Monday, June 8, 2009
Bali Update 9 June 09
BALI UPDATE #665 - June 2009
Garuda to Purchase Defunct Linus Airways?
Move Could Be Shortcut to Obtaining Operating Licenses for Subsidiary Citilink.
Garuda Indonesia is considering a possible purchase of defunct Linus Airway as a short-cut to obtaining the needed operational certificates for their subsidiary Citilink.
The Director General of Civil aviation, Herry Bakti S. Gumay, told Bisnis Indonesia that Garuda plans to buy the domestic carrier fotced by financial difficulties stopped flying on April 27, 2009. "I heard that Garuda intends to buy Linus who already hold an aviation business license (SIUP) and an air operators certificate (AOC) for the scheduled air services," Herry explained.
Herry said his office supported Garuda's plans to purchase the majority shares of Linus because foreign parties are not allowed to buy more than 49% of Linus' shares.
Herry admitted to the press that he did not know the latest developments in Garuda acquisition plans. Meanwhile, the CEO of the national carrier, Emirsyah Satar, refused to comment to the press regarding his plans for thhe acquisition of Linus.
Bisnis Indonesia quotes a government official close to Garuda as confirming that the state-owned airline's Board of Commissioners is in the process of exploring the feasibility of purchasing Linus as a means to obtain is operating licenses. In purchasing Linus the national airline would also acquire its operating licenses issued before February 2008, pre-dating new regulations that require Indonesian airlines to operate a fleet of at least 10 aircraft.
Meanwhile, the President Director of Linus Airways, Indra, said his company was prepared to entertain offers from strategic investors, both domestic and foreign. Indra explained: "we are flexible to acquisition, depending on the investor. If someone wants to buy 100% of the shares we can release our shares, but if someone wants take only a majority shareholding with us as a partner – we are also open." Indra that while Linus Airways would receive offers from Garuda, they were already in negotiations with other parties.
According to Indra, he had once held informal talks with Emirsyah Satar, but those discussions never touched upon acquisition. He also told the press that he was in discussions with a strategic investor with the aim of resuming flight operations.
Bisnis Indonesia reported on Saturday, June 6, 2009, that the Indonesian Department of Civil Aviation has formally stripped Linus Airways of all its route permits in accordance with rules mandating that any airline failing to fly for more than 30 days lose its route rights.
The routes formerly operated by Linus Airways and now up for grabs by Indonesia’s operating airlines are:
• Batam - Palembang
• Batam – Pangkalpinang
• Batam – Pekanbaru
• Jakarta – Palembang
• Jakarta – Pangkalan Bun
• Jakarta – Semarang
• Semarang – Pangkalan Bun
• Jakarta – Tanjungpandan
• Medan – Pekanbaru
• Pankalpinang – Tenjungpandan
In quick response to the government’s route suspension, two airlines - Riau Airlines and Kartika Airlines have forwarded application seeking assume operational rights on the dormant routes.
The Director of Civil Aviation, Tri S. Sunoko, told the press that the withdrawal of route permits is a preliminary to the formal suspension of the defunct airlines' air operating certificate.
Loan Restructuring for Garuda
The financial director of Garuda, Eddy Purwanto, told the press that his airline had successfully restructured US$650 million in loans, reducing that amount to US$450 million with repayment extended until 2015.
Garuda has appointed Rothschild’s as their international financial advisors to assist in restructuring it debts.
Emirsyah Satar has confirmed that the airline is completing negotiations with Bank Mandiri regarding the loans owed to the Indonesian bank by Garuda.
Bali to Host National and International Kempo Tournaments
Back-to-Back Kempo Championships to Be Held in July 2009.
Plans are in place for Bali to host both a national Kempo championship followed by an international championships in the sport. The international championships are expected to attract 400 kenshi hailing from 20 countries on July 25-26, 2009, at Bali's Lila Bhuana Sports Complex.
