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Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #941 - 15 September 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Taxing Coffin Nails
Bali to Earn Estimated US$12.5 million in Tobacco Tax Revenue in 2014

While the Bali provincial government is taking steps to reduce the use of tobacco products through new anti-smoking regulations and the recent last-minute cancellation of major international tobacco exhibition in Bali, the national tax revenues Rp. 100 trillion (US$8.3 billion) generated by tobacco sales have the potential of generating hundreds of billions in Rupiahs with a share in these tax for Bali.

Quoted by Radar Bali, a tax official said: “The province of Bali has the potential of earning regional tobacco tax revenues of around Rp. 150 billion (US$12.5 million) or about 1.5% of the total tobacco taxes collected in Bali in 2014.

The distribution of a share in tobacco taxes is based on Law No. 28 of 2009 and calculated based on the estimated 4 million residents of the province against the total population of Indonesia.

The province’s share of tobacco tax revenues is paid by the national government once every quarter.

Existing regulations require that 50% of the share in tobacco taxes be allocated for public health and law enforcement. Portions of these funds are use for public education on the dangers of smoking.

Meanwhile, anti-smoking groups are calling on the provincial government of Bali to formulate a clear and detailed program to discourage smoking and reduce the number of people smokers in Bali.

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Illegal Parking
Details Unfolding in Denpasar Courtroom of Corruption at Bali Airport Parking Authority

The corruption trial over the misappropriation of parking fees at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport continues.

Testimony before the Court offered by Chris Wisnu Sridana, the former director or PT Penata Sarana Bali (PSB) - the parking company appointed by airport authority PT Angkasa Pura, saw Sridana reluctantly admit parking revenues were siphoned off before being paid to the Airport Authority.

Prosecutors are claiming that the State suffered losses of Rp. 28 billion (US$2.3 million) due to the corruption of parking fees.

Chris made his admission on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 in the Denpasar District Court after receiving a verbal tongue lashing from the judge.

In the court session led by presiding judge Nursyam, Chris was grilled on how monies were handled by the company. Prevaricating and claiming he couldn’t remember details, the judge told Chris he had lied for every minute of his testimony before the Court just as he had lied during his entire 13-year employment of managing the airport’s parking.

Sridana's admission of taking cuts in parking revenues followed shortly thereafter.

Separate testimony by the former operational manager for PSB, Mekhael Maksi, told the court that Chris Sridana hand ordered the misappropriation of parking revenues due to PT Angkasa Pura.

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Bali Campaigning to be Limited
Political Parties in Bali Agree to Only 12 Active Campaign Days Prior to April 9 Legislative Elections

Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that while the Bali General Election Commission (KPUD) has allocated 21 days for election campaigning between March 16 and April 5 in the run up to the legislative elections scheduled for April 9, 2014, only 12 days will actually be used for campaign activities.

An agreement between political parties and the Provincial Election Commission (KPUD) has stipulated that no campaigning will occur during the five days from March 28 until April 1, 2104 in deference to Hindu New Year celebrations in Bali.

Kadek Wirati the KPUD Commission in Bali said: “We have also agreed not to organize any campaigns on March 25, April 2 and 4. Furthermore, on April 5, all political parties and candidates will participate in a joint prayer ceremony, so there will be no campaigning on that day. Totally, there will be nine days that the political parties and candidates will not use for campaigning.”

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The Choosing Path


Keeping Bali Safe for Democracy
8,200 Bali Police Personnel to be Deployed to Safeguard 2014 Elections

The State News Agency Antara reports that the Bali police will mobilize two-thirds of their total complement of 12,400 personnel to ensure the 2013 elections run smoothly.

The chief of the Bali police, General Julius Benny Mokalu, confirming 8,200 officers would be deployed, said: “The stipulation is two-thirds of our personnel, we will maximize them.”

