Bali News Update week 50 N.

Never Could Say Good-Bye

Joko Widodo Warns Death Row Narcotic Offender to Expect No Mercy from the Office of the President


Further clarifying his no-nonsense stand on narcotics and lack of mercy for those in prison and awaiting execution for drug offenses, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has declared that the Nation is “in a state of emergency over drug” and is of no mind to pardon drug convicts sitting on death row.


Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, President Widodo, speaking at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta said, "Nearly 40-50 Indonesians die every day due to drug consumption.” The President said an estimated 4.5 million people in Indonesia are addicted to drugs with at least 1.2 million beyond treatment due to their state of health.


In the same speech, President Widodo confirmed that he has 64 applications for clemency on his desk from convicts on death row who have exhausted the legal appeal process.


Included in this total, are a number of foreign national, including at least three in Bali – Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from the “Bali Nine,” and British Grandmother Lindsay Sandforth.


Removing any hope that foreigners might be treated differently in the macabre parading of people before the firing squad, the President said, "I do not pardon any of them," adding that his refusal to compromise his hard stance against drugs can serve as a shock therapy to the international community of narcotics suppliers.


In addition to the 64 sentenced to death for their involvement with narcotics, another 72 people have been sentenced to death for crimes ranging from homicide to terrorism.


Five convicts – 2 of them Nigerians – are expected to be executed before the end of 2014.




Keeping in Touch When You Travel

Indonesian Government Establishes 24-Hour Help Numbers and SMS Services for Indonesians Traveling Abroad


The State News Agency Antara reports that Indonesian tourists on overseas trips will soon have emergency hotline numbers and Short Message System (SMS) to stay informed on security and safety issues.


Formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi and the Minister of Communications and Informatics Rudiantara, the new service is intended to enhance protection for Indonesians traveling abroad.


The Foreign Affairs Minister said: “This is the government’s attempt to increase the awareness of Indonesians traveling abroad, to provide them with better protection, and to familiarize them with their location. They can contact the nearest Indonesian representatives in the country they are in to address even the simplest of problems."


SMS announcements will now be sent to traveling Indonesians with information details on the nearest consulate or Embassy and provide a 24-help-line in case of emergencies.


The new help line was introduced at the request of Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo who feels such a service is needed, particularly for Indonesians working abroad.


The new SMS and help-line service will be launched by January 1, 2015 in at least 11 countries. Trials of the new service have  been undertaken in South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, U.S.A., Australia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the U. K., France, and Germany.



Asia Presented Pictorially

‘Journey Through Asia’ an Exhibition of Photographs by Jean-Paul Navicet at Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana Through March 8, 2015


Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana is hosting an exhibition “Journey Through Asia” featuring the photographs of French photographer Jean-Paul Nacivet through March 8, 2015.

wn for his limited editions and worldwide publications, he became a full-time photographer in 1996.



Uneasy Rider

Harley Davidson Outing Member Dies in Bali Traffic Mishap


Criticized from many quarters, including reprimands from Bali’s Governor for arrogant behavior when traveling Bali’s roads, a convoy of “big bikes” traveling across Bali has claimed the life of one of the motorcyclists on Sunday, November 30, 2014.


Killed while riding his Harley Davidson was Kadek Putra Negara (43) in the Sempidi area of Bali, not far from the Regent’s office complex.


The accident occurred at 4:20 p.m. when Negara’s motorcycle slipped while negotiating a corner putting the man’s body in the path on an oncoming truck. The accident took place in heavy rain when, according to DenPost, a group of 15 riders were traveling from the north on Jalan Raya Sempidi. Negara’s bike slipped sending his body into the oncoming lane where a truck drove over the man’s body.


While Kadek Putra Negara’s head was not crushed by the oncoming truck due to the protection afforded by a helmet, his neck was broken in the accident leaving him dead at the scene.


The truck and driver that collided with Negara reportedly fled the scene.


The group of 15 “big bike” riders was returning from an outing to Baturiti Village in Tabanan, West Bali. The police did not provide an escort for the group at the time of the accident.


Police continue to seek witness to the accident and the truck involved in the incident.


Another Harley Accident


A separate accident on Saturday, December 6, 2014, claimed the life of Ferry Koedrat (43) who died while driving his Harley Davidson

"big bike" near Kerambitan, West Bali.


The man, from Bandung, West Java, suffered massive and instantly fatal head injuries when he tried to overtake a vehicle and struck a truck head on.


The man was delcared dead at the scene.



In Indonesia, We Like our Airplanes Fat

Indonesia to Offer 50% Discounts in Landing Fees for Wide-Bodied Aircraft


As part of a range of steps to increase tourist flows to Indonesia, the Indonesian Tourism Minister Ignasius Jonan has announced that landing fees for wide-body aircraft landing in Indonesia would be reduced by as much as 50%.


The unusual and innovative step is intended to expand the capacity of the nation’s air gateways by incentivizing the use of airplane that carry more passengers than smaller, narrow-bodied aircraft.


In justifying the move, Jonan said: “Making an airport is more difficult than buying an airplane. Planes can be rented, but where are we going to build more airports?”


