Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Indonesia and A matter of principles

Translated (see image), it reads: Belief in the one and only God / The Financial Almighty; Just and civilised humanity / Corruption that is fair and equitable; The unity of Indonesia / The unity of the political elite within Indonesia’s legal system; Democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations amongst representatives / Power which is led by lust and depravity in the conspiracy of hypocrisy; and, Social justice for all people of Indonesia / Social security for the whole family of officials and representatives.

Recent reports of a suspension of military cooperation between Indonesia and Australia were wildly exaggerated, but they emphasise the importance of proper intercountry linguistic, cultural and political understanding, Bradley Wood writes.

Indonesia’s official state ideology, the Pancasila, has re-emerged as a dominant feature in political rhetoric, while also being perceived as a vulnerable political target by Indonesia’s political elite during a very sensitive time in Indonesia.

It’s no surprise then, that the recent bilateral incident between Australia and Indonesia involving the alleged laminated display of the political send-up ‘Pancagila’ (the five crazy principles), along with other politically sensitive training material about Indonesia’s chequered past in West Papua provoked an official response.

There have long been suspicions among Indonesia’s political elite about Australia’s intentions regarding West Papua dating back to Indonesia’s independence. These continue to linger in the minds of some Indonesians because of Australia’s instrumental role in securing East Timor’s independence. This latest development has only raised the spectre of such pre-existing suspicions.

Recent political rhetoric in Indonesia has centred on reminding Indonesia’s citizens about its founding principles, namely the Pancasila—the five principles that make up Indonesia’s official ideology. This follows mass demonstrations backed by Indonesia’s Islamic hardliners in November and December last year, against the incumbent Jakarta Governor, locally known as Ahok, for alleged blasphemy. Various political forces within Indonesia have capitalised on these events in the run-up to next month’s regional elections, which includes the Jakarta Governor’s seat, now seen as an ascension pathway to the presidency.

Inaccurate reporting of the ‘Pancagila’ incident, based on the initially limited coverage in the Indonesian press, gave rise to a public perception in Australia that it had caused a significant suspension in military cooperation between the two countries. The Australian media continued its media frenzy even after a detailed press conference by the outspoken Commander of Indonesia’s military (TNI) General Gatot Nurmantyo. This further fuelled the speculation of a blanket freeze on military cooperation, despite Gatot’s emphasis on the good relationship he has with the Chief of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Mark Binskin.

This media controversy, however, has since been adequately framed as a miscommunication between the TNI, the Ministry of Defence, and the Presidential Press office. A belated press release was eventually produced by the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security, and former Commander of the TNI, Wiranto. This clarified the Indonesian Government’s position—that only a specific language training program between the two countries had been temporarily suspended.

The ‘Pancagila’ send-up that was reportedly sighted by an Indonesian language trainer at the Campbell Barracks in Perth, however, was not an Australian creation. Last year, an Indonesian court chose not to impose criminal sanctions after an Indonesian activist posted the Pancagila principles on Facebook, signalling an historic moment for freedom of expression in Indonesia. It has also been widely used on social media by a number of Indonesian-associated accounts that date back to at least 2011.

There is no doubt that the public display of such content at a language training facility at the Campbell Barracks—where it would be seen by Indonesian defence colleagues—was a significant political mistake, with potentially serious implications for the bilateral defence relationship.

However, the use of sensitive political material, such as ‘Pancagila’, by the ADF’s language students is important to Australia’s official language and cultural training. Politically sensitive material like this provides a valuable insight into Indonesia’s internal political dynamics from an indigenous perspective, and it’s these insights that contribute to a better understanding of Indonesia’s human terrain.

The outcome of an inquiry by the Chief of the Australian Army, Angus Campbell, is likely to have already been delivered, and there have been reports that indicate Australian defence personnel have already been reprimanded. It is important, however, that the Australian Army evaluate these language materials beyond their politically sensitive attributes, as they improve their linguistic and cultural understanding about their largest neighbour and, arguably, their most important non-aligned defence relationship—where respective interests often differ, but can also be managed.

With such a diverse makeup in Indonesia, SARA tensions—a security acronym used to explain ethnic, religion, race, and inter-group inspired conflict—will likely continue to be a part of the internal dynamics of Indonesia’s democratic process. The challenge for Indonesia will be managing these tensions within the confines of its post-reformasi democratic limits, without using the extreme concept of an external proxy war involving Australia, to build its national cohesion. However, reminding Indonesia’s large population about Pancasila and Indonesia’s national motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) may play an effective role here.

Indonesia continues, however, to face internal challenges to the Pancasila ideology by hard-line Islamic groups, such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). These groups have also recently been trained by the TNI’s district command, albeit without official approval, as part of Indonesia’s civil defence program known as Bela Negara. Gatot Nurmantyo, however, has defended the right of the FPI to participate in the civilian defence training and there has been at least one approved incident of FPI members engaging in civil defence training that dates back to 2014.

While this is only basic civil defence education centred around building a sense of patriotism, national awareness, and belief in the Pancasila ideology, it demonstrates the complexities of Indonesia’s policy response to uniting such a diverse population. In this case, it appears that the TNI is playing an active role, and it’s therefore within the ADF’s purview to understand this development in its entirety.

The ADF needs to pay attention to these internal dynamics and political sensitivities in Indonesia to prevent any miscommunication when it comes to Australia’s laid back sense of humour regarding world politics. However, preventing the use of politically sensitive material across all ADF Indonesian language programs, risks limiting the ADF’s nuanced understanding of current developments impacting on the internal security of a very important archipelagic neighbour.

Bradley Wood is a Master of Strategic Studies (Advanced) student at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

This piece is published in partnership with Policy Forum – Asia and the Pacific’s platform for public policy analysis, opinion, debate, and discussion.


Living in limbo in Indonesia

In recent decades, Indonesia has served as a transit point for asylum seekers, predominantly from the Middle East, who sought to reach Australia via ‘irregular means’, that is to say, by boat. In 2013, Australia enacted toughened border policies, the centrepiece of which was the military-led Operation Sovereign Borders.

These policies were successful in their aim to “stop the boats”, but in doing so created a ‘bottleneck’ — with Indonesia left to play host to a burgeoning number of asylum seekers and refugees who now spend years, rather than months, in the country.

There are now almost 14,000 asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia, predominantly coming from countries outside the Southeast Asian region such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. While their lives may not be at risk, a refugee’s time in Indonesia is plagued by uncertainty, and their basic human rights and economic, social and psychological needs can remain unfulfilled.

Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol, and has authorised the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to be the body responsible for refugees and asylum seekers during their stay in Indonesia. The government allows refugees to remain in Indonesia until they can be resettled to a third country.

The UNHCR is overstretched in Indonesia: lacking the funding and capacity required to manage an increasing number of individuals across a vast archipelago.

As such, while asylum seekers and refugees are permitted to live in the community in Indonesia, most are unable to receive any form of support. Many quickly become destitute and are forced to sacrifice their freedom for food by surrendering themselves to authorities to enter immigration detention. Doing so ensures they will at least have somewhere to sleep and something to eat.

In 2015, there were 2,237 individuals in temporary interception sites, 2,874 in community housing facilities run by the International Organisation for Migration, and 2,567 in immigration detention centres scattered across 13 Indonesian provinces from North Sumatra to West TimorOvercrowding is a persistent problem among detention centres, and cases of extortion, lack of access to legal representation and violence have been documented.

The remaining asylum seekers and refugees live independently in the community, typically in urban areas such as Jakarta or Bogor. They rely on savings or remittances from family members, and arrange their own accommodation and living needs. Many families, couples, and women choose to settle in and around Bogor, in addition to male bachelors who tend to live together in small houses. In many ways this is a preferable situation to detention. Yet the challenges of navigating a new language and culture often leave asylum seekers socially isolated, and they are vulnerable to discrimination and harassment.

The resettlement process is far from straightforward and the waiting time for resettlement continues to increase. There are no pathways available for refugees to settle in Indonesia, and despite their semi-permanent status in the country, they not permitted to work and have limited access to education and affordable healthcare.

Refugees in Indonesia must put their lives on hold, spending years in a transitional, intermediate state of limbo between persecution in their country of origin and the promise of safety and a new life in a country that will accept them as refugees.

The photos in Living in Limbo: The forgotten refugees of Indonesia give a revealing look into the daily lives of Afghan refugees living in Indonesia. Having left homelands no longer safe only to find the pathway to Australia closed, they find themselves in a foreign land unwilling to integrate them, awaiting a long and uncertain process to be resettled to a country willing to provide protection. Taken over a month-long period living in the homes of refugees living in the community in 2015, this series aims to move beyond the politicised view of refugees, by depicting the everyday events of a life in limbo, both mundane and intimate

The hospitality extended to me during my time in this community allowed me to witness the challenges faced by refugees living in Indonesia first-hand. The years spent years in living in limbo, and the resulting uncertainty, boredom, and inability to move forward with one’s life takes a severe mental toll. Yet I was inspired by the resilience and humour that refugees exhibited in the face of such unimaginable difficulty. As seen in these images, they carry on with normal routines, baking and cooking for one another, playing soccer and other games, holding vigils in protest of killings or acts of terrorism in their countries of origin, teaching one another English and other skills in the absence of formal education, and marking the passing of milestones like birthdays with small parties. Refugees, like all of us, make the best of their situation. But it is a tenuous and precarious situation nonetheless, and without any significant changes to regional refugee policy, more will come, and more will suffer their fate.

Short of a comprehensive regional approach to refugee management, Indonesia and Australia can both play a role. For Indonesia’s part, improving the refugee protection framework in the country would reduce uncertainty and vulnerability faced by the refugees. Ratifying the refugee convention and allowing those in the country to work and access education would be an opportunity to help thousands in need, and show leadership for human rights in the region.

On Australia’s part, it may consider reversing its decision to cease resettling asylum seekers who arrived in the country after July 2014, respond to Indonesia’s appeal that it accept more refugees from the country, and provide much-needed funding to the UNHCR Indonesia so that they may better support refugees in the country.

Whether these changes are politically tenable for either country remains to be seen, but private citizens can play a role in helping too, by donating to NGO’s who work to support refugees in Indonesia.

Thomas Brown is a researcher based in Indonesia, currently looking at the refugee situation and consulting for the World Bank on education policy.

This piece is published in partnership with Policy Forum – Asia and the Pacific’s platform for public policy analysis, opinion, debate, and discussion. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Indonesia and ‘transparent sex’ - attacks on LGBT in Indonesia have branched out into a broader assault on feminism and the intrusion of the state into previously private spheres of life

Indonesia and ‘transparent sex’ - attacks on LGBT in Indonesia have branched out into a broader assault on feminism and the intrusion of the state into previously private spheres of life

In the last year there have been consistent legal efforts to outlaw same-sex practices and LGBT identity in Indonesia. And while religious vigilante groups may be responsible for attacks and raids against queer-related events, it is an Islamic pro-family group, the Family Love Alliance (Aliansi Cinta Keluarga/AILA) that is the spearhead of the current attempt to criminalise homosexuality.

Most of the AILA’s members are women who position themselves as ‘mothers’, and say their immediate concerns about protecting the moral fibre of young generations. In doing so, they appeal to public and conservative public officials and successfully gain support from other conservative groups. Another interesting aspect of the group is their clear anti-feminist stance – something that is worth examining to understand the current landscape of gender and sexuality in post-reformation Indonesia.

On their websites and in a series of tweets, the group argued that lifestyles and thoughts influenced by feminism have caused prostitution among young girls and normalised LGBT and/or homosexuality. The group cited the famous feminist slogan ‘My Body My Rights’ as one of the culprits of youth moral degradation.

Further, as the group plans to build a systematic counter-movement against feminism, they also highlight the vulnerability of female domestic violence victims to being infiltrated by feminist ideas. Apparently, female divorcees can easily become feminists to ‘fulfil their biological/ sexual needs’ and, consequently, the ideas of lesbianism and gender equality easily contaminate these women. To justify the arguments with more empirical evidence, AILA cites the growing number of divorces in Tangerang and Depok that have been initiated by the wives themselves. The morality arguments that have focused on the perpetuation of traditional gender norms and the preservation of heterosexual family principles.

As I argue elsewhere, mother figures have been central to Indonesian society. In contrast to Western feminist strategies, traditional womanhood (or motherhood) has sometimes been used as an effective medium for empowerment and for bringing about social and political change. When mothers protest, it shows that something big and concerning is at stake. This inference is possible because of the long-term glorification of motherhood by the state that promotes the moral superiority of women/mothers, while at the same time domesticates and confines them to their reproductive roles. Intimate and private lives have been treated as fodder for public discourse, with private and public spheres becoming increasingly entangled and blurred.

