Sunday, June 21, 2009
BALI UPDATE #667 - 22 June 2009
Puppet Tales at the Maya Ubud Resort
A Solo Painting Exhibition by NA Arnawa July 17 – August 15, 2009.
Maya Ubud Resort & Spa will host a solo painting exhibition by NA Arnawa, titled "Puppet Tales" at the Resort from July 17 – August 15, 2009.
Click Images to Enlarge
During the exhibition, thirty of Arnawa's unique paintings of traditional puppet figures inspired by the Ramayana and Mahabrata epics will be offered for sale.
Born in Denpasar, Bali, in 1950, Arnawa graduated in Fine Art and Design from Udayana University, Denpasar. While his earlier works concentrated on traditional Balinese scenery rendered in oils and acrylics, since 1985 his art has increasingly focused on the ancient Hindu epics.
Working in mixed media, including the antique Balinese fabrics of keeling, cepuk, geringsing and poleng - Arnawa will often use fabrics as background to paintings rendered in oil and acrylics.
The artist insists that the Hindu epics have the ability to teach and inspire, a trait he hopes is shared by his paintings incorporating the stories of the Mahabrata and Ramayana.
"Puppet Tales" can be seen at the Maya Ubud Resort & Spa from July 17 through August 15, 2009.
For more information contact Ms. Ayu Martiasih at telephone ++62-(0)361-977888.
I Made Nerata Ashrama 1954 - 2009
Veteran Journalist and General Manager of Bali Travel News Dead at 55.
I Made Berata Ashrama, the General Manager of Bali Travel News, died unexpectedly at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2009.
Born 55 years ago in Payangan, just north of Ubud, the man in charge of one of Bali's leading travel publications collapsed shortly after performing light exercise at his home in the Renon district of Denpasar. Efforts to revive him as he was rushed to the nearby Sanglah General Hospital were unsuccessful.
Berata was a graduate of Bali's Udayana University with a post-graduate degree in Business Management from the same institution.
A popular figure in both journalism and tourism circles, he began his career as a reporter at the Bali Post in 1980. Later he served as the economics correspondent for the same paper and as Editor for the paper's Sunday edition. He has been the Chief Executive of the Bali Travel News since 1998.
Bali Travel News is owned by Bali Post and is published in Indonesian, Japanese and English.
Berata is credited with originating the prestigious Tri Hita Karana Bali award program, given to outstanding Balinese every year.
Berata's remains were cremated in Payangan 3 days after his premature death.
He is survived by his wife, Ni Wayan Sukendri, three children and one grandchild.
Me and My Shadow – Kid Go to Work at Melia Bali
3rd Annual 'Shadow Days' Lets Kids Tag Along With Their Parents Working at Melia Bali.
On June 17 and 18, 2009, 85 children of employees of the Melia Bali were invited to join Mum and Dad at work in order to more fully appreciate the important jobs performed by their parent in Bali's tourism industry.
Dubbed "shadow day" the kids were part of a two-day program that allowed them to see first hand the passion for service that sets their parents apart as professional hotel staff. Through a series of experiential activities the kids joined friendly competitions, cooking classes, fruit and ice-carving lessons, programs to teach table manner, and tree plantings with the grounds department. The second day, reserved for the older, high-school aged kids, included lessons in bed making and table waiting.
Click Images to Enlarge
Conducted in a fun atmosphere, some of the hotel guests joined the kids on their various "training" tasks with prizes awarded to the children throughout the two-day event.
"Shadow Days" allows children to get a behind-the-scene look at the work of a modern hotelier while, at the same time, reinforcing the strong "family values" philosophy that is one of the hotel's core values.
And, who knows, it may even encourage kids to consider making a career of service a "family tradition" at the Melia Bali.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are snapshots taken during the most recent Shadow Days at the Melia Bali.
The Frames in Between
An Exhibition of Painting by Kirsty Ludbrook at Seminyak's Biasa Art Space July 16-August 16, 2009.