Included among the countries expected to participate are Russia, Sweden, Australia, Timor Leste, U.S.A., Brazil.
The Vice-Chairman of the Indonesian Kempo Association (Perkemi), Fredrik Billy, has told the press that preparations for the international championships are now 70% complete. An advance team comprised of organizers and Japanese Kempo officials visited Bali on May 22-24 to review preparations for the events. According to Billy, the advance team of Japanese and Indonesian officials totaling 12 people found no major obstacle that could impede the championships in July.
As regards athlete participation, we have already coordinated that with travel agents," Billy explained.
Billy dismissed and concerns being expressed on the close proximity of his events with the presidential elections scheduled for July 8th. "I can't see them (the elections) as having any effect. What's more, we asked for security from the State," continued Billy.
Just prior to the international championships in Bali, the Island's perkemi will host the Indonesian Open Championships in Kempo. To be held July 20-22, The international event will be held July 25-26 with the Indonesian athletes victorious at the Indonesian championships earning the right to represent their country at the international championships three days later.
In Kuta There are No Rules
Community Members Complain of No Enforcement Against Those Who Ignore Business Operating Rules in Kuta-Legian-Seminyak Corridor.
The lack of rules, or at least the lack of enforcement of the rules that do exists governing restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak corridor, is a growing source of community unrest - adding further to that area's notorious reputation as the lawless corner of the island of Bali.
The impotence of enforcement officials in enforcing the law is underlined by the continuing operations of two bars located on Jalan Benesari in Kuta: Kups Corner Bar and Restaurant and Bar Bother Palace. Despite complaints by local residents of excessive noise, surprise inspections confirming decibel levels exceeded by nearly a factor of two the maximum permitted exterior sound levels and the lack of the required operating licenses - both establishments continue to operate. Local accommodation providers in the area and private homes complain that the loud music is played late into the night, disturbing residents and tourist visitors.
Local officials, quoted in NusaBali are calling for urgent and stern official action. The Secretary of Commission B of the Badung House of Representatives, I Wayan Puspanegara, said: "Just close them down, they been warned a number of times, but they continue to act in this way. To the affiliated agencies, the provincial tourism agency (Disparda) and community enforcement agency (Satpol PP) I call on them to urgently take action. In that area, there are homes and accommodations providers."
Puspanegara continued: "This is what you'd call scofflaws. They been reminded and inspected on numerous occasions. Moreover, the public have made written complaints to both the DPR-Badung and the Regency's government."
Separately, the head of the Badung tourist office (Disparda Badung), I Made Subaws, confirmed that both his office and the local village authorities have given reminders to the errant businesses. He also confirmed that the two night spots lack any operating licenses, despites offers of assistance in applying for the needed permits.
Ground Zero = Zero Rules and Regulations
Another member of the DPR-Badung from Legian complained that any existing rules for licenses surrounding Ground Zero and the October 12th Bombing Monument have been largely forgotten.
The Chairman of Commission A of the DPR-Badung, IGN Sudiarsa, told NusaBali that the Regent of Badung issued an order after the October 2002 bombing that businesses along Jalan Legian would be limited to international restaurants as a sign of respect to the tragedy that occurred in the area.
Explained Sudiarsa, "At this time, this area is now used for bars and similar enterprises . . . has the Regent's rule just vanished?"
Sudiarsa lamented the lack of synergy, saying that local officials are not only weak but never take firm action. He called for a review of the rules for Jalan Legian and a clear explanation on what rules apply. The legislator said that the entire street is now crowded with entertainment venues, offending both the historical significance of the area and existing zoning/use rules.
Check Out for Two Years
Boss of Large Bali Supermarket Chain Gets Two Years Prison and US$1.72 Million Fine for Tax Evasion.
The commissioner of one of Bali's most well known supermarkets, Tiara Dewata was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment and fined Rp. 18.1 billion (US$1.72 million) on May 25, 2009, by the Denpasar District Court. The sentence handed down by the court was half of the prison time of four years demanded by prosecutors but an increase in the fine they sought in the final sentence of Rp. 8.1 billion.