Given these historical and cultural contexts, the idea of ‘mothers’ offers open-ended and multiple possibilities. They can be utilised by any group, either to improve women’s rights or, as in this case, to reinforce traditional gender norms and condemn particular groups. The messages of the AILA highlight the flexibility of an idea and how it can be translated into different actions and rhetoric from one socio-political landscape to another.

Interestingly, the anti-feminist rhetoric of AILA does not wholly reject ideas about gender equality. Some inherent aspects, such as access to education and women’s participation in public, seem to be permitted through the fact that some leading members of AILA hold higher-education degrees and even important career positions (for example, medical doctor). This paradox demonstrates that some aspects of ‘feminism’ are allowed, while ‘intimate spheres’ are increasingly policed to ‘prevent’ the loosening of traditional gender norms and family principles.

Further, through their assumptions about female divorcees and victims of violence, AILA has also proposed criminalising adultery. To borrow scholar Laurent Berlant’s concept, these moves could be termed as the politicisation of an ‘intimate public sphere’—the triumph of private acts over civic acts to redefine a new citizenship.

Since the collapse of the New Order era, the rising religious conservatism in Indonesia has significantly shifted the political landscape and increasingly targeted and publicly politicised that ‘intimate sphere’—from pornography law, to Shari’ah-based local regulations, to the criminalisation of LGBT. However, the demands to regulate intimate spheres intriguingly come from civil society itself; asking the State to intervene in private lives. These debates and the infiltrations into private spaces inadvertently enables sexuality—previously deemed taboo—to occupy political and public talks. I call it ‘transparent sex’—one of the biggest contributions to the politicisation of sex in Indonesia after the Reformation era.

Hendri Yulius obtained his master’s in public policy from the National University of Singapore, and is the author of Coming Out. He is currently pursuing his Masters by Research in Gender and Cultural Studies at The University of Sydney.

Old men and the abuse of Thai youth - what is wrong with Thailand’s annual “Children’s Day”

Old men and the abuse of Thai youth - what is wrong with Thailand’s annual “Children’s Day”

Last Saturday, 14 January, marked the annual “Children’s Day” in Thailand. In most places around the world, a day dedicated to children would be a celebration of the potential of youth. Sadly, not in Thailand.

Tragically, the people of Thailand remain oppressed by a regime of elderly and inadequate men who are terrified of progress and believe obedience is more important than imagination and freedom.

Children’s Day in Thailand is a day of state-sponsored child abuse.

The main element of Children’s Day is that the army — which has never fought a real war against any foreign enemy but repeatedly crushes Thai democracy — invites kids into military camps where they can be brainwashed by being given lethal weapons to play with.

It would be unfair to accuse Thailand of being the only country in the world to abuse children in this way. North Korea does it too.

Meanwhile, at Government House in Bangkok, where an elected administration used to rule until the army seized power in 2014 in yet another coup, children are invited to come and pay respects to ludicrous life-size cardboard cutouts of military dictator Prayuth Chan-ocha.

It’s not just the military junta that exploits kids on Children’s Day — some establishments in Thailand’s vast industrialised sex industry also take advantage of the occasion. Take for example an advert for a Thai hostess bar in Bangkok offering a special schoolgirl cosplay event on Children’s Day. It’s widely known that tens of thousands of Thai teenagers — at a conservative estimate — sell sex in bars and brothels in Thailand.

Many of them have little alternative, because their parents insist on them earning money however they can, and the education system in Thailand is notoriously abysmal. Children are not taught any useful skills. They are taught to crawl on the ground and be obedient. Even at university, new students are routinely subjected to humiliating rituals of subjugation.

How did this society become so sick?

The reason is that Thailand remains dominated by an abusive and exploitative elite who are terrified of the ideas and integrity of young people. In order to entrench and legitimise their rule, this elite has tried to brainwash people into believing that it is “Thai culture” for the rich to exploit the poor, and the strong to abuse the weak, and the young to worship the old. Anybody who challenges this is vilified as unpatriotic and “unThai”.

For the past two centuries the elite have tried to deny democracy to ordinary Thais by claiming that they are not educated enough to be entrusted with the right to vote, and then ensuring that Thai education remains appalling, to try to stop people thinking for themselves.

Thailand’s new king Vajiralongkorn exemplifies the attitude of the Thai elite towards their children. Notoriously he abandoned four of his sons after he broke up with their mother in 1996, and despite the fact the Thai monarchy is the richest in the world, he refused to even continue paying for their education. They remain banished from Thailand. Here’s a letter he sent to their boarding school in the UK in February 1997:

The most important thing that Thais can do on Children’s Day is stop and think about the lies they have been taught. It is not “Thai culture” to abuse and exploit children, and force them to crawl on the ground, and try to stop them learning to think for themselves. Frankly, it is not even acceptable human behaviour at all.

It is warped and twisted and wrong, and it needs to stop.

Andrew MacGregor Marshall is a journalist, lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, and author of ‘A kingdom in crisis’. This article was originally published on his Facebook platform, and can be viewed here

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Tigerair Suspends Bali Flights

Indonesian Civil Aviation Authorities Determine Australian Air Carrier Selling Tickets Illegally in Indonesia

The Australian carrier Tigerair temporarily suspended its Bali flights from Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide effective Wednesday, January 11, 2017.

Airport Authorities in Bali determined that Tigerairs was violating the terms of its charter agreement on file with Indonesian government by selling online tickets in Indonesia contradicting the legal definition of what constitutes a charter flight.

Under the terms of the permission granted to Tigerair to operate chartered flights to Bali, the Australian airline was allowed to carry passengers to Bali and fly those same passengers back to Australia at the end of their stay.

Under Indonesian law, Tigerair is expressly forbidden from selling seats on its charter flights within Indonesia.

Indonesian authorities discovered that Tigerair was selling tickets online in Indonesia on the subject flights.

Tigerair Australia is the low-cost subsidiary of Virgin Australia. When Virgin Air decided to curtail its Indonesian flight operations it surrendered many of its Bali routes to Tigerair and chartered Virgin Airway aircraft to Tigerair to be used on the subject routes.

As reported by NusaBali, a check by airport authorities in Bali determined passengers were boarding Tigerair flights with tickets they had purchased online, transactions permitted only to scheduled airlines.

Indonesian civil aviation authorities have indicated they are now considering sanctions to be imposed against Tigerair for violating the terms of the charter agreement approved by the Ministry of Transportation.