Embroidery and manga represent an unlikely match, but in Kirsty Ludbrook's large-scale silk artworks, a painstaking technique using these materials is used to preserve the fleeting moments they depict. Intricately hand-stitched, the embroideries are appliquéd into graphic compositions that each describes a single, reflective instant. Paintings on the same scale investigate different sensations of the moment, as Ludbrook manipulates paint to explore motion. Together the series of 'storyboard' frames build a sense of repetitive motion around the exhibition space.
Interested in the ways we attain knowledge of ourselves, Ludbrook explores the simple moments of reflection in which understanding comes to us. "The Frames in Between" - the undrawn frames in a storyboard - are those she believes are the most significant in the pursuit of self-knowledge.
The focus of her exhibition from July 16 – August 16, 2009 at Seminyak's Biasa Artspace is a solitary young Balinese girl, spied throughout the exhibition in each missed glimpse of her, always just out of frame or veiled in isolation by her hair, Ludbrook pursues her study on the modes of self-reflection.
Kirsty Ludbrook, born in Australia in 1971, studied at the Julian Ashton Art School and Paddington Art School after graduating with a Bachelor of Philosophy / Fine Arts degree from the University of Sydney.
Ludbrook explored her creativity in many mediums by establishing a multi-disciplinary design agency, through which she worked extensively in the worlds of fashion and music, winning numerous industry accolades along the way. In 2004 she was named by The Bulletin Magazine as one of Australia's top 10 creative talents.
In 2007, Ludbrook moved to Bali, where, from her studio in Canggu, her investigation of ideas is pursued through sketches and paintings. Through experiments with new materials and techniques found in Bali - the harmonious, graduated colors that could be achieved in silk batik work - Ludbrook was able to evolve her works. She reconstructs her sketches and paintings into murals by employing local batik and embroidery techniques on silk.
Her works from the exhibition 'The Frames In Between' depict the ordinary phases between events, and identifies them as life's most significant moments. Ludbrook has composed these moments in frames of paintings, embroideries, and sketches.
Ludbrook comes from a professional background in the worlds of music and fashion in Sydney, Australia, her experiences reflected in her style and offset by a classical fine art training. She now lives and works in Bali
The Frames In Between
An Exhibition of Paintings by Kirsty Ludbrook
Biasa Artspace - jl. Raya Seminyak 34, Kuta 80361, Bali, Indonesia
For More Information Telephone ++62-81 23 89 47 59
Garuda Finalizing Acquisition of Star Air
Unable to Reach an Agreement with Linus Airways, Garuda Moves Ahead with Purchase of Defunct Star Air.
Unsuccessful in its bid to reach an agreement that would allow the purchase of 100% of the shares of Linus Airways, the national air carrier Garuda Indonesia is reported to be near finalizing an agreement to purchase Star Air. Both Linus Airways and Star Air ceased operations in 2008. Garuda is seeking to purchase the operating licenses of an existing Indonesian carrier as a "fast track" solution to the lack of an airline operating license and other licenses needed for its low-cost subsidiary Citilink.
Quoted in Bisnis Indonesia, the Director General of Civil Aviation, Herry Bakti S.Gumay, said, "at this moment, Garuda is processing the purchase of Star Air, an airline deemed to fit the criteria set by Garuda."
In selecting Star Air over Linus Airways, Herry explained that the state-owned Garuda considered the purchase of Star Air as a cleaner purchase, less encumbered with debts and in possession of a route system that can be used by Citilink.
Herry told the press he supports the acquisition of Star Air, providing the purchase can be finalized before June 25, 2009. "Because on June 25th the Airline Operating License (Surat Izin Usaha Penerbangan) of Star Air will be automatically revoked after one year on non-operation," he explained.
The Civil Aviation Department is reportedly poised to finally revoke the operating licenses of 17 long-grounded Indonesian airlines, including the Bali-owned Air Paradise International.
