largest orders in history with both Airbus and Boeing.


The ATR aircraft is a short-haul turboprop aircraft produced in a joint venture between Aerospatiale (France) and Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermachi (Italy). The Consortium main products are the ATR 42 capable of carrying between 40-50 passengers and the ATR 72 that can fly 74 passengers.



Get in Line

Bali Governor Makes Film for Indonesian President to Show Poor Immigration Service at Bali’s Airport and Calls for End to Fees Sought by Middlemen


The large number of complaints from foreign visitors regarding poor service standards at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport have raised the ire of Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika.


The focus of the Governor’s displeasure is the long lines encountered by visiting tourists at Bali’s airport.


Quoted by, the Governor said on Tuesday, November 25, 2104: “Earlier I made a film (of the long lines). I sent copies of the film to the President and Vice-President. That film showed the long lines, many people sitting on the floor waiting for their documents to be processed when, in fact, there are many immigration lockets, but only two are open. That is an old video, but recently I have made another video.”


The Governor challenged reporters to undertake their own investigation, suspecting there are still “middlemen” from immigration circulating and taking advantage of the long lines to offer faster processing in return for an illegal fee.


“You guys are reporters. You can go anywhere. Do some investigative reporting. Make some pictures. Make videos. It’s been alleged that there are officials looking to profit (from the long lines). If there are long lines certain people will approach those standing in line and offer special lane processing for a certain fee. These are the stories, but no one has been caught,” challenged Pastika.


Pastika warned that if Bali wishes to retain its reputation as a top world tourism destination then services must be improved. The Governor cited the multifarious need for better service at Bali’s airport for arriving passengers, better service extended by officials, new facilities that are sufficient, cleaner taxis and a new sense of responsibility toward passengers.


Made Mangku Pastika said he hoped that naughty practices by both officials and travel agencies in Bali would come to an end.



Long Lines at the Gates to Paradise

Immigration Office at Bali’s Airport Takes Urgent Steps to End Long Lines for Foreign Tourists


The immigration office at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport has answered criticism from Bali’s Governor complaining about long lines for arriving foreign tourists on a shortage of some 60 officers to staff the processing counters.


As reported by, the head of the Bali regional office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, I Gusti Ngurah Kompiang Adnyana, promised that despite the lack of personnel his office would find a was to end the long lines for incoming tourists.


Speaking on Wednesday. November 26, 2014, Adnyana said: “Beginning this week, days off for officials of the Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali have been reduced from 2 days to 1 day per week in order to reduce shortfalls in staffing at busy arrival periods.”


He explained that an investigation had been undertaken regarding rumors of “fast track” service through immigration being offered by rogue government officials.


He said his office would also begin lobbying the airlines using Bali’s airport to stagger their arrival times to reduce congestion at certain times of the day.


The head of the Airport’s immigration office, Cucu Kosmala, explained that the busiest period at the airport is between 12:00 noon and 6:00 p.m. when between 17-20 flights carrying between 3,000 to 6,000 passengers land. Cucu said that 14 immigration counters – some of which are unmanned – are overwhelmed by the large onrush of foreign visitors.


Cucu said that between 30 to 60 seconds is needed on the average to process one passenger’s documents through immigration.


Cucu promised that immigration would soon ensure that all counters were in full operation.



Celebrity Has its Price

Inclement Bureaucratic Atmosphere Threatens Indonesia’s Plans to Increase Cruise Tourism


In the midst of local and national efforts to lure more cruise ship visits to Bali and the rest of Indonesia, Celebrity Cruises has cancelled planned calls at the last minute to Bali and Komodo.


Citing differences “with local Indonesian authorities of a nature that we believe put our legal and ethical standards at serious risk” the cruise company changed its November 23 sailing of the Celebrity Millennium cancelled its stops in Indonesia substituting calls at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Phuket, Thailand.


While the details of the dispute with local authorities remain purposely vague, threats were presumably issued by authorities suggesting that unless certain "conditions" were met, guests might be prohibited from coming ashore in Indonesia and the ship itself barred from continuing its voyage.