As the result of the cessation of Tigerair service from three Australian cities to Bali, an estimated 700 passengers per day were initially affected with Virgin Air is assisting any Tigerair passenger stranded in Bali by providing return flights to Australia.

In response to a call from the Australian carrier, the Indonesian civil aviation authorities granted a temporary waiver to Tigerair to recommence flights until Monday, January 16, 2016, in order to allow stranded passengers to be flown back home while the Australian Airline seeks an administrative accommodation from the Indonesian government.

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More Demos to Come?

Transportation Drivers Threaten More and Massive Demonstrations Unless Online Transportation Applications Banned in Bali reports that thousands of drivers who are members of the Bali Driver’s Alliance (Alstar B) staged peaceful demonstrations outside the entrance to Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, protesting the continuing operation of online transport providers.

Demonstrators estimated to number 2,000 called on the government to block online transport applications in Bali and outlaw the operation of Uber and GrabCar.

Shouting “Reject Online Taxis” the protestors gathered outside the entrance to the airport before departing the location to bring their message to the Governor’s office in Denpasar.

The demonstration started at 9:00 am and caused disruption and delays for those trying to access or leave the airport and caused further delays for traffic on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai.

Protestors also stopped conventional taxis passing the location, insisting that they join the protests as a sign of solidarity. The coordinator of the demonstration, I Ketut Witra, insisted, however, that the protests were peaceful and that no orders were issued by the organizers to stop traffic.

Witra told the press that protestors are seeking the blockade of Grabcar and Uber online applications on the Island of Bali. Should the government fail to accede to the demands of local drivers, Witra promised more and larger demonstrations to come.

The protestors complain that the online application operators destroy the market by offering lower prices and, in the process, destroy the livelihood of Bali transportation drivers.

The drivers complained that while other areas of Indonesia, such as Yogyakarta, have managed to block online transportation applications, Bali has been unable to follow suit.

An Eye for an Eye?

Three Bouncers Employed by La Favela Bar in Seminyak Arrested for Brutal Beating of Ukrainian Tourist

The Denpasar Police have arrested three men working as bouncers the La Favela Bar & Resto on Jalan Oberoi in Seminyak in connection with the brutal beating of Ukrainian tourist, Sarkisian Argam (32), in the early hours of Sunday, January 8, 2017.

As reported by, now in police custody are Putu Gede Septian Heriwardana (25), AA Ketut Agung Artawan (29), and Putu Eka Nur Ardiawan. The three men are members of a well-known organized gang or “mass organization” (ormas) who were paid to provide security at the nightspot.

Citing the need to preserve the scene of an ongoing investigation and crime scene re-enactment, police have temporarily closed the La Favela Bar & Resto.

Tourist authorites, meanwhile, say the restaurant and bar is full licensed. The owners of La Favela Bar & Resto have, howver, been summoned by tourism authorites for in-depth consulations.
the arrest and closure of the restaurant, the attack, including graphic pictures of the Ukrainian’s injuries, went viral on Social Media. Some reports state that the Ukrainian was left permanently blind in one eye as a result of the assault.

A Facebook user Denis Prisiazhniuk contributing to the group “Bali Friendships” reported the attack,  including horrific close-ups of the injury to the eye of Sarkisian Argam. The posting on Facebook quickly went viral with more than 1,000 shares, 800 “likes” and many comments demanding police arrest the men who perpetrated the crime.

Argam has reportedly yet to file a formal police complaint in connection with the attack that started when he disagreed with a cashier over the prices charged on a bill for drinks via a handwritten bar check.

Police have collected CCTV recordings and witness statements in connection with the incident.

Police recount that Argam ordered four shots of Jameson Whisky and two cans of soda at a cost of Rp. 680,000. When presented with the bill, the Ukrainian reportedly complained that the charges were too high and was then dragged from the bar and beaten by the three bouncers.

La Favela insists the man was billed in accordance with his consumption and the prices shown on the public menu.

When interviewed by police, Putu Gede admitted to hitting the Ukrainian in the face two times, while Artawan admitted also hitting the man two times in the area of the eyes. CCTV footage show the man being dragged from the bar.

The victim of the beating has reportedly lost the site in his right eye. The man remains hospitalized and under treatment at Siloam Hospital in Kuta.

The La Favela Bar and Restaurant has also taken to Social Media apologizing for the incident, promising those responsible would be prosecuted and proclaiming that the restaurant would pay the medical expenses of the injured man.

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Swiss-style Hospitality Comes to Bali

Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali Formally Opens for Business

Bali’s first Mövenpick Hotels & Resort – the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali was officially opened on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

The five-star hotel was developed by PT Summarecon Agung (SMRA) and is owned by PT Permata Jimbaran Agung.

The main commissioner of SMRA, Soetjipto Nagaria, speaking at the inauguration ceremony said that the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali represents the first hotel owned by the company outside the Island of Java.

He said Bali was selected because of its strong attraction within the Indonesian tourism industry, the growing number of tourist visitors each year and the need for high-quality accommodation.

He told the listeners that the Government is targeting 8 million tourist visitors to Bali in 2019.

The head of tourism for the Regency of Badung, Tjokorda Raka Darmawan, said that Bali would end 2016 with 4.6 million foreign tourists. "The remaining 3.4 million we will secure through strategic steps. This includes inviting investors to prepare accommodation and manage tourism objects,” explained Tjokorda.

According to the CEO of SMRA, Adrianto P. Adgi, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts – the Swiss-based network of hotels was selected because of the company’s 44-year experience in hotel management and a shared business vision with the developers.

Vice President Sales and Marketing Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Asia, Bruno Huber, added that the new Jimbaran property is a lifestyle resort bringing a new dimension to Bali. Illustrating his point, Huber said the hotel has a swimming pool that resembles a beach and a culinary heritage from Switzerland that include ice cream and chocolate.

Mövenpick Resorts & Spa Jimbaran Bali offers 297-rooms ranging in size from 34-square meters to 108-square meters. Built on a 4-hectare site, the hotel offers not only a swimming pool but also boasts a spa opening in April 2017, the Anarasa Restaurant, Katha Lobby Lounge and library, a multi-purpose area and meeting rooms.

Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts is planning to open 30 properties in Asia by 2020.

According to, the value of the new Jimbaran property is put at Rp. 550 billion.