In a time in which operating costs are the main concerns among airline management, Indonesia will introduce the policy at Kualanamu in Deli Serdang (Medan), Juanda in Surabaya, Ngurah Rai in Bali, Sultan Hasanuddin in Makassar, Soekarno-Hatta International in Jakarta, and Sepinggan in Balikpapan.


The move will likely prove more of an incentive to long-haul operators with wide-body aircraft flying at their most cost efficient on flights of seven hours or more. But on shorter heavily traveled routes such as Jakarta-Surabaya, it is hope that the new policy will persuade airlines to fly Boeing 777 or Airbus 330 instead of the popular Boeing 737s.


According to Bisnis Bali, the government also plans to lengthen runways in many locations to encourage the use of larger aircraft to more locations across the nation.


“Wide-body jets are usually used for very crowded routes, because, economically speaking, they're not efficient for short haul,” Jonan said.,



Toot, Toot, Tootsie

Be Sure to Buy a Handmade Noisemaker to Welcome in the Coming Holidays in Bali


As you travel the streets and byways of Bali over the coming Christmas and New Years period, please take time to pull over, chat with a local business person and examine the merchandise offered by the ubiquitous roadside paper trumpet and noisemakers.


Made from largely recycled cardboard and brightly colored foil, these party favors come in a wide range of exotic shapes and colors. Each year’s designs tend to feature both traditional shapes like saxophones and bugles to designs inspired by pop culture. To bring in 2015 "in style" consider buying horns rendered in the shape of Russian cartoon characters, Angry Birds, Sponge Pant Bob or fire-breathing dragons.


The noisemakers are sold off the back of bikes and motorcycles or from fixed roadside stands. Made by hand at workshops employing hundreds of people seeking the seasonal windfall income a large horn can cost between Rp. 15,000 – Rp. 20,000 (US$1.25 –US1.66). Small horns can cost between Rp. 3,000 – Rp. 5,000 (US$0.25-US$0.40).


One of the great bonuses of the season are that the great and powerful can abandon decorum and walk about making noises on a horn that resemble a female goat in heat.


For the sake of the people laboring on your coming purchase and simply for the fun of it – don't deny yourself the pleasure of buying a Bali-made noisemaker this holiday season.



Take me to the Pilot

Garuda Indonesia CEO Emirsyah Satar Resigns


As reported by, Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan has declined comment on the resignation of Emirsyah Satar, the CEO of State-owned National Flag Carrier Garuda Indonesia.


Jonan told the press he had little to say of the subject of Satar’s resignation, saying the Garuda CEO served at the pleasure of the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises and it was not his place to comment.


Speaking on Thursday, December 11, 2014, Jonan said that the working synergy of Garuda Indonesia was good as reflected in their security and safety standards, and their level of passenger service.


Emirsyah Satar has formally written to the Minister for State-owned Enterprises resigning his post with immediate effect, despite the fact that his term as CEO of the Airline ran until March 22, 2015.


Commenting separately, Sofjan Wanadi, the chairman of the staff of experts advising Vice President Jusuf Kala, welcomed the resignation of Emirsyah Satar as CEO of Garuda Indonesia.


Saying the resignation was needed to refresh the Airline’s organizational structure, Wanadi believes the new CEO for Garuda should be an internal promotion from within the ranks of those already working at the Airline.


Referring to the US$204,65 million loss recorded by Garuda in Q3 2014, Sofjan Wanandi said the current losses experienced by the Airline were not due to errors made by Emirsyah Satar, but were because of external factors, such as currency exchange rates and the cost of aviation fuel.


Sofyan added that Garuda’s overall condition was good in a difficult global aviation marketplace.



Russian Tourist on 20-Year Bali Stopover

Russian Woman with 2 kilograms of Methamphetamines Arrested After Arriving on Flight from Hong Kong


Customs officials at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport have arrested a Russian woman on a fight from Hong Kong carrying 2.1 kilograms of methamphetamines concealed within her checked luggage.


In police custody is Magnaeva Aleksandra (26). reports that Custom’s officials announced on Thursday, December 11, 2014, that Magnaeva carried drugs concealed in the walls of her suitcase that came to inspector’s attention when she appeared to be acting suspiciously during the disembarkation process.


The Russian landed on Hong Kong Airlines flight HX707.


Depending on the what charges are brought by State Prosecutors, the woman could be charged with narcotic offenses with a maximum penalty of death or 20 years imprisonment and fines of Rp. 1 billion.



Relax Before Flying in Bali

New Lounge Opened in Domestic Terminal of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport


Domestic passengers at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport can now enjoy a new exclusive “TG Lounge” located near Gate 2 operated by PT Taurus Gemilang that was formally inaugurated on Wednesday, December 10, 2014.


PT Taurus Gemilang has operated airport lounges in Indonesian airports since 1996.


The lounge, especially designed to serve the large amount of domestic passengers traveling through Bali’s air gateway, is subdivided into various zones. There are zones dedicated to single travelers; a family zone, an office zone with printing and email services; and a quiet zone for passengers seeking to read in peace and quiet.


Those using the lounge will have access to high speed WiFi and staff to assist with checked baggage, the boarding process and delicious food and beverage.


Claimed by PT Taurus Gemilang as the first “green” airport lounge in Indonesia, the Denpasar airport facility uses energy-efficient air conditioning and shares a commitment to avoid the use of plastic packaging in the food and beverage they present to visitors.