According to General Mokalu, the police in Bali will not undertake any special security measures during the coming elections except to provide support and security to the democratic process in accordance with the direction and guidelines set out by National Police Headquarters.

The Choosing Path
 


Giving Bali a Sporting Chance
Bali Wants to Become an Island of Sport After Current Round of Elections is Concluded

Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) is joining forces with the Indonesian National Sports Committee (KONI) to bring more sporting events to Bali.

Ngurah Wijaya of BPPD said: 

“The plan to develop Bali as a destination for sports started some three or four years ago, initiated by the Bali Tourism Board when we started to host several events, like marathons, golf and tennis tournaments.”

Bali is introducing a new sport tourism branding “Bali Sporti” meant to serve as an umbrella over those events initiated by BPPD.

While sporting events have been identified as a promotional priority for Bali tourism, “Bali Sporti” got off to a very rocky start last November with the inaugural Bali Highway Half Marathon. Set to be held on Bali’s new toll road, organizers changed the racecourse only hours before the event’s start when it was learned that race organizers had failed to obtain the necessary permission from the Ministry of Public Works to use the toll road.

Moreover, plans to make Bali an "island of sports" have been put on the back burners for most of 2014 due to legislative and presidential elections. The 8th edition of the Bali International Triathlon was postponed from June 2014 until the following year when police demurred on granting the required permits during the elections period.

Bali has also declared its desire to win the right to host the 2020 National Games (PON 2020), but will have to beat out North Sumatra, Central Java, Papua and South Sulawesi who have also all declared their interest in playing host to the event held once every four years.

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Dragon Dancing All the Way to Bali
Dragonair to Fly Hong Kong to Bali Twice Weekly Starting April 27, 2014

DragonAir the sister airline of Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific have announced they will commence twice-weekly service between Hong Kong and Bali on April 27, 2014.

Denpasar (Bali) will represent Dragonair’s first Indonesian destination, becoming the 15th destination served by the airline.

Cathay Pacific currently operates a daily service between Hong Kong and Bali. Together, the two airlines will operate a total of nine weekly flights on the Denpasar route.

Dragonair will fly Airbus A330-300 aircraft in a two-class configuration.

Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Patrick Yeung said: “We are very excited about launching flights to Denpasar and being able to further expand our presence in Asia. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board to experience our award-winning service and products. This new service will provide customers with greater choice and convenience at the same time as bolstering Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs.”

The schedule for Dragonair’s Hong Kong (HKG) to Denpasar (DPS) service, effective 27 April 2014, is as follows:
  • KA360 flies Hong Kong to Denpasar on Thursdays and Sundays leaving at 12:35 pm arriving at 5:20 pm.
  • KA361 flies Denpasar to Hong Kong on Thursdays and Sundays leaving at 6:45 pm arriving at 11:35 pm.


No Sex Please, Weíre Balinese
Government Worried that Closure or Major Commercial Sex Area in Surabaya, East Java Might Cause Exodus of Sex Workers to Bali

Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika told Beritadewata.com that there are an estimated 400 commercial sex workers in Bali infected with the HIV/AIDS virus.

The Governor shared these figures against suggestions that following the closure of the massive commercial sex complex “Gang Dolly” in Surabaya, East Java, the prostitutes will shift their area of enterprise to Bali.

The Governor said the tally of 400 HIV/AIDS infected sex workers was most probably only the tip of the iceberg based on limited health checks carried out by health officials in “locations” known for their “cottage sex industry.”

Added the Governor: “There is a great possibility there are many more commercial sex workers who are positive (for HIV/AIDS) who were not examined by health inspectors or did not want to be examined by a clinic. My recommendation is that everyone avoid (sexual) indulgence outside the home.”

Continuing, Governor Pastika said he estimates there are more than 1,000 commercial sex workers operating in Bali spread across specific “locations” were these worker ply their ancient trade. At the same time, Pastika said the 1,000 figure is probablu a low estimate, as there are many more “locations” not visited by officials.

