Barbarians at the Gate
Bribes Rampant at Bali Ferry Crossing of Gilimanuk
Radar Bali reports that illegal levies and fees charged at the ferry crossing port of Gilimanuk in West Bali are now sought from the public with increasing impunity.
Recent observations, undertaken by members of the Jembrana Legislature and the Jawa Pos-Radar Bali Group, confirmed widespread corrupt practices taking place at the Port. Shocked by what they saw, legislators have summoned the Regency’s enforcement agency (Pamong Praja – Satpol PP) and the Civil Registry Department (Dafdukcapil) who serve at the ferry crossing.
I Ketut Suastika, a member of the Jembrana House of Representatives (DPRD-Jembrana), observed first-hand the corrupt practices at the Gilimanuk Port while traveling with a commercial travel service from Malang to Jembrana on Saturday, November 29, 2014.
When the vehicle carrying Suastika entered Gilimanuk the driver of the vehicle quickly disembarked and ran to the Identity Card Post (KTP). The driver paid Rp. 5,000 (US$0.41) to the person manning the post,
Suastika told the press he was startled by the entire process in that the bus full of passengers and good were able to pass through the port without any inspection taking place verifying either the identity of the passengers or the nature of the goods they were carrying to Bali.
Recalling the tragedy of two Bali bombings, Suastika said: “I do not agree if those on guard on Gilimanuk put the entire island of Bali at risk for only Rp. 5,000. For this reason, a mental revolution must take place among those assigned to work at the Port. Let’s not let Bali become a victim again because of the poor behavior of these officials.”
Two other lawmakers from Jembrana, the DPRD-Jembrana chairman I Ketut Sugiasa and the vice-chairman of Commission A of the DPRD-Jembrana I Putu Dwita joined the criticism of loose controls and the venality of officials assigned to work in Jembrana to protect the Island of Bali. Dwia complained: “Every year the provincial government of Bali provides Rp. 430 million (US$35,835) to pay an honorarium to Satpol PP and Dafdukcapil officials at the port. Why do they want to sell-off their responsibility for only Rp. 5,000?”
Dwita promised he would convene an urgent meeting of Commission A of the DPRD-Jembrana,
Radar Bali also reported their observation in which a bus driver paid money to a police officer at a Gilimanuk Police Post. Despite this payment, police did review the contents and passengers carried on the bus.
A Room with a View to Culture
Surge in Budget and City Hotels in Ubud Threaten Home Stay Operators and the Sustainability of Areas Cultural Traditions
The chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association for Bali (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati has acknowledged a place for city or budget hotels in large cities, but sees the presence of such types of accommodation in Ubud, Bali as destructive to the cultural tourism that is the unique selling proposition the well-know sub-destination in Bali.
As reported by Radar Bali, the emergence of budget and city hotels in Ubud threaten the home stays owned by local residents. Those who own local home stays, according to Tjokorda, are at the forefront of cultural tourism. If their home stays are destroyed by the new budget hotels, the future of cultural tourism in Bali must also be put in doubt.
Tjokorda said that the owners of local home stays in Ubud are “tourism objects” in their own right attracting people to the area through their willingness to share local cultural traditions with visitors. The PHRI chairman said that if local accommodation providers are put out of business, ceremonies such as odalan, ngaben and other rituals will also soon disappear from Ubud.
Sharpening his argument, Tjokorda asked: “Budget hotels with only 25 are of land can build a 100-room hotel. Meanwhile, local people with 10 are of land can only operate a home stay with 5 rooms. How can they compete?”
Tjokorda also warned that, over time, the Budget and City hotels will eventually drag down the prices of starred and boutique hotels in Ubud. Tjokorda, who owns luxury properties in Ubud, said boutique properties and starred hotels do not threaten home stays because of the large price differentiation between the two segments.
Radar Bali counts five locations in and around Bali that are home to 6 budget or city hotels. The publication also claims that many of these hotels have been built in violation of the Provincial Zoning Law (RTRW) provisions for minimum land area and the requirement that 60% of the land used for hotel development must be open garden areas.
Budget or City hotels are now being built or in operation in Ubud in the areas of Tebesaya, Kengetan, Lodtunduh, Junjungan and Padangtegal.
The head of tourism for Gianyar (Kadisparda), A.A. Bagus Ari Brahmanta, bemoaned how these new hotels are ignoring the stipulations of the RTRW and are threatening the sustainability of tourism and are destined to become a source of social-economic jealousy within the community over time.
Canberra’s Man in Jakarta
Paul Grigson Appointed as Australia’s Ambassador to Jakarta
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Paul Grigson will be appointed as Australia’s new Ambassador to Jakarta replacing Ambassador Greg Moriarty who is ending his Indonesian posting at the close of the year.
Grigson is a career diplomat who has held ambassadorial postings to Bangkok (2008-2010) and Rangoon (2003-2004). He has also served as chief negotiators for the Peace Monitoring Group in Bouganville in 2000.
Grigson’s most recent assignment was as a deputy secretary with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Prior to becoming a civil servant, Grigson worked as a journalist for AAP.
Grigson is seen as an “unusually senior” appointment to Jakarta reflecting the Abbott governments desire have a highly-qualified hand in Indonesia to help Australia restore fragile relations with the Indonesians against the backdrop of Abbott's unpopular “turn back the boats” refuge program and a scandal that caught Australia spying on the phone calls of the Indonesian President, his family and the Indonesian cabinet.
Grigson is married and has two children.
Badung Regency Honors Bali's Best Taxpayers
The Hotel and Restaurant Sectors Remain the Prima Donna of Tax Revenues for Bali’s Southern Regency of Badung.
