Monday, May 18, 2009
BALI UPDATE #662 - 18 May 2009
Bali Remains Free of H1N1 Virus
Dutch Tourist Hospitalized in Bali Declared Free of Swine Flu Virus.
The 32-two-year-old Dutch woman isolated at Denpasar's Sanglah Hospital with the suspected H1N1 virus after arriving on the island on Sunday, May 10, 2009, has now been officially cleared as not suffering from disease, otherwise known as "Swine Flu."
Doctors at Sanglah General Hospital have confirmed via laboratory tests performed on Michele Van Dorsen that the woman was, in fact, suffering from a severe sore throat and did not represent a contagious threat to public health.
As a result, the woman was released from the isolation wing of the hospital on Tuesday and May 12th and allowed to resume her previously planned Bali holiday.
Dr. Ken Wirasandhi, the head of the Medical Service team at Sanglah Hospital told the press that both clinical observations and laboratory tests performed via throat swabs conclusively confirmed that the Dutch tourist was free of the H1N1 virus.
In accordance with national legislation on combating communicable disease, Ms. Van Dorsen was treated in Indonesia without charge.
With the confirmation from health authorities that the Dutch tourist was not a victim of the H1N1 virus, Bali remains free of the diseases.
[Dutch Tourist Isolated in Bali with H1N1 Symptoms]
Bali Government's Response to H1N1 Virus Praised.
BTB Chairman Salutes Government's Quick Response to Suspected Case of Swine Flu.
BisnisBali quotes the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), I. B. Ngurah Wijaya, as praising the government's quick and efficient handling of the suspected H1N1 Virus case involving a Dutch tourist landing at Bali's airport on May 10, 2009.
Said Wijaya: "I think the way in which officials handled the case was excellent. I only hope that such preparedness on the part of the government is not limited to instances in which there is 'case.'"
Michele Van Dorsen, one of 137 arriving passengers on Malaysian Airlines Flight 715, complained of fever and nausea while still on board the airplane inbound to Bali. [See: Dutch Tourist Isolated in Bali with H1N1 Symptoms]
Wijaya feels that the government must always be on guard to handle any threat to the public health, especially in cases of easily communicable diseases.
"Compared to Mexico, our preparedness is much better, including the way in which the case at Ngurah Rai Airport was handled," explained Wijaya.
The BTB Chairman admitted that the members of Bali's tourism industry were extremely worried to hear of a suspected case of H1N1 virus detected among arriving international passenger at Bali's airport. Justifying this anxiety, Wijaya went on to say: "For us, Bali is open, making it very possible for people carrying infectious diseases to easily enter the island. It is not possible for Bali to limit the arrival of visitors merely because there is a known virus in their home country".
Offering additional words of reassurance, Wijaya said: "At this time all countries are on guard, including Indonesia. Therefore the members of Bali's tourism industry do not need to be overly worried, providing the government of Indonesia remains on the alert."
[Bali Remains Free of H1N1 Virus]
Nikko Bali Resort's 4th Open Golf Tournament.
Valuable Prizes to Be Won at One Day Tournament Open to All on Saturday, June 6, 2009.
Nikko Bali Resort and Spa will holds its 4th annual golf tournament on Saturday, June 6, 2009, at the Bali Golf & Country Club, Nusa Dua.
Open to all players, the tournament will employ the Callaway Scoring System with valuable prizes on offer for holes-in-one that include a Nissan Livina X-Gear and Ford Escape. A highlight prize for the day will be return tickets Denpasar - Tokyo - Denpasar and accommodation at Hotel Nikko Tokyo for 2 persons.
Registration commences at 11.00 a.m. followed by a light lunch at the Club House with tee off at 01.00 p.m..
The joining fee for the tournament is Rp 1,400,000.00 (US$127) net per person which covers tournament play, lunch, drinks and an official golf tournament give away.
At "hole 19" a pre-dinner cocktail party awaits players followed by an awards dinner at the Graha Sawangan Ballroom of Nikko Bali Resort & Spa. An international menu with free-flowing drinks will be served throughout the evening.
During the course of the evening, more exciting prizes will be presented including return flights and accommodation at Hotel Nikko Kuala Lumpur, hotel vouchers for Hotel Nikko Tianjin, China and Hotel Nikko Jakarta. Also to be won are a stylish outdoor furniture set and a mattress set.