While specific places where prostitution practices are not formally permitted by Bali's government, those living in areas where prostitution is rife are, somewhat ironically reminded by the government, still subject to the law.

Certain areas of Sanur, only hundreds of meters from the doors of five-star hotels, are heavily populated by private homes operating as bordellos.

Pastika told the press that Bali would not allow the notorious “Gang Dolly” to reopen in Bali nor would permits be issued to such operations. “Those rejecting and opposing such development would not only be from the government, but from all the people of Bali,” warned Pastika.

The governor said that to date commercial sex areas in operation in Bali have no link to the “Gang Dolly” operation in Surabaya. Nonethless, the Governor wants officials to be on guard to ensure that the closure of “Gang Dolly” in Surabaya doe not bring negative impacts to Bali.

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New Main Man Holding the Lionís Mane
Rudi Limingkewas Named CEO at Lion Air

Lion Mentari Airlines – more commonly known as Lion Air – has a new man in charge with the appointment of Rudi Lumingkewas to fill its top post, replacing owner and CEO Rusdi Kirana who has resigned his day-to-day responsibilities at the Airline to support the political ambitions of the National Awakening Party (PKB).

As reported by Jakarta Globe, Luminkewas will continue to report to Rudy Kirana on business development issues.

Rudi Limingkewas’ rise at Lion Air  has been meteoritic. Joining Lion Air as its district manager in Medan in 2001, he was promoted to the top sales and marketing role at Head Office in 2012.

Rudi told the press: “At the moment my focus is maintaining passenger occupancy at an average of 90 percent… and to open new routes.”

Lion Air expects to carry 23.9 million passengers in 2014.

Rusdi, of ethnic Chinese descent, says the decision to dedicate himself to politics was based on his admiration of the former PKB chairman and former Indonesian President Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid who’s visionary leadership to make Indonesia a tolerant, secular society first prompted Rudi to join the party.

“Gus Dur made me, as an Indonesian with Chinese heritage, feel equal to my brothers and sisters of other ethnicities in this country,” Rusdi said.

Rudi will take on responsibilities during a period of rapid growth at Lion Air and a reputation for poor service that has tarnished the low-cost airline’s branding.

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Forward Formosa
Garuda Eyeing Direct Flights between Bali and Taipei

The Taipei Times reports that Garuda Indonesia is planning to soon commence up to five flights per week between Bali and Taipei.

The only airlines presenting flying between Taipei and Bali are Eva Airways and China Airlines.

Taiwanese visitor totals in 2013 grew 32.03% with 126,914 visitors to Bali.

The General Manager for Garuda in Taiwan, Joseph said the Indonesian carrier would adopt a code-sharing service with China Airlines (CAL) .

Garuda Indonesia presently operates daily flights between Jakarta and Taipei using Boeing B737-800 NG aircraft configured to carry 156 passengers comprised of 12 business class seats and 144 economy seats.


Keeping the Lid on Tight
Bali Police Tighten Security on Arms and Munitions Following Navy Blast in Jakarta Kills One and Injures Eighty-Six

Following the accidental explosion of an Indonesian Navy armory in Jakarta that left at least one dead an eighty-six injured, the Bali police have tightened procedures and security over weapons and munitions under their supervision.

The State News Agency Antara, quotes Bali’s chief of police, General Julius Benny Mokalu, saying, “We have rechecked storage facilities and our logistics.”

Bali’s number one policeman has issued instructions to the elite Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) to tighten controls on ammunitions and weaponry kept under police storage in order to anticipate and prevent possible accidents. At the same time, General Mokalu has asked for public support in the effort to improve security.

The Commandant of the Bali Brimob in Bali, Police Commissioner Rudy Harianto said, “As regards procedures and operational standards, and security standards for munitions and weapon storage at Brimob, everything is in accordance with command directives.”

