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When Guides Become Lost

Editorial: Does the Head of Bali's Guide Association (HPI) owe Governor Pastika an Apology?


Bali News: When Guides Become Lost
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(8/3/2009)

Defying both belief and logic, the Chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Tour Guide Association (HPI), Nyoman Kandia, recently was quoted in beritabali.com as "reminding" Bali's governor Made Pastika to keep Bali safe from future terrorists attacks. So far, so good; we've got no arguments with anyone wants to keep the island safe and secure.

But we think that Kandia, who heads Bali's organization for licensed guides, crossed the line by calling for our much-beloved governor to resign if Bali happens to suffers a future terrorist bombing, suggesting, moreover, that in such a situation his organization would demand Made Pastika not seek re-election.

While no one wishes to see Bali endure another terrorist attack, the events in Jakarta on July 17th in Jakarta once again demonstrate that individuals bent on self-destruction can strike anywhere in the world and penetrate even the most elaborate security precautions.

Whether Kandia is seeking to score political points off the horrendous terrorist attacks in Jakarta or is just poorly informed, remains unclear. But, anyone who has followed developments in Bali since its first terrorist attack in 2002, knows with absolute certainty how fortunate Bali is to have a dedicated "anti-terrorist" such a Made Mangku Pastika in its top executive post. In 2002, serving as lead investigator for the Bali bombings, Pastika was the man responsible for chasing the Bali bombers to ground, leading to their eventual arrest, conviction and execution before a firing squad. His exemplary police work heading an international team of investigators earned Pastika world-wide praise, including being named as Time Magazine (Asia) "Man of the Year." A second set of terrorist bombings in 2005, saw Pastika again use his considerable skills as a criminal investigator to arrest those behind those attacks. What's more, both as Bali's Chief of Police and, now, as Bali's governor, Made Mangku Pastika has remained steadfast in maintaining safety and security on the island, often at the expense of bruised feelings of hotel, villa and business owners who the governor determines are failing to do their part in maintaining a high levels of security.

Thus, Nyoman Kandia is badly serving both his association and his island by suggesting Bali might somehow be better off without the services of Governor Pastika. Should it come to pass that Bali suffers another terrorist attack, the performance of the Bali's governor must be evaluated on his preparations to avoid such an event and the swiftness and thoroughness of his response after the fact.

We also think that anyone who doubts that Governor Pastika is the right man in the right job in these terror-laden times is just not paying attention.

We suggest that Nyoman Kandia review the outstanding record of governor Pastika when it comes to combating terror and reconsider his comments quoted in the local press.

A clarification or an apology to the Governor is very much in order.


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