Bali News Update Week 6.

A Matter of Misdirection

Illegal Guides, Including Hungarian George Miholovic, Netted in Sweeping Raids Coordinated by Indonesia Guides Association

 

NusaBali reports that a joint raid conducted by provincial enforcement officers and representatives of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Guides Association (HPI) has resulted in the capture of 11 unlicensed guides.

 

On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, Sang Putu Subaya, chairman of HPI-Bali, said that prior to the raid observations were conducted in several areas frequented by tourists in Bali at which numerous unqualified and unlicensed guides were seen dispensing unqualified information on the Island's history and culture to their customers.

 

"The result of sweeping raids carried out on January 27th resulted in 11 people being caught operating without guide licenses" said Subaya. 

 

Among the 11 illegal guides netted in the raids was a Hungarian national George Miholovic. After his apprehension Miholovic was handed over to immigration authorities for further disposition. 

 

Among those caught in the raid were illegal guides wearing badges listing them as "senior guides" in the employment of Bali travel companies. 

 

Subaya said the operation of unlicensed guides causes damages to both the members of the HPI and the public. To become a guide, he reminded, requires extensive education and training, language skills and cultural expertise. Guides are also checked for their general knowledge and asked to embrace a code of ethical practice. "All this is via a certification program carried out by an institution of advanced education competent appraise candidate skills abilities. Finally testing is carried out by the Provincial Tourism Service, done in the name of the Governor before a formal guide license is issued," he explained.

 

Among the tourist areas targeted in the sweeping raids carried out on January 27th were Tirta Empul, Tampaksiring, Gianyar and Pasar Desa in Ubud. 

 

Indonesian nationals found to be providing guide services without the required license are in violation of Provincial Regulation Number 5 of 2008 and the Governor's Decree Number 14 of 2009. Travel Agencies found to be employing unlicensed guides are violating the Provincial Law Number 1 of 1010 on Tourism Companies.

 

Foreign nationals providing such services are not only in violation of the above laws, but also violating immigration and manpower regulations that are punishable by imprisonment, fines and deportation.

 

Try Again Next Year

Bali's Trans-Sarbargita Bus System Unable to Find Vendor to Provide E-ticketing Service

 

Efforts to introduce on on-line e-ticket system for Bali's Trans-Sarbagita Bus System must remain a distant dream following the failure of the provincial government of Bali to find a single vendor who could meet minimum qualifications needed to submit a bid.

 

Ketut Artika, head of the Provincial Transportation and Communication Office (Kadishubkominfo), confirmed that his office had failed for the second time to introduce e-ticketing on the province's bus system. 

 

The provincial budget for 2013 allocated Rp. 1.3 billion (US$104,000) for the e-ticketing system, but had been unable to find a qualified service provider. Three companies have expressed an interest in providing the e-ticketing system, but after review by Kadishubkominfo were determined unqualified to provide the service to the province.

 

Unable to find a suitable company and due to time pressures, plans to provide e-ticketing on the Trans-Sarbagita Bus System have been abandoned for the second year in a row.

 

Plans are to again include an allocation for e-ticketing in the 2014 budget and recommence a search for a company capable of providing the service.

 

The plan is to remove the current role of conductors on the Trans-Sarbagita Bus system to be replaced by a smartcard system.

 

Fractured Adolescents

13-Year-Old Girl Crashes Motorbike on Bali Mandara Toll Road

 

Despite a recent crackdown by Gianyar police on under-aged drivers that saw motorcycles confiscated junior high students driving to and from school, children under the legal driving-age of 17 operating motorcycles on Bali roads remains a common problem.

 

NusaBali reports that two young girls, Yesi (12) and Diana (13) were rushed to Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar after crashing a motorcycle into a divider on the Mandara Toll Road connection Sanur and Nusa Dua on Sunday, February 2, 2014.

 

The accident occurred at mid-day when Yesi, the driver of the motorcycle, was unable to maintain control on her motorcycle traveling at a high rate of speed down the toll way.

 

Taken to the hospital by the Jasa Marga ambulance both girls suffered broken bones and multiple lacerations.

 

Both girls freely admitted that they were traveling a high rate when they struck a divider located to their right, sending them hurtling down the roadway.

 

Police, are not indicating if legal action will be taken against the under-aged driver of the motorcycle or the parents of the girl who allowed their under-aged daughter to operate a vehicle on a public highway

 

That's Alot at Tanah Lot

Record 2.8 million Visitors to Tanah Lot Temple in 2013

 

The Management Authority for Tanah Lot in Tabanan, West Bali recorded 2,842,281 tourist visitors in 2013, a significant increase from the 2,012,500 visitors recorded in 2012. 

 

Despite these strong results achieved for 2013, the managers of the tourism complex have created a modest target of only 2,153,375 for 2014.

 

Domestic visitors continue to dominate among all visitors to the iconic temple located in the ocean, a short distance from the shoreline at the Pan Pacific Nirwana Resort. 

 

The manager of the Tanah Lot Complex, Ketut Toya Adnyana reports that the total income generated by visitors in 2013 totaled Rp. 33,519,717,827 (US$2.68 million) - an increase of 24.26% over the income achieved in 2012.

 

Adnyana said the windfall in admission charges would be used to improve facilities and services to complex visitors. The complex is plagued by a lack of parking facilities and pedestrian walkways, both of which are targeted for improvement. 

 

Targeted revenues for 2014 are put at Rp. 40,660,000,000 (US$3.25 million). 

 

The Balinese as Tenants on their Ancestral Island

Gede Sri Darma: Outsider's Thirst to Own Property in Bali is Undermining Bali's Native Culture

 

Bali's popularity with foreign investors, and the resulting property boom now underway, is operating independently of the current over-supply of accommodation and lowered occupancy rates at hotels and villas. Investors still claim there are profits to be had in the lucrative buying and selling of "dream homes" on the Island of the Gods.