The commissioner, Isak Soegiarto Teguh, was convicted of playing a key role in a scheme to help the large supermarket chain evade taxes.
If the fine is not paid by Tiara Dewata to the court the court will move to confiscate the companies assets. In calculating the fine, the court determined that the supermarket had evaded Rp. 6.01 billion in taxes and then multiplied that amount by a punitive factor of 3.
In making their ruling, judges determined that the defendant had filed false tax reports to the State and maintained two sets of books.
Both State Prosecutors and the Accused are unhappy with the sentence, with both parties stating they will appeal the court's decision.
Bali's Foreign Visitors Stay 3.75 Days
Latest Figures Show Domestic Visitors Stay Longer than Foreign Tourists.
The head of the Bali Statistic Bureau (BPS) estimated that foreign tourists visiting the island stay for an average 3.75 days, while domestic visitors stay a longer period of 4.29 days. Ida Komang Wisnu of the BPS-Bali told BisnisBali, "domestic tourists stay longer in Badung, Gianyar and Denpasar than do foreign visitors."
However, in the regions of Tabanan, Karangasem and Buleleng the order is reversed with foreign tourists lingering longer than Indonesian holidaymakers.
The length of stay of visitors has a direct bearing on hotel occupancies in Bali, with Ida Komang Wisnu reporting that starred-hotels in Bali enjoyed an average occupancy of 57.72% in March 2009, up from the 50.99% average occupancy rate achieved in February.
Hotels in Denpasar reported even better results than the island-wide-average with an occupancies in March of 62.49%. The lowest average occupancy rate was reported in Karangasem at 34.35%.
Ida Komang Wisnu also said that among 5-star hotels in Bali the best average occupancy rate reported in March was 61.38% while the worst was 19.59%.
As reported on balidiscovery.com, total foreign visitors to Bali in March totaled 161,169 - an increase of 4.7% over the same month one year before. April 2009 arrivals totaled 179,879 - representing the best April on record for Bali tourism and 21.94% improvement over April 2008 (147,515).
Indonesian Tourism will Continue to Grow
Minister Wacik: World Financial Crisis May Slow, But Not Halt Growth of National Tourism Sector.
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, has renewed his assertion that the national tourism sector has nothing to worry about in the face of the world-wide financial crisis.
Wacik, as quoted by the State news agency Antara, said: "Indeed foreign tourist arrivals are not as dynamic as they were before the crisis. Nonetheless, we are confident our tourism arrivals that (formerly) grew at a rate of between 15-16% can still achieve around 5-6% growth." The Minister's comments were made at a opening ceremony for a new hotel in the Tuban area of South Kuta.
Wacik cited a World Tourism Organization (WTO) survey that estimates world tourism will shrink by 2 percent because of the current financial crisis, but that tourism in the Asia region is expected to perform marginally better and actually grow slightly in 2009.
Wacik continued: "We often look at a figure of 5% as small, but when compared to other countries, we are still O.K.. If new hotels can still open, this means tourists are still coming to Indonesia. A few days ago I opened a new hotel in Manado (North Sulawesi), yesterday in Bandung (West Java), today in Bali and soon another hotel in Bandung."
The Minister in charge of national tourism also urged the management of the nation's hotels to act cautiously when taking business decision tied to hotel occupancy levels. "If the occupancy level is still above 60%, that's still good. If that number goes down, don't rush to lay-off employees. That's getting ahead of yourself," warned Wacik.
He urged all tourism professionals – including hoteliers, to be patient if there is a decrease in visitors for he is certain that in the months ahead, assuring all that the numbers will once again grow. Wacik added: "Because of this, hotels must continue to promote so tourists will continue to come. Everyone must promote Indonesia for visits by foreign tourists."