To offer an illustration of some of the standards now in place, the Bali police have a munitions storage measuring seven times eight meters located at the Brimob headquarters in Tohpati where ideal temperatures of between 22-25 degrees Centigrade are maintained, and smoke and fire detectors are in place.

The police said the Bali provincial police command is considered "ideal
in terms of its 1:200 ration of police to local citizens, with assistance in maintaining the peace also provided by special tourism police and the Gegana tactical response team charged with handling organized crime, terrorism, bombs, chemical and biological threats.


All Stars Under the Star
Mozaic Beachclub Lets it Hair Down to Hold Bali's Best Beach Party of Year

The Mozaic Beachclub, on Bali's fashionable Seminyak Beach, took a brief but very pleasurable departure from its hard fought reputation as Bali's leading and most elegant locale for fine dining on Thursday, March 6, 2014 to undergo a major transformation for a one-night-only performance by the world renowned musical group Earth, Wind and Fire Experience featuring the Al McKay All Stars.

In order to get ready to host the top-name musical talent in town to participate in the Bali Live Festival, Mozaic Beachlub underwent a major transformation. Chairs and tables in the elegant upper-level dining room were stored for the night, disco lighting touches added, a dance floor installed, and the waiters were whimsically dressed in bell-bottoms and coiffured in a style reminiscent of the 1970s - all preparatory to welcoming VIP guests to pre-show free-flow wines provided by Plaga Wines and delicious canapés whipped up by executive chef James Ephraim and his team.

Click Image to Enlarge
While the main dining room was being transformed, even more dramatic alterations were underway at the poolside lagoon bar area where a giant festival stage was installed backing on the beach and the Beachclub's swimming pool disappeared underneath a temporary floor to accommodate the evening's concertgoers.

Meanwhile, the glitterati in search of an even more intimate setting had already pre-booked the beachside gazebos where delicious gourmet snacks, Ketel One Vodka and party-minded groups of friends kept each other company.

The hundred's attending the seaside concert were blessed with outstanding weather and a power-packed musical performance by 13 talented musicians led by the legendary Al McKay. An acknowledged producer-performer in the U.S. music industry, McKay is undoubtedly best known for his decade-long affiliation, starting in 1973, with the Chicago-based band "Earth, Wind and Fire." The mega-hits of this group form the musical memory of an entire generation with songs like Got to Get You Into My Life, Let's Groove, Getaway, After the Love Has Gone, September and Sing a Song.

At the Al McKay’s All Stars Mozaic Beachclub appearance, hundreds of enthusiastic fans crowded the stage swaying to the hard driving rhythms and beats and often singing along to the evergreen lyrics from Earth, Wind and Fires' incomparable songbook.

In the 1990s, Al McKay returned to active performance, fronting for a number of new groups and gathering together musical colleagues to create the Al McKay All Stars presenting the Earth, Wind and Fire Experience.

What's Ahead at Mozaic Beachclub?

While Mozaic Beachclub and its highly-awarded sister Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique in Ubud will continue to be known for their unrivalled fine dining experiences, after this successful departure as an exclusive and intimate live-music venue, founding chefs James Ephraim and Chris Salans say they are committed to be on the lookout for future opportunities to present the very best in world-class musical performance from their chic beachfront venue for sophisticated and well-traveled clientele visiting and living in Bali.

Gourmets and culinary connoisseurs are assured by Salans and Ephraim that both Mozaic venues will, as in the past, continue their popular series of life-style events featuring world famous visiting chefs and memorable wine nights.

The obviously jubilant co-founder of Mozaic Beach Club, Chef Chris Salans, while surveying the hundreds of happy concert goers attending the Earth, Wind and Fire Experience event, said: "It's amazing for Mozaic Beachclub to be able to welcome such high caliber artists as Al McKay and his All Stars. We are pleased the band chose Mozaic Beach Club for this intimate event. I hope that the community of Bali and visitors who are here tonight enjoyed their evening and will return to visit us soon at Mozaic Beach Club.”