 

The rector of the National Education University (Undiknas), Professor Dr. Gede Sri Darma, said the effect from this phenomenon poses a threat to the people of Bali. Quoted by The Bali Post, Sri Darma said the Balinese are increasingly becoming a landless class on the island that is their ancestral home. He warned that the disenfranchisement of the Balinese living on Bali will inevitably lead to the loss of "Balinese character" on the Island.

 

"Indeed, in this era of globalization and the ASEAN Economic Community we cannot prevent the flow of capital, goods and services entering Bali. If we forbid these things the result will be that Bali is isolated from the international community. But, at the same time, we cannot simply close our eyes to the presence of investors in Bali. All parties must obey the law," said Sri Darma

 

In the eyes of the respected educator, foreigners own a number of properties in favored tourist areas such as Seminyak and Kerobokan. However, the name listed on the notarial act is not that of the foreign owner, but a name "borrowed" from a local citizen.

 

Under Indonesian law, foreign nationals are specifically and absolutely prohibited from owning freehold property in Indonesia.

 

Warns Sri Darma, "The result of foreigners involvement in the business of buying and selling property in Bali will influence the difficulty of safeguarding Bali's culture." 

 

Sri Darma says Bali is perceived by many foreigners as "heaven on earth" causing many to try to own property there. This desire is so strong that price becomes of secondary performance. At the same time, investing in property is seen as lucrative, with the Professor adding: "Certainly property is the safest and most profitable investment, better than putting money in the bank, obligations, money funds and the stock market."

 

Adding to the situation, in the midst of a continuing economic crisis in Europe, the weak exchange rate of the Indonesian Rupiah makes Bali property all the more attractive as an object of investment.

 

Sri Darma called on the government to be form in enforcing the provincial zoning law (RTRW). 

 

"The Balinese must embrace the principle of not selling their property assets to outsiders, even when the prices offered are sky high," said Sri Darma. Calling on the administrations of Bali's regencies and metropolitan areas to focus on protecting Bali's future, Sri Darma warned that if tourism is mismanaged Bali will be destroyed.

 

Another Australian Death in Bali

Australian Man Collapses and Dies in Hotel Restaurant

 

Rohan Max Fitzgerald (29), an Australian tourist visiting Bali, died suddenly on Sunday, February 2, 2014, shortly after dining at a Kuta restaurant.

 

According to Beritabali.com, Rohan was found collapse on the floor of a bathroom at the Bounty Hotel on Jalan Poppies II.

 

He was immediately transported to the Bali International Medical Center (BIMC) in Kuta where he died a short time later.

 

A review of tapes from a closed-circuit television system installed at the hotel showed the man having lunch just prior to collapsing in the Hotel's bathroom.

 

A traveling companion of Fitzegerald reportedly told police that the man had a pre-existing coronary condition.

 

Police say there was no indication of violence on the man's body. Police continue to investigate the case and interview all customers and staff who may have had contact with the man on the day of his death. 

 

When the Cash Runs Out

Russian Tourist Held by Bali Police for Attempted Breaking and Entering

 

Radar Bali reports that a Russian national, Alexander Golubev (45), is now in the custody of Kuta Police in connection with a breaking and entering a fashion shop on Jalan Raya Kerobokan 51X, North Kuta.

 

On Tuesday, January 28, 2104, at around 2:00 am, Golubev drove a motorcycle to the Oasia Fashion Gallery in Kerobokan where he reportedly used a screwdriver to pry open the business' entrance. Caught inside the store and in the act of stealing merchandise by a security guard, Gede Agus (23), the Russian ran and attempted to run away hide behind the store.

 

The guard called local police for assistance. After the police arrived, a search found the Russian hiding in a bathroom. A subsequent examination the man's person discovered the screwdriver used to pry to open the front door of the shop.

 

The Russian, who was staying in the Batubolong area of North Kuta, told police that he was without funds and unable to purchase a return ticket to his homeland.

 

Police theorize the Russian may have staged the robbery with the intention of being caught and deported back to Russia.

 

Police from the Kuta Police Precinct continue to investigate the incident.

 

No Room for More Rooms in Bali

Governor Pastika Writing to Regents and Mayor Asking, Again, for a Halt to New Hotel Construction in Bali

 

A long-standing circular memorandum authored by Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika’s for a moratorium on new hotel projects in the south of the Island has been completely ignored by regents and mayors who continue to grant new hotel licenses at unprecedented speed.

 

Perplexed and frustrated by massive oversupply of accommodation rooms in Bali, Governor Pastika is preparing another letter to regional and municipal administrators in an effort to halt new construction. 

 

Quoted by Radar Bali, Pastika said: "I have drafted another letter. It's an affirmation of the moratorium. We express the hope and do not order the moratorium. We can't order a moratorium as that would exceed my authority as Governor."

 

Pastika refused to confirm when the new letter would be sent to the regents and mayor in Bali, saying the letter was still being drafted.

 

The governor has long advocated a halt to new hotels being built in South Bali. His desire is that new construction be diverted to other, less developed, areas of Bali as a means of a more even distribution of wealth to the more impoverished areas of the Island.

 

"The problem is that the regents keep issuing building permits. It's so difficult to implement a moratorium," complained Pastika.

 

The governor said the failure to heed his desire to halt new hotel construction in Bali has resulted in the current severe overcapacity of hotel rooms in Bali's south and the resulting unhealthy price competition taking place between hotels. "Rates are going down. Quality is also declining. This is terrible for Bali as a whole," said Pastika, expressing his concerns that the image of Bali is threatened by overbuilding of new hotels.

 

Merpati Instruction on Refunds

Merpati Nusantara Issues Guidance for Passengers Needing to Rebook Flights or Refund Existing Tickets

 

Due to the cessation of all flights by Merpati Nusantara Airlines and pending a future announcement on when the airline might resume scheduled flight operations, Merpati has put the following steps in place to assist passengers holding tickets and flight confirmations on cancelled flights.

