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Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #974 - 4 May 2015

IN THIS UPDATE


Keeping the Lid On
Bali Police Increase Security Patrols Following State Executions in Java

Metrobali.com reports that police in Bali enhanced patrols and security at tourist areas across the Island following the execution of eight felons, including two members of the “Bali Nine,” on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, shortly after midnight at Central Java’s Nusa Kambangan prison.
 
The areas of Bali that were designated for added patrols include Kuta area on Bali’s southwest coast. Added police personnel, in cooperation with neighborhood watch groups, circulated tourist enclaves to provide a high-profile sense of security for both local residents and visitors.
 
The head of the Kuta police precinct, Police Commissioner Ida Bagus Deddy Januarta, told the press that the patrols were merely to provide an added sense of safety for Bali visitors.

“This was done in anticipation (of trouble) following the execution of members of the Bali Nine. The purpose was to increase the sense of safety and well being for visiting tourists in order that international tourists feel secure during their stay in Bali.” said Januarta on Thursday, April 30, 2015.
 
During the operation, police apprehended three people with no identity cards.
 
60 additional officers from the Denpasar police precinct assisted 50 police offices from Kuta. Intensified patrols in the late afternoon and evening hours also called on members of the traditional villages of Bali to join police in the prevention of any undesired events.


A Solution to Bali’s Deepening Water Crisis
Water Protection Program Launched to Urgently Halt Salt-Water Intrusion and Replenishing Aquifers

Bali’s natural fresh water aquifers are at record lows of less than 20% and researchers warn the island will be in a state of ecological crisis before 2020 if the situation is not reversed by mitigation.

Technical experts from Bali Water Protection Program (BWP) team at Universitas  Politeknik Negeri Bali (PNB) and Indonesian Development of Education and Permaculture Foundation (IDEP) recently announced a collaborative community solution to help restore island aquifers and assist reversal of the water crisis, following a worldwide assessment of rapid aquifer recharge systems as effective mitigation for emergency conditions on Bali.

"Water is life… the need and utilization of ground water is increasing, while the need to recharge water into the soil is being underestimated,” said Dr. Lilik Sudiajeng, PNB Professor of Civil Engineering and head of research.

High demands for fresh water from Bali’s densely populated urban and tourism areas, has seen water supplies diverted from vital agricultural areas to tourist precincts in the south that now threatens the island’s future food security, UNESCO designated world-heritage rice fields, traditional Balinese culture and overall quality of life.

Research for an inexpensive, cost-effective solution began intensely in 2012. The pilot water protection program, at a cost of less than U$1 million, will commence operation on funding and address the depletion of aquifers with 136 rainwater gravity-fed well systems strategically located in 13 pre-identified intervention areas.

Based on successful systems in several drought-stricken areas in India, the aquifer recharge model was the technique chosen by international and Bali academic teams for rapid results in successfully restoring and raising water levels within 3 to 5 years in areas suffering fresh water crisis and threats of salt water intrusion.

“Coastal areas where aquifers continue to be over-exploited will suffer further leakage of salt water into groundwater, which is forever non-reversible, meaning total dependence on expensive desalination plants to treat seawater for Bali residential, agriculture and tourism water supplies,” says PNB researcher of Civil Engineering and program co-initiator, Ida Bagus Putu Bintana.

Bali tourism industry action and public awareness is urgently needed to educate residents and stakeholders on the water crisis and share knowledge to key tourism leaders on the severity and reality of current water sustainability issues, explains IDEP Foundation special project advisor and program co-initiator, Florence Cattin.

 “With over 77,000 registered hotel rooms, plus online booking platforms promoting thousands of Bali villas for rent - and recent announcement of increasing tourist targets to 30 million by 2029, the sustainability of Bali’s water has now passed tipping point,” said Cattin.

Program organizers’ - IDEP Foundation and Universitas Politeknik Negeri Bali – are seeking support from civic and tourism industry leaders to ensure the success of the Bali Water Protection Program and the expansion of the program to other at-risk dry areas to protect regional water and food security.

“This rescue program cannot be carried out by one organization alone, all must cooperate - including government, industry and general public for water rescue in this land," said PNB Professor Lilik Sudiajeng.

“At the end of the day, we are facing a choice – No water, no Bali – the island has very few years of fresh water left and either we want to depend on expensive technologies such as reverse osmosis for our water or allow Bali’s future generations to enjoy the natural water bountifulness of their parents - it’s as simple as that,” said Ms Cattin.
 
Related Articles


Keeping the Flavor Local
Newly Opened Ritz-Carlton Celebrates Indonesian Cuisines with Opening of their Signature Bejana Restaurant

The Ritz-Carlton Bali has opened it signature Indonesian restaurant Bejana – a name inspired by a traditional vessel for food that is common to the Indonesian kitchen.
 