For more information contact Mr.Aswin Pranoto at the Nikko Bali Resort and Spa at telephone +62-(0)361-773377.
Shenzhen Airlines Flies Guangzhou-Bali Direct
New Direct Flight Service Expected to Further Fuel Soaring Mainland Chinese Tourist Arrival Numbers to Bali.
A new twice-weekly direct air service flown by Shenzhen Airlines from Guangzhou (Canton) to Bali will cut 7 hours traveling time from the previous 12 hours it took to fly that route. Previously Chinese travelers faced the arduous prospect flying to Bali with an intermediate stop-over in Jakarta, a trip now reduced to only four hours with the launch of the direct flight service.
The new service departs Guangzhou on Tuesdays and Friday at 8:00 p.m. and returns to Guangzhou from Bali on early Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 1:50 a.m..
Mainland Chinese arrivals numbers to Bali continue to soar, increasing year-on-year by 39% at the end of Q1 2009. Chinese travelers to Bali have suddenly soared into third place among all foreign visitors, poised to move into second place in the near future.
Tourism as Villain in Bali's Environmental Degradation
Growing Lack of Water Resources in Bali is Putting Agriculture and Tourism at Loggerheads, Threatening the Traditional Farming Culture of the Island.
The Executive Director of the Environmental Watchdog Group WALHI, Agung Wardana, has blamed tourism as the main cause of Bali's deteriorating environmental quality.
Quoted in BisnisBali, Wardana said: "the most obvious problem is water. Water in Bali is chiefly consumed by tourism, creating a conflict between the tourism industry and the Balinese people."
Clarifying his concerns, Wardana explained that each hotel room in Bali represents the consumption of 3,000 liters of water each day and each golf course demands three million liters of water a day. This contrasts sharply with the mere 200 liters of water a day used by the average Balinese.
"Imaging how many thousands of rooms in Bali that require water supplies?" asked the WALHI executive. Exacerbating the problem are not only the many hotels already in operation in Bali, but the many new hotel projects now under construction. Wardana points out that the growing demands for more water by Bali's tourism sector is reducing both the quantity and quality of available water within the Island's eco-system.
Wardana told of a growing pattern of conflict between Bali's agricultural villages living with the subak water distribution system and the conflicting demands of the State Water Board (PDAM). Citing one example, he mentioned the district of Penebel in the Tabanan regency where village officials and farmers recently came to blows over water distribution issues.
Cautioned Wardana: "I think this problem must now be considered by the government. If the current situation is left to fester, that will be the equivalent of Bali committing suicide. If Bali is short of water, who will still want to visit Bali? This will be the worse effect."
As a result, Wardana insists that the building of even more luxurious hotel and more golf courses does not truly support Bali tourism, contending that foreign tourists are not attracted to Bali to play golf but rather to enjoy and witness the Island's unique culture and natural beauty.
Wardana added: "The current tourism policy must be re-evaluated. If the same system of growing tourism is allowed to continue, the impact will be widespread. Thus, we have to find a new development model."
The outspoken and widely respected environmental activist also called on investors to be made responsible for the preservations of Bali's environment. To do this, he said, an new regulatory environment must be created that will compel all parties to take an active concern with conservation.
Wardana also raised the issue of increasing valuations on agricultural lands resulting in higher taxes that force farmers to sell their lands. Complained Wardana: "The result is that farmers are pushed to sell their lands. Land that was once productive is then converted to tourism pursuits. Each year, between 600 - 1,000 hectares of productive agricultural land is converted to non-agricultural purposes in Bali.
Fees Drive Bali's Art Shop Sector
Large Commissions Used to Lure Tour Guides and their Guests to Gianyar's Artshops.
BisnisBali tells of how intense competition among art shops throughout the Gianyar regency of Bali has resulted in the widespread payment of commissions and fees to tour guides able to bring customers through the doors of the local shops.
Commissions, ranging between 20-30%, are now very widespread among handicraft shops where such payments are seen as beneficial to both the shops and the guides.
Ekayanti, a sales staff at a silver shop in Celuk, said, "when we serve the guides well and give them 'tips' larger than other stores, they are certain to come back to our shop."