The Minister said that his ministry will always support international events in Indonesia, in order that these events can stimulate additional visitors to fill the country's hotels.
Death Toll Mounts in Tainted Rice Wine Tragedy
Four Foreigners Among at Least 25 Dead Due to Methanol Poisoning of Arak Rice Wine.
As reported on balidiscovery.com, contaminated local rice wine or, by its local name, "arak" has been linked to a number of deaths and scores of disabling injuries. [See: When an 'Arak Attack' Proves Fatal]
The methanol-laced rice wine is now, according to the Jakarta Post, linked to at least 25 deaths, including four foreigners. The four foreign nationals - a Brit (2), American (1) and Dutch citizen (1) reportedly imbibed methanol-tainted arak in Bali or on the nearby island resort of Gili Terawangan. Post-mortem medical tests performed at Bali Sanglah General Hospital have confirmed the presence of methanol and a range of medical conditions consistent with methanol poisoning, including blood clots to the brain, lesions on mucus membranes and swelling of internal organs.
Among the more critically affected survivors of the methanol poisoning are cases of blindness, nerve damage and kidney failure.
Balinese police have arrested two Balinese men in connection with the case - the owner of the distillery in the sub-district of Dalung, Made Rai Suweca, and one of his employees, I Putu Suastama.
In a statement issued by Bali's Governor, the island's Chief Executive describes the growing list of injured and dead from the consumption of illegal arak as tragic disaster. The governor's office has advised the public to exercise great caution in the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, using only those products approved and registered with the Department of Health.
Hotel and Restaurant Association Urges Caution
The Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) have also issued a warning to avoid illegally produced alcohol.
The Secretary of PHRI-Bali, Ferry Markus, said visitors to Bali must be reminded not to purchase and consume illegally produced arak. Markus also expressed concern that a series of raids being conducted by customs officials on local hotels and restaurants in which internationally branded alcohol is being confiscated due to counterfeit import stamps may be inadvertently contributing to the consumption of illegally produced local alcohol containing methanol.
Police Question Motive for Poisoning
Beritabali.com confirms the presence of methanol in blood tests conducted on a number of arak-drinking victims. Tens of bottles of illegal arak confiscated by police have tested positive for extremely high levels of methanol, measuring 30% or more.
Beritabali.com also quotes the Head of the Forensic Laboratory of the Bali Police, Muhidin, as saying there were three possible motives for the current contamination: ignorance on the part of the seller, purposeful contamination to obtain higher profits, and sabotage by a business competitor.
Tourism Chief Calls for End to Custom's Raids
Bali Tourism Boss Subhisku Says Government Should Be Chasing Distributors of Illegal Custom's Stamps, Not Restaurants and Hotels.
The Bali Tourism Service (DIPARDA) is urging the Bali Customs and Excise office to halt sweeping raids being conducted against Bali hotels and restaurants in the current drive to halt the sale of wine and liquor bearing counterfeit customs stamps.
The Chief Tourism Official for Bali, Ida Bagus Subhisku, issued a statement of June 2, 2009, underlining the fact that Bali's hotels and restaurants purchase their alcohol supplies from official distributors appointed by the government. According to Subhisku, if there is in fact smuggled alcohol being used, it is the distributors who should be under scrutiny and not Bali's hotels and restaurants.
Quoted in berita.bali.com, Subhisku said: "Now it is the distributors who must be chased, not people from our (tourism) industry. This is a lopsided approach."
Subhisku said his call for end to sweeping by Customs and Excise officials of hotels and restaurants is based on the high demands for alcoholic beverages as Bali enters into its busiest business period or high season.
Up until June 2, 2009, DIPARDA recorded around 13 hotels and restaurants where custom's officials had seize liquor stocks in the course of their continuing "sweeping" raids.
Ubud Police Arrest Purse Snatcher
Police Hope Arrest Will End Spate of Street Muggings in Downtown Ubud.