Bejana presents a unique mix of five-star-flair in a relaxed, but sophisticated Indonesia ambience.  Positioned to become a top-dining destination in Bali, Bejana offers both indoor and outdoor seating with dramatic views of the resort and the Indian Ocean. Located on the upper-cliff, the restaurant is open for dinner to both in-house guests and the public in Nusa Dua.
 
Bejana is also home to a unique ‘Culinary Cave’ – a lavishly equipped gourmet learning center allowing guests to discover Indonesian cooking through hands-on interactions with the Chef of Bejana.
 
“Indonesia has a very rich culinary heritage, and Bejana embraces this tradition. By introducing Indonesia’s most famous cuisines, we take our guests on a journey through the Archipelago,” says Karim Tayach, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Bali.
 
Designed by Burega Farnell, the restaurant occupied three distinct levels. The upper-level houses the Culinary Cave, featuring an open kitchen with three state-of-the-art cooking stations for learning and cooking demonstrations that surround a large chef’s table. A step down, the middle of the restaurant provides guests with a private dining room for 12, as well as a collection of intimate tables especially designed for couples bordering a romantic small garden and bar. The final level sets on an open-air wooden deck, featuring cozy lounges and casual outdoor seating. The intricate Balinese design was influenced by traditional elements created by local craftsmen creating an exceptionally elegant environment with a rustic edge.
 
The menu (available via a link below) presents dishes from different regions of Bali and Indonesia, such as Soto Pesmol - a spiced coconut and seafood soup originally from Jakarta, and Bebek Betutu - a Balinese roast duck in Banana Leaf. Local inspiration is also reflected in the bar where mixologists have re-crafted some of Indonesia’s traditional beverage into special libations for guests. Bajjigur is a unique aromatic warm beverage from West Java, usually enjoyed on cooler, rainy days and sold from traveling carts. Bejana’s spin captures the flavors and aromas of the original, with creamy coconut milk, sweet brown sugar, exotic warmth from ginger with hints of pandan leaf and lemongrass, but offers an extra indulgence with the addition of Myers Rum and Malibu.
 
Joined by a highly skilled team, Chef Made Suriana has created a farm-to-table experience at the Culinary Cave. Beginning with an inspiring visit to nearby traditional markets in the morning, guests will join Chef Made as he sources the freshest local ingredients. With their bounty in hand, guests return to the resort and continue to pick and harvest the according herbs and spices from the Resort`s Chefs garden, and bring it to Bejana where Chef Made teaches them how to prepare traditional Indonesian food in the Culinary Cave. The exciting morning concludes with a festive lunch allowing the group to sample the dishes they have just created.
 
Bejana Menu

Bejana is open from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily with weekly off days.

Reservations are recommenced by calling +62-(0)361-849 8988 or [Email].

Book a Stay at the Ritz-Carlton Bali


Hello! Sailor
Bali Received Friendly Visit by Two US Naval Destroyers Carrying 740 Sailors

Two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers of the U.S. Navy berthed at Bali’s Port of Benoa on Friday, May 1, 2015.
 
The USS Sterett (DDG-104) and the USS Dewey (DDG-105) both of the ships have a length of 155 meters and each carry a complement of 380 officers and crew.
 
Fully outfitted with large caliber weapons, one of the ships carries an experimental laser-based system capable of disabling drones and small boats.
 
The Commander of the Denpasar Naval District, Lt. Colonel Bambang Trijanto told beritadewata.com that the two ships were on a friendly visit.
 
The ships were scheduled to visit Bali for four days until May 4, 2015.
 
The two San Diego-based ships have sailed from the Philippines to Bali.
 
Two Indonesian Navy vessels, the KRI Tongkol and KRI Weling were deployed to Bali to provide added security for the U.S. vessels during their visit.
 


Working Holidays in a Bali a “No No”
Australian Working Illegally in Sanur, Bali Netted in Sweep by Law Enforcement Team

The Denpasar municipal government has tightened its monitoring of both local and foreign residents of Bali’s capital.
 
A judicial team from Kesbangpol swept through the Sanur area of Bali on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Led by Ida Bagus Andika, the team encountered locked gates and shuttered villas when trying to survey foreign residents,
 
As reported by beritadewata.com, the judicial team called on a villa occupied by an American expatriate, Richard James Conley, who was determined to have failed to complete administrative with the local village required under the law for foreign residents.
 
Another foreign resident, Johannes Hermannus of the Netherlands welcomed the team to his villa on Gang Jempiring. Hermannus was found to have complete documentation from immigration but had yet to file the necessary reports with neighborhood authorities. Hermannus said he would quickly undertake the necessary reports requested by the enforcement team.
 