Curbing Kuta’s Criminality

Bali Police Call on Kuta Area Business to Stop Hiring Thugs to Keep the Peace

In light of the growing number of violent attacks at entertainment centers in the Kuta area of Bali, including the recent beating of a Ukrainian tourist by bouncers at the La Favela Bar & Resto in Seminyak on Sunday, January 8, 2017, the Bali police are urging businesses in Kuta and surrounding areas to hire formally trained and licensed security guards (Satpam) and abandon the practice of employing members of local gangs (Ormas).

As reported by, the directive was delivered by the spokesman for the Bali Provincial Police, Hengky Widjaya.

“In connection with pre-emptive security, we are working with other institutions, such as the Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) to bring order there (the restaurants and hotels) and (working with) the traditional villages. We recommend that business owners not to use mass organization (Ormas) members,” said Widjaya on Friday, January 12, 2017.

He admonished that Indonesia cannot be led by mass organizations and said security staff for businesses should be “Satpam” guards trained by the police to play their role. Adding: “Don’t let thugs (preman) run the Country or allow the police to be run by thugs.”

The head of the Denpasar Police Precinct, Hadi Purnomo, bemoaned that businesses in Kuta prefer to use mass organization members as security guards instead of following the proper procedure and requesting trained security guards (Satpam) from the Bali police.

The Police called on the public and both foreign and domestic tourists to report all criminal behavior encountered anywhere in Bali to the police.

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An Endangered Turtle

Bali Legislator Urges Bali Toll Road Managers to Abandon Plans to Build 35,000 Rest Area

The chairman of Commission III of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Nengah Tamba, is urging the Jasa Marga Bali Tol Company (JBT) to abandon plans to build a massive rest area in Benoa Bay adjacent to Bali’s only toll road.

The call from the legislator comes after the announcement by the Bali Toll Road Authority of plans to build a 35,000 square meter rest area shaped after the Bali Hindu creation myth embodied in a giant turtle carrying the cosmos on its back (Bedawang Nala).

Tamba commented on Thursday, January 12, 2017: “This plan is like fishing in murky waters. The Benoa Bay is still involved in a polemic.”

As quoted by, Tamba accused JBT of only putting its business considerations foremost, adding: “They want to attract existing guests in Bali to come and shop in the new rest area, diverting guests from the Airport. This will cause losses to the existing gift and handicraft market.”

A number of interested parties have spoken out against the proposed rest area, insisting that a 12.7-kilometer long toll road does not need a “rest area.” Others are accusing JBT of helping clear the way for a larger reclamation of Benoa Bay through the construction of propsoed Rest area.

The proposed rest area will offer parking, restaurants, shopping and meeting facilities.

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Japanese Know-How to Eliminate Rabies

Governor Embraces Japanese Proposal for the Eradication of Rabies in Bali

The Provincial Government of Bali is pursuing the possibility of cooperating with the Prefecture of Kumamto in Japan in order to end the continuing epidemic of rabies on the Island.

A meeting between a team of rabies experts from Kumamoto and Bali’s Governor was held on Thursday, January 12, 2017. reports that the Japanese team of experts coming to Bali was led by Dr. Tokuda, a veterinarian who owns the Ryunosuke Animal Hospital Kumamoto.

The visit to Bali was a follow-up to a visit by Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika to Kumamoto in November 2016. Dr. Tokuda told the press that Kumamoto and Bali share the characteristic of being islands facing the problem of an uncontrolled population boom of pets.

“Japan faced the problem of a booming cat population, similar to the population of dogs in Bali. Based on Japan’s success in handling this problem, we are of the opinion that we need to share our experience with Bali,” explained Dr. Tokuda.

Saying the problem of rabies in Bali still requires further study, Tokuda concluded that a firm set of rules on how to control rabies that is acceptable to all parties is needed. Adding: “Our experience in Japan is that the best method is to capture the animals, vaccinate, sterilize and then release them. Everyone worked hard so we could vaccinate and sterilize 1,800 cats each week, allowing us to finish our work in two years. I am convinced that Bali could do the same.”

The Japanese rabies expert said that Bali’s rabies epidemic is the focus of attention by veterinarians from around the world. Therefore, if successful (in combating rabies), Tokuda say Bali can become the role model for controlling stray animals in a number of countries. Tokuda recommended that Bali’s Governor organize all elements of the public and private sector, including members of community groups.

In response, Governor Pastika thanked the group for its visit to Bali and supported their recommendations on how to control stray dogs in Bali. The Governor said he would like Bali to copy Japans success in controlling feral cat populations.

On the subject of sterilizing stray dogs, Pastika said he was in complete agreement and promised to include all veterinarians in Bali a similar plan. At the same time, the Governor said his Government would continue to eliminate any dogs showing indications of rabies and representing a danger to the public.

Governor Pastika said that a single bite by a rabid dog could have a negative impact on Bali’s economy. Therefore, if an effective means can be found to eliminate rabies in Bali he will work to his utmost, especially in seeking the needed funding for such a program. While the Governor said he could fund rabies eradication through the Provincial budget, because the problem was crucial he would also seek additional funding from the Central Government, regencies, and municipalities.

The Governor said he would also help on an administrative level to ensure equipment and drugs needed from Japan are easily imported into Bali in order to expedite the program proposed by the Japanese experts.

In conclusion, Pastika said: “I have faced this problem (rabies) for the past seven years and it is still unresolved. I want to cooperate so the problem of rabies in Bali can be resolved and there will be no more Bali residents afflicted with rabies and dying from the disease.”

Brought to Grief by Bali’s Reef

Russian Tourist Arrested Trying to Smuggle Coral and Sea Life Via Bali Airport

Officials in Denpasar have thwarted an effort to smuggle protect coral rocks to Russia.

As reported by NusaBali, the chief of the Fish Quarantine Office in Denpasar, Habrin Yake, said the smuggler of the coral was a Russian national named Zakaretski.

Quarantine officials working with Airport Security Staff (AVSEC) at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport uncovered the smuggling attempt in the international departure terminal at 7:00 pm on Thursday evening, January 12, 2017.

Habrin said that 9 species of coral, decorative crabs and 10 species of clams were in the process of being loaded in the luggage of the Russian on a Qatar Airways flight bound for Doha and Russia.

The Russian could have faced a maximum 1.5 years in prison for attempting to smuggle protected coral and sea life out of Indonesia without the required permits and documentation.

Quarantine officials estimate the value of the coral and sea life at between Rp. 10 – 15 million.