Those traveling domestically through Bali’s airport must pay a nominal fee to be allowed access to the new lounge.


PT Taurus Gemilang plans to enhance the lounge over time with the addition of a small cinema, reflexology massage and a business center.



A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

Indonesian Painting Legend Nyoman Gunarsa Showing Strong Signs of Recovery During Hospitalization Following Recent Stroke


Much loved Balinese artistic icon Nyoman Gunarsa (70) is reported to be making excellent progress at the International Wing of Bali Sanglah General Hospital after suffering a stroke on November 24, 2014.


The internationally renowned artist and owner-curator of a museum of contemporary art in Klungkung, East Bali, has regained use of his hands and is said to be making sketches for nurses and visiting friends.


Gunarsa told NusaBali that doctors are encouraging that he make drawings as part of his recovery therapy. Gunarsa added, “I am thankful to God and for the prayers of my friends that my hands that could not move are now able to move and are returning to normal.”


Gunarsa shared that when he first suffered his latest stroke his tongue and hands temporarily ceased to function making it very difficult to eat. He is now able to hold a glass and enjoy fresh fruit juices.


This is the fourth time that Gunarsa has suffered a stroke.


Members of arts community have been busily visiting Gunarsa at the hospital, acknowledging the debt due to a man who has advance the international reputation of Balinese Art and assisted countless local artists in advancing their careers.


Semoga Lekas Sembuh Pak Nyoman!



The Magical Mystery Tour is Over

Consumption and Sale of Magic Mushrooms in Bali Becomes a Felony Offense on January 1, 2015 reports that the Denpasar Police have announced plans to end the open sale of magic mushrooms at hotel, shops and restaurants in Bali.


The police have published a circular letter that is being distributed to bars, discothèque and cafes in Nusa Dua, Legian, Kuta, Sanur and Jimbaran confirming that magic mushrooms are classed as an illegal narcotic and are dangerous to consume.


Banners are also being hung in prominent locations warning that on January 1, 2015 those selling or consuming magic mushrooms will be subject to arrest.


The mushrooms that propagate freely in piles of cow manure in Bali contain Psilocybin that is classed as a “category one” narcotic in Indonesia.


Those consuming mushroom report states of extreme euphoria and periods of uncontrolled behavior, including spats of suicidal behavior.




His Plumbing Made Him Panic

Brisbane Court Rules Man Who Disrupted Brisbane to Bali Flight Was Only Having a Panic Attack


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the Brisbane plumber charged with the illegal interference on board a Virgin Australia flight that sparked hijacking scare in Bali has been found “not guilty” by a Brisbane magistrate.


Matthew Lockley was on a Virgin Flight from Brisbane to Bali on April 25, 2014 when he reportedly confused the cockpit door with a bathroom, pounding incessantly demanding to be allowed entrance.


Lockley’s behavior triggered a hijacking scare among the passengers and crew, and reception by a para-military anti-terrorist team upon landing in Bali.


Judith Daley, a Brisbane magistrate, ruled the man was suffering from mitigating medical issues saying there was insufficient evidence to prove he knew he was knocking on the cockpit door instead of a toilet.


Lockley told the press he was glad his legal ordeal was at an end, saying, "I am very, very happy this is done with.”


Lockley’s lawyer told the Court that his client was suffering a panic attack, insisting drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the case.




Twas’ the Night Before Christmas in Bali

Bali-Based Author Richard E. Lewis Does a Whimsical Retake on a Christmas Classic


First published in 1823, “The Night Before Christmas” is often cited as the "best-known verse ever written by an American” has become a mainstay around the world, read every year on Christmas Eve.  Its mirthful depiction of Santa Claus riding a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer has formed the iconic vision of St. Nick for generations of holidaymakers.


Attributed to Clement Clarke Moore (1799-1863), “The Night Before Christmas” has received a “refit” of sorts from well-known Bali-based author Richard E. Lewis who has given this favorite poem a Balinese twist, arguable more suitable for tropical climes.


American Richard E. Lewis was born and raised in Bali by missionary parents, witnessing the tumultuous times of the mid-1960s as a nine-year-old boy. Some of the those recollections are woven into his compelling book “Bones of the Dark Moon” (Bali: Saritaksu Editions, 2012). thanks Richard E. Lewis for his kind permission to reprint his skillful adaptation of a Christmas classic.       >




(Adapted by Richard E. Lewis)


Twas the night before Christmas, and in our bungalow

The listrik was mati and all the candles aglow.

The flying ants were swarming and the kids were suspicious

For they believed that St Nick was somebody fictitious.


They were huddled together on one bamboo bed

Trying to stay awake but their eyes were like lead.

The Mrs. and I listened to the sudden barking of dogs

Joining the chorus of big-throated frogs.


Then there came from the garden such a loud clatter

I sprang from the tikar to see what was the matter.

A surprise visit from family traveling afar?

Or a merry tourist gotten lost from the bar?


The moon on the lake that had been the front lawn

Glowed with a light that was brighter than dawn.

And what to my wondering eyes should I see

But a miniature dokar rolling past the mango tree


The driver was chubby and wearing a sarong.

And the dokar was pulled by eight little barongs.