What do You Recommend?
North Bali Airport in Buleleng Stuck Awaiting Final Location Recommendation from Governor Pastika

The building of a Buleleng International Airport in North Bali has yet to begin due to, among other things, the lack of a final recommendation from the governor stipulating the location for Island’s second air gateway.

Beritabali.com cites an unnamed source in Jakarta saying the Buleleng International Airport cannot commence construction without a signed location recommendation from Governor Made Mangku Pastika. Moreover, it is understood that the formal decree to build the Buleleng Airport already exists in draft form, but has yet to be signed by the Minister of Transportation due to the lack of a location recommendation from Governor Pastika.

The Jakarta source aded: “The obstacle is that there is still no recommendation from Bali’s governor regarding the land that will be utilized for the new airport in Buleleng. The Governor of Bali has yet to give his recommendation on location, preventing the Minister of Transportation from issuing a decree to begin construction of the new airport in Buleleng.”

The lack of a location recommendation also means that the Central Government cannot begin allocating funds from the National Budget (APBN) to build the airport.

The same source added: “The development of the new airport in Buleleng is actually supposed to take place simultaneously with a new airport in West Java. The West Java Airport can now begin construction because the Governor or West Java has issued his recommendation on location. In West Java both the provincial government and the regencies are in agreement on providing the land for the new airport.”

There is an apparent tug-of-war underway over whether the airport will be located in West Buleleng near Gerokgak or East Buleleng near Kubutambahan.

Apparently Governor Pastika prefers the airport to be built in West Buleleng, while the Regent of Buleleng, Agus Suradnyana, prefers an East Buleleng location near Kubutambahan.

Pastika is defending choice of the West Buleleng locale saying the location decision was arrived at after a careful study and review of all options in North Bali.


Come Fly with Me!
Indonesia Poised to Become Fifth Largest Aviation Market in Terms of Domestic Fliers

The State News Agency Antara reports that Indonesia’s expanding economy will soon propel the Country into becoming the fifth largest domestic air market in the world.

Underlying the huge potential for Indonesian air traffic is the Country's population of 240 million and the large area of the globe covered by Indonesia’s more than 17,000 islands.

The chairman of the Indonesian National Air Carrier Association (INACA), Arif Wibowo, calculates that domestic air traffic doubled from 2008 to 2013 when 74.2 million people flew domestically.

Meanwhile, 10.8 million people flew internationally through an Indonesian airport in 2013.

By 2015 the total size of the domestic air traffic market among all ASEAN countries will hit 100 million, a number expected to grow to 180 million by 2018.

Wibowo, who is also CEO of Citilink Airline, said the current rapid growth in domestic air travel would soon see Indonesia as the world’s fifth largest aviation market after the U.S.A., China, Japan and Brazil.

According to a study conducted by McKinsey and Company, Indonesia will become the world's 7th largest economy in 2030 with 90 million people taking a flight each year. That total surpasses the 77 million French citizens who currently take a flight each year.


Rooms to Spare, And then Some
Bali Starred Hotels Averaged 57.76% Occupancy in January 2014

The occupancy rate at starred hotels in Bali for January 2014 averaged 57.76%, declining 4.77 percentage points from the average 65.23% occupancy recorded in December 2103.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Panusunan Siregar, chief of the Bali Statistic Bureau (BPS-Bali), said, “Although the occupancy levels of hotels have declined, they are still sufficiently strong because the occupancy is above 50% and enough to cover operational costs including staff wages.”

Panusunan said Bali welcomed 279,257 foreign visitors in January 2014, increasing 19.89% over the same month in 2012 but 6.61% less than total foreign arrivals for December.

These figure do not include domestic arrivals, estimate in some quarters to represent 65% of all arrivals.