As reported by Bali Post, the Regent of Badung, A.A. Gde Agung, handed awards of appreciation to 31 top taxpayers for 2013 on Friday, November 28, 2014.
The awards, coordinated by the Regency’s tax office, were divided into two categories: taxpayer who have paid the most tax and taxpayer who had the highest level of compliance with the tax code.
Hotel winning award as good tax citizens with the best compliance were: The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali Dynasty Hotel. All Seasons – Legian, Mercure Harvestland Kuta and the Alila Villas Ulawatu.
The top restaurant in terms of tax compliance according to the Badung tax office is the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.
In the category of entertainment venues the award for compliance was given to the Waterbom Park in Kuta and for spas to the Green Garden Spa.
The top taxpayers in the Regency of Badung were the W Retreat and Spa Seminyak, Hard Rock Hotel Bali, Bali Mandira Beach Resort and Spa and Melasti Beach Resort.
Meanwhile, Aerofood Indonesia Catering located at Bali’s airport was the best tax-paying restaurant.
Beachwalk Theatre XXI was the best taxpayer in the entertainment category while Inti Dufree Promosindo Parkir was the best tax paying parking operator.
How to Grow a Relationship
Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali Hosts Party for Jakarta Media and Business Partners
On Friday, November 28, 2014, The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali invited more than 250 guests to an appreciation gathering for its Jakarta-based business and media partners.
A colorful and lively event staged in the ballroom of the Le Meridien Jakarta Hotel the Resort’s Jakarta and Bali-based sales teams were on hand to thank key business partners for their support over the past year,
Upon arrival, guests were greeted in the ballroom's foyer with drinks and canapés. A wall of fame photo booth during the cocktails enabled guests to take shots and upload them with hashtag #WestinBaliParty via Instagram and Facebook.
The ballroom’s doors opened at 7.30 p.m. onto a lavishly decorated venue where Indonesian Idol singing sensation Nowela was performing with her backing singers and traveling show band. During a pause in the music, the managing director of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Bipan Kapur, took to the stage to welcome the guests and introduces associates from the sales and marketing team.
c continued performed by Nowella while guests enjoyed the food.
Lucky draws were awarded throughout the evening in the form of free stays affiliated Starwood Hotels & Resorts across the Asia Pacific region.
The Grand Prize was for a five-night stay in Bangkok, Thailand including roundtrip flights for two persons.
The evening also included a charity auction of a famed Heavenly Bed© from The Westin with all proceeds going to Dana Punia orphanage located in Singaraja, north of Bali, a non-profit foundation that cares for impoverished children. The funds raised go the educational cost of the children.
g guests were given an attractive potted plant to symbolize the growing relationship between The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali and its partners.
Shown on Balidiscovery.com are pictures from The Western Resort Nusa Dua, Bali “thank you” party in Jakarta.
A Lump of Coal for Merpati this Christmas?
Final Decision on Merpati’s Nusantara Airline’s Fate Expected before Christmas 2014
Reuters report that the final fate of Merpati Nusantara Airlines will be decided by the government sometime before Christmas 2014, according to statements made by the Minister for State-Owned Enterprises Rini Soemarno.
With debts estimated to exceed Rp. 6 trillion (US$488 million) and a balance sheet with a very thin asset base, few believe that Merpati would receive a government bail out or be able to attract a new strategic investor.
The Airline was grounded in February 2014 when severe cash problems left it unable to pay insurance, fuel bills or staff salaries.
Under Indonesian law the Airline Operating Certificate (AOC) of Merpati will be finally and irrevocably cancelled if it fails to resume operations by February 2015.
Soemarno, who has a reputation for her readiness to take tough business decisions, recently fired the entire board of directors of the State-owned oil company Pertamina.
Home for the Holidays
Enjoy a Traditional Megibung Christmas Feast at Bali Asli in Karangasem, East Bali on Christmas Day 2014
December 2014 will be a most joyous time of the year in Bali due to the propitious confluence of the Christian celebration of Christmas on December 25th and the important 10-day holiday cycle of Galungan and Kuningan December 17-27, 2014.
m>Christmas famously celebrates the birth of the Christ child, Galungan, falling on December 17, 2014, marks the victory of good over evil or dharma over adharma. And, like Christmas, this is the time of year when Balinese can be expected to return to their ancestral homes to prepare offering and make elaborate decorations to welcome back the souls of family who return to their family circle before bidding leave, once again, on Kuningan day on December 27, 2014.
If you’re looking for a Balinese and truly memorable way of celebrating this holiday season consider booking your family NOW for one of the few spaces available at a traditional Megibung lunch at Bali Asli in Karangasem.
A culinary tradition first introduced in Karangasemin 1692 by the then King of Karangasem, I Gusti Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem, the Megibung is a unique communal meal enjoyed by the community.
History relates that the King, at war with the Sasak Kingdoms of Lombok, created a tradition in which he sat with his warrior (gibung = an activity done by many) and to discuss battle strategies and enjoy a feast together before venturing forth into battle.
The fruit of the culinary genius of Australian Chef Penelope Williams, Bali Asli promotes authentic Balinese cuisine prepared in a traditional kitchen using wood-fired, mud-brick stoves. Using ingredients grown in cooperation with farming neighbors or purchased at local markets, Bali Asli’s credo remains to promote Balinese cuisine without exploiting the farmers, fishermen and cooks who bring their delicious food to the table.
