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Selective Enforcement of the Law

Closed Business Owner in Kuta Threaten to Re-Open his Close Business if Badung Officials Do Not Enforce the Law Equally.

(10/13/2009) NusaBali carries the story that the closure of at least four entertainment and accommodation venues by the Badung regency's enforcement agency (Satpol PP) is being criticized as an example of "selective enforcement of the rules." The four closed businesses in the Kuta area - The Wave, Holiday Colada, Wild Catz and Sara Residence are threatening to re-open unless the rules are enforced in a more even-handed fashion.

Reading a written statement by Life Lupu, the owner of The Wave, a spokesperson said: "I am extremely unhappy, both as an investor in the Badung Regency and as an Indonesian citizen, with the strict enforcement and closing of unlicensed businesses.

The letter also highlighted what Lupi sees as the discriminative way in which were being enforced, pointing to the Best Western Sapta Petala which is a hotel built and operating in an area specifically barred for such business activities under local zoning rules.

Life Lupu continued: "But the Sapta Petala Hotel has not yet been closed, even though they violate every rule. If the government is not brave enough to take action and there is no justice, then we will open again."

The disgruntled businessman's letter was delivered to the Badung House of Representatives with copies also sent to the Regent of Badung. Life Lupi also told the press that he will not only open his business again if the rules are not fairly applied, but that he will also organize demonstration in protest.

"Clearly, this is not right and can be said to be selective. If they are going to close (illegal businesses), then close all (the illegal businesses) if you're going to be consistent in the application of local laws. For instance, allowing the Sapta Petala to operate – isn't this discriminative? Because of this will emerge either the suspicion or the reality that they enjoy ‘backing.' Why haven't they been closed? We will also demonstrate against them if this discrimination continues," threatened Life Lupi.

On Wednesday, October 7, 2009, the Satpol PP called the relevant local business operators to coordinate enforcement measures. At the meeting attended by representatives of Vi Ai Pi, The Lanai, Crusoe's and The Sara Residence - businesses were asked to report on the status of their efforts to obtain required operating licenses. Also at that meeting, numerous complaints regarding the difficulties and impediments to securing operating licenses were tabled.

Kadek Surdana, representing The Lanai said his employers were attempting to obtain the needed business licenses, but was "snagged" at a certain government agency.