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Bali's Governor Pastika: Keep it Simple

Bali's New Governor Abandons Ceremony and Gets Down to Business on His First Official Island Tour.

(9/8/2008) Bali's recently elected Governor Made Mangku Pastika is establishing a bold new style in how he will conduct "official visits" during his regular tours of the Island. During two trips conducted to Jembrana and Karangasem during his first week in office, Pastika rejected the usual fanfare extended to Bali's Governor - refusing specially prepared meals and refreshment.

Tell Me the Bad News

As reported in NusaBali, Pastika met with the Bupati (Regent) of Karangasem cautioning Bali's administrators: "Tell me about the problems being faced by your citizens, don't just tell me the good news."

A man with a sharp eye for detail, Pastika enquired about the status of two rain water reservoirs in the drought-stricken areas of Rendang and Kubu that have cost a total of Rp. 4.277 billion (US$465,000).

Setting a refreshing new style for his new administration, Pastika announced to local officials: "You don't need to greet me with large groups of people. There's no need for ceremonies. You need to report the problems being experienced by your citizens. You need to underline the weaknesses in your area."

Pastika told the press that the region of Karangasem is the poorest part of Bali after Buleleng. There are presently 40,272 family heads registered as leading households living below the poverty line.

Feeling the pain of his people, Pastika added: "The drought crisis in Karangasem must be overcome. The two rain reservoirs that are still not functional must be urgently equipped with the needed piping." In partial defense, the Bupati of Karangasem, Wayan Geredeg, admitted that the two rain reservoirs were not yet operating in an optimal manner. He explained that the construction of the two reservoirs was the responsibility of the Provincial Government. Meanwhile, he went on to explain, six other new reservoirs were now fully operational.

Keep it Simple, Please

The Governor's wide-ranging tour, accompanied by only a few members of his staff, included stops in several small villages and the home of I Gede Suplag, a poor farmer in the village of Tegalsari in the Kubu sub-district. The Governor refused food and drinks prepared in his honor, choosing instead to purchase his lunch at a road-side food stand in Padangkerta.