When the team called on Australian Cyntha Leisa Pisera on Jalan Batur Sari in Sanur it was discovered that the woman had been operating a beverage enterprise employing 10 staff for the past three years using a tourist visa. Immigration officials immediately took Pisera into detention for further processing, possible imprisonment and deportation.
 
Ida Bagus Andika said similar patrols are routinely carried out in each sub-district of Denpasar and called on local citizens to report situations in which they believe foreigners are living or working illegally in the city.
 
Foreigners occupying private residences in Bali for more than 24 hours are required to report their details to neighborhood authorities


Making a Mark in Jimbaran
Watermark Hotel & Spa – Opening Gently in Jimbaran, Bali

Located only 5 minutes from Bali’s busy Ngurah Rai Airport, but well removed from aircraft traffic patterns, the Watermark Hotel & Spa Bali – Jimbaran is in the midst of it’s soft opening at the northern end of Jalan Uluwatu, next door to the Kasih Ibu Hospital.
Image to Enlarge  
The 143-room hotel offers 7 room categories ranging from superior rooms of 32 square meters to 86 meter Suites with private pools. In all, the Resort offers 71 suite rooms.
 
Image to Enlarge Run by Watermark – a Japanese Hotel company with properties already in operation in Japan and Australia, the Watermark Hotel & Spa is quintessentially Japanese is style, service and unwavering commitment to customer service.

Both minimalist and modern in style, the hotel is an architectural marvel in its use of stone, wood and glass finishes. A spacious lobby area is accented by a fountain separating the reception service and an open lounge overlooking the ground floor swimming pool and garden. Also feeding off the lobby area are the hotel’s Senses2 Restaurant that is open form 6:30 am until 10:00 pm; the Angelique Restaurant offering  exquisite patisseries; a gift shop; the entrance to Liang – a two-storey spa facility; and a 24-hour departure lounge for those waiting to make the 5-minute transfer to Bali’s airport.
 
Tucked away in a discreet corner of the lobby is Nak Nik – a dedicated playroom for children open from 10:00 am until 5:00 p.m..
 
Also accessible from the lobby is Nishiazabu Imadoku – open from 6:30 am until 10:00 pm serving authentic Japanese cuisine.
 
While the hotel is preparing a beach club that will be a short distance from the hotel, sun worshippers will enjoy visits to a rooftop infinity swimming pool and bar surrounded by loungers and cabanas.
 
Image to Enlarge The rooms at Watermark Hotel & Spa Bali – Jimbaran boasts private balconies, wireless WiFI, Satellite television on 42-inch LED TVs, mini-bars, in-room safes, IDD telephone, coffee making facilities, irons and ironing boards, bathrooms with separate showers and bathtubs and 24-hour room service.
 
The Resort also has a fitness center, laundry service and a premium lounge offered at a small additional stipend to guests.
 
During the soft-opening period, exception prices are on offer at what promises to become a Jimbaran favorite among Bali visitors

Book the Watermark Hotel & Spa Jimbaran Bal
i


The Case of the Missing Room Boy
Badly Decomposed Body of Russian Tourists Discovered in Kuta, Bali Hotel

A the decomposing body of a 26-year-old Russian national, Alexandr Shkliaev, was discovered in a room at the Mahendra Hotel in Legian, Kuta on the evening of Monday, April 27, 2015.
 
Merdeka.com, quoting police reports, says a member of the hotels security team, Ketut Arditha, discovered the body at 11:00 pm.
 
A putrid smell emanating from the room prompted the security guard to open the door where he found the dead Russian hanging, suspended by his neck.
 
The head of the Kuta police precinct, Ida Bagus Deddy Januartha, confirmed the Russian had checked into the hotel 7 days prior to his death on April 20, 2015 and was scheduled to check out on the afternoon of when his body was discovered. Januartha said: “We are still investigating the case. We are also looking into the failure of the hotel to inspect the room despite the check-out time’s expiration.”
 
The Russian’s body was found in the room’s bathroom where he hanging by the neck using a pair of shoelaces.
 
Tribunenews.com reports that forensic examination of the man’s body at Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital and its advance state of decomposition indicated that Shkliavev had died two to three days prior to the discovery of his body.
 
Apparently the hotels housekeeping department had not visited the man’s room for three days.
 
Police continue to investigate the man’s death.


Tiny Bubbles, Make Me Feel Fine
Hard Rock Hotel Bali Launches Venue Dedicated to ‘The Ultimate Foam Party’

Bali’s leading theme hotel – Hard Rock Hotel Bali has created a new venue called “The Ultimate Foam Party” for those made happy and fine by tiny bubbles of foam.
 