The highest starred-hotel occupancies in January were recorded in the regency of Tabanan at 71.80%. This was followed by Badung (63.11%), Gianyar (53.74%), Karangasem (42.89%), Buleleng (33.05%) and Denpasar (44.17%). The remaining regencies of Jimbaran, Bangli and Klungkung do not have starred hotels.

Data from the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) count 2,260 starred hotels in Bali comprising 56,971 rooms.

Meanwhile, other sources estimated Bali has now more than 100,000 accommodation rooms on sale.

An international study conducted by Societe Centrale pour l'equipment Touristique Ouetre-Mer (SCETO) in 1971 at the request of the Indonesian government pegged the carrying capacity of Bali’s infrastructure and culture at a total of 24,000 rooms.

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Shall we Meet in Bali?
Bali Ranks 48th and Jakarta 172 Among World Destinations for Meeting and Conferences

The director development for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) for the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Achyaruddin, has told Bisnis.com that only Bali and Jakarta qualify as “existing destinations” for the lucrative meeting and conference industry capable of competing for a share of the international MICE market.

Achyaruddin’s conclusion reflects the findings of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) who globally review facilities and services available for meetings and conference. In the ICCA rankings, only two Indonesian destinations meet their established criteria as international MICE destinations: Jakarta and Bali.

Bali was listed as the 48th best MICE destination worldwide in the 2013 rankings, improving markedly from ranking 92nd in 2012. Meanwhile, Jakarta ranked 176th in 2012, slipping slightly from the rank of 172 one year before.

Among the criteria considered by ICCA in determining the competitiveness of a given MICE destination are: accessibility, stakeholder support, interesting attractions, accommodation quality and availability, exhibition space, meeting facilities, destination image, environmental quality and skill-base of workers in the MICE sector.

 


All in the Family
TripAdvisor Names its 2014 List of the 25 Best Family Hotels in Indonesia

Travel.detik.com recently published TripAdvisor’s list of the “25 Best Hotels for Families in Indonesia."

Bali predominates the listing with 17 hotels among the top 25 places to stay for families, meanwhile, 4 hotels are in Riau province, 2 in Bandung, and 1 each in Solo and Magelang.

The top spot went to Padma Resort Bali in Legian which one high marks for its beachside locations and excellent pool facilities. Also ranking high in Bali were The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Holiday Inn Resort Baruna and Febri's Hotel & Spa.

Here’s the listing of Indonesia’s 25 best hotels for families according to TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice 2014:
  1. Padma Resort Bali at Legian, Bali
  2. The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali
  3. Club Med Bintan Island, Kepulauan Riau
  4. Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali, Bali
  5. Febri's Hotel & Spa, Bali
  6. Club Med Bali, Bali
  7. Novotel Bali Benoa, Bali
  8. Dusun Villas Bali, Bali
  9. Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites, Bali
  10. Bali Dynasty Resort, Bali
  11. Villa Sumbing Indah, Magelang
  12. Telunas Beach Resort, Kepulauan Riau
  13. Grand Mirage Resort, Bali
  14. Novotel Bali Nusa Dua Hotel & Residences, Bali
  15. Hilton Bandung, Bandung
  16. Hard Rock Hotel Bali, Bali
  17. Nikoi Island, Kepulauan Riau
  18. Mulia Villas, Bali
  19. The Sunan Hotel Solo, Solo
  20. Villa Awang Awang, Bali
  21. The Trans Luxury Hotel, Bandung
  22. Beach Melati Apartments, Bali
  23. Loola Adventure Resort, Kepulauan Riau
  24. Mara River Safari Lodge, Bali
  25. Mimpi Resort Menjangan, Bali


Ran Away to Bali to Join the Circus
Flight Centre Australia Chooses Bali Dynasty Resort for Global Sales Conference



Voting in The Zone
Bali Divided into Four Separate Campaign Zones for Legislative Elections

The province of Bali will be divided into four separate zones for the coming legislative campaign and elections to be held from March 16, 2014 until April 5, 2014.