Star Air was established under a license obtained by travel entrepreneur Ale Sugiarto together with PT Tri Pusaka Abadi and PT Habitat Saga Perkasa. Prior to its cessation of services in 2008, Star Air operated four Boeing 737 aircraft flying on routes between Jakarta – Pekanbaru, Jakarta – Balikpapan, Jakarta Medan, Jakarta – Surabaya, and Jakarta-Denpasar-Kupang.
Speaking to Bisnis Indonesia, the Chief Operating Office or Garuda, Emirsyah Satar, admitted that he is in the final process of acquiring one of Indonesia's grounded carriers, but refused to confirm if Star Air was the leading candidate for that purchase. He did explain to the press that whichever airline is finally purchased, it will offer legal, route and other business advantages to Garuda Indonesia.
Air Operating Certificate Soon to Be Revoked
Tri S. Sunoko of the Director General of Air Transportation told Bisnis Indonesia that Star Airs air operators certificate has already been revoked by the government. However, the airline's Operating License (SIUP) remains valid until June 25, 2009.
Another Garuda source confirmed that a deal was nearly done with Star Air who have put forth a lower price for its business than other possible candidates, such as Linus Airways.
Some airline observers are predicting that the new name of the subsidiary of Garuda will become Star Air Citilink, once the acquisition becomes final.
Transport Association Condemns Private Villa Transport
Transport Association Chief Says Unless Government Takes Action Against Illegal Tourist Transport His Members May Stop Renewing their Vehicle Permits.
The Chief of the Tourism Transport Association (Pawiba), Bagus Soediana, told BisnisBali that he deeply regretted the growing fleet of unlicensed vehicles serving hotels and commercial villas in Bali.
Rules set down by the Minister of Transportation specifically require that all tourist transportation be officially licensed for that purpose, a rule ignored by many hotels and villas who maintain their own fleet of transport vehicles. A survey conducted by the Bali Tourism Academy (STP) in 2007-2008 identified some 1,600 villas operating on the island. Based on an estimate of two vehicles per villa, Pawiba calculates some 2,300 illegal vehicles are now operating in Bali, a total that does not include the thousands more of unlicensed transport operated by various hotels.
With only 900 registered tourism vehicles in Bali, Soediana complained that the legal transport operators in Bali were being dwarfed by the illegal operators.
Because of this, Pawiba has renewed its call on the provincial government to enforce the law and bring into line the illegal transport operators working from villas and certain hotels. Soediana threatened that if the government continues to take no action against illegal transport operations there is a real possibility that the 130 registered transport companies who are members of Pawiba in Bali will soon refuse to renew their vehicle permits.
Soediana's complaint was echoed by Eddy Dharma Putra, Chairman of the Bali Transportation Agency (DPD Organda Bali), who confirmed that many villa operators are offering transfers and tours with unlicensed vehicles.
In the past, DPD Organda Bali has conducted road side inspections that have netted a number of illegal vehicles, with the drivers getting off with the simple reminder to soon organize the necessary permits and licenses.
In order to obtain the necessary licenses, villas and hotels wishing to run tourist vehicle would need to apply for an operating permit (izin usaha), a principle permit (izin prinsip) and a vehicle inspection certificate (uji kir). Alternatively, villa and hotel operators could outsource their transportation needs with licensed transportation companies who are members of Pawiba.
Presently vehicle with more than 9 seats are required to become members of Pawiba. Vehicle used for tourism with less than 9 seats are typically registered as part of the island's rental fleet of vehicles. Pawiba currently has some 900 busses on its books while there are 2,500 registered rental vehicles operating in Bali.
Tourists using illegal vehicles do not enjoy the insurance coverage provided with licensed transportation and also face the possible inconvenience of being made to disembark and seek in the middle of their journey if caught in a road-side document check.
Bali Tourism Operators Signing Up for Social Insurance
Jamsostek Social Insurance Provides Accident, Death, Health and Retirement Benefits.
Bisnis Bali reports that businesses within the tourism sector, small industries and handicraft manufacturers in Bali are increasingly signing up for the government-sponsored social insurance program (Jamsostek). According to the head of the Jamsostek office for Bali, Abimanyu Unanto Dwi, "there are many tourism entrepreneurs, small scale businesses and handicraft producers who have signed up."