But was this St Nick? I admit I was doubtful

He looked an awful lot like the Australian Consul.


The little old man was lively and quick

And pulled from his mouth a worn toothpick

To yell at his charges tugging his ride

Prancing and dancing with high-footed pride.


"Now Meester, now Seester, now, Toris and Bulé

On, Mas! On Gus!  On Sambal and Gulé!

To the top of the porch, to that hole in the roof!

Get along quick, chop chop and hoof hoof!"


And then overhead I heard such a hard landing

I was surprised the walls were still standing.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Through the hole St Nicholas shot through with a bound.


His beard was matted and he was shiny with sweat

It's humidity that gets you, on that you can bet.

He unslung his sack with almighty crash.

Just like a picker who's been through the trash.


"I don't like the wet season," he said with sigh.

"But your children have been good, at least since July."

I didn't know about that, but I wasn't going to argue

In fact I was hoping he had a toy for me too.


He filled the kids' baskets with all kinds of goodies

And "I've been to the North Pole" souvenir hoodies

"I must be off," said he, "for there is still much to do.

Can you believe there are good children out there in Canggu?" 


Up he sprang…and got stuck in the hole

I pushed him through with a long bamboo pole

I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,

"Selamat Hari Natal to all, and to all a good night."



Do you DK?

Police Cracking Down on Out of Bali License Plates on Island-Based Vehicles


Joint teams from the Bali Police, the Department of Transportation, Jasa Raharja and the revenue department of the Province of Bali have conducted roadside raids on cars traveling the Island with license plates bearing non-Bali numbers.


The raids were conducted on the Bypass near Bali’s airport on Thursday, December 11, 2014.


Quoted by Bali Post, the head if the information division of the Bali Transportation office, Ketut Artika, said: “The rule are clear. After three months of operating (a vehicle) in Bali, the plate on a vehicle must be changed to DK.”


DK is the prefix carried on the license plates for vehicle registered in Bali.


Artika explained that the area near Bali’s Airport was selected for the roadside raids because of the heavy traffic flows of private vehicles, tourism transport and goods vehicles coming in and out of the airport. “This operation also targeted vehicles operating without tourist permits. The data from our office states that rented tourist vehicle outside Bali number 11,000 units. We are checking vehicles and their drivers,” Artika added.


This is the first time that roadside raids addressing the source of vehicle registration and their “izin pariwisata” (Tourism license) were checked.



Less than Crystal Clear

Pause in Construction at the Legally Problematic The Crystal on the Bay Hotel in Bali


As reported by Permission, After the Fact, Badung Regency legislators in Bali are questioning the construction of a major hotel project - The Crystal on the Bay Hotel that adjuncts the mangrove forest on Benoa Bay saying the project violates maximum height limitations, intrudes on protected mangrove conservation zones and does not possess the needed building permits.


Since the news broke via DenPost, construction activity at the site suddenly ceased on Thursday, December 11, 2014. According to the newspaper, few constructions workers could be seen and vehicles usually parked at the site were now gone.


Separately, the vice chairman of Commission I of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung), Made Duama, told the press that the project was being built using an old and outdated principle permit and building permit (IMB) that stipulated fewer rooms and a different building height.


Also at dispute is the creation of a basement for the project that cannot according to current rules be used for accommodation or offices, but only for parking.


Duama has apparently confirmed that the project does infringe on the local mangrove, but justifies this violation on the basis that the infringements will be used by local fishermen’s boats.


“It’s now up to The Crystal to process and repair the old permits so a new IMB can be issued,” said Duama.


Duama, apparently trying to mediate on behalf of the project developers, said his Commission has visited the location to remind the owners to do what must be done to bring the building into compliance with the law and allow an IMB yet to be issued.



New Flight Formation at Garuda Indonesia

Arif Wibowo Takes on CEO Role at Garuda Indonesia with Revamped Board of Directors and Commissioners


An extraordinary meeting of shareholders for Garuda Indonesia convened following the resignation of Emirsyah Satar as CEO of the national air carrier to appoint a new person to head the Airline and reshuffle generally the management of the Company.


Named to head Garuda as its new CEO is Arif Wibowo, the former CEO of the Garuda subsidiary Citilink.


As reported by, the reshuffle at Garuda shaped up as follows:


Old Board of Commissioners

Bambang Susantono (Chief Commissioner)

Betti S. Alisjahbana (Independent Commissioner)

Chris Kanter (Independent Commissioner)

Peter F. Gontha (Independent Commissioner)

Wendy Aritenang (Commissioner)

Isa Rachmatarwata (Commissioner)

New Board of Commissioners

Jusman Syafii Djamal (Chief Commissioner and Independent Commissioner)

Hasan M. Soedjono (Independent Commissioner)

Isa Rachmatarwata (Commissioner)

Muzaffar Ismail (Commissioner)

Dony Oskaria (Commissioner)

Chairal Tanjung (Commissioner)

Old Board of Directors Prior to Reshuffle

Emirsyah Satar (CEO)

Handrito Hardjono (Finance Director)

Heriyanto Agung Putra (General Director-Personnel Director)

Erik Meijer (Director of Marketing and Sales)

Judi Rifajantoro (Director of Strategy, Business Development and Risk Management)

Faik Fahmi (Director of Service)

Novianto Herupratomo (Director of Operations)

Batara Silaban (Technical Director and Fleet Management)

New Board of Directors

M. Arif Wibowo (CEO)

Heriyanto Agung Putra (Director)

Novianto Herupratomo (Director)

Iwan Joeniarto (Director)

I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra (Director)

Handayani (Director)



Bali:What Rules?