Surrounded by rice terraces in the shadow of majestic sacred Mount Agung, Bali Asli sits in Gelumpang Vllage on the outskirts of Amlapura in Karangasem, northeast Bali. A short distance from Candi Dasa and Ahmed, Bali Asli can be reached in a two-hour drive from Bali’s capital of Denpasar.
Christmas at Bali Asli
With the underlying nuances of Christmas, Galungan and Kuningan the “spirits” of the season will convene on Bali Asli for one of the limited seats at a Yuletide lunch quite like no other on Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25, 2014.
ivities start at 12 noon with a hibiscus tea punch and locally inspired “nibbles” served on the balcony while soaking in the breathtaking vistas of Mount Agung and the surrounding rice terraces. Lunch is served at 1:00 p.m. at long communal tables.
This Balinese Christmas feast will be presented to the privileged few who have made a booking (last year was a sell-out). All food items will be prepared without the assistance of a single electrical appliance using traditional techniques, wood fired stoves and mortar and pestles. After mouth-watering sambals and krupuk, a multi-course feast will be served with the main course placed on traditional bambu platters down the center of the table for guests, now friends, to share.
Accompanying the megibung will be some of Bali Asli’s home made ciders, hand crafted in the traditional way from various local fruits. Bali Asli’s regular extensive beverage list will also be available.
Dessert is a selection of traditional Balinese sweets, made in house of course, local fruits and Coffee grown and roast especially for Bali Asli in Singaraja and served together with Indonesian teas.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
A Traditional Eastern Balinese Megibung
Home made sambals and Balinese crackers
Ares be celeng
A fragrant broth made from young coconut, pork ribs and shaved banana stems from Bali Asli’s garden
Steamed organic Balinese rice with sweet corn from Seraya village
A salad of young jackfruit and leaves from Bali Asli’s melinjo tree, spiced with base gede, sweet red chili, holy basil and freshly grated coconut
Karangasem-style water spinach, dressed with a zesty tomato sauce, tiny limes and fried peanuts
Sate lembat be pasih
Fisherman-fresh sea fish sate wrapped around bamboo sticks
Be siap betutu
Slow cooked chicken, marinated in “Bumbu Rajang” stuffed with cassava leaves, slow roasted wrapped in beetle nut husks
Beceleng base manis
Traditionally bred pork, slow cooked with cinnamon, star anise and ginger
Fern tips, wing beans and snake gourd salad with Bali limes and galangal
Locally made tofu, shallots, ginger, lemon basil, tamarind and chili wrapped in banana leaves and steamed
Soybean pate fried in a sweet and spicy caramel
Market fresh fruits and home-made Balinese cakes
Balinese coffee or Indonesian tea
Rp350,000 per person (US$29)
[Email Bookings and Enquiries]
Bali Asli Website
Can’t We Meet, Please?
Bali Tourism Concerned that Ban on Government Meetings will Unduly Impact Island’s Hotel Industry
A local tourism figure, Bagus Sudibya, has told MetroBali.com that recent ban on government sponsored meetings in hotel that took effect on December 1, 2014 will have a great impact on Bali’s tourism industry.
“This is a crisis. On the one hand we agree with the new rule that wants to increase the efficiency of government budgets and improve the public welfare by conserving funds to improve the nation’s infrastructure. But, on the other hand, this will have a big effect on tourism,” said Subidya on December 3, 2014.
Sudibya, who owns hotels and a tour agency and is the vice-chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Association (GIPI-Bali), said the new government regulation will hurt hotels that have depended on government-sponsored meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE).
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali) warns that many of its members will suffer because of the new ruling. The chairman of PHRI-Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, estimates that 25% losses in MICE business in the regency of Badung alone.
Claiming there are a large number of MICE bookings in Bali made by Indonesian ministries, State-owned companies and regional government bodies – Tjokorda lamented that just as the Island’s tourism industry has geared up to handle this sector the government has closed this source of business from government sources.
Garuda Losses Continue to Mount
Garuda Indonesia’s Losses Grow in Q3 2014, But Promises Profitability in 2015
Detikfinance.com reports that the national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia lost US$204 million in Q3 2014.
Losses by the State-owned airline increased 537% compared to Q3 2013 when losses totaled only US$32.5 million.
The increasingly losses in 2014 have occurred against a background of improving income figures, During the first nine months of 2014, Garuda booked revenues of US$2.8 billion, compared to US$2.6 billion during the first nine months of 2013.
The outgoing CEO of Garuda Indonesia, Emirsyah Satar, has pledged that the Airline will continue to improve its working synergy, targeting to become profitable in 2015.
“Next year Garuda will stop suffering losses,” said Emir during a meeting at Menara Bank Mega in Jakarta on December 4, 2014.
The Garuda CEO is banking on continually improving economic conditions in Indonesia to help drive the airline to profitability. At the same time, Emir says profitability will be further aided by a stable exchange rate of the Rupiah against the U.S. Dollar and lower costs for aviation fuel.
Emir explained that a fluctuating value of the Rupiah against the U.S. Dollar can have a powerful effect on Garuda’s bottom line. Many of the airlines costs are tied to the value of the U.S. dollar, such as the cost of fuel, and fuel alone represents almost 50% of the total operational costs of the airline.
To further aid profitability, Emir said Garuda’s management is improving the utilization levels of its air fleet, conserving fuel, improving the rotation schedules of cabin crew and improvement in on board service.
Emir is projecting that income for Garuda Indonesia will increase 10% in 2015.