Police in the arts community of Ubud hope they have put to an end to a recent spate of purse snatchings with the arrest of Wednesday, June 6, 2009, of a 28-year-old man.
Police apprehended Setyo while he was eating at a roadside stand in the Penestanan area of Ubud following a surveillance operation that focused on the man as the assailant in a series of drive-by purse snatchings.
According to beritabali.com, the young man, who hails from Java, initially offered resistance to police in an attempt to evade arrest. Officers quickly subdued the man and brought him to police headquarters in Ubud for further questioning.
A police spokesman in Ubud said the man had committed crimes in a variety of locations in the Ubud area, including Goa Gajah and Tegalalang. Police also reportedly found sums of money and a camera in the man's possession at the time of his arrest and are searching his rooming house in Denpasar for further clues in a series of muggings targeted at female tourists in Ubud.
Jakarta Pledges Limited Commercialization at Bali's Airport
Minister Djusman Safei Djamal Says No More than 30% of Bali's Airport Can be Dedicated to Commercial Use.
In seeming response to criticism from Bali's governor that Bali's airport is being over-commercialized, Indonesia's Minister of Transportation, Djusman Safei Djamal has assured Bali that only a maximum of 30% of the entire airport will be used for commercial pursuits. During a visit to Bali, the Transportation Minister reminded the management of Bali's Airport, PT Angkasa Pura, not to commercialize a planned 40% of the airport.
As reported by beritabali.com, the Minister's rebuke to the airport's management followed the rejection by Bali's governor of redevelopment plans for the airport that would dedicate 40% of the airport space to commercial leases. As reported on Balidiscovery.com, Bali's governors is involved in a verbal tug-of-war with the Manager of the Bali Airport authority over current plans for the design of the revamped airport. Governor Pastika has threatened to refuse building permits for the remodeling if, in his opinion, the new design puts commercialization before efficiency and customer convenience. The governor is also demanding that Balinese architectural touches must be incorporated into any final design.
Djusman Safei told the press in Bali that the governor's wishes must be made a prime consideration and that, in any case, current regulations limit the amount of commercialized space to no more than 30% of the entire area of the airport with all remaining area dedicated to "traffic management".
The entire area of Bali's airport complex following the planned redevelopment will cover 100,000 square meters.
[Shopping Around for an Airport]
[Editorial: Pak Legowo Please Listen to the Governor]
It's Our Island and We’ll Do as We Want To
Governor Pastika Insists that He Will Not Enforce New Anti-Pornography Law.
In a defiant break with central authority in the Republic, Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika has bee quoted by Reuters and The Jakarta Post as saying "he has no intention" of enforcing the anti-pornography law signed by President Yudhoyono last December.
Insisting that the law violates Balinese cultural values and is not in keeping with the aspirations of the people of Bali, Pastika said, "as long as I am the governor of Bali, I, along with the head of the provincial government in Bali, have stated that we will not enforce this law."
Defending the tendency of Balinese art to celebrate nudity and eroticism, the governor said his fellow Balinese held the view that : "The artworks and cultural practices of Bali are not in any way meant to be pornographic. They are meant to educate and communicate about the essence of life and existence."
While the Central Government has decreed that tourism-related activities are exempted by the new anti-pornographic law, there is widespread concern that dance, theatre, painting, sculpting, monuments and even bathing in local streams will be threatened by legislatively imposed inhibitions from Jakarta.
The legislation is also criticized for it's vigilante content, allowing individual citizens to impose their own view of what constitutes pornography and encouraging individual action against people deemed to be causing moral outrage.
The governor's defiant stance has brought neither rebuke or reprimand from the Central Government. While some interpret this as a return to Indonesia's long-held tradition of tolerance, some political observers suggest the government is eager to sidestep any confrontation on polarizing issue that could cost valuable votes in Bali where the new law is unpopular or in Java where fundamentalist Islamic followers enthusiastically embrace the law's intent.