The telephone number for the Merpati Call Center of 0804 1 621 621.

Merpati is attempting, whenever possible, to book their passengers onto alternate flights flown by other national air carriers.

Passengers seeking rebooking should contact the Call Center and have their booking code number available to assist Merpati in identifying the original booking and seeking alternatives.

Passengers who cannot be rebooked on an alternate flight can obtain a refund of their tickets. Merpati advises that the refund process could take up to 30 days.

A Merpati Nusantara spokesman, quoted in the national media, has expressed regret apologized for the many inconveniences recent developments have cause to Merpati passengers.

 

In Pursuit of Power

PLN Warns that Bali Must Find Ways of Producing Electrical Power Not Tied to Fossil Fuels

 

The general manager of the State Power Board (PLN) for Bali, Ida Bagus G. Mardawa, warned on Monday, February 3, 2014, that the increasing power demands of Bali can only be met if Bali can establish new energy sources not linked to fossil fuels.

 

As reported by Beritabali.com, Mardawa says current peak demand for electricity in Bali reaches 721 megawatts from a total available supply of 820 megawatts. At the same time, demand for more electrical power increases with each passing year, with most power flowing into the heavily populated tourism centers in Bali's south.

 

To meet growing power demands PLN must constantly be seeking new energy supplies for Bali. In Mardawa's opinion, Bali will only be able to satisfy its appetite for electrical power in a manner that is dependable and affordable if new power sources not driven by fossil fuels can be created.

 

PLN is currently working on the installation of new submarine cabling that will add 400 megawatts of new power for Bali. In North Bali, a new steam-powered coal-driven electrical generation plant at Celukan Bawang is currently providing 135 megawatts of additional power with another 270 promised once that power plant becomes totally operational. In addition, work is progressing on the "Bali Crossing" - the world tallest high-power line suspended over the straits between Java and Bali that will be capable of carrying 1,800 megawatts of power from Java to Bali.

 

"In addition a geothermal power (PLTG) generation plant will be built at Sanggaran with an output of 200 megawatts. There is also the chance of using geothermal energy from a plant in Bedugul. The support of the people is needed for these projects, for without power it will be difficult for Bali to develop in the future.

 

Child Lost to Freak Wave at Tanah Lot Temple

Chinese Tourist Drowns While Posing for Family Photo at Tanah Lot

 

A Chinese tourist, eleven-year-old Tan Jia Tong, was swept off a large rock near Bali's fabled Tanah Lot Temple on Tuesday, February 4, 2014, by a large wave and carried into deeper water where she subsequently drowned.

 

The horrifically scene was witnessed by the child's parents, Tan Yi and Tan Bo, who were also swept into the sea. Shore patrol lifeguards responding to the scene managed to assist the two adults to shore but needed 30 minutes to find the child and bring her lifeless body back to land.

 

The family had reportedly ventured out onto coral heads to pose for a photograph near the iconic temples when a large wave swept them into the ocean

 

According the local officials, visitors to Tanah Lot are continuously reminded to exercise caution and not to venture out onto the coral heads where sudden sweeping waves are an ever-present threat.

 

RIP: Joop Ave 1934 - 2014

The Father of Indonesian Tourism, Joop Ave, Dead at 79

 

Joop Ave, Indonesia's former Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunication during the Soeharto era died on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 in Singapore at Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

 

Born in Yogyakarta on December 5, 1934, Ave had a prodigious mind and accompanying gift for languages, working as announcer of Radio Repulik Indonesia French language Service when he was only in his teens. He joined the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1957 and was posted to the Indonesian Consulate General in New York City in 1967, rising quickly to the rank of Consular Affairs in 1972.

 

In 1972, Ave was called back to Jakarta and put in charge of the Presidential Palace and State Palace from 1972-1978 during which he oversaw and massive renovation and upgrading of the Istana Negara and Instana Merdeka. 

 

Joop Ave's extraordinary abilities as a statesman and planner were called to the fore for his next assignment as the Director General of Protocol and Consular Affairs from 1978-1982 where he trained young diplomats and coordinated visits by visiting heads of State to Indonesia and overseas visits by the Indonesian Head of State.

 

In 1982, Joop Ave was appointed the Indonesian Director General of Tourism, remaining Indonesia's pivotal leader on tourism matters until his retirement as Tourism, Post and Telecommunications Minister in 1998.

 

It would be impossible to overstate Ave's influence on the Indonesian tourism industry. What he lacked in funds to drive his ambitious tourism goals for Indonesia, he made up in charm and sheer force of personality. Eloquently persuasive in his native Indonesia, English, French, German and Dutch, Ave cajoled his fellow Indonesians and foreigners alike to help him drive tourism development. Traveling the globe, he brought his considerable force of personality; mesmerizing international audiences and launching charm offenses that listeners found impossible to resist.

 

Assuming responsibility in 1982, when tourism was not yet a cabinet post and foreign tourist arrivals totaled only around 400,000, he single-handedly took on the Indonesian cabinet and Parliament, winning a hard-fought battle to grant visas-on-arrival. In one memorable exchange when a military leader dismissed his plans for freer access as a threat to National security, Ave had the fortitude to take a firm stand, reminding the military that the potential jobs and employment created by tourism provided "real" security to the Nation. 

 

Winning the argument and the day, Indonesia's meteoritic rise in tourism fortunes dates from the change in visa policy he pioneered and Ave's advent onto the tourism scene. His legacy today is that Indonesia welcomed more than 8.8 million tourists in 2013 generating some US$10.1 billion in foreign exchange.

 

While Joop Ave's lasting impact on national tourism is too expansive to enumerate here, in Bali, his visionary leadership is credited with the creation of the Bali Tourism Development Corporation that built the Nusa Dua Complex that is home to more than 4,000 hotel rooms, a championship golf course, entertainment-shopping-restaurant center, and modern hospital.

 

Ave also served in a number leadership roles in international tourism including chairman of the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Tourism (1983-1986) and the PATA Board of Directors (1984-1986). He is also credited with writing a number of books about Indonesian culture, history and tourism.

