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Over Paid and Over Here

Governor Pastika Wants Crackdown on Illegal Foreign Workers Evading their Tax Obligations in Bali

(2/10/2012) The Jakarta Post reports that Bali’s Governor, Made Mangku Pastika, is asking the Bali police to more vigilant in the supervision of criminal activity by foreign nationals living in Bali.

The Governor is displeased with the manner in which many foreigners in Bali conduct businesses without the required permits and licenses, evading their tax obligations in the process.

Underlining that Bali faces threats to its security from both local and foreign residents, Pastika called on Bali’s Chief of Police, General Totoy Herawan Indra, to be on guard. Said Pastika: “The police have to closely monitor some specific threats on Bali, such as tax fraud involving foreigners and conflicts as well as clashes involving traditional customary institutions.”

Pastika added: “Many foreigners work in Bali, but it is not clear whether they pay taxes. Many of them enter the island on tourist visas, but then they work here.” Pastika said that foreigners working in Bali are costing Balinese job opportunities.

Pastika wants the relevant law enforcement agencies to make sure foreigners pay their fare share of the tax burden and crack down on foreigners operating businesses by “borrowing the names” of local front men.

Delving into the need for business in Bali to be culturally sensitive, Pastika said: “Don’t forget that on Bali, we have two kinds of villages. Besides the 706 administrative villages, Bali also has 1,485 customary villages. A customary village is an autonomous traditional institution that wields powerful influence due to its role as the custodian of local traditions, customs and religious activities.”


Traditional villages often establish rules and regulations specific to that locale that must be respected to maintain public order and balance in a community. In the past, internecine conflicts have erupted in Bali between neighboring villages over issues connected to village borders, cemetery ownership and the adoption of a new, higher caste without the consensus of community members.