Indonesia Peacefully Elects its First Directly Elected President.
While the official election results will only be announced on October 5, 2004, it appears a foregone conclusion that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and Jusuf Kalla have won Indonesia's first direct popular election of a President and Vice President. Garnering over 60% of the vote and winning majorities in 30 of Indonesia's 32 provinces, SBY and Kalla have managed to unseat incumbent Megawati Soekarnoputri and her running mate, Hasyim Muzadi.
Despite those predicting doom and destruction, the Indonesian people proven themselves completely at home with an open and democratic process. In the two-phased electoral process every party and political persuasion had its day to air its views and visions. In the end, the people opted for the more moderate and secular views espoused by President Megawati and SBY, the remaining Presidential candidates in the last round of voting.
The final round of voting was a peaceful event, largely free of party-driven mass rallies of the past as voters apparently chose to quietly reflect on the qualities of each candidate and then make a personal choice for the nation's next leader.
Similarly, both of the competing parties are demonstrating the same grace and style in the awkward transitional period leading up to the formal swearing in of SBY and Kalla on October 20, 2004. Ibu Mega has called on the people to support their new President while SBY has made steps to embrace President Megawati and her supporters in his new administration's make up.
If the process of electing a President over the past months is any indication, Indonesia – although a relatively new player among democratic nations – may have lessons to share with the rest of the world on how to conduct a participatory democratic process.
More Seats Between Perth and Bali
Unprecedented Demand Compels Garuda and Qantas to Increase Capacity to and from Western Australia.
Garuda Indonesia have announced plans to add 3 additional flights each week between Perth and Bali – bringing to 10 the number of weekly flights operated by the airline. In addition to the daily service now in operation, the three additional flights will operate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – commencing from October 1, 2004. All flights from Perth to Bali operated by Garuda Indonesia are early morning departures.
Qantas Also Adding Seats via Australian Airlines
Qantas is also responding to the call for more seats between Perth and Bali by replacing its mainline flights with flights operated by its subsidiary Australian Airlines. This will result in almost double capacity as the Australian Airline's B767-300's will be larger than the B-737's currently operated by Qantas on that route.
The twice weekly Australian Airline flights from Perth will bring to 10 the number of weekly flights the carrier operates between Australia and Bali. The airline also operates three flights every week from Sydney and two flights from Melbourne.
Kuta Karnival's Inaugurated
Week Long Festival Launched with a Return of Doves and Turtles to Nature.
The Kuta Karnival was formally opened on Friday, September 24, with the release of doves, turtles and turtle hatchlings on Kuta's beachfront.
The Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Kuta Karnival, I Made Suparta Karang, told those attending the ceremony that the release of the doves symbolized world peace and was in keeping with the Kuta Karnival's theme of Tri Hita Karana - the Balinese commitment to maintain balance between man and nature, man and man, and man and God. Through the return of the birds and turtles to their natural state of freedom the organizers hoped to increase the community's commitment to environmental preservation.
The Kuta Karnival runs through October 3, 2004, and offers a wide range of almost non-stop musical, cultural, sports and entertainment options to Bali residents and guests.
Day by Day Schedule of 1,503 Kilometer Bicycle Race Jakarta to Bali 27 September – October 6, 2004.
A total of 85 cyclists competing in 17 teams will race in the 9 stage Jakarta to Bali race September 27 - October 9, 2004.
The race kicked off with a grand parade on Sunday, September 26, 2004, around the streets of Jakarta, stopping for 15 minutes opposite the Australian Embassy to honor those who perished in the September 9 terrorist bombing.
Here's the day-by-day schedule for the Tour d' Indonesia 2004:
• Day 1 – 27 September. 178.6 kilometers starting from Jakarta Governor's office and ending on Jalan Pasar Raya in downtown Lembang.
• Day 2 – 28 September. 119.8 kilometers starting from the Sate Building in Bandung and ending at the Central Square of Tasikmalaya.
• Day 3 – 29 September. 147.7 kilometers starting from the Central Square of Tasikmalaya end ending at the Central Square on Jalan Sudirman in Purwokerto.
• Day 4 – 30 September. 170.6 kilometers starting from the Governor's office on Jalan Pahlawan in Semarang and ending opposite the Main Post Office in Semarang.
• Day 5 – 2 October. 174.5 kilometers starting from in front of the National Sports Committee Office (KONI) in Yogyakarta and ending in front of the Matahari Mall in Madiun.
• Day 6 – 03 October. 234 kilometers starting from in front of the Matahari Mall on Jalan Pahlawan in Madiun and ending on Jalan Diponegoro in Surabaya.
• Day 7 – 04 October. 189.2 kilometers starting in front of the Governor's office on Jalan Gubernor Suryo and ending in front of the military headquarters on Jalan Gadjah Mada in Jember.