 

In failing health for the past nine years, Joop Ave had recently made his home in Bali.

 

He was accorded an honor guard and military honors at a funeral service held on Friday evening, February 7, 2014 and a cremation ceremony held in Bali the following day. In keeping with Balinese traditions his ashes were committed to the Indian Ocean following the cremation at sunset on Saturday, February 8, 2014.

 

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones

Rough Weather On Lake Batur Causing Significant Declines in Visitors to Bali Aga Village of Trunyan

 

The Bali Aga village of Trunyan on Lake Batur has suffered a drastic decline in both foreign and domestic tourist visitors over the past two months.

 

The village, unique in Bali for its distinctive burial traditions in which the bodies of the dead are left exposed to the elements, has seen the number of visitors decline by an estimated 65% due to rough conditions on the lake, heavy rains and strong winds that have dissuaded tourist from making the boat trip across the lake.

 

The head of tourism for the regency of Bangli, Wayan Adnyana, told DenPost: "The waves on Lake Batur have been so high that it’s not possible to invite tourists to make the trip to Trunyan. These conditions have been made worse by strong winds."

 

Rising waters and rough surface conditions have also caused a number of lakeside homes owned by the villagers of Trunyan to become submerged beneath the waters.

 

During normal weather conditions, as many as 100 people make the boat trip to the village of Trunyan each day. This number has dropped to 30-35 visitors per day over recent weeks.

 

While an overland route along the lake's edge to Trunyan does exist, its condition is such that it can only be passed with heavy-duty four-wheel vehicles able to navigate the rudimentary road prone to landslides.

 

Local villagers in Trunyan who depend on payment for guiding people to the mounds of funereal bones and other guiding services have suffered economically due to the sudden decline in visitors.

 

Here I Come, Ready of Not

Bali's Plague of Child Drivers: Two More Lives Lost



Another under aged driver on Bali's roads has ended with the predictable result of two dead and five injured.

 

The latest tragic installment of the continuing saga of "Children Behind the Wheel" took place on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 when a Honda New CRV driven by a 15-year-old schoolgirl collided with three motorcycles and a public transport van on Jalan Raya Lulkluk in Mengwi at 6:30 a.m. The accident left two motorcyclists dead and four people with severe injuries, including a one-year old infant.

 

Police say that 15-year-old junior high school girls, identified only by the initials of RNW, was traveling southbound through Mengwi on her way to her school at Jalan Tegal Jaya in Dalung, North Kuta. According to police, her 35-year-old personal driver was sitting next to the schoolgirl who reportedly demanded she be allowed to drive.

 

Traveling at a high rate of speed, RNW attempted to pass two motorcyclists. Eyewitnesses say the car began to swerve uncontrollably before it struck a total of three motorcycles and the front of an oncoming public transport van. Such was the force of the impact the car driven by the girl, the the front section of her car so badly damaged that it was no longer possible to drive. 

 

Dead were the drivers of two of the motorcycles, Wayan Evan Saputra (22) of Mengwi and Manap (46) resident in Denpasar but from Lumajang, East Java. Injured were Manap's wife Nur Lila (40); her 14-month-old child Nasilatul Mofiroh; I Putu Yoga Muliartatha (18) from Mengwi who was driving a third motorcycle; Ni Made Merta (14) the sister of Yoga and his passenger; and I Wayan Firga (46) the driver of the public transport van.

 

The under aged driver RNW was questioned by police while still wearing her junior high school uniform. The girl's parents, I Made Puja Astawa and Ni Nyoman Darmini, accompanied their daughter during police questioning.

 

The child's Father told reporters from NusaBali, "This is a a tragedy."

 

The legal age to become a licensed driver in Indonesia is 17-years.

 

Preliminary reports from the police suggest the 15-year-old-girl could be charged with crimes punishable by up to 6 years in prison.

 

South Bali Has More than 90,000 Rooms

Provincial Authorities in Bali Seek BKPM Assistance to Halt Unregulated Building of New Hotels in South Bali

 

Thwarted at every turn by regents and mayors who continue to ignore calls for a moratorium on the issuance of new building permits for hotels, the provincial government of Bali has written the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) requesting that no new investment licenses be issued for hotel projects in Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar.

 

According to Radar Bali, there are an estimated 90,000 hotel rooms in Bali now in operation in South Bali. 

 

The head of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), declared that efforts to introduce a hotel moratorium in Bali have utterly failed. 

 

Claiming the current situation makes no sense in terms of legitimate business investments, Cok Ace postulates that some of the new hotels being built in Bali are fronts for money laundering. He warns that these businesses pose a threat to the ethical hotel industry in Bali who still needs to secure viable occupancies and room rates from their properties.

 

Meanwhile, local home stays and inns complain that the current business climate in Bali means that they are now battling for business with 3-star hotels who lower their rates to Rp. 300,000 per night (US$24), rendering it almost impossible for locally-owned, low-cost accommodation to secure a workable market segment.

 

The situation is becoming increasigly acute. While in the past, local hotels and inns could count on achieving 100% occupancies from school groups over holiday periods, the intense competition from City Hotels means local accommodation providers have been left with half-filled hotels during these same periods.

 

The Joop I Remember

Bali Update’s Editor, J.M. Daniels' Funeral Eulogy For Joop Ave, Former Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunication

 

Bali Update Editor and president director of Bali Discovery Tours, John M. Daniels, was asked to deliver a brief eulogy at a prayer service held for Joop Ave, a personal friend and Indonesia’s former Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications on Friday evening, February 7, 2014.

 

In response to several requests, those remarks are reprinted here:

 

The wonderful privilege of having known Joop Ave for more than 30 years has brought back a flood of memories of a remarkable man, his charismatic style and singular gifts as a communicator.

 

A story that's perhaps worth sharing provides insights into the man, his rapier wit and enduring charm.