The Russian told officials that he collected the contraband coral and sea life during a trip to Tulamben in the Regency of Karangasem and insisted he did know he was breaking the laws.

As a result of the man’s ignorance of the law, the Russian has apparently been released from detention by immigration authorities.

Quarantine official have since returned the sea life to the ocean from Serangan Island in South Bali.

When the Heavens Open Up Over Sanur

Friday the 13th Storm Wreaks Havoc on Sanur Area of Bali

Torrential rains and strong winds accompanied by thunder and lightning swept through Denpasar and Sanur in Bali on Friday, January 13, 2016, between 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm causing flood and damage on a wide scale.

Very strong winds that caused sheets of rain to descend horizontally sent torrents of water under roofing tiles flooding the top floors of local offices and flooding through the entrances of local businesses. In the area surrounding the Hotel Bali Beach and Sanur Paradise Hotels at least six large trees were uprooted, including a large beringin tree that fell on two vehicles parked there.

As reported by, the Denpasar Disaster Alleviation Agency (BPBD) said six “waru” trees in the parking area of the Bali Beach Hotel had a diameter of 80-centimeters. Meanwhile, a shade tree in front of the Le Mayeur Museum broke under the pressure of the winds, striking the museum but failing to cause any significant damage.

At the Hotel Sanur Paradise Plaza a large shade tree with a diameter of 1-meter fell during the storm in the parking area of the hotel. Two cars were damaged, severely crushing one of the vehicles. There were no injuries associated with the incident.

Denpasar BPBD officials managed to remove fallen trees in Sanur and Denpasar by 6:15 pm.

(Image: Bali Post)

It’s ‘High’ Time

Governor Warns Bali in a State of Emergency in War on Drugs with 2% of Island’s Population Active Drug Users

As reported by The Jakarta Globe, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) estimated 2% of the total population in Bali – a number equal to 61,000 people – are active drug users.

BNN data says most drug abuse is happening among people between the ages of 21 and 40 years of age, terming people outside these ages as “belonging to non-productive age groups.” (sic)

Meanwhile, Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika suggests the BNN figures may be the tip of the iceberg, warning that, “If we include the 'invisible' cases as well, the number could be two or three times higher."

Pastika added,” It’s the government's duty to inform people about the dangers of using drugs.”

The Governor spoke on Thursday, January 12, 2017, while meeting volunteers at an anti-drug abuse program organized by BNN.

Current BNN programs in Bali includes the participation of 1,359 community watch members (pacalang) in helping to control drug use and educate the general populace about the dangers of illicit narcotics.

The Governor said Bali is in a state of emergency caused by drug abuse and has become a center for international drug trafficking.

Managing Sky High Growth

Lion Air Halts Delivery of 30 Airplanes in 2017 to Permit the Airline to Get its House in Order

The Jakarta Post reports that Indonesia’s largest low-cost carrier, Lion Air, has put a hold on the delivery of airplanes on order in order to reorganize the airline’s operations.

"We are trying to fix everything [this year], human resources, safety, service and security," said Lion Air operational director Daniel Putut speaking on Friday, January 13, 2017.

Reorganization efforts also include optimizing its current route structure, meaning the airline will not any new destinations in 2017.

Lion Air claims passenger totals increased 26% in 2016, surpassing passenger growth targets of only 10%.

Lion Airs current fleet totals 113 aircraft operating 1,235 daily flights to 85 destinations.

Lion Air has an estimated 500 airplanes on order with 30 to 40 aircraft scheduled for delivery each year. The latest announcement, however, means Lion Air will not take delivery on any new aircraft in 2017.

Lion Air has been widely criticized by consumers who see the Airline as synonymous with late departures and embarrassing mistakes such as disembarking international passengers at the domestic terminal in Bali.

A Yen for Thievery

Police Arrest Hotel Employee in Kuta for Stealing Cash from Japanese Guest

A 20-year-old employee working at the Hotel Aquarius Star in South Kuta has been arrested by police for stealing Yen 43,000 by a guest staying at the hotel.

As reported by, Esa Tirtanaya who is originally from Banyuwangi in East Java stole the money from a room in the hotel occupied by a Japanese tourist, Yamada Mayumi (50).

Following a brief police investigation, police in Kuta arrested Esa Tirtanaya at 11:00 am on Monday, January 9. 2017.

Mayumi told police that the money was left on the bed before going to breakfast and was missing upon Mayumi’s return.

Police were summoned and discovered that Tirtanaya had been in the room at the time of the theft. After being interviewed by the police, the thief admitted to having stolen the money by using a master key left at reception.

The thief immediately went to a local moneychanger receiving an equivalent amount of Indonesian currency of around Rp. 4.5 million. Police were able to track the transaction to a nearby exchange bureau.

The thief said the money was taken to pay for an emergency medical procedure.

Game Changers, Name Changers

Colliers International Tracks 18 New Hotels and 8 Branding Transitions in Bali in 2016

The current highly competitive and challenging nature of the hotel accommodation business in Bali is precipitating a wave of changes in management contracts and the rebranding of local properties.

As reported by, Colliers International Indonesia has recorded a total of eight hotels in Bali who changed their branding during 2016.

Ferry Salanto, Senior Associate Director of Research for Colliers International Indonesia, reports that the eight hotels changing brands in 2016 were comprised of two three-star hotels, four four-star hotels, and one five-star hotel.

Colliers also report that 18 new hotels opened in Bali in 2016. This amounted to 2,665 new hotel rooms coming onto the market. 1,279 rooms in the four-star category dominated the new rooms coming online in 2016.