During the period January-May 2009, a total of 120 companies signed up 11,027 Bali employees from a targeted 310 new companies set for the entire year. In 2008, Jamsostek managed to exceed its target of 149 new companies, signing up 245 companies.
The Jamsostek program offers accident coverage while at work, a death benefit, a health maintenance benefit and a pension program. Abimanyu said that during the period January - May 2009 his office paid out Rp. 42.8 billion in claims (US$4.18 million) of which Rp. 5 billion (US$488,000) was paid in health benefits to the 43,425 members of Jamsostek..
Jamsostek in Bali also paid out Rp. 35 billion (US$3.4 million) to 2,581 pensioners, Rp. 1.5 billion (US$146,300) in at-work injury claims from 172 cases, and Rp. 11.3 billion (US$1.1 million) in death benefits to the families of 36 deceased workers.
From year to year Jamsostek is recording higher claims paid to workers in Bali, reflecting the growing number who have signed up for coverage.
Bali Kuta Residence Asked to Pay its Bills
New Apartment Complex in Kuta Scrambling for Funds to Pay Contractors, Workers and Suppliers.
NusaBali reports that hundreds of suppliers, workers and construction supervisors descended upon the nearly completed Bali Kuta Residence (BKR) on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, demanding payment for goods and services.
According to NusaBali, the group of unpaid workers and business people came to the site after repeated unfulfilled promises by the projects owner, Handoko, to meet his obligations. One of those demanding payment was quoted as saying: "It's been tens of times that we've been promised (payment), so now we have to know when we are going to be paid. We were told that on June 17th we would be paid, but that was all untrue."
The angry delegation was received in the lobby of the apartment complex by an assistant of the owner, Soni. S., who told the crowd that his boss was presently in Jakarta organizing a Rp. 15 billion (US$1.46 million) loan from Bank Negara Indonesia, 80%of which will be used to pay off the creditors with the remainder used as operating funds for the apartment scheduled to open in August.
One of the construction supervisors on the 267 unit apartment, Heru Wahyono, said their were 300 construction workers with unpaid salaries of Rp. 995 million (US$93,170) who had not been paid for several months.
Meanwhile, several suppliers told NusaBali they were no longer interested in the promises of the owner and were prepared to file a criminal complaint against Handoko.
The owner's representative, Sony S., complained the NusaBali that the unfavorable press reports regarding the late payments were now a factor in the continuing delay, causing one candidate bank for an additional loan to withdraw from loan negotiations with the owner. According to Sony, "we have not collapsed, we are looking for new investors so the bank funds can be made available."
Sony told the press that the 267 one and two-bedroom apartments were now completed, with around 50% of the available units sold and ready for full operations in August 2009.
Promotion materials for the apartment complex have promised professional international management, prices starting from US$49.500 per unit and 8% guaranteed returns on investment.
Jamie Lee Curtis on Bali: Pay Attention
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis Reflects on a Recent Visit to Bali in Huffington Post Article.
American actress, best-selling author of children's books and regular contributor to the online newspaper Huffington Post Jamie Lee Curtis - spent part of a recent holiday in the Bali arts community of Ubud.
The daughter of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis holds claim to (but seldom uses) the title of Lady Hade-Guest by virtue of her 1984 marriage to actor Christopher Guest who inherited the Barony of Haden-Guest in 1996.
During her recent Bali sojourn Jamie Lee Curtis was taken on a walking tour of Ubud's outskirts by Ubud’s well-known hotelier, museum owner and patron of the arts Agung Rai.
Like so many travelers before her, Jamie Lee Curtis found her Bali holiday inspirational and life-changing.
Take time to read her reflections on Bali in the Huffington Post [Pay Attention]
Bali's Longest Staying Guests Prove Hard to Handle
Police Efforts to Conduct a Sweeping Raid at Bali's Kerobokan Prison Thwarted by Angry Inmates.