 

One day more than 20 years ago in an informal setting, I was needling Pak Joop on the mysteries of Indonesia's star classification system for hotels. There seemed, at least to me, little rhyme or reason in the star-rating system and the criterion used to bestow star status on any particular hotel.

 

Staying with the subject, I shared my views on a recent decision to grant "Five Stars and a Bonus Diamond" status to two leading hotels in the capital, saying that such grand ratings only served to heighten the confusion surrounding the already confused Indonesia's hotel rating system. 

 

In the characteristic way known to those allowed to share in his inner-circle, Joop paused, made direct eye contact and sighed aloud while patiently explaining that he often chose to use awards as a way to encourage excellence in the future, rather than as a means of acknowledging achievements in the past.

 

Joop added: "Now that we've awarded them, let's see what they do in the future."

 

Then, some years later, in 1995 to be exact, and following in the footsteps of such tourism legends as our beloved Stanley Allison who pioneered the development of the Aerowisata Sanur Beach and Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, I received a summons from Pak Joop to report to his office in order to receive the "Adikarya Pariwisata" - the highest civilian award for service to tourism awarded by the Minister and bestowed personally by the President during a formal ceremony.

 

Deeply honored and moved by the moment, I sincerely thanked Pak Joop, telling him I didn't think I was truly entitled to such a high honor from the Republic.

 

Once again, Joop paused, turned his direct gaze my way and said with a sigh: "Let's see what you do for Indonesia in the future."

 

Ibu May - and tonight across the oceans to Joop's other sisters - Ibu Gretty and Ibu Conny, dear friends, tourism colleagues united in promoting a nation loved so deeply by Pak Joop, and distinguished guests - we are gathered together this evening to mourn the loss of a man whose was in every sense of the phrase, quite literally "larger than life" - his passing has left a palatable void, an emptiness that is impossible to fill, a vacuum that each and every one of us who knew him will carry to our final days.

 

Joop Ave has left us and I say with absolute certainty that as long as we all shall live we will never know another quite like him.

 

Radio Announcer, diplomat, peace negotiator, head of the Presidential Palace, Chief of Protocol, Advance man for Indonesian State visits, Director General of Tourism and finally Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications - these positions and the many other nation-building capacities filled by Joop Ave - all share the common thread of the deep and abiding love this man who had for this remarkable nation and his unfailing desire to prepare the way for a coming generation of young Indonesians. 

 

In the final analysis, Pak Joop was a “bridge builder.” Whether preparing a presidential visit or laying bold plans for national tourism - Pak Joop was a trail blazer, a pioneer, a man of vision and builder of bridges to deliver us all safely to a better tomorrow.

 

Last night, with a mind full of cherished memories of this wonderful friend, I sought comfort in the words of Will Allen Dromgoole - words that exemplify for me the life work and legacy of Joop Ave, Bridge Builder. 

 

With your permission, I'd like to close by sharing those words with you:

 

The Bridge Builder

by Will Allen Dromgool

 

 

An old man going a lone highway,

Came, at the evening cold and gray,

To a chasm vast and deep and wide.

Through which was flowing a sullen tide

 

The old man crossed in the twilight dim,

The sullen stream had no fear for him;

But he turned when safe on the other side

And built a bridge to span the tide.

 

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,

“You are wasting your strength with building here;

Your journey will end with the ending day,

You never again will pass this way;

You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,

Why build this bridge at evening tide?”

 

The builder lifted his old gray head;

“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,

“There followed after me to-day

A youth whose feet must pass this way.

 

This chasm that has been as naught to me

To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;

Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”

 

R.I.P.

Joop Ave

1934 - 2014

 

The Final Flight?

Merpati Nusantara Airlines Has its Wings Clipped by Ministry of Transportation

 

Increasing dark clouds are gathering over the State-owned airline Merpati Nusantara and its prospects of returning to service following its February 1 “temporary” cessation of flights.

 

Tempo reports that the Transportation Ministry is preparing to revoke the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) of Merpati Nusantara, 

 

The ministry will put a one-year “freeze” on Merpati’s AOC and only allow it to resume flights after it can present a persuasive plan that would eventually return the airline to fiscal health.

 

If, after one year, Merpati was still grounded the Ministry would take steps to revoke its Air Transportation Business Permit (SIUAU).

 

Plans are already underway to begin distributing air routes once flown by Merpati to other Indonesian national carriers.

 

Adding to the grimness of Merpati’s future prospects are reports that 50 of the airline’s 228 pilots have resigned their jobs after remaining unpaid for several months prior to the shutdown. 

 

Also reportedly unpaid are substantial fuel and insurance bills.

 

Merpati first commenced operation on September 6, 1962.

 

In the Name of the Father

Sapta Nirwandar: Joop Ave to be Nominated for Title of Father of National Tourism

 

Indonesia’s Deputy Minister for Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sapta Nirwandar has said it would be appropriate if Joop Ave, the former Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications who died on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, were officially proclaimed “The Father of National Tourism.”

 

Quoted in Beritabali.com, Sapta said there were many valid reasons for such an honor being bestowed on Joop Ave,

 

“It is fitting that he be titled the Father of National Tourism. He had so many monumental achievements. There are also many books (he has authored) reflecting his great thoughts and ideas,” said Sapta, speaking at the facility where Ave’s remains lay in state in Denpasar, Bali on Thursday, February 6, 2014.

 

Sapta said that Joop Ave’s presence in the arena of national tourism identified and strengthened the future course of Indonesia’s tourism industry. Moreover, said the Deputy Minister, the monumental contributions of Joop Ave remain undiminished to this day.

 

Citing examples, Sapta pointed to the Jakarta International Convention Center, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument project and a number of other endeavors. 

 

Acknowledging that the official bestowing of the title “Father of National Tourism” would have to undergo a formal process set forth under government regulation, he insisted that the title was well deserved by Ave.

