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Confrontation Ahead for Pastika and Gede Agung?

Bali's Governor Pledges to Enforce Zoning and Building Rules, Including Prosecuting Officials Who Issue Illegal Licenses and Permits.

(10/11/2008) Radar Bali reports that Bali's newly elected governor, Made Pastika, may be growing increasing frustrated with the blatant violations of zoning and building rules near the sacred temple of Uluwatu and may, if necessary, fire the Regent of Badung if construction and illegal constructions are not soon brought under control.

The Governor's office official spokesperson, Nyoman Puasa Aryana, has echoed the commitment of the island's Chief Executive to enforce the law, saying: "Clearly we will enforce the law. The mandate of the written rules and laws will be enforced. If we fail to do this our administration will be viewed as a government that ignores the law."

Underlining the seriousness of Governor Pastika's intentions, Aryana continued, outlining that zoning violations and infringement on sacred 'no-build' zones surrounding temples would be enforced without reference to the status of the violator: "Anyone, even Bupati Gde Agung, other officials or members of the general public who violate the rules will be sanctioned. In our eyes they are all the same. If they are proven wrong, they will suffer the penalties."

The Bali Zoning Law Number 26 of 2007 provides (clause 37) for penalties of 5 years in prison and fines of Rp. 500 million (US$53,200) for regional government officials who issue permits not in conformance with zoning laws. Another section of that laws stipulates that officials can receive the additional sanction of a dishonorable discharge from the civil service.

Separately, the Chairman of Commission I of the Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD Bali), I Made Arjaya, told the press that these potential sanctions pose a genuine threat to the Regent (Bupati) of Badung, A.A. Gde Agung, who has issued permits for villas within the "no-build" zone surrounding the Uluwatu temple.