Villa Maha Ungasan Villa Project in South Bali Under Scrutiny for Lack of Legal Building Permits


A judicial team from South Kuta conducted a survey on Thursday, December 11, 2014 to review compliance with licensing and zoning laws at projects in South Bali.


The team led by the District Chief (Camat) of South Kuta, Wayan Wirya, found one villa in the village of Ungasan that is seemingly unlicensed. The subject villas name is Villa Maha Ungasan.


According to Bali Post, Villa Maha Ungasan is comprised of 10 villa units – all of which have yet to commence operations.


When the survey team visited the location, the management on site were unable to show a valid building permit (IMB). Wismayani, an employee of the villa complex, told the team, “Try to ask directly to the owners.”


Wismayani said, however, the owner of the complex was in Jakarta and therefore unavailable to the inspectors.


Wirya said the survey was made following receiving reports from the public regarding an illegal villa operation.


Meanwhile, the vice-chairman of Commission I of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung), Made Duama, confirmed that the Villa Maha Ungasan had been brought to the attention the Commission.


Members of the public cite the villa project as proof of poor government supervision and a lack of control of new building projects.


He said legislators were being asked why there is a reluctance to move against large projects while single residential units are subject to a much stronger form of rule enforcement and scrutiny.


Duama called on the regency’s enforcement agency to spare no time in taking strong steps against Villa Maha Ungasan, demolishing the villas if needed.  As a follow up, Duama said Commission I would soon summon the owner of the project for an explanation.



Mountain High Prices

Fees for Kintamani Set to Increase in 2015 Visitor Retribution


The Bangli Regency Government is seeking to increase revenues earned from tourism by increasing once again the retribution charged to tourist who visit or drive through the Kintamani area surrounding Lake Batur.


The Bangli Administration plans to increase the visitor tariff early in 2015 from the current Rp. 10,000 per person (US$0.83) to Rp. 30,000 per person (US$2.50).


Members of the Bangli House of Representatives (DPRD-Bangli) are calling on regency authorities to combine any increase in visitor fees with an improvement in service levels provided to the public and enhancements to the present infrastructure.


The DPRD-Bangli also sees the need for a professional management body to operate the tourism area that includes Kintamani and the UNESCO Geopark.



The Law School of Big Locks

Balinese Law Student Sentenced to 9-Year Prison for Marijuana Possession


The Denpasar District Court has sentenced three students from between 8 and 9 years in prison for possession of 2-kilograms of marijuana.


The last of the trio of students, A.A. Bagus Jaya Permana, was sentenced to 9 years in prison on Wednesday, December 10, 2014.


The final court session saw the presiding judge offer the young man a last chance to come clean and confess the marijuana was his in order to receive a lower sentence. Permana, however, held fast before the court, insisting the marijuana had not been paid for and was therefore the property of another - Virly, an accomplice in the crime.


The young law student was also handed a fine of Rp. 2 billion that if left unpaid will delay any reductions in his sentence and add 3 months to his sentence.


Prosecutors had sought 12 years punishment for Permana.


Earlier, Yan Liong Wijaya Kusuma (a student) and Virly Manyaysa were sentenced to 8 years in prison for their part in the crime.


The trio was caught on Saturday, July 12, 2014 after police found marijuana at the home of Bagus Jaya Permana. Based on information provided to police, subsequent arrests netted more marijuana from Yan Lion Wijaya Kusuma and Virly Manyaysa totaling nearly two kilograms in all.


Permana’s lawyer, who contends his client is a drug abuser in need of rehabilitation not imprisonment, told the court he would appeal the sentence handed down in the case.



The Wretched Refuse of Your Teeming Shores

Mountains of Trash Wash Ashore in Kuta in Seasonal Blight on Bali’s Shores


Every year when the rainy season starts in Bali the entire length of Kuta beach is inundated with a floating mass of trash that washes ashore in sufficient quantities to disgust visitors to the beachfront, frequently ending plans for a day of surf and sand.


According to Radar Bali, a large amount of trash washed ashore on December 10, 2014 put at an estimated 250 tons by the Badung Hygiene and Parks Department (DKP). To deal with the mountains of trash eight trucks travel back and forth each day between the shoreline and the rubbish tip at Suwung, near Sanur.


One of the more distressing aspects of the mounds of trash is the large amount of plastic found among the flotsam and jetsam that end up on Kuta’s and Seminyak's shores. Foreign tourists are reportedly most offended by the plastic trash found on the shore that they find much more disgusting than the organic waste littering the beach.


Local fishermen confirm that those working hard to clean the beach have more hard work ahead of them with a floating blanket of refuse extending as far as 17 kilometers out to sea - a mass expected to eventually make a landing on Bali’s shoreline. Fishermen also report that the in some areas the floating mass of trash is so dense as to actually impede the movement of local fishing boats.