A Final Resolution Before New Years
Five Criminals to be Executed in Indonesia Before New Years
President Joko Widodo has now spoken out directly on the matter of capital punishment, instructing the Coordinating Minister of Politics, Law and Human Rights Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno to push ahead with the execution of those convicted of narcotic crime who are now sitting on death row.
Tedjo confirmed that there are 64 people from a number of countries slated for executions. 5 among this total are expected to be put to death before the end of December 2014.
Quoted by Bisnis.com, Tedjo said: “This is not the order of the President, but he has asked the State apparatus to enforce the law as it is written. For those sentenced to death, who have exhausted the appeal process and for whom a presidential remission has been refused should be executed as soon as possible.”
Tedjo was speaking at the Presidential Palace on Thursday, December 4, 2014.
In keeping with protocols in place for those sentenced to die, Tedjo refused to mention the names of the five scheduled to die before year’s end, but did confirm that both foreign nationals and Indonesians are included among those set to die.
The final execution can only take place with the Attorney General Agung HM Prasetyo issues the written death warrant that must be endorsed by the President.
Tedjo added: “The Attorney General will advise who is going to be executed. The execution will be carried out pending the order of the Attorney General co-signed by the President.”
Stating that narcotic abuse threatens the Nation, Tedjo complains that some convicted drug dealers have continued to deal drug from behind bars.
From the five to be executed in December 2014, three are convicted of drug offenses with the remaining two convicted of capital murder. Of those awaiting death, one is a narcotics offender in Tangerang, two other narcotic offenders are in Batam, and the two remaining are convicted murderers sitting on death row on Nusakambangan island.
The established procedures for executions in Indonesia require that the person to be put to death is formally told of his or her imminent execution only 72-hours beforehand. The executions are carried out at night or before dawn in an isolated location near the place of imprisonment before a firing squad of 12-members of the police military brigade (Brimob). Only three members of the firing squad will have live rounds loaded into their rifles with the remaining 9 rifles loaded with blank rounds.
The condemned is typically dressed in a white shirt with a reflector hung over the heart to form a target for the firing squad. The person to be executed is given the option of standing or sitting before the firing squad.
A doctor is in attendance to confirm death. If the squad misses its mark and the doctor confirm the convict is still clinically alive, the head of the execution squad will use his sidearm to summarily dispatch the criminal with another single shot to the head.
Jawa Pos estimates the cost of a single execution at Rp. 100 million (US$US$8,300).
The current count of those on death row in Indonesia, less those to be shot in December, stands at 135 people. 61 of these are convicted of drug offenses, 72 on non-drug related offenses and 2 on charges of terrorism.
2 Australians and one English woman now sit on death row in Bali’s Kerobokan prison.
Sadly Quixotic De Malmanche
New Zealander Discovered with 1.709 Kilograms of Methamphetamines at Bali’s Airport
Reports in the Australian and New Zealand press state that a New Zealand man was arrested at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Monday, December 1, 2014, carrying nearly 2 kilograms of methamphetamines.
52-year-old Antony Glen De Malmanche was reportedly on his first trip abroad when he landed in Bali from Hong Kong. He reportedly met a woman online via an Internet dating service who provided the man, who lives on disability payments in New Zealand, with funds to obtain a passport and fly to Hong Kong and Bali.
Bali Custom’s officer examined De Malmanche’s luggage and person after he began acting suspiciously when collecting his luggage upon arrival in Bali.
Customs officials eventually discovered1.709 kilograms of methamphetamines wrapped in plastic in his suitcase. Chemical testing later confirmed that the substance was methamphetamine.
The man told Bali’s authorities that he was going to meet his fiancée on a later flight arriving at the Airport. The woman, said to be a South African, had just met the New Zealander in Hong Kong where they purportedly resolved to marry.
The quantity of drugs found in De Malmanche’s position will permit prosecutors to seek a maximum penalty of the death penalty and a fine of one billion rupiah (US$83,300).
Pleading poverty, the man’s Son said from New Zealand there was little they could do to assist De Malmanche, as they had no resources to hire a lawyer.
The man has reportedly yet to seek assistance from the New Zealand Department of Foreign Affairs.
Keeping Sanur Sustainable
Transportation and Tourism Accessibility Study for Sanur Now Underway
The State News Agency Antara reports that the Municipal Transportation Service for Bali’s capital city of Denpasar and Udayana University are jointly undertaking a study to examine carrying capacity and the organization of transport in the Sanur community of Bali.
The survey team leader Alit Sutanaya of Udayana University told the press that the study sought to examine carrying capacity and analyze the existing road systems in order to recommendations to improve traffic flows.
The study forms a part of a Presidential Decision of 2011 on accelerating and expanding Indonesia’s Economic Development Plan for 2011-20125 (MP3EI) in which Bali and West Nusa Tenggara have been designated as gateways for national tourism and support areas for national agriculture.
Alit Sutanaya acknowledged that Bali is the lead player in national tourism that follows a strategy of increasing the number of tourism visitors and enhancing the quality of those visitors through the upgrading of tourist objects available on the Island.
Because of this, the study assumes that the development of more accommodation, supporting businesses, housing and other services will continue apace in Sanur.
Among the areas identified for development of Sanur as a quality tourism destination are bike paths, the creation of commuter transportation facilities across Sanur and agricultural tourism. Plans are also afoot to develop ecotourism projects in Sanur’s mangrove areas and the establishment of traditional tourism villages in the beachside community.
Sutanaya explained that among the new facilities planned for Sanur are a jogging track, rest areas, souvenir sales areas and waste/trash handling facilities.
The Udayana researcher said that Sanur’s attraction as a tourism destination is out of balance with the limited amount of access roads and public parking available.