The Ultimate Foam Party offers a permanent Foam Party area, multi-level DJ Booth, and lockers to keep your belongings safe and secure.

Inaugurated on Friday, May 1,  2015 and scheduled to be held on the first and third Friday of every month, the fun commences with family activities from 6::00 – 7:30 pm including pillow fights, water volley ball, water polo, surf board races, beach volley ball and kids Olympic games.

The Foam Party – strictly for adults – commences form 8:00 pm with an entrance fee of Rp. 150,000 plus tax and service, per person (US$14).

Foam parties are open to in-house guests, the general public and include a first drink and a party rucksack.

A Family Foam Party is in operation from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at which children are welcome. In-house guests pay Rp. 100,000 plus tax and service (US$9.30) for children and Rp. 150,000 plus tax and service for adults.

“Our goal is to create authentic experiences that rock for all our Rock Stars staying at Hard Rock Hotel Bali. To ensure they have an awesome time during their holiday, making lots of new friends while having a load of fun” says Shane Coates, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel Bali. “So we see our Ultimate Foam Party venue as an addition to our many facilities that ensures everyone has a unique, fun and memorable experience.”  
 
Book a Stay at the Hard Rock Hotel Bali



Muhammad Comes to the Meridien
Muhammad Yuslan in Charge at Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran have appointed Indonesian Hotelier Muhammad Yuslan as general manager.

A National Hotel Institute in Bandung, Indonesia graduate where he specialized in room division management with additional course of study covering marketing management and strategic planning at the London School of Public Relations in Jakarta.

Muhammad Yuslan was the Executive Assistant Manager for Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran from 2012 to 2014. After leaving Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran, he joined Inaya Putri Bali, Nusa Dua as Director of Rooms which enriched his leadership skills, making him a very well rounded decision maker.

Fourteen years of professional experience in the hospitality industry, knowledge has brought Yuslan to his latest assignment appointment, effective March 26, 2015.
 
Book a Stay at the Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran


Island Fever
Bali Ranks High in TripAdvisor List of World’s Best Islands

TripAdvisor have released it Travellers’ Choice Awards for the best holiday Islands that included more than 100 islands around the world based on consumer reviews from travelers from around the world.

"Our well-travelled community has uncovered the best islands around the world for that perfect island escape whether you want to lie on the beach or seek adventure," said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor.
 
Among the best islands in the world, only two are in Southeast Asia with Ko Tao ranking #5 and Bali #7. Procindenciales in the Turks and Caicos ranks as the World’s best.
 
Top 10 Travelers' Choice Islands - World
  1.  Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
  2.  Maui, Hawaii
  3.  Santorini, Greece
  4.  Ko Tao, Thailand
  5.  Madeira, Portugal
  6.  Bali, Indonesia
  7.  Mauritius, Africa
  8.  Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  9.  Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Among Asia Islands the rankings are as follow with Bali ranking at #2 and Lombok at #5

Top 10 Travelers' Choice Islands - Asia
  1. Ko Tao, Thailand
  2. Bali, Indonesia
  3. Phuket, Thailand
  4. Ko Samui, Thailand
  5. Lombok, Indonesia
  6. Ko Lanta, Thailand
  7. Ko Phangan, Thailand
  8. Boracay, Philippines
  9. Palawan, Philippines
  10. Langkawi, Malaysia
Selection of the best islands was based on algorithms that weighed quantity and quality of reviews for hotels, restaurants and attractions.


Getting it Back to Nature
Homes of 50 Families Demolished in Conservation Area at Danau Tamblingan, North Bali

After a prolonged series of meetings and negotiations, local authorities took matters directly in hand and demolished tens of private homes illegally occupying protected conservation lands at the village of Munduk near Lake Tamblingan in Buleleng Regency, North Bali.
 
The home that were torn down on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at Lake Tamblingan were torn down by village representatives after a deadline announced to the squatters came and went.
 
The demolition action included local village enforcement teams (pacalang), regency law enforcement officials (Pamong Praja) and officers from the Buleleng police precinct.
 
As reported by Beritabali.com, the demolition process proceeded largely without incident, with many of the building already vacated by residents who heeded the earlier deadline for evacuation. No resistance was offered by the residents of the few occupied home whose residents were assisted by pacalang in removing their remaining possessions to the nearby roadside.
 
The village chief (kelian) of Munduk, Jro Ardana, said after the demolition was completed that the now unoccupied land would be returned to its natural status as a conservation area.
 
Ardana said: “Later this (the land) will be used as sacred and conservation lands. There will be no development in this area except for religious of conservation purposes. This also include (a ban) on development for potential investors.”
 
The empty buildings after the evacuation were either torn down or burnt to the ground.
 