The chief of DKP, Putu Eka Merthawan, whose job it is to deal with the mounds of trash, that visit Bali together with the annual rains each, said most of the trash landing on Kuta beach as organic in nature with the shore at Seminyak dominated by non-organic plastic refuse.


The DKP has deployed three front loaders to move the trash from the shore to six waiting dump trucks.


Officials say the seasonal onslaught of trash on Kuta and Seminyak’s beach will reach its peak during the month of January and February.


23 staff are more or less permanently deployed to work on cleaning the beach. However, in situations when the winds bring a particularly large amount of rubbish to the shore, DKP officials can quickly send from 100-350 staff to help clean the beach together with supplemental equipment needed to quickly deal with the detritus.


DKP officials are quick to remind that the shores filled with trash can only be dealt with effectively with community support and assistance, especially from accommodation providers in Kuta and Seminyak. To this end, the DKP is providing four dump trucks to the traditional communities of Kutuh, Kedonganan, Kelan and Kuta for use in community-based beach cleaning programs.



Benoa Bay: Ankle Deep in Troubles

Increasing Shallowness of Benoa Bay Underlines Need to Revitalize the Area’s Natural Environment


The head of the Fisheries and Seas Department for the Province of Bali, I Made Gunaja, says that sedimentation in Benoa Bay has rendered much of the water area very shallow in depth.


As reported by, Gunaja warns that the shallow conditions will only worsen and essential tidal water flows through the protected mangrove forests will be disturbed unless urgent steps are taken.


The increasing shallowness of Benoa Bay also threatens the livelihoods of local fishermen who are no longer able to seek fish or navigate their small boats.


“Generally there (Benoa Bay) is shallowness that if left as it is will only increase over time. The flow of seawater to the adjoining mangrove will also be disturbed and eventually the mangroves will die. This shallowness also limits the activities of fishermen seeking fish from their small boats. The ships can’t sail if there is not enough water to float them,” explained Gunaja and quoted by on December 12, 2014.


Adding to the deteriorating condition of Benoa Bay, the large amount of trash accumulating in the Bay has made the bay begin to resemble a rubbish tip. Local authorities haul away four truck full of trash from Benoa Bay each day. The accumulation of trash among the roots of the mangrove forest also threatens the area’s sustainability.


These conditions are sited by those in support of revitalization of Bali’s mangrove forest and Benoa Bay.


“Revitalization of Benoa Bay needs to be undertaken because the condition and local ecosystem is already damaged. This revitalization is not to add to the current damage, but to enhance the function and use of bottom lands with a consideration to the surroundings and the life of the Balinese,” explained Gunaja.


Gunaja said that revitalization of Benoa Bay would  also help restore Pudut Island that has shrunk from its original 12 hectares to only 1 hectare.



Lavishing on our Lavatories

Governor Identifies Clean Toilets at Government Offices as Fundamental to Good Public Service


Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has told the head of provincial services and government departments to routinely check the cleanliness of toilets in their office complexes as a fundamental step in improving service to the public.


Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Governor Pastika said while speaking at a ceremony promoting officers at the Provincial Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM-Bali) on Friday, December 12, 2104, “Toilets are closely related with (good) service to the public. A person who comes with business to your office sometimes needs to use the toilet. If the toilet is dirty and disgusting that means you are not serving the public well.”


Underlining his point, Pastika said that if any aspect of public service is problematic, that problem must be addressed in order that high standards of the service can be maintained.


“Remember, we receive our wages from the people,” Pastika added.


Pastika said that he has received many reports of disgusting toilets in provincial government offices that are clogged because of cigarettes and feminine napkins thrown into the toilet.


The Governor also asked that the head of government departments ensure that those charged with cleaning toilets are receiving sufficient wages without a range of deductions that will inhibit their desire to do their jobs properly.


In closing, he said he hope all provincial government offices in Bali would be cigarette free, confirming to anti-smoking regulations now in effect.



Sounds of the Season

Bali Community Choir in Concert of Christmas Music on Friday, December 19, 2014


The Bali Community Choir will present a delightful program of Yuletide music on Friday, December 19, 2104 at the Assembly Hall of SMK3 (Junior High School) on Jalan Tirtha Nadi II in Sanur.

national choir comprised of both Indonesian and expatriate singers, the Bali Community Choir was founded in 2009 and is under the direction of former “Sing Australia” conductor Brendan O’Donnell.


A popular musical fixture in Bali, the Bali Community Choir has sung at the 10th Commemoration of the Bali Bombing at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Park and the Pan Am Memorial held last April at Padang Galak.


A Rp. 20,000 donation is asked from those attending the Christmas concert on Friday, December 19, 2014.


The concert commences at 7:00 p.m.


For more information email



90% Arrivals from Domestic & Regional Sources

Bali by the Numbers: While November Foreign Tourist Arrival Dip, Bali Likely to End 2014 with 3.7 million Foreign Visitors


Foreign tourist arrivals to Bali for the month of November 2014 totaled 296,260 a decrease of 3.6% as compared to the 307,208 foreign visitors in November 2013.


On an aggregate basis, however, arrivals through the end of November 2014 reached 3,418,652 - increasing 14.74% over total arrivals during the first 11 months of 2013.


Look for Bali to end 2014 with a record 3.75 plus million foreign visitors.