The Celebrity Millennium was originally set to sail on a 14-day itinerary departing from Singapore with calls in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. To salvage the cruise and the omission of Indonesia, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Bangkok, Thailand were introduced to the altered itinerary with the amount of time in Phuket extended.


Celebrity Cruise line informed its passengers of the changes in sailing schedules offering refunds and credits for pre-paid Indonesian shore excursions and, where applicable, visa fees paid by passengers for Indonesia.


The fate of future visits to Indonesia by Celebrity Cruise to Indonesia in Q1 of 2015 now remains in doubt.



An Error in Conjugation

Australian Man Netted for Working as Illegal English teacher in Bali is Registered as Child Sex Offender in Queensland


The Australian Daily Telegraph reports that Indonesian Immigration authorities have arrested and deported a 65-year-old Australian found teaching at “English Now” in Kuta, Bali.


John Peter Domenic Rigano, who has convicted in 2009 in Cairns, Australia on a child sexual molestation charge and sentenced to nine-months in prison, was caught in a sweep by immigration authorities for improperly using a multiple entry visa to work illegally in Bali. The 2009 conviction involved indecently touching a teenage boy who was being treated for anxiety by Rigano, a practicing psychiatrist.


The Australian was deported back to Australia and is reportedly banned from re-entering Indonesia for the next six months.


Bali immigration authorities are becoming increasingly savvy in tracking down illegal workers in Bali. When officials initially visited the English Now office in Kuta they were told no foreigners worked at the establishment. Announcements on the wall of the school and scheduling rosters, however, stated that a number of foreigners were actively working at the school.


Rigano and two Australian women were apprehended by immigration officials for working illegally at the school. During questioning prior to deportation Rigano reportedly revealed his record as a sexual molester of young children.



Sergy the Shoplifter

Russian Tourist Caught Shoplifting US$6 Bric-a-brac from Tanah Lot Tourist


A Russian tourist identified only as Sergy (26) has been caught red-handed stealing from a local souvenir shop owned by I Ketut Yasa at the Tanah Lot Tourism Complex in West Bali.


On Thursday, November 27, 2014, a spokesman from the Tabanan Police Precinct refuted reports that the Russian had been released without charge and confirmed the Russian will be processed for shoplifting.


The theft reportedly took place on Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at around 7:00 p.m. When confronted by security personnel the Russian reportedly tried to escape, throwing the stolen items into a nearby field. Pursued by a group of angry shop owners, the Russian fell from his motorcycle, was apprehended by the posse who turned him over to the local police precinct.


The item stolen by the Russian was a model “becak” with a value of Rp 70,000 (US$5.90).


The Russian reportedly paid for the items he stole and was allowed to return to his lodgings in Pererenan. Police insist that the case will still be processed in accordance with the law.



Crackdown on Illegal Workers Continues

At Least 6 Separate Enforcement Teams Sweeping South Bali Searching for Illegal Foreign Workers


Bali Immigration officials are making unprecedented sweeps against foreign nationals working illegally resorting to surprise raids, location surveillance and reviews of the social media network in order to detect those misusing visitor and tourist visas to work on the Island.


In a recent upsurge in arrests by immigration officials some 17 foreign nationals from 6 countries were taken into custody and are awaiting possible deportation and/or jail time.


The head of the Ngurah Rai immigration office, Cucu Koswala, confirmed the 17 were being processed for deportation and temporary blacklisting that will bar their return to Indonesia.


The first set of arrests took place on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 was of Australian John Peter Domenic Rigano (65) (See “An Error in Conjugation”) who was teaching at a company called “English Now” in Jimbaran using a visitor visa. During the course of his detention and prior to his deportation on November 28, 2014 officials learnt that Rigano was a registered sex offender known for interfering with teenage boys.