Sutanaya went on to explain that the theory of sustainable tourism sought for Sanur requires balance be maintained between economic, environmental and cultural demands of the area.
The concept for Sanur’s development as a tourist destination calls for all vehicles to be directed to a central parking area connected to all corners of Sanur by a shuttle bus service.
Suggestions are also being considered for the reintroduction of traditional modes of transport such as horse carriages.
Steps will also be implemented to make all of Sanur more accessible for disabled and elderly visitors.
Spanning Time and Space
Major Royal Cremation to Take Place in Ubud on Tuesday, December 9, 2014
A major Balinese cremation ceremony will take place starting from the Royal Palace in Ubud on Tuesday, December 9, 2014.
The entire funeral ritual began on Saturday, December 6th with a group of ceremonies that included the bathing of the deceased’s corpse. The formal cremation will take place on Tuesday, December 9 followed by a final Mecaru ceremony on December 12th.
Ir.Tjokorda Raka Sukawati – Engineer Extraordinaire
The cremation ceremony is in honor of Ir.Tjokorda Raka Sukawati, a member of the Royal Household who died at age 83 on November 11, 2014. A highly regarded structural engineer, Sukawati is credited with developing a construction technique for elevated highways that permitted traffic to continue to operate at ground level while the construction of suspended elevated highways continued.
The construction technique is known as Sosrobahu resulting in Sukawati’s nickname of “Tjok Sosrobahu” during his lifetime of working for PT Hutama Karya on the construction of major road projects across the archipelago.
After his retirement he returned to Bali where he taught engineering at Bali’s Udayana University.
A cremation tower (bade) standing 24 meters high has been under construction in an area adjacent to the Ubud Palace under the careful supervision of Tjokorda Gde Raka Sukawati, a relative of the deceased and a well-respected tradition spatioan designer and architect (undagi).
The cremation to take place on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 will be attended by thousands eager to pay their final respects and provide a reverential passage (yadnya) to the next dimension.
On Tuesday the body of Tjokorda will be carried through the streets of the community before being placed in a beautiful carved and decorated effigy of a bull (Lembu) atop the cremation tower before being set ablaze.
Respectful members of the public are generally welcome to witness these quintessential Balinese ceremonies.
However, to ensure a positive experience for both the bereaved family and the tourist visitor, we suggest the following:
Please engage the services of a licensed Balinese guide through a local tour company. The guide will accompany visitors throughout the ceremony explaining the intricacies and symbolism of the event and ensure visitor behave in such a way as to avoid giving any unintentional offense.
If possible, attend iwearing traditional Balinese dress in the color of mourning – black. The guide and/or the staff at your accommodation venue will assist in acquiring proper dress for the cremation. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to attend in Balinese dress then please dress neatly. While you may be on holiday, attending in shorts, singlet and tank tops is a failure to pay proper respect to both the deceased and their family.
Maintain a respectful distance, avoiding the desire to force your way in among members of the family handling the body of the deceased. When in doubt about the appropriateness of close-up photography, seek the advice of your tour guide.
3 Million – That’s a Lot for Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot Expected to Record 3 Million Visitors by End of 2014
Bali Post reports that the Tanah Lot Temple Tourist Complex has experienced a 10% increase in visitors through the end of November 2014 with 2,784,419 visitors.
With these results through the end of November and one month yet to go, the operators of the tourism complex that surrounds Bali’s iconic sea temple are confident that the targeted 3 million visitors for all of 2014 will be achieved.
During a meeting with the press on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, the head of the management team for the Tanah Lot Complex, Ketut Toya Adnyana, warned that bad weather and intense rains in during the month of December had the potential of deterring visitors to Tanah Lot, preventing the 3 million goal from being achieved.
Adnyana’s assistant, Wayan Sudiana, added that the recent steep increase in fuel prices may adversely affect the number of visitors to Tanah Lot who will be reluctant to pay the higher cost of tour packages offered to Tanah Lot.
Sudiana also expressed that the policy of the new Joko Widodo government curtailing government meetings in hotels could potentially reduce the number of conference visitors to Bali who, in turn, will not seek an opportunity to visit the temple complex.
German Dies in East Bali Road Mishap
East Bali Motorcycle Collision Claims the Life of 51-Year-Old German Expatriate
A 51-year-old German living in East Bali identified as Erwin Ernst Furth has died in a collision between two motorcycles at the village of Tumbu in the regency of Karangasem.
The accident occurred on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at about 3:40 p.m. when the German driving a motorcycle collided in a high speed head-on with a motorcycle driven by a 40-year-old Karangasem man, Wayan Jagreg.
As the result of the collision, Furth sustained a number of horrific injuries including breaking both his legs. Meanwhile, Jagreg suffered internal injuries. Furth was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident while Jagreg was transported to the Karangasem General Hospital where he remains warded for treatment of his injuries.
As reported by NusaBali, the head of the traffic division of the Karangasem Police Precinct theorized that the German may have been intoxicated at the time of the accident causing him to drive on the wrong side of the road and lose control of his motorcycle.
Furth was a resident of Bali living in Banjar Lean in the village of Bunutan in the Abang region of Karangasem.
Waving at Bali as They Fly By
AirAsia Indonesia Increases Direct Air Access to Indonesia from Singapore to Five Cities
AirAsia Indonesia announced the imminent launch of two new flights in the first week of December 2014 connecting Lombok, Solo in Central Java and Singapore.
The new routes increase the existing connections from Indonesia to Singapore for the Airline that already includes flights to the Island Republic from Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Surabaya and Yogyakarta.