Visitors by Key Source Markets


Australians continue to dominate foreign arrivals to Bali with a 26.15% market share. Through the end of November, Australian arrivals totaled 893,873 visitors, increasing 18.54% over 2013. Australian numbers should continue to grow in 2015 with new flight services coming on line between OZ and the Island of Bali and the removal of the visa-on-arrival fee for Australian in January 2015.


The Chinese market to Bali is booming – up 49.25% over 2013 through the end of November. 307,208 Mainland Chinese visitors have visited Bali until the end of November  in 2014, representing a 15.77% market share of all visitors to the Island. The Government of Indonesia is moving full speed to increase Chinese visitors with new flight services and relaxed visa rules for Chinese visitors.


Malaysian visitors have zoomed into 3rd place among source market for Bali arrivals. 197.052 Malaysian came to Bali in November – an increase year-on-year of 14.22%.


Japan is now in fourth place among foreign markets to Bali, down from first place as recently as 2008. Japanese visitors improved slightly, improving 1.59% over 2013. Expect numbers from Japan to remain lackluster with the Japanese economy now officially in recession.


Singaporeans continue to love Bali as a short getaway destination. Now in fifth place among all inbound market to Bali, Singaporean number improved a whopping 34.38% year-on-year in 2014 through the end of November.


Keep an eye on the Indian market. Indian arrivals improved 36.72% through the end of November 2014, now ranked #12 the Indian market is expected to continue to demonstrate strong growth in 2014.


The Russian market declined 7.08% through the end of November. Politically and financially troubled, many are expecting the Russian surge of January visitors not to materialize in 2015 and for Russian arrivals to Bali as a whole to continue to decline next year.


Keeping it Close to Home


The majority of arrivals to Bali continue to come from ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific who comprise 72% of all foreign arrivals to Bali. Add domestic visitors to that mix, now estimated at 6.5 million a year, and 90% of Bali arrivals come from domestic, ASEAN and Asian-Pacific sources.



What's Cooking for Christmas?

Bali Culinary Professionals Christmas Party on Saturday, December 20, 2014


Bali Culinary Professionals (BCP) will gather to celebrate the festive holiday season on Saturday, December 20, 2104 at the annual Christmas Dinner to be held at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa.

l menu is planned, musical entertainment befitting the season and raffle prizes will be awarded.


Free flow wine and beer will be sponsored for the evening.


Open to BCP members and friends - a limited number of tickets are available to BCP members at Rp. 300,000 each, Young Chefs Rp. 200,000 and guests at Rp. 350,000.


The fun starts at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 20, 2014.


Seating is limited and reservations are essential. Telephone ++62-(0)361-286283 (Katrin) or [Email]




From the Past, into the Present, for the Future

An exhibition of Batik by Museum Kain at the Ganesha Gallery in Bali from December 25, 2014 – January 2, 2015


Museum Kain – established in Bali’s Kuta Beachwalk Center  – is dedicated to Indonesia’s rich textile traditions that reflect the cultural diversity of the Nation. Established by Indonesian textile legend “Obin,” Museum Kain shares with its many visitors its founders passion and love for Indonesian cloth or “kain.”


“Kain” is the broad Indonesian term for traditional cloth – including ancient weaving methods such as “ikat” or the elaborate wax-dyeing methods that result in batik.


Now in its second year of operation, Museum Kain is open to the public to view its unrivaled collection of batik that honors the cloth, its makers and its unique place in Indonesian culture.


Batik’s dye resist technique has survived the industrial revolution and keeps on adapting into many forms, on various materials, while undergoing unlimited creative innovations.


For a very limited period from Christmas day, December 25, 2014 until January 2, 2015 Museum Kain will bring a rare collection of Batiks from Museum Kain and BINhouse to the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay.


In this exhibit, titled “From the Past, into the Present, for the Future” the Ganesha Gallery will share Museum Kain and BINhouse's love of Batik.


During the course of the exhibition, live demonstrations of Batik production will be show each day at the Resort’s Taman Wantilan Restaurant from 7:00 – 10:00 a.m.


From the Past, into the Present, for the Future


An Exhibition of Batik from Museum Kain and BINhouse

Ganesha Gallery at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay


December 25, 2014 – January 2, 2015

Daily 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.


For more information telephone the Ganesha Gallery at ++62-(0)361-201010 or Email Luhgde Suryatini



Tax and Service Included

Requirement to Include Airport Service Charge in Price of Airline Tickets Postponed until March 1, 2015


An ordersby the Minister of Transportation, Ignasius Jonan, to include the Airport Service Charge (ASC) in the price of airlines tickets sold in Indonesia by January 1, 2105 has now been postponed until March 1 , 2015.


The additional time is needed by airlines in Indonesia to coordinate payment procedures with Indonesian airport operators – Angkasa Pura I and Angkasa Pura II.


The Minister of Transportation Jonan has made it clear that all airlines must conform with his order to collect the ASC at the time of ticket sales with no exceptions to be granted after the March 1, 2015 deadline.



When is Enough, Enough?

While Government Targets 20 Million Foreign Tourists by 2019, Concerns Expressed Regarding Carrying Capacity of Indonesia’s Tourism Infrastructure


While the government of Indonesia has set itself the ambitious target of 20 million foreign tourists arrivals by 2019, the question that is increasingly asked is if the Country’s tourism infrastructure has the carrying capacity for such a large number of visitors?