On Friday, November 21, 2014, immigration officials arrested 5 Turkish nationals who were running a pre-wedding photography business from three luxury hotels in Nusa Dua and Jimbaran. Immigration officials, posing as customers, managed to collect irrefutable proof against the five. The five Turkish citizens arrested for deportation are: Omer Aksoz (27), Salih Gunay (27), Mustafa Mercan (44), Mehmet Serdar Bayir (38) and Erdan Yildiz (29).


In separate enforcement moves carried out on November 25-26, 2014, 11 more foreigners were taken into custody: Ann Laducer (USA), Dylan Lewis Cooper (USA), Paul Don Alvarerz (UK), Mika Tanaka (Japan), Celina Belle Suhor (Australia), Steffanie Claire Cater (Australia),  and Jessica Lee Cock (Australia).


Five Norwegians have also been arrested: Nils Kare Vorland, Hendrik Olsen, Fredrik Freuchen and Olvind Klungsen Zahland.


Jessica Lee Cook, one of the foreigners arrested, was discovered working in a hotel in Kuta while her working permit was still being processed by immigration authorities.


Between January and October 2014, a total of 121 foreign nationals were deported from Bali by immigration authorities, suggesting that the November arrest of 17 foreigners is evidence of stronger enforcement against illegal workers now underway in Bali.


A 40-man team comprised of representatives from immigration, police, manpower and the civil records department undertook the most recent sweep against foreigners working illegally. The group was divided into 6 separate teams deployed to Kuta, North Kuta and South Kuta.


Cucu told Nusa Bali that he hoped members of the community would assist in reporting foreigners working illegally in Bali to the authorities to assist in control and supervision.



Flying Dutchmen

Two Dutch Nationals Working on a Night Cruise Arrested by Bali Immigration For Visa Violation and Deported


Two Dutch nationals working on a party cruise on board the Sea Safari Night Cruise form the Port of Benoa have been arrested by immigration officials for deportation.


Jethro Emmanuel, also known as Otis Hats, working as a DJ, and Raymond Louis of Wer4U productions were taken into custody on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.


When immigration authorities visited the ship the men told authorities that their passports were at their place of residence. On route from the ship to their lodgings one of the man tried to escape, but was caught and detained by authorities.


Both men were determined to be working on visa-on-arrival documents that do not allow employment of any kind.


Both Dutch men have been deported from Indonesia and banned from entering the Country again for at least 6 months.



Make Room at the Top for Garuda

Garuda Aiming to Be Named Among the World Best Five Airlines


As the result of its successful Quantum Leap Program launched in 2011, the Indonesian National Air Carrier Garuda Indonesia is now ranked as the world’s 7th best airline according to Skytrax rankings.


But, in the eyes of Garuda Indonesia, the best is yet to come.


Quoted by Jawa Pos, the general manager for public relations of Garuda Indonesia, Iksan Rosan, said on Wednesday, November 26, 2014: “This year we are still ranked as number 7 in the world. Next year we have the ambition to be ranked among the give best five airlines in the world. We are undertaking a number of steps to achieve this including improving the level of service both on board and outside our aircraft, including ground service and other areas.”


While ranked by Skytrax generally as the 7th best airlines in the world, in 2013 Garuda was named as the best airline for economy class service. “In Economy class we are already ranked as the best in the world. Now we are focusing on improving our service in business class,” added Rosan.


In evaluating the world’s airlines Skytrax surveys the opinions of worldwide airline passengers over a period of 10-months seeking input on every aspect of airline operations from more than 18.8 million respondents.



Value of Life Measured in Months

Editorial: Man Who Assisted in Murder of American Paul Latourell in Bali Given Lenient 20-Month Sentence in an Apparent Misapplication of the Criminal Code.


Following the sentencing of Multazam Aulawi - the 19-year-old man who murdered American expatriate Paul Latourell – to 12 years in prison, the man who acted as an accomplice in the crime – Marsianus Simarto (31) was sentenced to only 20 months in prison in the Denpasar Court on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.