Childhood Memories, Everyday Objects – 'Our World'
An Exhibition by Uuk Paramahita and I Gede Paramartha at the Ganesha Gallery - Four Seasons Jimbaran - June 11 through July 7, 2009.
While the artistic styles of the two Balinese artists, Uuk Paramahita and I Gede Pande Paramartha, are distinctly different, their thematic material and sources of inspiration are remarkably similar. So, too, both men share a love of bright colors and enigmatic imagery. In the case of Gede Paramartha, who states they are derived from "reflections and images of my youth" we are confronted with strange but whimsical beasts that could be from outer space, the netherworld or an electron microscope expressed with naïve almost cartoon-like shapes. While his images may at first appear guileless, careful examination reveals a sophisticated sense of colors and complex compositions that dance on the surface with no pretence of depth.
Uuk Paramahita, in contrast, places his own colorful but usually less identifiable inhabitants in compositions that use stylized landscape features – rivers, islands, the sea, forests and mountains that evoke perspective but acknowledge the canvasses two dimensional surface. Notably almost all his works are defined by a horizon that divides the sky from the earth (or sea). So, too, the landscapes are populated with buildings, animals, peoples and even vehicles but without the minute details Gede Paramartha is so fond of. "My starting point is everyday objects that I make my own," he explains.
At a time when Indonesian artists have been achieving increasing international recognition, both of these talented artists have won awards and the attention of critics. The melting point is the magic of imagination, which experiences its greatest freedom in our youth, and turns even the mundane into miracles.
An Exhibition of Painting by Uuk Paramahita and I Gede Paramartha
Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay
June 11 – July 6, 2009
Open Daily from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
For More Information call ++62-(0)361-701010
Facing Layoff? Consider Painting Houses in Bali
Three Cathay Pacific Executives on Unpaid Leave Travel to Bali to Paint a Local Orphanage.
In difficult economic times, such as these, many are compelled to cut back, curtail and economize.
Forced to take unpaid leave by their companies, some would choose to sit home wallowing in self-pity, angry at the world and their "difficult" circumstances. Yet others in the same circumstance will decide to take their temporary suspension in stride, reflecting on the good fortune of having a job to return to determining how best to utilize the coming work break.
Click Images to Enlarge
Accentuating the positive in this manner is exactly what three Cathay Pacific Airways executives did, when in May 2009, they were put on temporary unpaid leave as an airline cost-saving measure. Dennis Owen the U.S. Marketing Manager, together with Shirley Liu and Leslie Lu from the airline's headquarters in Hong Kong, used their own funds and purchased firm-space employee passes on Cathay Pacific so they could fly to Bali to spend a week painting a local orphanage.
Checking into a local hotel and purchasing paint and brushes from a local hardware store, the three energetic Cathay Pacific
managers spent a week painting the entire Mercy Orphanage in Denpasar Bali.
Established in 2001 by Mr. and Mrs. Paulus Wiranto to care for abandoned and orphaned children, Mercy Orphanage now has 9 homes throughout Indonesia caring for some 180 children. Responding when and where the need is often the greatest, Mercy Orphanages have been established facilities in eastern Indonesia to care for war refuges from East Timor and in Aceh for tsunami victims.
For more information on the work of Mr. and Mrs. Wiranto and their countless co-carers visit [Mercy Indonesia]
Shown on balidiscovery.com are pictures taken during the recent paint-up, fix-up visit to the Mercy Orphanage where the three airline executives posed with the children, all sporting new Cathay Pacific polo shirts. Also shown in a separate photograph to right) are Shirly Lui, Leslie Lu and Dennis Owen.
Global Recession be Damned! Bali Arrivals are Growing
Bali by the Numbers: Arrival Numbers Grow as Australia Displaces Japan as Bali's Top Source Market for Foreign Visitors.
Foreign tourist arrival to Bali in April 2009 totaled 179,879 representing the best April on record for Bali tourism and 21.94% improvement over April 2008 (147,515).