 

Sapta said that any failure by the National Government to give formal recogniton of Joop Ave’s achievements does not the diminish the fact that in the hearts of the Indonesian people, Joop Ave is already considered the “Father of National Tourism.

 

Sapta indicated that the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy would not hesitate in putting forth Joop Ave’s name for the title as the "Father of National Tourism."

 

Bali’s Most Beautiful Babies

Bali Safari and Marine Park Welcomes New Babies

 

Bali Safari and Marine Park, located on the outskirts of Bali’s capital of Denpasar, has just welcomed three new rare animals to their zoo family.

 

k Image to Enlarge 

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, on Saturday, February 8, 2014 the three “newcomers” at the Park are:

A male African Lion born on January 28, 2014 bred from strains of lions in Indonesia and New Zealand.

A male giraffe born on January 2, 2014 from German and New Zealand breeding strains.

A female Sumatran elephant born on January 28, 2014 from local breeding stocks.

The three “new kids on the block” at the Bali Safari and Marine Park have yet to be given formal names.

William Santoso, general manager of the Bali Safari and Marine Park, said the new births are the park increase the lion population to 21, the elephants to 32 and the giraffes to 3.

 

To ensure minimum stress for the Park’s new babies, all three were kept under wraps until Saturday, February 8, 2013, when they were presented to zoo visitors for the first time.

 

Tim Husband, the curator of animals at the Bali Safari and Marine Park said the birth of the giraffe, elephant and lion at the zoo was proof that the Park remains steadfastly dedicated and committed to education and conservation.

 

Husband said 2014 promises to be an interesting year at the Bali Safari and Marine Park with many rare births expected to occur among the Park’s collection.

 

The Park is the only Conservation Park in Bali that has earned “A” accreditation.

 

Husband credits the park's breeding programs, the size of its collections and the care provided to animals by doctors and staff as the key to their continuing success.

 

Free to Go, But Need to Stay

Schapelle Corby Expected Released from Prison.

 

The Australian media – described in some quarters as poised for a feeding frenzy – spent an entire weekend parked outside the gates of Bali’s Kerobokan Prison awaiting the release on parole of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Leigh Corby.

 

Early on Monday, February 10, 2014, Corby was shuffled past reporters and into a waiting van to bring her to State Prosecutor's Office in Denpasar to complete the paperwork that will set her free on on a leash until July 2017 when her parole period end.

 

With some Indonesian legislators calling for Corby’s release after nine years in prison be delayed due to the current poor state of relations between Indonesian and Australia, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has taken pains to say the decision to grant parole was not a political decision and based solely on the Australian woman’s fulfillment of the substantive and administrative requirements.

 

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Amir Syamsuddin, told the press on Friday, February 7, 2014: “These are rights stipulated in government regulations and various government rules. Therefore, in my capacity as Minister, (it’s my job) to enforce the law. Indonesia remains committed to the impartial application of the law, especially as it relates to the granting of parole.”

 

Corby’s release on parole is just one among 1,291 prisoners being granted similar parole.

 

Although the Minister has signed the formal certificate of parole the week before, Corby remained in prison in Bali until Monday when a hard copy of the parole order was delivered to Bali prison officials.

 

Schapelle Corby must remain in Bali, reporting to police on a regular basis, until July 2017 when her period of parole ends and she wlll likely deported from the Country.

 

She will spend her parole in a Balinese compound occupied by her sister, Mercedes and her Balinese husband in Kuta.

 

Questions Answered

Autopsy Reports Blame Death of Australian Mother and Daughter in East Bali on Fish Toxicity and Rare Interaction with Pre-Existing Asthmatic Condition

 

Queensland medical examiners have announced preliminary autopsy results on the death of Noelene Bischoff (54) and her teenage daughter Yvanna (14), who died suddenly in Bali on January 5, 2014.

 

Medical investigators are blaming the deaths on the consumption of toxic fish resulting in Scombroid Syndrome Toxicity, complicated by the two women’s medical history of suffering from asthma which accelerated and intensified their reaction to the fish poisoning.

 

The mother and daughter were staying at a Padang Bai beach resort in east Bali when they had a meal of grilled mahi mahi, vegetarian pizza and chicken curry. Both developed symptoms of vomiting and breathlessness.

 

Assisted by hotel staff to a nearby medical facility where the elder Bischoff died, followed by her daughter who died later after being rushed to BIMC Hospital in South Bali.

 

The bacterium that causes Scombroid Syndrome Toxicity is fairly common, but seldom results in death. One medical expert said the etiology of the deaths was a one in 20 million event, describing an antihistaminic reaction produced by the syndrome in combination with the pre-existing asthmatic condition of the two women. Adding, “It's just unbelievably unlucky.”

 

When a member of the Bischoff family was asked if his sister and niece would had survived a similar incident in Austral, he said: "They (forensic experts) said it's so rare, it's hard to say. They said probably one of the biggest problems you'd have would be the diagnosis to start with. It's so rare, most people have never heard of it."

 

Flying in Thin Air

TigerAir Mandala Curtails 11 Routes to Save Scarce Funds

 

The shaky financial footing of a large number of Indonesian airlines continues to inflict pain and inconvenience on the flying public. 

 

Tigerair Mandala Airline’s decision to suspend service on several of their routes has evoked strong criticism from the Association of Indonesian Ticket Agents (Astindo).

 

Elly Hutabarat, the chairman of Astindo, told the State News Agency Antara on Saturday, February 8, 2014: “We deeply regret what’s happening Tigerair Mandala. This is not an isolated case, but has happened several time with air carriers.”

 

As reported by Bisnis.com, Tigerair Mandala suddenly closed eleven domestic and regional air routes starting from February until April 2014.

 

Passengers were left holding paid-for tickets on the suspended air routes.

Hutabarat complained that there are many airlines that have gone bankrupt and left travel agents and ticket agents with substantial losses as a result.

