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Pastika to Regents: Mind Your Tongues!

Bali Governor Pastika Scolds Regents for Failing to Respect Democratic Legislative Process in Formulating New Zoning Law.

(11/12/2009) Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika is becoming increasingly irritated by the island's regents and mayors who continue trying to score political points by criticizing him on a variety of topics ranging from the management of the Bali Development Bank to the new zoning rules (RTRW) for the island. The governor's displeasure overflowed recently when he questioned these officials sudden and very vocal rejection of the RTRW while, during the public deliberation of the zoning law, the same people took the "safe" option of remaining silent and staying out of the debate.

Quoted in Radar Bali, the governor said now is not the time to be putting forward their objections as the RTRW has already been ratified as a provincial law by Bali's House of Representatives. Giving voice to his irritation, Pastika said: "They should have voiced their rejection and made noise during the long deliberation process. Come on - now they raise a rukus, but before they stayed silent. We're tired after finishing the deliberation process, they should have spoken up then. The process is finished now."

The governor reminded how the new zoning rules had been under a review process that lasted almost an entire year before finally being ratified by the Bali House of Representatives. He called on the regents and mayors of Bali to recall the long consultative process, saying, "it's strange to only speak up now; it's too late."

Insisting that all elements of society were asked for input in formulating the RTRW, the governor counted off participation by the Hindu organizations, village leaders, academics, non-governmental organizations and various experts before being approved by Bali's House of Representatives.

Obviously displeased with the behavior of Bali's regents and mayors, Pastika admonished leaders who now want the agreed "no build" zones surrounding sacred sites modified to accommodate their specific requirements. To those only now voicing their objection, the governor somewhat cynically suggests they confront all the factions of public society who helped formulate the rules.

Pastika underlined the desire of his administration to end the hodgepodge of different approaches to provincial law in each of Bali's regencies in favor of a "one island management" system. The governor warned that Bali's would be ruined by planning based on an endless variety of individual narrow interests.

The governor warned that plans by regents to file a formal letter of rejection regarding the RTRW might represent a violation of the law in such a document's failure to accept and acknowledge the democratic legislative process.

According to press reports, many of the island's regents are resisting the new zoning rule's attempt to introduce a uniform set of building rules across the entire island. Such rules would end Regent's current ability to grant exceptions to the rules. The new rules also impose criminal penalties on administrators caught facilitating exemptions in such areas as set-back rules from sea sides, river banks and sacred sites.