View cumulatively, the first four months of 2009 saw 645,061 foreign tourists come to Bali, an increase of 8.15% when compared to the same period last year (596,469).
As predicted by balidiscovery.com, April 2009 also saw the historical unseating of Japan by Australia from its top-ranking as the largest source market for Bali. Through the end of the first four months of 2009 Australian arrivals totaled 102,179 – increasing 30.08% as compared to the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, reflecting their troubled national economy, Japanese visitors decreased 7.45% for the first 4 months of 2009.
Similarly, South Korea, which is traditionally Bali #3 source market, declined to a #5 ranking as that nation's economy faltered and arrivals dipped 5.62% over the first four months of 2009. Taiwan which has long been Bali's #4 market, is now relegated to the #7 position.
Markets clocking improvements for the period January-April were: Australia (+30.08%), People's Republic of China (+54.03), Malaysia (+37.70%). Russia (+4.75%), The Netherlands (+0.42%) and France (+25.32%).
The markets in decline for Bali over the first four months of 2009 were; Japan (-7.45%), Taiwan (-23.24%), South Korea (-5.62%), U.S.A. (-1.80%), Germany (-11.66%) and the United Kingdom (-6.50%).
Bali Foreign Tourist Arrivals
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Top Bali Markets Arrivals January-April 2008 v 2009
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Geographical Sources Bali Visitor January-April 2008 v 2009
Click Images to Enlarge
Shown of balidiscovery.com are graphs comparing total foreign arrivals January-April for 2009 and 2008 and changes in Bali's top source markets for the same years.
Bali's 15 Meter Height Restriction to Remain in Force
Bali's Provincial Legislature Announces that 15 Meter Maximum Building Height is Not Negotiable.
Bali's House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) have confirmed that there will be no change in the maximum building height allowed in the new provincial zoning law (RTRWP)now being finalized by that body. The DPRD's decision squashes efforts by some circles to increase the current maximum 15 meters to 33 meters.
The Vice-Chairman of the DPRD-Bali, Ida Bagus Suryatmadja Manuaba, told Beritabali.com that a maximum building height of 15 meters had "become an icon of Bali development" and reflected the development needs of Bali as a small island.
Suryatmadja explained: "Buildings can't be built higher than 15 meters; that's a do or die proposition. Our first consideration is the view; people approaching the island from the sea should immediately see rows of coconut palms. Our other consideration is the carrying capacity of Bali."
The leading Bali lawmaker called on the people of Bali to continue to provide input in the current discussions of a new RTRWP. He promised that the new rules would not be rushed through the DPRD, but hopes the final draft will be completed by August of 2009.
[Keeping a Low-Profile Branding for Bali]
[Little Bali Support for Taller Buildings]
[Editorial: Bali: Choose Tradition Before Innovation]
Bali's Sanur Village Festival August 12-16, 2009
Fourth Sanur Festival Adopts 'Marine Life' as its Theme.
Underlining Sanur's past as a Balinese fishing village and its continuing close connection to the sea, the organizers of the Sanur Village Festival 2009 have announced that "Marine Life" will be the theme of this year's event set for August 12-16, 2009.
Justifiably proud of Bali and the central role Sanur has played in developing the island's tourism industry, culture will once again permeate every aspect of the Sanur Village Festival 2009 with a full program of traditional performances, a Balinese parade, live music, street bazaars, art shows, food festivals and a range of water-related sports and activities.
Those "in the know" are booking accommodation in Sanur on these dates to put these many exciting events just outside their door for what promises to be a very full four days of family-oriented activities.
[Sanur Village Festival Websiter]
Bali's Lawmakers and Businessmen React Strongly to Customs and Excise Raids as Island Runs Short of Grog.
Sweeping raids conducted by Customs and Excise officials (Bea Cukai) against Bali hotels and restaurants are being roundly criticized as heavy-handed and misguided by tourism officials and tourism business owners.