The division up of the island into separate zones was agreed recently at a meeting between the Provincial Election Board (KPU-Bali) and the political parties.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Kadek Wirati said in Denpasar on Tuesday, March 4, 2014,  “We have given equal schedules and equivalent time allocations for campaigning so the campaign will be seen as fair and just by all participating parties.”

Wirati explained that the nine regencies and metropolitan areas of Bali have been divided into four campaign zones, with every zone encompassing between two to three regencies.
  • Zone I includes the city of Denpasar and the regency of Gianyar.
  • Zone II includes the regencies of Badung and Tabanan.
  • Zone III includes the regencies of Jembrana and Buleleng.
  • Zone IV includes the regencies of Bangli, Klungkung and Karangasem.
Meanwhile, candidates for the Regional Representative Council (DPD-RI) will be given chance to campaign. “Five DPD candidate can campaign at the same time in a single regency,” explained Wirati.

KU-Bali hopes that an open and free campaign will run peacefully and its integrity guarded by all concerned. Properly undertaken, KPU-Bali is confident that the democratic process will also prove interesting to visiting tourists coming to the island.

During the period March 28 – April 1, 2014 over the Hindu New Year celebrations Bali will be free of campaign activities as mutually agred by of all the competing political parties.

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Bali Campaigning to be Limited


Treading Water
Need for More Safety Training of Baliís Water Sports Personnel

The Bali chapter of the Indonesia Water Sport Entrepreneurs Association (Gahawisri) is asking the provincial government of Bali to facilitate the training of water sports guides on a minimum schedule of twice a year.

I Ketut Tirta, executive secretary of Gahawisri-Bali, told the State News Agency Antara, “On the average every water sports operator employs 20-25 guides, but those to whom we are able to provide training is only around two people for each company.”

Tirta said the training of water sports guides is very important given the risks implied in their field of work. Water guides, he said, need to know about the weather, sea conditions and safety procedures.

“The training we provide provides at least the base foundation for water sports guides, making them better able to perform professionally in providing service to tourists. At the very least, we hope it will eliminate all accidents,” he explained.

Tirta said he has repeatedly reminded Gahawisri members to put safety concerns before profit in serving their tourist guests. At the same time, members are asked to establish standard operating and safety procedures for marine operations.

Tirta alluded to the recent incident in which two Japanese tourists died, saying the failure to use a local guide was a contributing factor in that tragedy. “In fact, every foreign company is required to used local guides who know the local sea conditions. In this regard, we think government supervision is weak. We hope in the future that government will intensify their supervision of foreigners working without the proper permits,” said Tirta.


Eastern Spirits
Future Expansion of Alcoholic Beverage Production Facilities Limited to Bali and East Indonesia

The Indonesian government will continue to tightly control investment in the alcoholic beverage sector and provide limited opportunities for expansion in a highly regulated environment.

The alcoholic drink industry is currently listed by the Investment Coordination Board (BKPM) on the negative investment list (DNI), making new investments to produce alcoholic beverages problematic. Moreover, existing alcoholic beverage producers are not allowed to expand current production or build new factories.

Bisnis.com reports that the Industry Minister, M.S. Hidayat, said the negative Investment list for alcoholic beverages has undergone a revision that will soon be published.

The new policy, said Hidayat, will see the government give opportunities to existing companies to expand their alcoholic beverage production by building new factories. However, warned Hidayat, any new expansion will remain supervised and must conform to a number of rules and regulations.

Hidayat added: “This is only for expansion and not for new licenses. It can happen that an existing company could cooperate with a new company, but I am not recommending that. Businesses can look for partnerships.”

Control of the alcoholic beverage sector will continue by allowing expansion of production facilities only in specified areas, such as East Indonesia and Bali.

The rules will stipulate that factory expansion must also accommodates the local culture and obtain permits from the governor and regent where the factory is located.