Ekayanti went on to relates how the relatives size of the "tip" paid the guides is all part of the individual marketing strategy of each art shop.
The size of the fee, of course, is eventually reflected in the price charged to consumers. Shops paying large commission will have retail prices 100% to 200% higher than their competitors who pay little or no commission.
The newspaper report concludes that if the commission system is left to go its own way, the amount of the commission will escalate even further, together with the price of merchandise. And, this, of course, may eventually damage the image of Bali tourism as a whole.
Bali: Choose Tradition Before Innovation
Editorial: Let's Destroy Bali! Bali Academic Makes Forceful Argument for Placing Tradition Above Practical Considerations in Determining the Rules to Guide Bali's Development.
The following editorial is a free translation of an article written by Professor Dr. Ir. Wayan Windia, M.S., a member of the agricultural faculty of Bali's Udayana University, that first appeared in the Bali Post. Titled "Let's Destroy Bali?" We have translated and presented Dr. Windia's thoughts here in our continuing effort to ensure Balinese voices addressing social issues are disseminated among the larger international community.
Let's Destroy Bali? - Professor Dr. Ir. Wayan Windia, M.S.
If everyone can agree on this, let's join forces and destroy Bali. Come on, for the sake of the investors and migrants, all together now, once and for all, let's get it over with and demolish Bali. And, in doing so, we can at least stop the never-ending debate about the essence of Bali and how best to preserve it.
The current polemic on Bali's new zoning regulations (RTRWP) dominates public discourse; daily reporting on the topic can be found in the Balinese press. This fact alone demonstrates that the people of Bali remain steadfast in their thinking that Bali must be preserved together with its unique ancient traditions - increasingly under threat in this modern, pragmatic world. The rapid rate of development and change in Bali is adding to the weight and importance being given to the RTRWP dialogue. Bali's growing economic importance in the region adds further to the those with an opinion and what must be done "to" and "for" the "world's favorite island."
For the Balinese, the RTRWP must embrace the "idealistic view" that their home island must be preserved and protected. Clearly, the transformative process of change cannot be avoided. Nonetheless, the fundamental principles, realities, substance and essence known to the world as "Bali" must still be protected.
What is this essence of Bali which must be preserved at all costs? This underlying supposition must be discussed and agreed before we proceed any further.
It must be asked: Are we compelled to faithfully embrace the beliefs of our ancestors? It would seem that the Balinese cornerstone philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana" should at least be protected and championed in accordance with the three areas encompassed by that doctrine. In the palemahan or natural environment - the threats to Bali's rice terraces, jungles, beaches, lakes, rivers and mountains must be overcome. In the pawongan or social environment - the organizational structures of the subak water management systems, traditional village structures and provincial regulations must be visited to preserve Bali's culture. Finally, in the parahyangan or spiritual realm, atention must be given to community values of harmony, cooperation and spirituality.
On the basis of this tripartite understanding, it's best if we do not too readily change the concepts and values we have inherited from our forefathers. Why? Because those concepts and values are time tested: formulated and agreed upon long ago on the basis of a shared idealism, community deliberations, established social practice, pureness of concept and purpose, and an reverential air of sacredness. In those days of the distant past, the emphasis was oriented only on creating a future for Bali. And, indeed, if our desire remains to preserve Bali and its culture, then don't change the idealistic foundations on which Bali was founded.
For example, the height of buildings in Bali should not be changed. Pragmatic considerations alone (and presented by proponents of change as logical arguments) do not alone warrant changing provincial laws and regulations. Do not, only for the sake of change and progress, change the rules that prohibit high buildings or currently outlaw the diversion of agricultural rice fields to other purposes.
On the surface, these two areas share no direct connection. Nonetheless, both agriculture practice and rules on building height need to be preserved to protect Bali.
Let's Destroy Bali?
Change begets more change. We are convinced that if we change any existing concepts we only pave the way for future generations to change and alter other established rules and traditions. And, as is the case today, those future changes will be argued for and predicated upon "pragmatic" grounds in sharp contrast with the fact that these very rules were initially established on "idealistic" grounds. Such is also the case for other idealistically driven rules and traditions - such as the requirement to include "Bali style" in design concepts, preserving green zones, set-back rules, etc..