 

Hutabarat named 11 failed Indonesian airlines, including: Sempati Air, AW air, Indonesia Airlines, Bouraq, Adam Air, Kartika Airlines, Riau Airlines, Linus Air, Pacific Royal, Star Air and Batavia Air.

 

Complaining that many of these airlines simply closed their doors and left unpaid debts to travel agents, Hutabarat said, “hopefully, Mandala has the good faith to return 100% of tickets already paid without any cuts for administration and allows their old tickets to be used for other destinations they serve."

 

At this point, Mandala continues to operate but with a reduced number of air routes.

 

According to the Facebook page of Tigerair Mandala, the routes closed until at least April are:

 Surabaya - Hong Kong (R1 650/ 651) ?

Surabaya - Kuala Lumpur (RI 742/ 743).?

Jakarta - Kuala Lumpur (RI 700/ 701) closing from February 18, 2014.

Jakarta - Pekanbaru (RI 72/ 73) closing from February 18, 2014.

Medan (Kuala Namu) - Singapore (RI 861/ 862) closing from February 18, 2014. 

Jakarta - Jogjakarta (RI 344/ 345) closing from March 3, 2014.

Pekanbaru - Singapore (RI 870/ 871) closing from March 3, 2014.

Jakarta - Singapore (RI 808/ 809) closing from March 3, 2014.

Jakarta - Surabaya (RI 520/ 529) closing from March 17, 2014.

Surabaya - Bangkok (RI 914/ 915) closing from March 17, 2014.

Jakarta - Hong Kong (RI 652/ 657) closing from April 11, 2014.

 

A Party with No Parties

Bali Police Forbid Ogoh-Ogoh Floats Discrediting Politicians or their Political Parties

 

The State News Agency Antara reports that the Bali Police have issued rules across Bali disallowing the creation and parading of any Ogoh-Ogoh floats on March 30, 2014 that discredit any political party or specific candidate.

 

The parades will cover the entire expanse of the island on March 30, 2014, heralding in the New Year and day of traditional silence “Nyepi” that comes on the following day.

 

Addressing the traditional parades populated with giant floats carried aloft by village men carry large papier mâché effigies, Bali’s chief of police General Albertus Julius Benny Mokalu said: “The ogoh-ogoh parades will continue as in the past, but none can be used to discredit any individual or political party. That is forbidden.”

 

The move is seen as necessary to keep a lid on potential outbreaks of civil unrest in the period leading up to the legislative elections scheduled to take place on April 9, 2014.

 

Dewi Most High

InterContinental Bali Resort Names Dewi Karmawan as Assistant Director of Public Relations

 

InterContinental Bali Resort has announced the appointment of Dewi Karmawan as Assistant Director of Public Relation.

 

A graduate from International Hotel and Management Institute, Lucerne, Switzerland, Dewi commenced her career in the hospitality industry in 1997 at Le Meridien Nirwana as a Guest Relations Officer. In late 1998, Dewi joined Hard Rock Hotel Bali as a Senior Guest Relations. After 3 years in Front Office Department, she was promoted from Assistant Guest Relations Manager to Marketing Communications Coordinator and finally to Assistant Marketing Communications Manager. 

 

After eight years with Hard Rock Hotel Bali, Dewi, a mother of two children, joined Grand Hyatt Bali in Nusa Dua in 2006 as the Assistant Public Relations Manager. In 2008 she was promoted to Public Relations Manager for the Grand Hyatt. 

 

In February 2009, Dewi spread her wings internationally moving to the Park Hyatt Melbourne, Australia. While down under, Dewi promoted Indonesian culture by teaching Balinese dance in Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) in Melbourne.

 

“It was a memorable and fun experience I had while I was in Melbourne. And I am proud being a Balinese as the students have shown a big interest in learning our culture”, said Dewi. 

 

After fourteen months, Dewi returned to Bali to join Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa, Bali in October 2010 as Marketing Communications Manager, overseeing both Marketing Communications and Public Relations activities.

 

Prior to joining InterContinental Bali Resort Dewi was the Public Relations Manager at Bali Hyatt – now closed for a two-year renovation.

 

“As part of the Sales and Marketing team at InterContinental Bali Resort, I am confident that Dewi will substantially contribute her expertise towards building the communications strategy for the company”, said Michel Chertouh, general manager of InterContinental Bali Resort. 

 

Samba Down to Uma Cucina

Legendary Brazilian Songstress Tania Maria To appear in Ubud for One Night Only, March 5, 2014



As part of the Bali Live International Jazz Festival - Brazilian jazz superstar Tania Maria will perform at ‘Uma Cucina’ - the Italian restaurant at Uma by COMO in Ubud for one night only on March 5th, 2014.

 

 

 

Tania Maria 

 

Artist, singer, composer, bandleader and pianist Tania Maria sings mostly in Portuguese and English. She commands a wide-ranging musical genre from Pop, Jazz, Samba, Bossa, Afro-Latin, Pop and Jazz Fusion.

 

Tania Maria’s first album Apresentamos was released when she was 21 in 1969. Two years later, another hit album Olha Quem Chega followed.

Her emergence as an international star, however, dates from a period spent in France in the late 1970s. In this period a performance at an on-tour concert in Australia brought her to the attentions of the immortal Charlie Byrd and Carl Jefferson of Concord Records.

 

Today she has more than 25 albums to her credit and has appeared on the stage of virtually every important jazz festival. She has also been nominated for a Grammy Award (1985).

 

One Night Only in Ubud

 

On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, a privileged few will enjoy a welcome reception and cocktails at 6:30 pm. A four-course set menu specially prepared devised by Uma Cucina’s executive chef Nicolas Lazzaroni follows. The menu will feature contemporary Italian dishes made with fresh, local ingredients such as a burrata with candied beets, carpaccio of Tonkuzen beef and a sweet lemon tart.

 

Sated, seated and satiated guests will then be serenaded by Tania Maria when she takes to the performance stage at 10:15 pm to fill the tropical night with her soft, bossa-nova inspired vocals and pop-jazz fusion stylings. 