Marsianus was incongruously and, in the view of some circles, incorrectly, charged by State Prosecutors as acting only as the recipient or “fence” of stolen goods (Penadahan),  instead of  the more apprropiate charges of acting as an accomplice in the murder and robbery of the popular American.


Prosecutors persisted in charging Marsianus with the lesser charge despite the man's admissions before the Court that he arranged a sexual liaison between Latourell and Aulawi, drove the younger man to the scene of the crime, waited outside while the American was murdered, saw Aulawi clad only in his underwear after stabbing Latourell more than 50 times, helped dispose of blood-stained clothing and the murder weapon, took the keys of the car from Latourell's house and drove the dead American's vehicle with Aulawi to Lombok where the two eventually sold the car.


Based on the abundance of evidence, a more aggressive and apropos prosecution of the case would have charged Marsianus as a co-conspirator aiding and abetting in a premeditated murder and robbery or, at the very least, charging him as an accomplice after the fact.


The sentence of 20 months for receiving stolen goods given to Marsianus by a panel of judges was also less than the three years south by prosecutors and can conceivably allow Marsianus to walk free early in 2015 after receiving credit for time served.


While it is unlikely that Bali Prosecutors will appeal the "soft" sentence given to Marsianus, enquiries by the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta regarding basic protection extended to Americans living in Indonesia could prompt the government to lay new charges against a man who acted as much more than a "fence" in the death of Paul Latourell.


Last Green Mile

Indonesia Poised to Resume Execution of Convicted Criminals


Hopes that the inauguration of Indonesia’s new President may herald a move away from state-sanctioned executions of convicted criminals have been dashed by reports that 5 criminals will be executed before the end of 2014 and that 10 more convict awaiting capital punishment may meet their fate in 2025.


Indonesia currently has 118 prisoners awaiting execution before a firing squad, a number of whom are foreigners found guilty of violation the Republic’s tough anti-narcotic laws.


HM Prasetyo, the newly appointed Attorney General of Indonesia, has wasted no time in his new office in announcing those convicted of drug offenses can expect no leniency and those declared to be drug dealers will receive the full brunt of the law including execution.


Quoted by, Prasetyo said on November 28, 2014 “We don’t want to compromise, especially with drug dealers. There is no mercy.”


The Attorney General said that there are 68 people convicted of narcotic offenses now sitting on death row, adding: “Their execution awaits the completion of the judicial aspects of each case. When that is done, there’s no need to delay (their execution).”


Those sentenced to death in Indonesia must undergo a series of mandatory appeals culminating in a hearing before the Supreme Court. If the Highest Court affirms the death sentence, the President is required to formally reject a mandatory request for clemency before the condemned can finally be placed before the firing squad.


5 convicts, comprised of 2 foreign nationals from Nigeria, 1 person from Jakarta, and 2 people from Riau, are expected to be shot sometime during the month of December. Current procedures require that those to be executed given 72-hours formal notice prior to being shot.


There are currently 3 foreign nationals sitting on death row in Bali’s Kerobokan prison: Briton Lindsay Sandford found guilty of drug trafficking in Bali in 2012; and Australians Andrew Chan (30) and Myuran Sukumaran (33) – both members of the infamous “Bali Nice” sentenced to death for smuggling heroin in 2005. All three have exhausted every avenue of legal appeal and can only avoid execution if the Indonesian President grants clemency.



Lombok for Australian Tourists

Garuda Considering Flights Between Perth and Lombok


Suara Pembaruan reports that Garuda Indonesia is studying the feasibility of flying between Lombok and Perth Australia, restarting a route abandoned by Jetstar in October 2014.


Officials from the Ministry of Transportation office for West Nusa Tenggara confirmed that Garuda was examining flying between the Indonesian island and the capital of Western Australia. Foremost in the subject business review are efforts to assess the size of the potential market of Australians interested in flying to and from Lombok.


Jetstar reportedly abandoned the service after carrying poor loads on the return leg, presumably because guests continued on to Bali and flew home from there.