The eight hotels that changed branding identities in Bali in 2016:

·        ibis Styles Bali Kuta Dewi Sri became the Grand Livio

·        Savvoya Seminyak Hotel Dafam became the Savvoya Seminyak Hotel

·        Best Western Premier Sunset Road became the Ramada Sunset Road

·        Ramada Tanjung Benoa became The Tanjung Benoa Resort

·        Ramada Camakila became The Camakila

·        Vasanti Hotel became the Four Points by Sheraton Bali Seminyak

·        Aston Tuban Inn became the Permata Kuta Hotel'8

·        Grand Nikko Bali became Hilton Bali Resort

Meanwhile, the 18 new hotels that commenced operations in Bali in 2016:

·        ibis Styles Petitenget - 134 rooms

·        Kila Infinity 8 Jimbaran - 180 rooms

·        Ibis Legian Street -106 rooms

·        Siesta Legian - 119 rooms

·        Fame Hotel - 90 rooms

·        Preference Hotel Seminyak - 120 rooms

·        Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport - 292 rooms

·        Novotel Ngurah Rai -214 rooms

·        Golden Tulip Jineng Tamansari -190 rooms

·        The Nest - 115 rooms

·        Preference Hotel Sanur Maison Aurelia - 54 rooms

·        The Haven Bali Berawa - 60 rooms

·        Sthala Ubud a Tribute Portfolio Hotel -145 rooms

·        Royal Tulip Saranam Resort and Spa - 89 rooms

·        The Katamama Potato Head Boutique Hotel - 58 rooms

·        Artotel Bali Sanur - 89 rooms

·        Anvaya Hotel By Santika - 495 rooms

·        Jambuluwuk Oceano Seminyak - 115 rooms

Improvements Planned for Bali Airport in 2017

More Parking, Better Taxi Access, Improved Internet and Runway Enhancements in the Cards for Bali’s Airport in 2017

Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport is planning to add additional parking space in order to accommodate the growing number of cars traveling to and from the Airport and address complaints regarding parking congestion. reports the cost of building additional parking has been provided for in the Airport’s 2017 operating and investment budget.

The general manager of the Airport Authority, I Gusti Ngurah Rai Yanus Suprayogi, said plans are to build an additional multi-level parking facility. Other improvements planned by Bali’s Airport in 2017 are improved Internet access and better facilities for taxi operations.

The airport is also involved in an urgent program of runway and apron repair, with the current single runway being resurfaced each day between 2:00 am and 7:00 am when no landings and take-off of aircraft are scheduled.

Plans are to resurface 80% of the Airports 3-kilometer long and 45-meter wide runway in 2017. Within the coming five years the Bali Airport hopes to create additional apron space for aircraft parking.

The Government’s ambitious plans to expand the number of tourist arrivals in Bali are at odds, to some extent, with the fact that Bali is near its limit of flight slots for aircraft take offs and landings – operating some 25 flights each hour.

In 2016, an estimated 19.97 million passengers traveled through Bali’s only airport, a number expected to grow 5% in 2017, surpassing the 20 million passenger mark.

A Park at its Peak of Popularity

Lombok Mount Rinjani Records More than 91,412 visitors in 2016 reports that some 30,847 foreign tourists visited Lombok’s Mount Rinjani National Park in 2016. This is an increase of 3,661 foreign tourists over the total recorded for 2015.

The visitor totals were announced by the Park’s management on January 5, 2017.

Most foreign tourists visiting Mount Rinjani and trekking its trails were from the USA, Holland, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, and France.

The chief of the Park, Agus Budi Santosa, revealed that most visitors average two days and one night at the Park, many climbing to the peak of Mount Rinjani that stands 3,726 meters above sea level.

Santosa said most foreign tourist climbing Mount Rinjani did not come solely to Indonesia to climb the volcano, but also included a visit to the Park after visiting Bali, Lombok or Komodo.

Visitor numbers to Mount Rinjani in Lombok have grown dramatically over the past five years. In 2012 foreign visitors reached 10,956; 17,634 in 2013; 24,176 in 2014; and 27,186 in 2015.

Meanwhile, domestic visitors to Rinjani in 2016 totaled 61,117 people meaning a total of 91,412 visitors, both foreign and domestic, came to the Park in 2016.

The Last Bite

Australian Surfer Suffers Rare Shark Attack off West Bali Beach reports that a 48-year-old Australian tourist, Daniel Moore, was injured on Monday morning, January 9, 2017, at 7:30 while surfing at Balian Beach, Tabanan, West Bali.

The wound to the man’s right hand is being blamed on a shark attack.

A police spokesman from Tabanan, Putu Oka Suyasa, told the press that the man was brought to the BIMC Hospital in Denpasar where the preliminary conclusion is that he was bitten by a shark.

Meanwhile, a doctor at the local medical center at Selemadeg Barat said the fact that the Australian had already bandaged his hand and insisted on being immediately taken to the BIMC Hospital prevented an examination of the wound and any conclusion by the local medical center as to the real nature of the presumed shark bite.

A report by Channel 9 News in Australia is attributing the attack to a bull shark.

Starling, Starling Night

Begawan Foundation to Hold ‘A Starling Night’ Art Exhibition and Silent Auction on Friday, February 10, 2017 at Big Tree Farm Chocolate Factory

The Bali-based Begawan Foundation will hold “A Starling Night” – an art exhibition and silent auction of artwork after-school artwork created by its “Starling Ambassadors” on Friday, February 10, 2017, at the Big Tree Farm Chocolate Factory in Banjar Piakan, Abiansemal in Bali.

Begawan Foundation’s education awareness classes in the Sibang area for its Ambassadors Club reflects it goals of protecting the critically endangered Bali Starling.

Based on the principal of 'Learning by Doing,' students are encouraged to offer their own views and ideas on the natural conservation of the Bali starling. As a result, the students have made beautiful nest boxes and created cotton bags to replace plastic bags. Inspired by the iconic bird of Bali, the students have created artwork that will be sold at “A Starling Night” to raise money for the Begawan Foundation.

Entrance is free-of-charge but capacity is limited making RSVPs a must by contacting Amy Dunstone at telephone +62-(0)81212324627), Rima Agustina at telephone +62-(0)81278274214 or by emailing Yoanita Cahyo 

A Starling Night
Art Exhibition and Silent Auction of Artwork

Friday, 10th February 2017
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Big Tree Farm Chocolate Factory
Banjar Piakan, Sibangkaja, Abiansemal, Badung, Bali

Begawan Foundation Website 

Advance Australia Fairway!

Australia Day Golf Tournament at Bali National Golf Resort Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wear your best Australian-themed golf attire and you might win a prize even if you play terrible golF at the Australia Day Golf Tournament to be held on Thursday, January 26, 2017, at the Bali National Golf Tournament.

A shotgun start takes place at 12:30 pm with a stroke play format for an afternoon that will also include the following novelty events:

·        Kangaroo longest drive

·        Crazy Putting Contest

·        Throw the Thong

·        Lamington Eating Contest

Places are limited with registration at Rp. 1,300,000 net per player that includes: welcoming Vegemite sandwiches, a traditional Aussie BBQ, practice range balls and a lucky draw.