Bali Police officials' attempts to undertake a drugs and narcotics sweep of Kerobokan prison on Thursday, June 19, 2009, collapsed when angry inmates refused the order of armed police personnel to return to their cells. According to local press reports, some of the prisoners verbally abused and threw stones at the contingent of three truckloads of armed police drawn from the police's mobile brigade together with narcotics and intelligence officers from the Bali police headquarters.
Fearing injuries on both side if police pressed ahead with the sweeping raid, police decided to withdraw to plan their next move to curb rampant drug usage at Bali's largest, overcrowded prison facility.
One lead officer in the raid told Kompas.com that he suspected plans for the raid had been leaked in advance to the prisoners allowing them to organize a unified resistance.
Past raids by police at the prison have uncovered drugs, weapons and illegal cell phones.
A showdown between prisoners and police looms as a police spokesman pledged that the raids will be rescheduled in the near future.
Shop in My Shop, Swim in my Toilet
Bali Lawmakers Discover Industrial and Human Wastes Being Discharged into the Ocean at Jalan Double Six.
Bali's Badung House of Representatives (DPR-Badung) is pressing a number of Bali agencies to take the necessary steps to stop hotels, restaurants and businesses in the Double Six - Legian - Seminyak area from discharging raw sewage into surrounding drains, rivers and, eventually, Bali's Sea.
Wayan Suyasa of Commission B of the DPR-Badung was quoted in NusaBali, calling on the Badung Environmental Agency (BLH) to urgently determine the source of pollution in the area. According to Suyasa: "What's clear is that an investigation must be undertaken at the location. The (current) condition is worrying. The BLH must visit hotels and restaurants suspected of discharging sewage and, if proven to be violators, action must be taken against them."
The North Kuta legislator blames the raw sewage discharging onto Kuta's famous beach as being caused by hotels and restaurants in the area who are ignoring regulations which require every place of business to have its own sewage capture and treatment system. For hotels and new investments, in fact, licensing requirements require detailed environmental impact plans and facilities to handle any sewage produced by each enterprise.
A visit by a group of lawmakers to the seaside gutter on the edge of Jalan Double Six shocked the group who saw evidence of both kitchen-chemical waste and raw human sewage flowing into the waters of the popular public beach.
As reported by NusaBali, while inspecting the area surrounding the nearby Puri Naga Hotel, Suyasa proclaimed that the hotel was sending its dirty dishwater to a nearby drain. This charge was denied by a staff member of the hotel who opened a cover over a local drain showing waste flowing by from locations even further to the north.
Suyasa promised to call the Chief of the LBH , Putra Suteja, to obtain his explanation for the sewage discharge. Showing his growing frustration, Suyasa complained, "this problem has gone on for years without resolution."
Bali Braces for Higher Electricity Rates
New Electricity Regulations Will See People Paying More for Electricity in Java and Bali than in Other areas of Indonesia.
Electricity rates for customers on the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali are likely to be higher than elsewhere in the Republic if current plans to introduce regional electrical tariffs are enacted by the government.
The Director General of Electricity and Energy Consumption (LPE), from the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (ESDM), Jacobus Purwono, told Bisnis Indonesia that he is in the process of reviewing a final draft of a new electricity regulation. Purwono said: "The plan will introduce a new regional tariff, based on regional tariff rate system. Java-Bali electrical rates will be higher when compared with other regions."
The new regional tariffs, according to Purwono, will be based on a formula that considers the quality of electrical service provided to each region in combination with the economic strength of the people living in each region. He also explained that electrical service in Java and Bali consumes 80% of the Sate Power Board's (PLN) attention and, as such, should cost more for consumers living in those areas.
Conversely, those regions of the nation suffering power deficits and experiencing frequent interruptions in electrical service will enjoy a lower, subsidized PLN tariff.
The ultimate goal of the new tariff scheme is to reduce the level of subsidies paid by the government to consumers by having well-supplied electrical customers help cover the cost of providing power to more disadvantaged regions.
The new regulations governing electricity supplies will also open the opportunities for private companies to produce electrical power and sell it to PLN.