AirAsia Indonesia will fly between Lombok and Singapore beginning on January 28, 2015 and between Solo, Central Java to Singapore on January 29, 2015. The new services will be operated with Airbus A320 aircraft carrying 180 passengers.
Direct connections between the two Indonesian destinations and the Republic of Singapore are expected to increase traffic flow of passengers by eliminating burdensome intermediate stops. As a result, Solo and Lombok will become a short-holiday option for the sizeable Singapore-based market as well as easing access to Singapore for the Indonesia’s large traveling public.
To celebrate the announcement of its new routes, AirAsia Indonesia offered special introductory one-way fares of Rp. 159,000 (US$13.25) between Solo and Singapore and one-way fares of Rp. 229.000 (US$19.00) between Lombok and Singapore. That price offer ended on December 7, 2014 and was valid for travel between January 28, 2015 until January 27, 2016.
In Case of Emergency: Dial 110
Bali Police Launch Call Center 110, Panic Button Alarms and Public Information Studio
The Denpasar Police have launched a “panic button” and Call Center 110 service that will put the public in immediate contact with a sophisticated Central Command Center.
Also debuted by the police was the Studio Harkamtibnas – resembling a mini-theater that can be used for briefings to the press, student groups and the general public seeking information on the work of the Bali Police.
As reported by NusaBali, the inauguration of Call Center 110, panic button and Studio Harkamtibnas was presided over by the Chief of the Bali Police on Friday, November 28, 2014.
The head of the Denpasar police Djoko Hariutomo told the press that Call Center 110 and “Panic Button” are bold new steps allowing the police to quickly and appropriately respond to security problems reported by the public. Any member of the public can dial “110” from any telephone and be in instant contact with the police command center. Meanwhile the “panic button” is an alarm system installed at key locations across Denpasar that will instantly dispatch response teams to any area at the first sign of trouble.
The “panic buttons” will be installed in places such as banks, hotels and other high traffic areas.
Information sent via “panic buttons” and by calling “110” will be immediately relayed to officers in the field enabling faster response times.
Money to Burn
Fines Imposed on Smokers at Bali Sanglah General Hospital
25 visitors at Denpasar Sanglah General Hospital ran afoul of Denpasar’s no-smoking rules and were brought before a temporary court set up at the Hospital where justice was dispensed.
Quoted by NusaBali, Drs. Ketut Gede Arnawa of the Provincial Civil Defense Unit (Pamong Praja) said: “As many as 25 people tried today, with 10 failing to appear. The total number who have violated the no-smoking area rule total 35.”
The trials were conducted by a judge, prosecutors and witnessed by no less than 11 representatives of local law enforcement agencies.
The 25 people brought to trial for smoking in a non-smoking area were fined Rp. 50,000 (US$4.16) and Rp. 1,000 (US$0.08) in court costs. Failure to pay the fine would translate into three day in jail as an alternative.
The 35 violators had been ticketed earlier for smoking in public and their identity cards confiscated by police as a guarantee that they would attend the subsequent trial session.
Similar crackdowns on those smoking in public area are planned across Bali in the coming weeks.
Only the governments of Jemrabana and Buleleng have yet to ratify the no smoking laws.
The Games Up
Badung Lawmakers Call for Closure of Ocean Blue Hotel for Unpaid Taxes by December 31, 2014
DenPost reports that Commission III of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) will issue a recommendation that Ocean Blue Hotel located on Jalan Raya Kampial in Nusa Dua be closed due to unpaid back taxes.
The chairman of Commission III of DPRD Badung I Nyoman Satria accompanied by Commission member I Gede Aryantha said the problem of the outstanding tax bill was discussed during a working visit by the Commission to Ocean Blue Pool Hotel on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, during which it was revealed that unpaid taxes date back to 2007.
The Commission members said that the Villas had failed to demonstrate good will in any effort to meet its tax obligations.
The DPRD-Badung members said the amount of unpaid taxes is the highest in the regency totaling Rp. 20,610,398,537 (US$ 1.7 million).
Satria told the press: “It has been years that they Ocean Blue Hotel) have not met their tax obligations and transferred the money paid for guests in the form of hotel taxes. They have concealed their taxes. Many Korean guests have stayed there. The money paid in the form of taxes by the villa guests belong to the people of Badung but have been taken (by the villa owner). The Villa has a Korean ‘boss’ who continues to misbehave. The obligation for the current year he is unable to meet. The outstanding tax bill is more than Rp. 20 billion, while the assets of the hotel amount to only Rp. 50 billion. We are very worried by this.”
Satria said the unpaid tax bill is now in the hands of the law. The Ocean Blue Hotel is also confronting licensing and permit problems. “The operating permit has expired. If they want to extend (the permit) they must first pat their tax bill,” explained Satria.
Because of the several problems plaguing Ocean Blue Hotel, Commission III is preparing a recommendation that the assets of the Villa be seized. The Commission is calling for the closure of the Hotel by the latest on December 31, 2014. “The assets of the Ocean Blue will soon be seized,” warned Satria.
Preparing for Disasters
Bali Prepares Standby Supplies of Rice and Tents in the Event of Natural Disasters
Bali’s Department of Social Services have set aside 50 tons of rice stocks to assist Bali families suffering natural disasters during the coming rainy season.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the head of Social Services for the Province of Bali, Nyoman Wenten, said on Friday, December 5, 2014, “In addition to setting aside rice stocks, we have also laid in a stock of tents and special teams to be deployed in the event of a natural disaster.”