The evacuation process and demolishment of the homes was the conclusion of a process commenced in 2014 when the Munduk village and the Agency for the Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA) began to persuade a total of 50 families that they would not be allowed to continue on as squatters on a publicly-owned conservation area.


Is Tourism Killing People?
Bali Warned that Water and Time Running Out for Bali Tourism

www.mongabay.co.id recently reported on Bali’s worsening water crisis in an article by Luh De Suriyani entitled ‘Why is Bali Threatened with a Water Crisis?”

In that article, Dr. Stroma Cole, a senior lecturer in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of The West of England, said on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at a seminar on Bali’s water crisis that “Tourism is Killing People.”

Cole concluded that the peak of the coming water crisis in Bali would take place between 2020-2025 if definite steps were not taken to enhance consciousness, conservation and policy coordination. Tourism, Cole warned, can only take place in areas with sufficient water supplies.

Based on research, including interviews with 100 foreign tours in 2010, as many as 90% of those interviewed assumed that Bali still has abundant supplies of fresh water.  50% of those interviewed expressed surprise when informed of Bali’s water crisis. 68% of those informed of the crisis, pledged to try to conserve water if asked to do so by hotels in Bali, and 36% said they would willingly pay an environmental tax levy.

In 2010, the United Nations declared that water and sanitation are basic human rights. Cole, together with Wiwik DA of Udayana University, said that “the cost of water should not represent more than 4% of personal income, should be safe from contamination, and be in ready supply.”

Both Cole and Wiwik interviewed 39 leading stakeholders in Bali. A number of complex factors were identified as worsening the Island’s water crisis.

First, is pressure brought by Bali’s tourism industry, mostly comprised of accommodation providers such as hotels and villas that are tapping subterranean water supplies with deep wells of as much as 60 meters. Wells dug by local residents that are between 10 and 20 meters deep are now already largely dry.

Second, most of those responding in interviews composed of small entrepreneurs admitted they were not paying the required tax on well water. The most common defense offered was that well owners felt they were compensating the government by paying for the electricity needed to pump the water above ground. Cole also found a large amount of development in “green zones” that supposed to be free of any construction activity.

Third, many farmers are deciding to sell their agricultural tracts of land that are needed as water catchment areas due to the burden of increasing property tax rates fed by rising property values. Unfair tax structures, and the high cost of fertilizers and pesticides have become problematic to Bali’s agriculturalists.

Fourth, according to Cole, is a lack of coordination among those responsible for the Bali’s water supply. Cole counts 11 agencies involved in water police. “Can everyone sit down together and solve the problem? (The response is) ‘That’s not our problem, it’s someone else’s responsibility.’ No one wants to take responsibility (for the water crisis),” complains Cole.

Fifth, Cole emphasized that conservation awareness by the public and in policy formulation is lacking. Cole said that as a tropical nation, waste water and sewage must be managed, adding: “In England, I don't know for sure, but the water in water pipes has been passed through the urininary tract seven times.”

Cole insists that without public awareness and action the consequence of continued exploitation of surface water from rivers, worsening saltwater intrusion into Bali’s water table, diminishing water quality, an increase of 25% in the cost of water over the past three years, and the diversion or farm lands to other uses – will all lead to eventual conflicts over water.

Is Bali’s tourism industry exploiting Bali’s water supply? The chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokoda Artha Ardhana Sukawati (“Cok Ace”) is unable to confirm a case of exploitation, but did share data on the use of water and electricity by the tourism sector.

Data provided by the Bali Hotel Association (BHA) and Howarth HTL links the star rating of hotels with electricity and water consumption. In other words, the more expensive a hotel the higher per capita use of power and water. They estimate that a hotel with a tariff of US$400 per night consumes 4 tons (4,000 liters) per guest per day. This is substantially higher than the assumed per capita daily use of 183 liters. Data for hotels costing US$59 per day is put at 1 ton (1,000 liters) per guest per day.

The National Statistics Center (BPS) estimates Bali’s population in 2014 stood at 4.1 million residents. If each person consumes 183 liters of water per day, that translates into a daily water demand of 750 million liters of water per day (750,000 tons).

This figure does not include the water demands from the tourism sector. Data from the PHRI counts 77,496 starred hotel rooms in Bali. If every room requires 2,000 liters each and hotel occupancy stands at a modest 50% - that adds an additional 160 million liters of water demand each day. Also not included in these calculations is the water demand from hundreds of unregistered villas, condotels and other accommodation providers demanding water for their guests and swimming pools.

“The need for water follows the star rating and classification of the hotel and the facilities provided. If (accommodation) is expensive, where there’s pools and bathtubs,” said Cok Ace.