This situation is analogous with efforts to amend the nation's 1945 constitution. Amend the constitution and, in a single instance, you open a flood gate holding back other parties with differing social agendas seeking even more amendments. As we all know, the 1945 constitution was created largely out of idealistic considerations while, in stark cotrast to those now urging amending that document on pragmatic grounds.
Has our idealism changed? In Bali, if our surviving principles needed to protect Bali's culture and founded on idealism are changed only out of pragmatic considerations (to protect the interests of investors), then Bali is already sitting precariously on the precipice of its own destruction.
But, then again, if everyone's in agreement, let's all heave-ho and destroy Bali. Let's not keep the investors and migrants waiting; just get it over with and demolish the island. In this way we can at least end the interminable debate about standing up for Bali.
In the past, those who conceptualized Bali's development based their model on Hawaii. They did not want to see Bali develop along the lines of Hawaii where the culture, nature and the local people of Hawaii were all marginalized out of a "pragmatic" need to accommodate development. If we fail to absorb these lessons learned by Hawaii, Bali will be, slowly and surely, demolished and dismantled. Then, once Bali is in ruins, the Hawaiian historical experience indicates that the investors will come forward and threaten to leave Bali unless they are paid some sort of compensation. Such is the scenario that will see Bali balancing on the brink of a deep ravine of permanent self-annihilation.
For these reasons, we deeply regret the attitude of the consultants and designers of the new RTRWP who are surrendering to "pragmatic" considerations. It appears that these people have been driven by material considerations, short terms interests and "pragmatism" to sell-out their idealism.
It is also increasingly obvious that Bali must be led by a person who is consistent and fully understands the extensive and intensive implications of Balinese culture.
We understand that the intense pressures of globalization and the resulting pressures its brings on the people of Bali and its environment.
The implementation of the three cornerstones of our politics (i.e. Tri Hita Karana) we hope will ensure the appointment of leaders and a political elite who preserve and protect the precious inheritance of our forefathers. We also fervently hope that our politicians will never be guilty of carelessly picking leader who may resemble a fighting cock but is, in fact, a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Also fervent is our hope that the public have no cause to rise up and demand the resignation of their leader.
Festival of Life - Gala Bali Show May 23, 2009
'Super Show' Celebrating 50 Years of Indonesian-Japanese Diplomacy at GWK May 23, 2009 Directed by Kansai Yamamoto
The name of Japan's master-showman of entertainment, Kansai Yamamoto, is synonymous with breathtaking cultural spectaculars driven by thousands of performers and state of the art sound and lighting systems. His performances have traveled the globe winning the enthusiastic applause of large audiences in Russia, Vietnam and India. Equally adept as a leading fashion designer as he is at directing stage spectacles, Kansai Yamamoto's performances have become iconic, known simply as "Kansai Super Shows".
Kansai Super Show Comes to Bali
The "Kansai Super Show" comes to Bali on Saturday, May 23, 2009, via a mega "Celebration of Life" performance to mark a half-century of diplomatic relations between Japan and Indonesia.
The show to be held at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Complex, in keeping with an incendiary extravaganza of music and dance, will include fire decorations, a giant bonfire and what promoters are claiming will be the largest decorative fire display in the world. More than 300 Japanese fire lanterns will also be deployed as will more than 1,000 musicians and dancers.
Too Much is Never Enough
For those not familiar with a "Super Show" concept, expect to have your senses and emotions overwhelmed by displays of fashion, acrobatic demonstrations, music and dance, and visual magic produced by computerized lighting and sound effects. A trademark of a "Kansai Super Show" is the active participation of the audience in the evening's event.
The Bali "Kansai Super Show" is supported by:
. The Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs
. Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo
. H.E., the Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia
. Japanese Consulate General in Bali
. Nippon Keidanren
. Japan Indonesia Association (JAPINDA)
. Indonesian-Japanese Friendship Association (PPIJ)
. The Jakarta Japan Club Foundation
. Bali Japan Club
. Japan Junior Club of Bali
. The Tokyo 2016 Olympic Bid Committee
. The Japan Foundation
. Shiseido Co. Ltd.