Bali’s Best of the Best List

Bali Hotels and Resorts Rank High in 2014 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards


The prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Survey – first published in 1988, has been announced it list - at least in part - for 2014 with Bali hotels winning high honors.


Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World


While, remarkably, Bali was not listed in this year’s ranking of the World’s best islands, Bali’s The Mulia did secure a #3 ranking among The Readers’ Choice Awards for 2014 of the Top 100 Hotels and Resorts on the planet compiled from more than 75,000 respondents.


Two addition Bali properties were listed among the world’s best with The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan in Ubud earning the #34 slots followed by the Amandari, also in Ubud, at #73.


Top 20 Resorts in Asia


Conde Nast’s Readers’ Choice selection of the top 20 resorts in Asia saw Bali win the top #1 spot with The Mulia, Bali; The Amandari in Ubud at #4; The Amankila at Manggis, East Bali at # 7; The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay at #16; and the W Resort & Spa Seminyak at #19.


Best Resorts in Asia


Voting in the Conde Nast survey for The Bets Resort in Asia again saw The Mulia at #1; Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan at #3; Amandari in Ubud at #5; and the Amankila at #8.


Related Links


Best Price: The Mulia, Bali


Best Price: The Four Seasons Bali at Sayan, Ubud


Best Price: The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay


Best Price: Amandari, Ubud


Best Price: Amankila, Manggis, Bali


Best Price: W Resort & Spa Seminyak



1/3 Gram of Heroin Equals 9-Months Prison

Danish Drug User Condemned to Prison for 9 Months for Heroin Possession in Bali


A 30-year-old Danish tourist Nikolas Patrik was sentenced to 9-months in prison on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 found guilty in a Denpasar Court of having in his possession 0.03 grams of heroin when he was arrested in Kuta on August 8, 2014.


The sentence was less than the 14 months sought by State Prosecutors.


Nikolas told police that the drugs were sold to him by an acquaintance named Gabriel who is still being sought by police.


The arrest took place on Jalan Saraswati in Seminyak, Kuta.



Zebras of a Different Strip

Two Week Traffic Obedience Program Targeted to Issues 4,300 Traffic Tickets Before December 9, 2014


Operation Zebra – a traffic obedience program launched by the Bali Police for two weeks ending December 9, 2014 – netted a total of 164 traffic violators during its initial two days.


According to The Bali Post, 14-year-old school children and foreign tourist defended their failure to wear helmets on the hot tropical weather.


The head of the Gianyar Traffic Police, Heri Supriawan, predicts that the number of violators in his regency will reach 4,300 before the two-week road safety program ends.


Those cited by police for traffic violations are immediately processed at special court sessions operated by prosecutors and judges on the roadside near the scene of the violation.


During the first day of Operation Zebra check points were established on Jalan Ida Bagus Mantra at the Lebih intersections and at the Teges intersection in Peliatan, Ubud. On the first day, 99 tickets were issued for failure to wear a helmet or for overloading a vehicle. On the second day the checkpoints moved to the three-way intersection at the Arjuna Statue on Jalan Raya Andong in Ubud. In that location 63 tickets were violators were cited for having no helmet with 49 choosing to undergo a judicial process on the spot.


One 14-year-old student stopped for not wearing a helmet was also unable to present a valid driver’s license. The minimum driving age in Indonesia is 17. The boy told police that he regularly drives a motorcycle to cover the close distance from his home to his junior high school and does not use a helmet because his family had failed to purchase him one.


Later, a 31-year-old French woman on a six-month holiday in Bali said she did not wear a helmet because of Bali’s hot climate. She chose to undergo a roadside trial and pay a fine.



Bali is Running Out of Water

Bali Chamber of Commerce Calls for Water Rationing for Island’s Tourism Industry


The Badung Regency branch of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) has asked the Provincial Government of Bali to introduce regulations limiting the use of water by the Island’s tourism industry.


KADIN is seeking controls on the amount of water that can be used by hotels, villas, home stays and a number of other tourism-related industries.