The chairman of the Indonesian Entrepreneurs Association (Apindo), Sofjan Wanandi, said the importation of alcoholic beverages continues to increase. For this reason, he said the domestic alcoholic beverage industry must be assisted in order to reduce the need for imports. “Don’t issue new permits, but issue permit only for existing operators. It’s better to build our industry instead of continually importing from Singapore and Japan,” said Wanandi.
 


Keeping Current on Currency
Balidiscovery.com Handy Guide to Spotting Counterfeit Indonesian Currency

Balidiscovery.com’s Katrin Widodo has been conducting independent research on how best to detect counterfeit Indonesian bank notes. Along the way, Katrin learned that in Java alone last year, Bank Indonesia authorities confiscated and destroyed 13,110 counterfeit banknote.

Click Image to Enlarge
ere are some handy tips from Katrin on how to spot bogus Indonesia bank notes:
  1.  Look – Look closely to see that the notes are intact, bright-colored and the printing is not in any way blurred. The embedded security thread should be visible that will resemble metallic vertical lines or a woven pattern. On the front of each Indonesian bank note you will discover a rectangular Bank Indonesia logo printed in Optical Variable Ink (OVI) that does color shifts when viewed from different angles.
  2. Touch/Tactile Qualities – Genuine Indonesian banknotes have a very distinctive “feel.’ Run your fingers across the note to detect embossed print stating the nominal value of the bill. The Indonesian national emblem of the Garuda Bird and the main portrait on the bill have a raised and embossed quality, as well. Also, let your fingers try to read the Braille on each bill located on top the “Bank Indonesia” script.
  3. Transparency – When held against a light source, a watermarked portrait of an Indonesian hero is depicted; look also for the recto-verso printing of the “B” and “I” of Bank Indonesia to be symmetrically printed on both sides of the bill.


How Do You Dismount a Tiger?
Tiger Airways Warns it May Close Tiger Mandala Indonesian Operation if Financial Performance Does not Improve this Year

Reuter’s reports that Singapore-based Tiger Airways is saying that it will sell or close its Indonesian joint-venture with Mandala Airlines unless the airline shows signs of a strong turnaround before the end of 2014.

PT Mandala Airlines resumed flight operations in 2012 after an extended grounding during which the company was restructured and Tiger purchased a one-third share.

Tiger
later upped its shareholding giving 51% shareholding to Tiger and the Indonesian private equity form Saratoga.

The newly formed Tiger Mandala Airways managed to lose US$31.6 million in the period April-December 2013. And Tiger and Saratoga are reportedly unprepared to invest more in the airline without proof that a financial turnaround is underway.

Tiger Mandala suspended nine routes in February, effective closing 40% of its flight operations in an effort to stop the financial hemorrhaging at the airline.

Tiger has demonstrated its ability to make tough financial decisions as demonstrated by its decision in January to sell its state in the Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific that was also under performing financially.

Related Article

Flying in Thin Air


Last Call!
Over 8,000 Bottles of Illegal Wine and Spirits Destroyed by State Prosecutors and Police in Bali

As many as 8.000 bottles of illegal wine and spirits were shattered and thrown away at Bali's main rubbish dump at Suwung in Denpasar on Friday, March 7, 2014, witnessed by police and state prosecutors.

The 7,000 bottles of imported spirits and 1,000 bottle of imported wine were seized by officials in late 2012 in a case involving a local businessman Teguh Darmadi of CV Bali Dewata Wine.

Officials estimated the potential loss in tax and excise from the confiscated drinks exceeded Rp. 1.5 billion (US$125,000).

In the same case, Teguh Darmanto of CV. Bali Dewata Wine was sentenced to one-year in prison for storing and keeping spirits and wines with falsified customs and duties stamps.

The confiscated alcoholic beverages were crushed with heavy equipment before being buldozed into the rubbish tip.


 
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