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Forcing the Hand of Law Enforcement

Non-Governmental Organizations in Bali Threaten Legal Action if Badung Regent Fails to Revoke Permits for Beach World Complex.

(3/19/2011) The intransigent opposition to the Bali provincial zoning law of 2009 shown by the regional government of Badung in issuing building permits to the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) for the new Beach World Complex, has prompted a leading environmental group in Bali to threaten legal action against Badung's Regent, A.A. Gde Agung.

The Chairman of the Indonesian Environmental Forum(WALHI), Wayan "Gendo" Suardana, told Radar Bali that the issuance of building permits for the Beach World Complex violates the 2009 and 2007 Zoning laws. He maintains that those regulations clearly stipulate a 100-meter setback rule from the high water mark and forbid, under pain of criminal penalty, regional officials from issuing permits in violation of the zoning rules.

Clause 16 of the Zoning Law RTRW provides for up to five years in prison and fines of up to Rp. 500 million (US$55,500) for any officials who issues an illegal building or operating permit.

Gendo flatly rejected arguments put forth by the regional government of Badung citing a 1995 regional regulation specifying only a 25-meter setback from the high water mark. The WAHLI official said that any regional regulation must, as a matter of law, give way to a provincial law which possesses the greater legal authority.

Gendo said that both WALHI and the Forum Peduli Gumi Bali (FPGM) are urging Badung regent, A.A. Gde Agung, to rescind all permits issued since 2009 that do not confirm with the RTRW. Included in those permits the two groups are demanding permits issued for the Beach World Complex at Nusa Dua be revoked.

Gendo warned that his group is prepared to make criminal charges against both the regent and other officials linked with issuing illegal permits. He believes that every citizen has the right to file a police complaint whenever a violation of the RTRW has taken place. The further option to seek legal damages against the officials involved is also an option for citizen seeking to redress mistakes made by regency officials.