Ironically, the green tourist area of Ubud in Central Bali has the highest rates of water consumption. BHA and Howarth estimates water consumption in Ubud averages between 3,000 -5,000 liters per person per day.

“It’s not certain that quality tourism brings water conservation,” said Sunarta, an instructor in Tourism Studies and a water researcher at Bali’s Udayana University.

Sunarta credited Bali’s colonial masters of another era who initially established Singaraja in North Bali as the Island’s capital as being innovative in providing water to arid areas. Now, with the capital in the South, water supply and distribution is becoming increasingly problematic with many consultants now engaged in marketing water making technology to hotels.

Currently the government is trying to meet water demands through the installation of tens of thousands of meters of water pipes to bring water from distant corners of Bali, such as the Petanu and Unda River.

Bagus Sudibya, a leading tourism figure and member of the Bali Tourism Board, is urging that water conservation measures be imposed by law on accommodation providers. His suggestion is that if every room requires 2,000 liters of water of water per day, hotels should be required to plant trees to help capture and recycle rain water. “This should form part of the investment calculations and become a requirement for obtaining an IMB,” said Sudibya.

Meanwhile, Cok Ace of PHRI-Bali called on the government to impose a moratorium on new hotel development. While the Governor issued a moratorium in 2011, the order has been ignored with construction of new hotels in Denpasar, Gianyar and Badung being built on an unprecedented rate.

Related Articles


Questioning the Value of Australian Education
Editorial: Following Execution of 'Bali 9' Members, Lecturer from Swinburne University Ask Indonesians Not to Attend His Classes

George Swinburne, the founder in 1909 of Swinburne University in Hawthorn, Australia must be churning in his cremation urn.

Last week, following the execution by firing squad of “Bali9” drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran and six others on the Central Java island of Nusa Kambangan, a professor at Swinburne University decided to ask any Indonesian in his class to leave the classroom and refrain from attending his classes in the future.

The lecturer, Julian Oldmeadow, who professes to be an expert in profiling and discrimination, was upset at the executions of Chan and Sukumaran and wanted to express “grief, sadness and anger as an individual Australian” over the execution of the two felons.

Ironically, Oldmeadow also demonstrated a doubtful grasp of his two main areas of academic expertise by mistakenly profiling all Indonesians as supporting capital punishment and then using his illogicality to mindlessly discriminate against all Indonesian students studying at Swinburne.

To the good credit of many students attending Oldmeadow’s lecture, complaints of dismay and disappointment were reported to University administrators and expressed on social media, citing the instructor’s small-mind and racist attempts to discriminate.

Cognizant of the public condemnation his remarks had precipitated, Julian Oldmeadow failed to do the right thing and simply apologize for his over-emotive remarks, but, instead, opted to be mealy-mouthed, saying that while he regretted his earlier comments,  he still insisted that “Indonesian students have some say in who their political leaders will be … and what policies they will support” and therefore, remain valid targets for the exercise of his over-inflated sense of self-righteous indignation.

The Indonesians, held in such strong disdain by Julian Oldmeadow, have a saying “Guru Kencing Berdiri Murid Kencing Berlari” that seems to aptly apply in this instance. Roughly translated, this axiom warns of the outcome of employing sub-standard teachers by warning: “The teacher urinates while standing; His students urinates on the run.”

Julian Oldmeadow’s statements and his utter failure to quickly  and unreservedly apologize demonstrate a lack of education or, at best,  a strong degree of intellectual sloth in someone charged with educating the younger generation.

Swinburne's  offficial website states: “At Swinburne, we strive to make a difference. By fostering a culture of creative thinking, open communication and respect, We encourage students and staff who are motivated by a desire to innovate and bring about positive change.”

Like Oldmeadow, we would be guilty of the same sort of unfair profiling and discrimination to suggest one Australian instructor’s statements call into question the basic value of any Indonesian seeking a higher education in Australia. 

But, as to whether or not Indonesian students are wasting their time at Swinburne University, we prefer to reserve judgement, hoping those in charge at Swinburne will initiate “positive change” by permanently removing Julian Oldmeadow from its classrooms.

Admittedly, such a move would have minimal effect on the quality of education for Indonesian scholars attending Swinburne, who, in any case, are unwelcome in Oldmeadow’s classroom. But, it may not be too late to salvage the young Australian minds still compelled endure such narrow mindedness disguising itself as pseudo-education.

This man has no role to play in shaping the minds of either Australian or Indonesian youth.


Cloudy Beer
Situation on the Sale of Beer in Bali Remains Undefined and Unclear

Bali will apparently be cut some slack on nationwide rules controlling the sales of beer and other alcoholic beverages, traders circulating with cold beverages on Bali’s famed Kuta beach will still need to discover their fate when the traditional village of Kuta decides local rules governing the future sale of beer.