Kansai Super Show - Celebration of Life
Saturday, May 23, 2009 - 7:00 p.m. (Rain or Shine)
Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
Featuring Anna Sato, Hono-I-Daiko and 1,000 Japanese and Bali Performers
For more information contact Matsuzawa Humihiro at telephone ++62-(0)361-730003 or the Abadi Information Center located at the Papaya Fresh Gallery.
Celebrity Chef F & B Manager
Marc Dobbels Named Food & Beverage Director of Ayana Resort and Spa Bali.
Ayana Resort and Spa Bali have appointed well-known French chef, Marc Dobbels, as their new Food & Beverage Director, effective April 1, 2009.
A trained Chef de Cuisine with a Michelin-star to his credit, Dobbels will oversee the management of the resort's 12 dining and lounge venues.
Dobbels joins Ayana's General Manager, Charles de Foucault, in a rebirth and re-branding of the resort under the management of the West Paces Hotel Group.
"I am thrilled to be working with such high caliber of hoteliers as Charles de Foucault and Horst Schulze at the Ayana Resort and Spa. This resort already offers an amazing variety of top-notch dining venues and cuisines, and our renovations will provide even more reasons for our guests to indulge in epicurean delights every day," said Dobbels.
Recent changes and renovations affecting the Ayana's food and beverage format include a new Rock Bar by Yasuhiro Koichi of Japan's Design Studio SPIN Koichi is also redesigning Sami Sami Italian Restaurant into a two-storey venue. Padi restaurant is also being renovated and its Thai menu expanded to include Indonesian and Indian cuisine.
Dobbels comes to the Ayana from his previous role as pre-opening Food & Beverage Director of The Capella Singapore, another West Paces Hotel Group property. Prior to his Singapore assignment, he served as Food & Beverage Director at the Hotel Le Martinez in Cannes, France, where he worked alongside the 2-Michelin-star Chef Christian Sinicropi at the renowned Le Palme d'Or restaurant.
Dobbels, by his own right, boasts having earned a 1-Michelin-star rating.
Charles de Foucault said: "Mark Dobbels' experience, good humor, passion for food and aptitude both in and out of the kitchen as a chef and manager, make him the perfect choice to lead Ayana's Food & Beverage Department and its established team of chefs following its evolution to an independent resort."
Better in Pink
1st Bali Pink Ribbon Walk Raises Rp. 100 Million to Fight Breast Cancer.
Bali International Women's Association (BIWA) in cooperation with the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) and the Bali Hotel Public Relations Association organized the first Bali Pink Ribbon Walk to raise both funds and awareness in the battle against breast cancer on Friday, May 8, 2009.
Click Images to Enlarge
Central to the day's various activities was a 4 Kilometer leisurely walk through the beautiful gardens and the famous beaches that border Nusa Dua.
Almost 400 walkers including many locals, a team representing the British Embassy in Jakarta and 3 groups who specially flew in from various locales across Indonesia were in attendance to lend their support.
Organizers raised almost Rp. 100 million (US$9,000), an amount to be applied toward the Rp. 700 - 800 million needed to purchase a new mammogram machine to assist in the early detection of breast cancers.
In addition to "walking the walk" to fight breast cancer, visitors and participants were encourage to pen personal notes on pink ribbons commemorating friends and family members who have succumbed in a battle with breast cancer.
Less somber activities on tap during the day were a mini-bazaar, silent auction, raffle, lucky draw and special musical entertainments.
BIWA President, Melly St. Ange, told those in attendance that the ladies of her organization would continue to "walk" until sufficient funds and support are in hand to purchase the much-needed mammogram machine.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are pictures taken on May 8, 2009 during the 1st Bali Pink Ribbon Walk.
The Bare Necessities of Kuta Night-Life.
Two Kuta Night Spots Told to Keep their Exotic Dancers Inside or Face Closure.
Responding to numerous complaints from the local community and suggestions that agitated neighbor were getting ready to take matters into their own hands, a team of district and village officials - backed up with a cadre of local citizenry, swooped down on a Kuta night spot rounding up scantily-clad exotic dancers and the bars' management for a late-night "meeting" at the Lurah or Sub-district chief's office.
The "raid", which took place at 11 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2009, focused on Club Vi Ai Pi on Jalan Raya Legian in Kuta, just meters away from the "Ground Zero" monument commemorating the 202 who died in the 2002 Bali bombing.