Bali's legislators and the affected business are labeling the custom's raids as "robberies (merampok)," asking why customs officials are unable to control the island's gateways and must resort to public raids.
Ida Bagus Gde Suryatmadja Manuaba, the Vice Chairman of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), told NusaBali: "If the reason (for the raids) is counterfeit customs' stickers, then customs is in violation of the law. If the products are already landed in Bali, why only now are they undertaking searches and seizures? It should be that when these alcoholic products were imported by the distributors that they were individually inspected and checked. Why is that only happening now?"
The legislator, who once worked as a bartender, questioned the legality of the customs raids, asking: "What's behind all this? That's the real question. Why are goods already landed and in circulation being chased after? Is this staged? First they release the goods and then they seize them back. Certainly the people must be asking what kind of synergy is in play in the customs department. How can illegal goods be approved for distribution? What kind of systems are in operations at Customs? This needs to be asked in light of the seizure of these items from the public marketplace."
The Bali legislator also warned of potentially dire consequences to Bali tourism of a continuing shortage of alcohol that will be the logical consequence of the current raids.
Equally damning in his criticism of the customs raids is Ketut Suania, a member of Commission II of the DPRD-Bali. Calling on customs officials to be held responsible for their actions while also labeling the seizures "robbery."
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Commission II of the DPRD, Nengah Usdek, has issued a summons to the customs to attend the House on Monday, to answer for their actions which are threatening the island's main industry of tourism.
Local business affected by the raids have emboldened themselves to speak out against the raids, asking how liquor brought via official distributors now be considered illegal.
Irmawan Pujianto Putra of the De Ja Vu Club in Kuta. "Yanto" accuses customs of "over-acting" and targeting businesses when they should be checking their network of official distributors. Saying his company has suffered "tens of millions" in Rupaih losses because of the raids, Yanto wants customs to socialize where businesses can buy alcohol with legal customs' stamps.
The Bali provincial customs and excise office has responded to the onslaught of criticism, citing chapter and verse of the law that authorize field raids and confiscations.
The Chief Investigator for Bali Customs, Yanuar, told the press that the alcohol confiscated with counterfeit custom's seals is likely destined for destruction by customs officers, adding that the confiscated liquor might be returned to the restaurants and bars if the applicable fines and penalties are paid.
The raids conducted by customs has resulted in the confiscation of hundreds of cases of alcohol from leading hotels, restaurants and night spots in Bali. With diminishing booze supplies and the lack of clarification on what is legal and where to obtain it, many bars are saying they will be forced to close if a solution to the current problem is not found soon.
Bali's Fishing Fleet Confined to Port
Fuel Shortage at Bali's Main Fishing Port Prevents Sailing of Tuna Fleet.
A shortage of fuel at Bali's port of Benoa has forced 600 ships from an estimated fleet of 830 fishing boats to remain alongside until more fuel becomes available. According to the Bali Post, around 9,000 fishing ships crews have been idled by the fuel shortage that has brought protests from the Indonesian Longline Tuna Fishing Association. (ATLI).
The Secretary-General of the ALTI, Dwi Agus Siswa Putra, told the press that the shortage of fuel has lasted more than a week resulting in a loss of fishing revenues together with "hundreds of millions of rupiahs" in losses each day as ship owners pay the wages and food costs of their land-locked crews.
Agus told the press that if the fuel shortage continues to the point where ship owners can no longer pay crew salaries, he fears unspecified "unwanted consequences." The ALTI officials complained that the State Oil Company of Pertamina has failed to provide any information to ship owners in connection with the current fuel shortage.
Suggesting that the current shortage is part of a larger problem, Agus explained that the port of Benoa's yearly estimated need for fuel is 249,000 kiloliters per year, while only 62,000 kiloliters is actually delivered by Pertamina to the port.
Although fishing fleet owners have met on several occasions with Pertamina officials, the Bali Post says oil company officials have apparently washed their hands on the matter and are doing little to address the shortage of fuel.