The new rules giving control of beer sales to local communities are expected to cover not only the sale of beer, but also how both foreign and domestic visitors to the popular beachfront consume it.

The rules introduced by the Kuta village authority are expected to outlaw the drinking of beer while strolling roadsides and sidewalks in Kuta and establish a village-owned cooperative to control the distribution of beer to local traders.

Still clouded in confusion and uncertainty is the future of convenience stores and mini-markets in Kuta – many of which are owned by Kuta residents – that are banned from selling beer under the new regulations.

Despite the mid-April deadline to end the sale of beer at convenience stores, many min-marts across Bali continue to sell beers in what’s amount to a cat-and-mouse game with law enforcement officials.

At the same time a large number of unlicensed entertainment venues, restaurants and bars continue to serve and sell beer to their customers. Citing just one example, the regency of Jembrana has no officially licensed cafes and bars, yet, in reality, there are a very large number of such establishments open for business and selling beer throughout that regency.


Dead Man’s Float
American Man Dies while Snorkeling at Nusa Penida, Bali

Bali police have completed a superficial forensic examination of the body of a 54-year-old America whose body was found floating near Jungutbaru at Nusa Penida Island, located a short distance off the coast of Southeast Bali. 

David Joseph’s was found floating listlessly on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Nusa Penida during a snorkeling outing and died on the way to a nearby community health center. His body was subsequently sent to the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar by police

Doctor’s say the American’s body suggested he died of exhaustion and had suffered a number of minor cuts and contusions, perhaps from encounters with rocks and corral.

Police continue to investigate the American’s death.


The Governor’s Good Health
Bali Governor Made Pastika in Singapore on Medical Visit

Amidst unconfirmed reports that Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika is gravely ill and has gone to Singapore for medical treatment, the provincial spokesperson for the Province of Bali has denied these reports insisting the Governor is only undergoing a routine medical check-up.

Dewa Gede Mahendra Putra, the head of public relations for the Governor’s office told beritadewata.com in a telephone call on Thursday, April 30, 2015: “There is nothing critical. It’s a normal examination. A routine examination.”

Mahendra refused to discuss the Governor’s health in detail or when, exactly, he flew to Singapore. He would also not discuss how long Pastika would be in Singapore undergoing medical checks.

Governor Pastika’s trip to Singapore prevented him for attending a scheduled plenary session of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) on Wednesday, April 30, 2015. Attending in Pastika’s stead was deputy-governor Ketut Sudikerta.

Prior to traveling to Singapore, Governor Pastika requested the required permission from the Minister of the Interior to travel to Singapore for a health check.

During Pastika’s absence, Ketut Sudikerta serves as ad interim governor of the Province. When quizzed by the press on this point via telephone, Sudikerta declined comment.

The deputy-governor, however, did confirm the Governor Pastika was undergoing a routine medical check up. For that reason, the Minister of the Interior had issued the necessary authorizing letter. “The letter (from the Minister) is with me. And, for the meanwhile, I am administering the government in Bali,” explained Sudikerta.


Shrinking Time and Distance in Bali
Bali Prepares to Add 145 Kilometers of New North – South Toll Roads

Lobbying efforts by the Province of Bali to build 145 kilometers of additional toll roads in Bali has received the necessary blessing from the Minister of Public Works who has endorsed the construction of 6 separate toll roads at a cost of Rp. 30 trillion (US$2.3 billion).

The construction of the new toll road is slated to commence at the end of 2016.

Bali deputy-governor Ketut Sudikerta announced Jakarta’s support for the massive road project on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, saying the State-owned company PT Waskita Karya is finalizing feasibility studies prior to forming a construction and operation consortium.

The road project is comprised of six separate segments:
  • Sunset Road in Kuta to Canggu (Badung)
  • Canggu to Tanah Lot (Tabanan)
  • Tanah Lot to Soka (Tabanan)
  • Soka to Pekutatan (Jembrana)
  • Pekutatan to Seririt (Buleleng)
  • Beringkit (Badung) to Sakah (Gianyar)

The Rp. 30 trillion in funding will come from the National Budget with it falling upon the provincial authorities to secure the required easements and right-of-ways from local land owners.

Sudikerta told NusaBali that the need to secure land rights for the proposed toll road would be minimized through the use of elevated roadways that will reduce the impact on surrounding agricultural lands and preserve natural panoramas.

Sudikerta said that the Province has also finished the land acquisition needed to complete the Western Ring Road that will connect Jalan Mahendradatta in West Denpasar and the Sunset Road in Legian. Rp, 250 billion (US$19.2 million) has been provided by Jakarta to cover land acquisition for this project.