Officials were responding to numerous complaints about scantily clad female strip tease dancers who regular perform on the sidewalks outside the Club Vi Ai Pi and the nearby Sky Garden Restaurant.Both the two dancers and the management of the two establishments were served with stern warnings and reminders from local village officials for presenting programs that disturb public order and have contributed to more than a few traffic jams along the busy thoroughfare.
Quoted in DenPost, a Kuta official, IGN Sudira, said that any future violations would see his office accompanied by a large posse of local residents descend on the clubs to close them down. Explained Sudira: "We are not against this sort of dancing, but the management (of the clubs) must look at it from the aspect of maintaining the "esthetic" of the main roads. If these dances take place inside the clubs, there is no problem. But if these dances disturb the public space - then it becomes a problem."
The Chairman of the local community council (LPM), I Nyoman Graha Wicaksana, told the press that the people of Kuta were fed up with promises from the management of the clubs to end the street-side strip tease performances. Claiming the government was too weak in enforcing the law, Wicaksana said that community leaders were compelled to take matters into their own hands, adding: "By conducting a sweeping campaign, such as this, we hope the management will make amends and obey the existing laws of the traditional village of Kuta."
Darwin's Missing Link.
Indonesian Air Asia Declares it Will Resume Bali Darwin Flights Abandoned by Garuda.
Just days after Garuda Indonesia announced it would be abandoning its nearly three decades of service between Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia and Bali, Indonesian Air Asia (IAA) have stepped up to the plate and declared their intentions to assume that route.
The President Director of IAA, Dharmadi, told Bisnis Indonesia that his company would began a thrice-weekly flight service to Darwin before then end of 2009 using Airbus A320 aircraft. "The potential of the Darwin-Bali route is less than rewarding, but we are convinced a market can be created," said Dharmadi.
The decision to assume the old route served by Garuda is apparently in direct response to an invitation from the Indonesian Department of Transportation who were seeking an Indonesian airline to assume Garuda's old traffic rights.
Dharmadi confirmed that IAA holds an operational certificate from the government of Australia and fulfills all the requirements set forth by the Australian Department of Civil Aviation.
A Growing International Network
In addition to IAA's plans to fly Bali-Darwin, the airline has also announced their plans to fly Jakarta - Manila (Philippines), Jakarta - Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Surabaya-Singapore.
Dharmadi also revealed that his airline is seeking to employ 300 new pilots over the coming five years to help operate their fleet of 47 Airbus A320. Currently, the airline employs 150 pilots at the control of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-300.
[The Devolution of Darwin]
500 Bali Villas Now Hold Operating Licenses.
Bali Villa Association Pledges to Help Government Crackdown on Villa Operators Who Ignored Extended Period to Get their Licenses in Order.
From among the estimated 711 commercial villas operating in Bali at the moment, 500 among that number now hold official licenses and permits. This was revealed by the Chairman of the Bali Villa Association (BVA), Ismoyo Soemarlan, and quoted in BisnisBali.
Keeping good on his earlier promise to help clean up the villa sector, Ismoyo has pledged the assistance of the BVA to help authorities conduct sweeping actions leading to administrative sanctions and possible closing of errant villas.
Of the 500 villas now with permits only 78 have seen fit to join Ismoyo's Bali Villa Association, now in its second year of operation. Ismoyo is confident that with the main legal and administrative issue facing villa operators now in hand, the BVA will grow both in number and influence in the coming year.
Responding to a question from the press, Ismoyo said he does not support the conversion of productive agricultural lands to villa usage. However, when non-productive lands, such as those found in Seminyak, can be rented out at Rp. 5 million per are per year, both the land owner and the government stand to benefit.
Including in the work plan for the BVA in the coming year are educational programs to motivate villa operators, re-greening projects, scholarship programs and donations to local school libraries.
Hundred of Villas Violate Bali's Zoning Regulations.
Legislator Calls for Errant Villas to be Demolished.
According to NusaBali, Commission B of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) believes that hundreds of villas in the Badung regency violate zoning (RTRW) regulations. Chief among the violations are a complete lack of building permits and a failure to contribute Hotel and Restaurant Tax Revenues.