The schedule for the day:

·        11:30 am – Registration

·        12:30 pm – Shotgun Start

·        5:30 pm   – Aussie BBQ

·        6:30 pm   -  Prize and Award Program

For reservations or more information telephone the Bali National Golf Club at +62-(0)361-771791 or Email 

Bali National Golf Club Website 

This is a Steak Out!

MyWarung’s L'Entrecôte May be Bali’s Best Steak Value

While French-Canadian Chef Hugo Courdurier insisted was taking a “Bali vacation” from the fine dining tradition he acquired working in Michelin-starred Restaurants in Europe and the USA when he transplanted to Bali, he was perhaps being less than 100% truthful.

And while there are no gastronomic pretensions in the bountiful and very affordable Western and Asian food served at MyWarung in Canggu, the dining is truly “fine.” Who needs the linen tablecloth and a waiter with attitude, anyway? Having said that, there remains a degree of understated elegance at MyWarung provided by the well-known Indonesian architectural company IdeAnonim that created a Wabi-Sabi setting that celebrates simplicity and imperfection as a background to the near perfection that comes in a steady parade from Courdurier’s kitchen.

In any case, the steak recently sampled at MyWarung is truly “fine” by any standard.

At Rp. 150,000 ++ the L'entrecôte steak represents the most-expensive item on a very affordable menu of “mains” priced at around Rp. 50,000. In fact, you’d spend a frustrating Bali holiday looking for a better steak at a better price anywhere on the Island. A generous 250 grams of quality Australian tenderloin accompanied by a “special” béarnaise sauce, French mustard and a homemade tomato sauce is served with walnut salad and double-fried hand cut French fries.

Of course, the secret of the “perfect steak” is in the handling and cooking process. Modern food technologies allow quality beef to make the journey from the abattoir to the table chilled but never frozen, allowing a transit stop with the well-trained kitchen brigade at MyWarung who orchestrate a fleeting encounter with a very hot cooking surface before being allowed to “stand” momentarily on its way to being laid before the diner. My "rare" tenderloin lived up to its name - pink and so tender that the sharp steak knife on the table was largely superfluous.

The presentation is memorable. Salad, fries, and steak come to the table on a single plank that I enjoyed with a cold bottle of Bintang that cost only Rp. 22,000. Showing some self-control by declining the tempting dessert menu, I closed the evening with a cup of MyWarung’s signature blend of Moose coffee.

Great steak at a very affordable price at MyWarung in Canggu and coming soon to a second MyWarung at Echo Beach.

MyWarung Canggu
Jalan Subak Sari 80 (Near Canggu Club)
Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kab. Badung 80361 - Bali
Tel: +62-(0) 82 339 120 880

MyWarung Echo Beach
Jalan Batu Mejan 78 (Echo Beach)
Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kab. Badung 80361 - Bali
Tel: +62 (0) 82 266 029 978

An Endangered Tiger

Tigerair Suspend Ticket Sales from Australia to Bali until March 25, 2017

Tigerair has stopped selling air tickets from Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth to Bali on its website until further notice.

The move happens in the midst of an embarrassing imbroglio in which Tigerair was found in violation of its traffic rights and charter agreement with Indonesian civil aviation authorities by illegally selling tickets on the flight within Indonesian territory.

In order to carry back thousands of passengers stranded by a cessation of Tigerair services, the Indonesian authorities granted a brief extension until Monday, January 16, 2017, to the Australian carrier to retrieve an estimated 2,000 passengers stuck in Bali.

In an official statement, Tigerair’s management announced: “Tigerair has paused the sale of tickets until 25 March 2017, as a temporary measure, whilst we work through the new requirements from the Indonesian government . . . We have every intention of operating again as soon as possible, however, whilst we work through these issues it is the right thing to do by the consumer.”

Tigerair Australia chief executive Rob Sharp said it was working with the Indonesian government to start flying to Bali again.

Related Article

Tiger Airways Suspends Bali Flights

Qui Moi?

French Tourist Arrested Shoplifting at Bali Airport

A French woman has been arrested at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport after stealing a silver ring priced at Rp. 635,000 from a display rack of PT Inti Dufree Promosindo (Duty Free).

Kathleen Mathilde Nancy Valet (31) who lists her address as Paris, France, is in police custody and facing charges of shoplifting.

The thievery took place on Level 2 of the domestic departure terminal on Friday, January 31, 2017, at approximately 6:30 pm. Workers at the shop were alerted to the theft when an anti-theft detection alarm sounded. The missing ring was subsequently found in the woman’s pocket. and NusaBali report that Valet listed her address as Grandmas Hotel in Kuta.

Given the value of the item stolen, police can choose not to hold the woman if they do not consider her a flight risk. If convicted under the law, Valet could be fined Rp. 250,000 or be sentenced to 3 months in prison.

Oh, Deer!

Five Poachers Abandon Car, Guns and Dead Game at West Bali National Park When Confronted by Park Rangers

Conservation officers at the West Bali National Park intervened in an illegal hunting expedition that saw five men abandon their car and escape on foot when they were stopped at the rangers’ station at Tegalbunder. reports Police have in their possession the vehicle, two firearms and the carcasses of 4 deer shot by the men inside the National Park. One of the deer killed by the men was a pregnant doe.

Earlier, Conservation Officers at the Park had received reports of a suspicious vehicle operating within the National Park. In response, four Rangers were stationed at the exit gate. Realizing their capture was imminent, the five men jumped from their SUV and escaped on foot. A search of the area did not turn up any of the escaping poachers.

Police are now tracking the vehicle and the guns in order to bring to justice the group of poachers.

Chinese New Year Rush Bound for Bali

Garuda Indonesia Announces New Charter Routes from China to Bali for Lunar New Year Holidaymakers

Jakarta Post reports that Garuda Indonesia will operate charter to five Chinese cities over the coming Lunar New Year Holidays starting in January 2017.

The Manager of Garuda Indonesia in Bali, Micky Irfandi, announced the flights would operate: Denpasar-Chengdu, Denpasar-Shenzhen, Denpasar-Kunming, Denpasar-Chongqing and Denpasar-Xiamen using Airbus A330 configured to carry 360 passengers.

The planned flights are awaiting final approval from the Chinese civil aviation authorities and flight slots from the destination airports in China.

Garuda plans to fly three times a week to each of the named cities.

Garuda says they are using the charters in order to test the demand for establishing scheduled services between Bali the charter destinations in Mainland China."We need to conduct an evaluation before launching the regular flight service. Garuda Indonesia's regular flight currently only flies to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong," said Micky.

Bali Discovery Tours