Bali Discovery Tours: Homepage
Bali Hotels, Bali Villas and Bali News from
Home Bali Contact Bali Practicalities Bali News Bali Services Bali Transportation Bali Sports Bali Excursions Bali Villas Bali Hotels
Home · News · Bali's Demise by Nickel and Dime
Bali Hotels, Bali Villas and Bali News from
Bali Hotels
Bali Villas
Special Deals!
MICE Handling
Bali Excursions
Culinary - Dining
Guided Tour
Bali Spas
Bali Sports
Bali Transportation
Car Rental - Selft Drive
Private Jet Charter
Bali News
Bali Services
Bali Practicalities
Bali Contact
Bali Career
Bali Update
Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!
PATA header
PATA Gold Award 2007
Bali Update
PATA Gold Award Winner 2007
Bali Contact
Bali Discovery Tours
Komplek Pertokoan
Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

++62 361 286 283

++62 361 286 284

U.S.A. Fax:(toll free)

U.K. Fax:

Australian Fax:

++62 812 3819724

Bali Discovery

Bali News

Bali's Demise by Nickel and Dime

Editorial: Why We Think the Suggestion to Fine Hotels and Villas that Violate Local Building Rules is a Truly Bad Idea.

Bali News:
Click Image to Enlarge


In the midst of widespread and blatant violations of building and zoning laws by hotels and resorts all across Bali, the outspoken Chairman of the Provincial Chamber of Commerce for Bali (KADINDA-Bali), Gde Wiratha, has suggested rather than closing or demolishing structures built by errant developers, that, instead, developers be fined between Rp. 25 billion (US$2.7 million) and Rp. 100 billion (US$10.9 million) each.

On a superficial basis there's much to be said for such a solution. As Wiratha explained to the local press, a fining solution would offer an elegant way out to the almost countless violations to be found in Bali while producing a new source of much needed revenues for the local government. What's more, requiring operating businesses to demolish part or all of their buildings would represent a major disruption to their ongoing business activities.

At the same time and in separate forums, many local officials have defended violations of building codes, saying enforcement of the written rules would only add to the "uncertainty of law" in Indonesia and further discourage new investment.

Expediency May Not be the Best Answer

As we have said in the past, the current situation in Bali resembles a soccer match being played without aid of referees. While there are numerous rules and regulations in place, arguably sufficient to safeguard Bali's environment, developers choose to ignore the rules in the confident belief that a) local officials are reluctant to knock down buildings and structures that are already standing and b) violations can be sorted out after the fact in smoke-filled rooms during amicable meetings with regulatory officials. Sadly, the crux of the current developmental problems in Bali is the lack of enforcement and the cocky self-assurance of investors who believe that almost any problem can be sorted out through connections and money applied in the right places.

These operators consider themselves above the law by developing projects that from the very outset violate zoning regulations. Later, in an unbelievable demonstration of the height of hubris, they complain that any attempt to apply and enforce the existing rules will create an atmosphere of "legal uncertainty" detrimental to the general business climate.

Frankly, there's two things we can't stand about investors who adopt such arguments: their face. Such chutzpah is, in fact, reminiscent of the man charged with patricide who stands before a judge asking for the court's mercy because he is, after all, an orphan.

A Painful, but Necessary, Remedy Needed

With all due respect to Mr. Wiratha, money remains at the heart of the current flagrant disregard for zoning and environmental laws in Bali. Allowing violators to "buy" their way out of their violations will only serve to nurture the attitude that "money rules" and result in an Island dotted with eyesores and non-confirming structures. The numerous violations of current building and zoning regulations in Bali can almost invariably be traced to devious and premeditated attempts by developers to bypass the rules, assisted through the venal cooperation of local officials.

The Rupiah Stops Here!

The money politics must stop. Its clear that Bali's future sustainability depends on an urgent and rapid return to the rule of law on matters related to zoning, building codes and environmental regulations. The well-intentioned proposal to allow fines to be applied after the fact will only pay lip service to the existing rules, create a sense of injustice for those asked to follow the rules in the future and vindicate the existing attitude that "money can sort out all of Bali's problems."

The solution is simple, albeit painful for those who have broken the law. In keeping with international practice, developers found in violation of zoning or environmental laws who have erected buildings that do not conform with approved building permits must be absolutely required to demolish the offending structures. In the same vein, developers who start project before holding all the required permits must be required to demolish their project back to the level lot status before their building applications can even be considered by local regulatory authorities.

Costly, painful and no doubt embarrassing to government officials and developers alike Ė such a move would deliver the needed "shock treatment" and remind all parties that the law is the law and developers who ignore the rules must live with the constant fear that someday their violation will be uncovered and demolition required. The knowledge that in the end the rules will be applied would immediately destroy any incentive to even attempt to cajole or bribe officials into closing a blind eye to code violations.

Logic suggests that a firm application of the rules would cause an "instant revolution" on how development is carried out in Bali and establish a much needed and long overdue respect for the law. Given the sorry current state of uncontrolled development on the Island, a little revolution may be just what's needed.

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to


Bali News by Bali Update
Subscribe to the Bali Update
Receive the latest news from Bali by email!

Our [Privacy Statement] explains how we handle the data you are providing.

Bali News by Bali Update
Explore the Archive of the Bali Update
Find related articles in our news archive!

or try to use Google Search :

Home · Bali Hotels · Bali Villas · Bali Excursions · Bali Sports · Bali News · Site Map · RSS

Bali News: More News
Infrastructure First: Seaports and Airport
Transportation Minister Says Baliís Airports, Seaports, and Passenger Terminals Must be Enhanced to Support Growing Passenger Numbers
Another Renovation for Baliís Airport?
Minister of Transportation Wants Carrying Capacity of Baliís Airport Increased to 35 Million Passengers per Year
Move Underway to Trump Chinese Tourists?
DPR-RI Vice Chairman Seeks Repeal of Wide-Ranging Visa Free Status for Indonesian Visitors
Departure, No Return
Garuda Accused of Incorrect Procedures in Death of Passenger Flying from Jakarta to Melbourne
Infrastructure First!
New Hotel Projects Set for Nusa Penida in Dire Need of Water and Electricity Support
Bali Welcomes 3 Millionth Visitor
Bali by the Numbers: BPS Says 43.3% More Foreign Visitors to Bali in August 2016, Passing the Year-to-Date Mark of 3 Million
In Need of a Designated Driver
European Couple Die in Motorcycle Mishap After a Night of Partying on Pererenan Beach in Bali
Bad Smells from the Kitchens?
Drainage Ditch at Bali Airport Filled with Foul-Smelling Pollutants Suspected to Come for Airline Catering Building
Cherishing the Children
St. Regis Resort Bali and Laguna Resort & Spa Raises More than $20,000 for UNICEF at Lavish Beachside Moonlight Dinner
Itís a Bali Holiday
Official National Holidays and Shared Holidays in Indonesia for 2017
Me and My Guitar
West Bali Police Send Home 18 Punkers on a Personal Sojourn in Bali
Passport to a Clean Bureaucracy
Indonesian Immigration Service Joins the Anti-Corruption Campaign
All [News]!