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A Bali Cover Up

Police Ask Scantily-Clad Motorcyclists to Cover Up.

(4/11/2009) The Chief of the Bali Police, Inspector General Teuku Ashikin Husein, has renewed his call for closer scrutiny and control over scantily glad tourists riding motorcycles on Bali's streets.

The Chief told his officers, "for now is enough to give them a warning and give them a t-shirt to wear."

The top policeman in Bali was quick to suggest his officers be on guard against unwanted side effects of his order. Smiling, he warned: "We'd be wrong if local residents all headed for the streets with half-naked bodies in order to get a free shirt. Letís not have them happen, it could bankrupt us."

According to Kompas.com, Chief Ashikin called on the people of Bali to guard the islandís purity: "Free Bali from those things which can pollute the island, such as narcotics, free sex and other factors such as tourists wearing little clothes driving around our cities."

Not Against the Law

The Police Chief has asked his officers to politely approach tourists seen wearing swimming suits on public streets. Ashikin explained: "I was asked by the director of the traffic police if there is law against motorcycle riders not wearing clothing. The answer is no. "All we have is a rule against those failing to wear a helmet."

"Because this is not addressed in our traffic laws, all the police can do is try to reduce the number by applying persuasive pressure and giving guidance to the tourists who are inadequately dressed," added Ashikin.

What's Next?

Some local observers wonder if the moves to cover the bodies of visiting motorcyclists might spread to other areas, dissuading tourists from walking the streets shirtless or in swimming suits, or compelling visitors to refrain from drinking beer while walking down the busy streets of Bali?