For emergency stocks of rice and other supplies to be released, a proposal or request must first be submitted by the Department of Social Services in the regency or metropolitan area needing assistance detailing the degree of need and the number of people at risk.
Wenten said that based on the experience of past years, the regencies of Buleleng and Karangasem are the areas that are most often affected by natural disasters during the rainy season, typically in the form of floods and landslides. Conversely, these areas also tend to suffer the worst effects of drought during the dry season.
“For this reason, we hope the people will exercise caution, especially those who live on mountainsides, monitoring the situation during the rainy season. The people cannot be complacent if there are any indications of a disaster. The dangers of nature cannot be predicted and building can be swept away without notice by landslides,” warned Wenten.
Wenten said additional emergency stocks of rice have also been laid in by Regents and Mayors amounting to 100 tons and 200 tons on standby from the Governor.
Waka Hotel & Resort Group Growing
Waka Hotel & Resorts to Rebrand and Manage Shorea Beach Resort at Nusa Bay Menjangan
Waka Hotels & Resorts, operated by PT WHM Indonesia, has assumed management and operational control of Shorea Beach Resort that will be rebranded as the group’s 3-star Nusa Bay Menjangan.
Located on Tanjung Kotal Bay, the resort is surrounded by the natural beauty of West Bali National Park and its extensive white sand beaches. The West Bali National Park’s abundant faunas are frequently seen within the resort’s grounds and on its secluded beach.
From Labuan Lalang harbor, the resort can be reached in 20 minutes by a local boat. Menjangan Island, famous for its superb snorkeling and scuba diving, is just 10-minute boat ride away from the resort’s private jetty.
The Resort will close on December 10, 2104 to reopen in May 2015 after an extensive refurbishment and upgrading of the Resort.
Waka Hotels & Resorts is headed by the experienced hotelier Kamal K. Kaul, the group’s President & CEO. The Company is currently managing and operating the following business units:
Waka Gangga - beachfront 4 star Resort in Tabanan, Bali
Waka Sailing - luxury catamaran sailing to Nusa Lembongan island
Waka Land Cruise - day trips in classic Land Rover or Land Cruiser to Mount Batukaru
Nusa Bay Lembongan by WHM - beachfront 3 star resort on Nusa Lembongan Island.
Can We Have this Dance?
Black on White Skal Bali Ball on Saturday, December 13, 2014 at The Stones Hotel in Legian
Consideredthe travel industry event of the year, the 2014 Skal Bali Ball will be held on Saturday, December 13, 2014 in the ballroom of The Stones Hotel in Legian – a Marriott Autograph Collection Luxury Resort.
This year’s event is themed the White on Black SKAL Ball with attendees asked to dress in black and white.
Cocktails and dinner commence at 7:00 p.m..
As in years past, this year’s ball will be an evening filled with fine food, generous libations, live music for dancing and a generous range of auction items and door prizes.
Open to all working in the tourism industry and their friends, tickets are on sales for Rp. 850,000 per person (US$71).
Seating is limited and seating priority given to early purchasers.
For more information or bookings telephone ++62-(0)361-7433589 or [Email]
Inspired by Nature’s Open Spaces
Plein Air – an Exhibition of Paintings by Theo Zantman at Art Patio in Lovina, North Bali Through February 1, 2015
Art Patio in Lovina, North Bali presents a solo exhibition by the Dutch artist Theo Zantman through February 1, 2015.
This exhibition entitled "Plein Air" means "The Open Air" - an expression that describes the process of painting in the great outdoors.
The practice of painting in “Plein Air” or open spaces was much in favor among Impressionist and post-impressionist painters. This, in turn, created a different perspective on the relationship between reality and its pictorial representation.
Painting in “Plein Air” is a method of artistic portrayal imbued with immediacy and movement. As a “Plein Air” practitioner, Dutch artist Theo Zantman is dedicated to painting the landscape on location. His paintings are devoted to capturing the play of natural light and shadow expressed via a bright and varied use of color. Theo Zantman's work is notable for its emotional honesty and its fresh and original vision.
In the words of the dean of Bali’s art community, Arie Smit: " Theo Zantman is a highly original artist and one of the very few painters alive who have the ability to feel and to paint the atmosphere of Bali with talent and authenticity. . .I have seen him several times painting on location and can say that using incredible concentration, his painting reveal to me both integrity and honesty."
Painting Exhibition by Theo Zantman
Through February 1, 2015
Gallery Open Saturday to Thursdays by 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
(or by appointment)
Jalan Singaraja-Seririt, Kaliasem -Gang Dewi Sri
Gang Dewi Sri
Permission, After the Fact
Legality of Permits and Licenses for The Crystal on the Bay at Nusa Dua Project Called into Question by Bali Lawmakers
On a page one article in DenPost, the construction of The Crystal on the Bay Hotel has been called into question by Commission I of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) following an inspection visit to the site by legislators on Wednesday, December 3, 2014.
Located in Bualu at Benoa, the luxury resort has been accused by DPRD-Bali members of using an outdated building permit, infringing on protected mangrove lands and violating maximum height requirements.
The building is alleged to be 7-storey high, while the maximum permissible height for buildings in Bali only 15 meters.
The chairman of Commission I of the DPRD-Badung, Nyoman Ardana said that based on his inspection of the project the formal building permit for The Crystal on the Bay Hotel is still in process and yet to receive final approval. This, despite the fact that the project is in an advance state of construction. Ardana told the press that eh would personally check with the Badung coordinated licensing bureau (BPPT) to determine if the permit has been approved or is still in progress.