The vice-chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association in Bali (GIPI-Bali), Bagus Sudibya, said one way to measure the carrying capacity of a destination is to compare the geographic area of a destination with the existing population numbers. In the case of Bali, the Island has a land area of 5,659 square kilometers and a total population of approximately 4.2 million.


Sudibya said that accommodation supplies in the southern part of Bali are currently in a state of over-supply. This is reflected, he said, in the traffic congestion being experienced in many parts of South Bali and the over population being experienced in many parts of the South.


Sudibya said foreign tourist arrivals to Bali in 2014 would exceed 3 million visitors, while the number of domestic visitors will total somewhere between 4-5 million. He lamented that there is no agency in Bali that has specific data on the number of domestic visitors to the Island. But, based on the figures above, it can be estimated that around 7 million visitors, both foreign and domestic, come to Bali each year.


Sudibya said an important factor in determining the carrying capacity of Bali is the length of stay of visitors. With the preponderance of visitors from other parts of Indonesia, Asia and Australia the current average length of stay for tourists in Bali is only around 4 days.


As reported by Bisnis Bali, Sudibya said that European visitors to Bali could stay as long as two weeks. The shift to dependence on Asian source visitors with shorter stays away from the longer staying Europeans has changed the nature of the tourism industry in Bali and affected the carrying capacity of the Island.


For instance, Sudibya said that Bali with 1 million European visitors would need 20 million hotel room nights. On the other hand, 1 million Asian visitors only require 4 million hotel room nights, because of their shorter length of stay.


Moreover, Sudibya said that the length of stay of visitors to Bali also has significant effects on the average rates of expenditure. Generally tourists who stay longer spend more on each day of their stay.


Seen in another way, Sudibya said the amount of money spent by three Asian visitors to Bali is roughly equal to the spend of a single European visitor.


For this reason, Sudibya challenged the government to go beyond simply setting a target of 20 million foreign tourists by 2019 and also declare the overseas markets it wants to pursue to reach that total.


Sudibya expressed the concern that to grow the number of visitors to Bali by double digit each year until 2019 can only be achieved by focusing on the low-yielding Asian market.


Sudibya quoted a survey by NHK TV in Japan that lists Indonesia as the sixth most popular destination for world tourism after Hawaii, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and China. He is concerned that a failure to manage carrying capacity and infrastructure issues will see Indonesia slip in these rankings.


The GIPI-Bali official suggested that if Bali is unable to adequately serve the large number of tourist being sought by the government, consideration should be given to promoting destinations beyond Bali such as Toraja, Lombok, Yogyakarta, Lake Toba (North Sumatra), the Mahakam River (Kalimantan) and Komodo.


To address carrying capacity issues the Indonesian Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA-Bali) will host a Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) in Bali from June 10-14, 2015 in Nusa Dua and Beachwalk Kuta to promote Bali & Beyond Tourism.



What a Difference a Day Makes

Provincial Workers in Bali Government Granted Only a One-Day Holiday at Galungan


NusaBali reports that the Provincial Government of Bali has declared that Galungan on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 will be celebrated with only a single day holiday, with all employees of the province required to return to work on Thursday, December 18th – Hari Umanis Galungan.


In the past, provincial workers enjoyed a three-day holiday covering Pemapahan, Galungan and Umanis Galungan. But, in 2014, the paid holiday from the government at Galungan is limited to a single day.


The Governor justified the shorter holiday, pointing to the need to provide the public with a high level of service as the end of the year approaches.


The Governor said his instructions on the Galungan Holiday was a verbal command from his office and would not be the subject of an official circular.



A Sinking Feeling

PT Pelni Doubles the Maximum Passenger Limits on its Passenger Ships Over the Year End Holiday Period reports that PT Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia (Pelni) in Bali have decided to increased the maximum number of passengers allowed to board one of their inter-island ships sailing from Bali over the coming Christmas and New Years Holidays.


“In accordance with the policies of the head office, Pelni Bali will increase the passenger quota on its passenger ships. The Quota will be increased by as much as 200% from that allowed at other times,” said I.B. Putra Kencana, the assistant manager at Pelni Bali on Friday, December 12, 2014.


The decision by PT Pelni essentially ignores the passenger safety certification issued by the government and classification society on the maximum allowable number of passengers permitted to travel on a given ship. That total is normally determined through expert calculations that take into consideration the size of the ship, the number of lifeboats and floatation devices carried, and the speed with which the ship can be evacuated during an emergency at sea.


In shipping circles the maximum number of passengers noted on a passenger safety certificate are generally seen as inviolable, rendering the ship's insurance coverage invalid if a ship sails with more than the stipulated maximum number.


With rules dating back to the Titanic-era, the capacity of lifeboats carried on a passenger ship should be at least double the number of passengers the subject ship is allowed to carry.


In explaining the “exemption” to maximum passenger numbers, the PT Pelni manager explained that most ships operated by the company normally carry around 1,000 passengers. In order to handle the surge in demand over the holidays, ships will be allowed to sail with around 1,800 passengers.


Putra said that there will be no increase in the price of passenger tickets from Pelni over the holiday period.



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