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Lovina Business at a Low Ebb
Lovina Water Park in North Bali Gets 14-Day Deadline to Secure Licenses and Permits

Regency law enforcement officials in Buleleng, North Bali are threatening to close down a water park attraction in Lovina operating as a joint venture with an Australian partner.

As reported by Bali Post, the Buleleng Enforcement Agency (Pamong Praja Buleleng) have given a deadline of 14 working days to I Gede Wenten, a citizen of Banyualit in Lovina to secure the necessary permits for the water park located just off Lovina’s shoreline.

Winten has reportedly signed an undertaking at the Pamong Praja Buleleng office agreeing to the 14-day deadline. Wenten promised to immediately contact his Australian partner, Rob Muir (47), to ensure the deadlines are met.

Local officials insist that they will not hesitate to demolish the existing structures built on the shoreline and in the sea if the project misses the agreed licensing deadline.




Tear This Wall Down!
Badung Lawmakers Inspect Beach Wall Erected by InterContinental Resort Canggu Bali

Members of Commission II and III of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) have made a site visit to the Canggu InterContinental Resort at Batu Bolong on Bali’s western shore.

The visit by legislators on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, also called on the investor in the project and members of the local community to attend. The chairman of Commission II of the DPRD-Badung, Nyoman Dirga Yusa pledged that all parties would soon be called to hammer out a solution to complaints that the hotel had built a wall too close to the shore line and in violation of zoning laws.

Dirga Yusa said that his observations in the field confirm that the wall built by the hotel was an eyesore intruding on the beach. The lawmaker said other, less visually intrusive means, of countering large waves could have been used, such as those in place on Jalan Pantai Matahari Terbit in Sanur.

The 2009 RTRWP Zoning law is clear on two points. First, the minimum setback from the high water mark is 100 meters. Second, the public right-of-way along beaches reserved for recreational and ritual purposes can never be obstructed by any party.

Despite the law and the close proximity of the wall to the water’s edge, the chief of the Coordinated Licensing Agency for Badung (BPPT-Badung), Made Sutama, insists that the hotel is being built in accordance with the legal rules and permits in hand.

The same zoning law also provides for 5 years imprisonment for any government officials who grant permits and easements in conflict with the 2009 RTRWP.

Many developers in Bali seeking to by pass zoning and building rules will undertake negotiations will local community officials, promising jobs or other compensation in order to be allowed easements and exemptions in non-conformance with the rules. This method of getting around the rules is extremely controversial, with environmentalists arguing that local village officials do not have the authority or final say in granting easements on right-of-ways that are, in fact, owned in common by all Indonesians and not merely the residents of adjoining villages.
 
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Rabies Widens its Grip
Rabies Case Confirmed in Bangli Bovine Population

Health authorities in Bangli Regency in Bali have recorded a case of rabies in the village of Belbalang.  

As reported by Radar Bali, a farming cooperative discovered the case in a 2.5-year-old cow that underwent artificial insemination on January 20, 2015.

The same cow began to act in a peculiar fashion on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, by running amok and thrashing its head against its enclosure. A short time later, the cow experienced violent seizures and died.

The owners of the cow contacted to Bangli Animal Health Officials who biopsied the cow’s brain and, following laboratory analysis, confirmed the presence of the rabies virus.

Officials and the cow’s owners remain baffled on how or when the animal became infected with rabies. There is no record of the cow being bitten by a dog or another animal.

When Bali’s deputy-governor Ketut Sudikerta heard of the incident he extended assistance to the farming group, agreeing to replace the cow with a market value of Rp. 5.5 million (US$425).

No vaccination program of the bovine population in Bangli has yet to be initiated by Bangli officials.


Feverish Concern
Dengue Fever Cases on the Increase in Bali

During the first four months of 2015, an estimated 4,000 cases of hemorrhagic fever (Deman Berdarah) have been confirmed by Bali Health Officials who have linked 16 deaths to the mosquito borne disease.

These figure, showing a marked increase in Deman Berdarah cases when compared to the same period in 2014, were revealed by the chief of the Bali Health Department, Dr. Suarjaya on Friday, May 1, 2015.

As reported by Radar Bali, less than 10 deaths linked to Deman Berdarah were reported in the first four months of 2014.

Deman Berdarah (DB) is transmitted through the bite of the aedes aegypti mosquito.

Initial symptoms of the disease can include high fever, severe headaches, and red spots on the skin. Immediate medical attention that includes hospitalization and a strict hydration program can normally prevent the onset of the potentially fatal dengue shock syndrome.
 
Health officials are calling on Bali residents to clean their yards and home, removing any sources of standing water that serve as breeding groups of the mosquitoes.


 
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