The chairman of KADIN-Badung, A.A. Ngurah Alit Wiraputra, quoted by Bali Post said: “The use of ground water in large amounts by the tourism industry is the reason that there is now salt water intrusion on inland wells more than 5 kilometers from Bali’s shoreline. The demands for water to support Bali’s tourism now exceeds 2,500 liters per second, meaning that surface source of water are no longer a sufficient supply. “


The constructive and exploitive use of water, according to Wiraputra, will damage the hydrological cycle. Such is the state of Bali’s water supply and the over-consumption of both surface and ground water that Bali’s general carrying capacity is at threat.


“If we keep taking ground water the salt water incursion will increase further inland,” warned Wiraputra.


The KADIN official suggest that Bali must study from Middle Eastern countries that use seawater for the needs of its tourist industry.


Wiraputra fears that unless something is done to halt salt-water intrusion in Bali by rationing the use of water for the tourism industry, a catastrophe awaits.     


“The uncontrolled consumption of water will make Bali increasing porous and creates great concern for the future.  We have yet to thoroughly consider the demand for water from the general public and the need for surface water for agriculture as Bali depletes both its surface and land water resources.  Because of this, we need a proper solution for this problem,” declared Wiraputra.



Canceled Shore Leave

Malaysian Dies While Diving at Liberty Shipwreck in Tulamben, North Bali


A tourist from Sabah, Malaysia, Andil Munim Bin Haji Wahd (47) has died while diving near the USS Liberty Shipwreck at Tulamben, North Bali.


As reported by, on Sunday, November 11, 2014, Andil was diving the wreck with four friends and a dive master from Makassar, Haji Andi Makmur (52).  Diving on the wreck at a distance of 20 meters from the shore and a depth of 20 meters, Andil asked the dive master to bring him to the surface. Once on the surface, the Malaysian directed the dive master to return to the group, saying he would make the short distance to shore on his own.


35 minutes later when the group completed their dive they were unable to find Andil on the shore. A search was commenced that eventually found the Malaysian floating 50-meters from shore in front of Pura Dalem Tulamben Temple.


Breathing at the time of his discovery, Andil was given oxygen and rushed to a local medical center (Puskesmas) where he was later declared dead.


Police theorize the Malaysian may have exhausted himself swimming against strong currents. A forensic examination of the man’s body may provide further insight into the actual cause of the man’s death.



Seeking to Sell to Tourists

Local Traders Resist Government Efforts to Move Them into New Traditional Art Market at Kintamani, Bali


Nettlesome traders who populate parking areas surrounding the volcanic vistas at Kintamani are refusing to move into a traditional art market prepared by the government at the Kintamani Geopark.


In response, the Bangli Regency administrators have issued a deadline insisting traders must assume one of the kiosks or stop trading in the area.


Traders are reluctant to follow orders and tear down their current kiosks because the Regency has not clarified what the cost will be for rental of a kiosks inside the art market. The traders also complain that the situation of the new art market is less strategic than the informal booths they now operate in areas used for parking by Geopark Visitors.


Other traders are also dismayed by the condition of the new traditional market that is already in a poor condition with substantial structural damage even though its has yet to commence formal operations.



Holiday Glee from the Heart of Bali

Celebrate Christmas with Ubud, Bali Rotarians on Sunday, December 14, 2014


Rotary Club Ubud Sunset will hold it 2nd Annual Holiday Fundraising Dinner on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at the Maya Ubud Resort.


The event will run from 6:00 – 10:00 pm and at a cost of Rp. 575,000 per person ($48) will included:

A special welcome cocktail

A sumptuous holiday buffet from the Maya Ubud.

Music performance by a group of local orphans

Acoustic music by Komangrove

Group caroling

Raffle prizes


More than 50% of the ticket proceeds will be donated to Rotary Club Ubud Sunset’s community service projects for clean water, sanitation, health and education in Bali.


Seating is limited and early reservations are recommended by


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