Bali's Kids are Brighter
Bali's High School Student Turn in Top Scores in Recent Nation-Wide Testing.
Bali's High School graduates earned among the highest passing scores in the nation in just completed national examinations.
The Jakarta Post reports that an amazing 99.82% of those taking the test in Bali managed to pass the notoriously challenging exam.
Among the Island’s vocational high school 98.02% of the students taking the exam managed to pass.
Across the entire island, interim results show that of the 26.775 students who sat for the exam only 48 failed.
Students from Bali's districts of Bangli, Gianyar and Karangasem enjoyed a flawless 100% pass rate on the national exam.
Meanwhile, Denpasar students reportedly excelled in Social Studies and the Sciences in the final test results.
The Head of Bali's Education, Youth and Sports Agency, Ketut Wijaya, jubilantly told The Jakarta Post, "it is the highest passing percentage in the country."
Shucks, it must be something in our water.
MRA Bali International Triathlon – Less than a Week to Go!
Thousands Expected to Join Beach Party to Watch Record Number of Athletes at Jimbaran Bay on Sunday Morning, June 28, 2009.
The place to be on Sunday, June 28, 2009, is Jimbaran Beach in Bali for the 3rd running of the MRA Bali International Triathlon.
Here's just a few of the reasons we can think of:
- To watch Bali's only annual international triathlon comprised of a 1.5 km swim in Jimbaran Bay, a 40 km bike race down Bali's southernmost peninsula and finishing with a 10 km road race through the village of Jimbaran. Organizers are expecting a record number of participants at this year's event. Registrations are still open for both individual and corporate team relays.
- Join the 5 km "fun run" held in conjunction with the triathlon.
- Watch last year's champion Luke McKenzie and his triathlon partner Amanda Balding join the race, their participation made possible by Garuda Indonesia.
- Arrive at around 6:30 a.m. on race morning to catch opening ceremony just before hundred of swimmers take to the water.
- Join the morning-long party at Coconut Grove opposite the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay. There will be live music, games, refreshments, free massages from Jari Menari and a bazaar.
- Be on hand as the winners in the different age and sex categories cross the finish line to receive attractive prizes. Bali's famous Jenggala Ceramics have prepared special trophies and there's a whole range of wonderful prizes for winners, including an accommodation package from Four Seasons Resorts in Bali.
- Watch Indonesian star athletes compete in this years event including swimming legend Richard Sambera, 2007 Southeast Asia Game Silver Medalist Andy Wibowo, national swimming star Ira Kurniawan, champion cyclist Nurhayati and marathon runner Maria Lawalata.
For complete competitor information and on-line sign up, visit [MRA Bali International Triathlon Website]
[Triathlon Accommodation Offers].
BIMC Hospital will be on hand providing a field hospital and ambulance support on race day, while Jari Menari Massage will be soothing racers with free massages.
Indonesia's MRA Group is the main sponsors of the MRA Bali International Triathlon.
The MRA (Mugi Rekso Abadi Group) is comprised of more than 34 companies working in a number of fields:
- Cosmopolitan Magazine
- Spice Magazine
- Cosmo Girl Magazine
- Harpers Bazaar
- Good Housekeeping
- Auto Car
- Bali & Beyond Magazine
- IP Entertainment (Impresarios and Artist Agents)
- Men's Fitness Magazine
- Hard Rock FM
- Trax FM Radio
- Cosmopolitan FM Radio
- I-Radio FM
- Media Network Indonesia
Retail & LifestyleM
- Bulgari Jewelry
- Bang and Olufsen
- Vision Home Entertainment
Food & Beverage Division
- Hard Rock Café
- Haagen Dazs Ice Cream
- Ferrari Maserati
- Harley Davidson
Hotel & Property Division
- Bulgari Hotels & Resorts (Indonesia)
This Year's Other Major Sponsors
- Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay
- Intercontinental Resort Bali
- BIMC Hospital
- Jari Menari Massage
- Herbal Life
[MRA Bali International Triathlon Website]
[Luke McKenzie Website]
[Amanda Balding Website]