He also promised that hearings would be held with BPPT and the Zoning Board for Badung (DCK) before December 17, 2014. The owners of the project would also be asked to attend the planned hearing.
Separately, the chief of BPPT-Badung, Made Sutama, confirmed to DenPost that the building permit for the hotel was still in process and that the final approval would only be issued following verification, including a visit to the project site to ensure the project does not infringe on the mangrove conservation area.
A visit to the project site by DenPost confirms that The Crystal on the Bay Hotel project abuts on the mangrove forest and that the Hotel is well advanced in its construction, despite the lack of formal permits. The newspaper claim piles of earth now stand in mangrove areas representing landfill or soil excavated in the process of building the project.
When the District Chief (Camat) of South Kuta was asked about the lack of a building permit for The Crystal on the Bay project he told the press to check with the agency that issues the required permits.
The Website for Hotel the project is actively soliciting investments from the public while a grand launch in Jakarta promoting a luxury bay front hotel in Nusa Dua has been undertaken while claiming the hotel will be the best in Bali.
In many jurisdictions the solicitation of investments in a project that has yet to receive final and formal government approval is strictly prohibited and considered tantamount to fraud.
A follow-up report in DenPost says that The Forum for the Protection of Bali’s Mangrove (FPMB) has now entered into the debate regarding possible damage caused by the hotel's construction. The chairman of FPMB, Heru B. Wasesa, claims there are a number of obvious irregularities in the construction of The Crystal on the Bay Hotel. The Forum claims the back sections of the hotel actually touch upon trees growing in the protected mangrove and that the hotel has filled lands in mangrove inlets.
Wasesa is calling for quick and definitive action by the government against the hotel project in order to protect the mangrove forest located around the unlicensed project. “If the reclamation (of Benoa Bay) has caused public unrest, what is the reaction when mangrove lands are illegally occupied? I hope the problem is quickly solved, because we are consistent in our efforts to save the mangrove forest from trash and other kinds of damage,” explained Wasesa
Pepé Le Pew? Is that You?
Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran Bali Reprimanded for Discharging Treated Sewage into Open Drains that Empty into Jimbaran Bay
The Bandung Regency Environmental Agency (BLH-Badung) has issued an administrative reprimand to the Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran Resort for illegally discharging treated sewage waters into drains that empty on Muaya Beach on Jimbaran Bay.
Quoted by DePost, the head of BLH-Badung, Ketut Sudarsana, said: “After our verification we have contacted the Le Meridien Hotel who are illegally disposing (into the drainage system) treated sewage that exceeds acceptable standards. This has resulted in unpleasant odors that have prompted local citizens to complain.”
Sudarsana’s comments were made in the company of the Head of Supervision and Control Department for Badung (Wasdal-Badung), Nengah Sukarta, on Thursday, December 4, 2014.
Earlier complaints from local residents about pungent smells suspected to be emanating from discharge from the hotel were delivered to the chief (lurah) of Jimbaran.
Sudarsana said the discharge was a violation of a provincial regulations and that his office has immediately terminated the discharge. He confirmed that the management of the hotel has acknowledged and signed an offcial report on the incident. The BLH chief said the Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran does not have the required permit for the discharge of liquid effluent into the surrounding environment.
According to DenPost, the BLH has stopped the discharge by the Resort and is preparing a written reprimand to Le Meridien Jimbaran. “If the reprimand is ignored, further sanctions, including criminal citations, can follow,” warned Sudarsana.
Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran Responds
In response to the article published in DenPost, the management of Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran has responded, issuing a statement saying:
"Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran is aware of the article published on Saturday, 6th December 2014. The Hotel is committed to the environment and the well-being of the local community and wishes to clarify on the article's content."
'The Hotel water system is a sea water reverse osmosis process, which extracts sea water, filters it and uses the water throughout the property. The grey water from the property is sent to a sewerage treatment plant (“STP process”) which filters and treats the water to be reused for the Hotel gardens."
"The overflow of the treated water which has undergone the STP process (and not sewerage water) goes to the main drain pipe, which is connected to the adjacent street. Regular laboratory tests are conducted by an independent laboratory on the water quality after it has been treated through the STP process. Further, the Hotel is cooperating and working together with local authorities to ensure that it complies with any additional recommendations from such authorities."
"We embrace our responsibility for environmental stewardship and are committed to integrating leading environmental practices and sustainability principles into our core business strategy."
Asparagus Crops Grown in Bali Earning a Domestic and Export Market
While much is made of the diminishing role of farmers and agriculture in Balinese society, there’s a success story of modern day farming in Bali to be found in the village of Plaga in North Badung. The Regency of Badung is targeting for 50 hectare of farmland to be dedicated to the propagation of asparagus to meet the demand for this cash crop by hotels and restaurants in Bali, together with a growing export market.
46 hectares worked by 8 separate farming groups are now producing asparagus stalks declared by experts from West Java’s Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) as the finest of its kind in all of Asia.
The farming project is supported by an agricultural expert from Taiwan sponsored by the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) who have determined the soil and climate conditions at Plaga are ideally suited to growing the crop that can be sold for between Rp. 35,000 to Rp. 50,000 (US$3 –US$4) per kilogram.
This translates into a daily income for individual farmers of Rp. 400,000 (US$33) and a monthly income of Rp. 12 million (US$1,000).
A farming plot of 30 are (3,000 square feet) can provide an income of Rp. 30 million (US$2,500). This permits farmers to recoup their initial investment within one or two years.
Local farmers need 3 months for each cycle of the asparagus crop that is invariably snapped up by eager hotels and restaurants both in Bali and abroad.
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