DPRD-Bali members sat the government has suffered "tens of billions of rupiah" in losses. That figure is based on the assumption that in order to process building and operating licenses the government will be paid Rp. 10 million (US$900) for every 2 are (200 square meters) of land involved. Thus, if the average villa covers 12 are then government stands to earn Rp. 60 million from each villa's legal registration. Extrapolating further, if 100 villas are involved, the total loss in revenue to Bali approaches Rp. 60 billion (US$5.5 million).
According to I Wayan Puspanegara of Commission B of the DPRD-Bali: "Most violators are located in Mengwi, North Kuta, Kuta and South Kuta. The loss of revenues is substantial. If we are going to be truly firm in enforcing the law, these illegal villas should be demolished."
These estimates of losses suffered from administrative fees for permits do not yet include loss tax revenues which could he claims could be as high as Rp. 30 billion (US$2.75 million) per villa.
Separately, Puspanegara called on the government to knock down any villas found to be in violation of zoning laws, such as set back laws from shores and ravines at Pecatu.
Puspanegara told the press that if villas were granted permits that allowed them to violate zoning regulations then those who issued such permits can be prosecuted and be imprisoned for up to 15 years and fined Rp. 5 billion (US$450,00).
Puspanegara told the press his Commission will soon launch surprise inspections against villas suspected to be in violation of the RTRW, focusing on those in the Bukit Kuta Selatan of Jimbaran up to and including Pecatu.
Puspanegara continued: "We hope that the government will take the correct steps. If a building has no permit it must be demolished. The laws of the Center form the basis of provincial regulations. In accordance with our duties, our focus will be on building violations- such as set back rules from ravines, beaches and alike."
The legislator reminded the press that a recent case of an illegal villa has reignited the permit debate. On Sunday, May 3, 2009, local citizens marched on a project located behind the Rocky Bungalow in Banjar Suluban in the village of Pecatu, South Kuta. Villagers marched on the Dugong Villa. Believed to be owned by an Italian, when the owner refused to address complaints of littering of building materials and the dumping of sewage and waste materials into the ocean. Moreover, in violating zoning laws by building at the edge of a cliff, the project is claimed to have closed off an important sacred water source used by villagers in religious ceremonies.
After zoning office officials visited the project in question, they discovered it held no building permit and requested its immediate destruction. Zoning officials did, however, indicate that the owner of the project has asked for more time to allow the necessary permits to be secured.
Bali Chefs Win Gold in Hong Kong.
Bulgari Chefs Earn Right to Represent Indonesia in World Championship Cook Off in January 2010 in Chile.
A team selected by Bali Culinary Professional's has won top honors at the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS) Global Chef's Challenge held in Hong Kong has won top honors for the island. Chef I Wayan Wicaya together with Junior Chef Alexander Tanuhardja from Bulgari Resort Bali represented Indonesia and Bali in the cook off, achieving the highest point total and securing the gold medal. In winning, the Bali duo edged out Singapore coming in second and Hong Kong coming in third in the competiiton.
In a keenly contested competition between Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, The Philippines and the host Hong Kong, the Global Chef Asian Final comprised 5 hours of live hot cooking in which each team of two were given a box of ingredients sufficient for 12 diners consisting of appetizer, a fish course from Norwegian Salmon, a main course of beef and a dessert.
The Balinese winning team will now represent all of Asia at the WACS World Congress in Chile where they will compete in the Global Chef Final in January 2010.
"The cook-off was a proper, seven hour competition with serious time pressures. He received a list of ingredients with which he needed to create a four course menu for eight people. Alex is junior chef with a very promising future and was an integral part of Wicaya's success," commented team leader chef Andrew Skinner, Executive Chef of the Bulgari Bali who supervised training and preparation of the team before their departure for Hong Kong.
A Bali Culinary Professionals' committee member who accompanied the team to Hong Kong, Stefan Mueller, of the Nikko Bali Resort and Spa, praised the outstanding result for the team, particularly as it follows several other competition successes this year. Mueller said the Bali team made an impression on the judges with their food, solid team work, coordination and workflow in the kitchen, as well their high standard of Hygiene and Sanitation throughout the day.
Bali Culinary Professionals is a non-profit organization supporting Bali's chefs. The goal of the organization is to create, maintain and improve professional standards of chefs, highlighting and encouraging new and needed skills, facilitating new ideas and exposing Balinese food locally and overseas.