 

The same talent that has appeared with the likes of Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson and Eddie Gomez and packed the room at The Blue Note - will performs in Bali for one night only for those who are lucky enough to book one of the limited number of seats available for this special performance.

 

Tickets for an evening with Tania Maria cost on Rp. 850,000 Plus 21% (US$82.50) and covers the cost of the welcome reception, four-course dinner and the show. 

 

Additional wine pairing is available for Rp. 320,000 plus 21% (US$31) per diner.

 

Isn’t it Romantic?

Bali’s Ranks First for Romance Destination in Fodor Poll

 

Fodor’s Travel and Business Insider have ranked what they consider the 7 Most Romantic Places in the World, giving the Island of Bali top ranking.

 

In awarding Bali top ranking, Fodor’s curiously cites sunsets over eastward (sic)  facing Sanur beach, he Tanah Lot Temple, the island’s waterfalls, and southern beaches.

 

The top rankings for romance went to:

Bali, Indonesia

Brugge, Belgium

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Charleston, South Carolina

Cinque Terre in the Italian Riviera

Fez, Morocco

Greek Isles in he Cyclades

[For the complete run down on the 7 most romantic places in the world] 

 

Bali’s Mangrove Damaged by Oil Spill

PT Indonesia Power to Blame for Damage to Protected Mangrove Near Benoa Caused by Leaking Fuel Pipe

 

Oil leaks from a pipeline owned by PT Indonesia Power have soiled and damaged a two-hectare area of mangroves near Benoa.

 

The leak occurred on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, releasing “dozens of liters” of marine fuel oil and high sped diesel fuel into the environmentally sensitive area.

 

Clean up efforts are underway but there has bee no formal estimate of the damage to sea life, birds and mangrove flora.

 

The offending pipeline is located between the Denpasar tollgate and the Benoa port. 

 

Indonesia Power who owns the pipeline is a subsidiary of PT PLN – the State Power Board,

 

The Jakarta Post reports that workers were spraying the oil slick with dispersant and endeavoring to clean the mangrove.

 

Worker claim the clean up was concluded in 24-hours with a residual amount of oil still left clinging to the exterior of the pipeline.

 

Indonesia’s Power Bali says they will soon hold a re-greening program in the are surrounding the leak assisted by their own staff and local volunteers.

 

Body Music Spectacular

A Night of Body Music and More at Betel Nut Restaurant, Ubud Thursday, February 13, 2014. Featuring Khalif Freeman, Sanggar Cudami, Duncan McKee and Kevin Briggs

 

The Wall Street Journal has described body music as “like visiting an anatomical carnival, where hands, feet, fingers, bellies, rumps, and mouths engage in an endless musical ballet.”

 

The only instrument used in Body Music is the human body. Body music includes clapping, snapping, stepping, and many kinds of vocalizing. The different styles of body music from around the world reveal other times and other cultures—holding memories, cultural legacies, wisdom in rhythm – all "embodied" in "the body."  From the tundra to the tropics, people apparently can’t resist the urge to snap, clap, step, holler, and sing artful music. The universal resonator—our bodies—and its myriad global sounds ignite audiences with music you can see, dance you can hear. It’s the oldest music on the planet existing in a state of perpetual renewal that makes each performance brand new. 

 

Khalid “Greens” Freeman, currently on tour with Michael Jackson; the Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil, is coming to Bali for a single-night performance to help raise funds for Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset Health and Education Projects.

 

Freeman will perform and reunite in Bali with Sanggar Çudamani—arguably Bali’s most innovative musical grouping.

 

Both Freeman and Cudamani performed in the 2013 International Body Music Festival at the San Francisco Jazz Center, wowing the audiences with their body rhythms and vocals. 

 

Duncan McKee and Kevin Briggs will also be entertaining for the fund-raising evening.

 

Duncan is a Scottish-born jazz pianist, composer and educator. He has performed at over 2,000 concerts, festivals and jazz clubs and collaborates with musicians and artists from all around the world. 

 

Kevin Briggs is a well-respected musician on the international music scene. He has performed and recorded with many artists from the R&B, soul, funk, rock, blues, new country and pop genres. His style is an amalgamation of passion and flawless technique. 

 

Enjoy an amazing and unusual evening, while knowing you are helping school youngsters and bringing clean water to hundreds of Balinese.

 

Stompin’ Meets Kecak

Body Music Spectacular

 

Featuring Khalid “Greens” Freeman andggar Cudamani

Duncan McKee and Kevin Briggs

 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

7:30 p.m.

Betel Nut Restaurant

Jalan Raya – Ubud

 

Tickets: Rp 150,000 (US12) at the door.

 

Women Around the World

A Global View of Women in an Exhibition of Art by Titouan Lamazou at Nacivet Art Gallery February 16 - March 16, 2014

 

Nacivet Art Gallery presents the art of Titouan Lamazou in an exhibition titled “Women Around the World”.

 

Lamazou is an artist, documentarian, ethnographer, and it might be argued, an activist and humanitarian. For six years, Lamazou has traveled the world photographing 230 women and recording their biographies. The resulting images are beautiful and oftentimes haunting. They reveal an artist that has a unique eye and ability to share the experiences of the peoples he encounters.

 

Titouan Lamazou is a life long sojourner. Born in 1955 in Morocco, at age seventeen he decided to become a navigator and spent the next several years sailing on the seas of the world. In 1990, he won the Vendée Globe – a solo, unassisted sailing race around the world. 

 

Long accustomed to documenting the people and sites he encounters on his travels via still photography, drawings, paintings and film - Lamazou current project started in 2001 and was proclaimed a United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization "Artist for Peace" Project 

 

His current journey has taken him to some of the most remote corners of the planet, including a memorable odyssey through the Indonesian archipelago in 2003. The result is a collection of photographs, sketches and video recordings, which have been exhibited worldwide and collected into several catalogues published by Gallimard, as well as shown in short segments on French television.

 

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

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