• Day 8 – 05 October. 102.7 kilometers starting from the Regent's Office (Bupati) on Jalan Sudirman in Jember and ending at the Regent's Office (Bupati) on Jalan A. Yani in Banyuwangi.
• Day 9 – 06 October. 135 kilometers starting from the Banyuwangi Regent's Office (Bupati) and restarting on the other side of the Bali-Jawa Straits at the ferry crossing in Gilamanuk and ending at Margarana Field, Jalan Puputan, in downtown Denpasar.
Races commence each morning at 0900 hours except for days 8 and 9 when the race begins at 11:00 a.m..
Ritz-Carlton Bali, Resort and Spa Launches New Luxury Cliff-Side Villas.
Scheduled for formal opening on December 20, 2004, the thirty-eight lavishly appointed one-bedroom Private Villas will be the newest addition to the 77-hectare resort set high upon chalk cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Pitched to reflect the best villas in an island world-famous for its standards of luxury accommodation, the Luxury Cliff-Side Villas will feature invisible technology, state of the art communications, ultra-modern entertainment concepts and contemporary interior designs facing breath-taking views and tropical landscapes.
As the accompanying pictures on balidiscovery.com demonstrate, the new development is dazzling in its concept and design.
First Impressions Count
A minimalist style lobby and entrance lead to Bali's first exclusive Martini Club complete with a translucent fiber optics lit Seiki Torige glass bar. A unique "by day and by night" poolside Lounge offers relaxation zones with plush canopied daybeds, modern Asian fare and exotic Shisha Pipe nightly menus. A stylish eighty-seat lotus shaped elevated restaurant with three individual private dining rooms captures spectacular ocean views and is striking in contemporary glamour.
Additional features include an elegant fully stocked library; sophisticated meeting rooms; gallery space, private wedding chapel; a wine, chocolates & cigar atelier; and a stunning two tiered black river stone bathers pool with waterfall.
Villa interiors blend Japanese Zen-like elements with Balinese accents where light and open space is the main design principal. Polished timber panels, brushed metallic and chrome fittings, sandstone carvings, slate tiling, eclectic artwork, luxurious fabrics and designer accessories have been used throughout, whilst the latest in ergonomic design and technology uses state of the art in flat screen TV, DVD, stereo, WIFI internet access, and individual climate controls to allow adjustable air conditioning.
Romantic canopied four poster beds with luxury cotton linens, soft duvets, and down pillows lead out to expansive gardens where an individual infinity edged plunge pool meets a swim up relaxation Gazebo pavilion.
A spectacular floor to ceiling glass bathroom (nearly 60 square meters in size) features a step up marble bath for two positioned to take advantage of ocean views and adjacent garden where traditional stone fountains flow water into the plunge pool. An adjoining dressing gallery, his and her 'floating' wash basins, separate shower with dual rain showerheads and walk in wardrobes have set new standards on the island for commodial splendor.
The Human Touch
Each villa offers one button call 24 hour personal Butler service to attend to guests, draw a bath, pack or unpack clothes, make dinner reservations, set up laptop, or even apply a coat of sunscreen. A custom stocked honor-bar, gourmet coffee and tea selections and exclusive bathroom amenities with beauty products are part of the exclusive services and amenities on offer.
Singapore Designs in Bali
Three Young Fashion Designers Hold Bali Show October 2, 2004 to Support Bali's Handicapped.
Three of Singapore's most promising young designers are combining forces in a fashion extravaganza at Hu'u in Kerobokan on Saturday, October 2, 2004.
Sponsored by The Bridge and Hu'u Hemisphere, the fashion show will employ top Balinese and Singaporean models and the fashion designs of:
• Mizu by Adrian Huang
• Uber-femme by Sunny Ang
• Abyss by Desmond Yang
Choreography and direction will be provided by Ivan with music and scores by dj Jonni from Jakarta.
Profits collected from the evening will be used to support the work of the Kupu Kupu Foundation, which provide support and vocational training for handicapped people in Bali's rural areas.
Those wanting to attend this event have two options. A special dinner from 8-10 p.m. followed by the fashion show for Rp. 350,000 (approximately US$ 39) per person or just the fashion show at 10:30 p.m. including the first drink charge for Rp. 100,000 (approximately US$ 11.00) per person.
For advance bookings contact Hu'u at telephone ++62-(0)361-736443
Hu-u is located on Jalan Oberoi, Petiteget in Kerobokan.
Doctors Make House Calls at Bali Elephant Safari Park in Taro.
Anyone who takes it upon himself to be the guardian to 27 Sumatran elephants has to expect that problems, when they do occur, are going to be jumbo-sized.
Such was the case for Elephant Safari Park's owner, Nigel Mason, with two of his much loved pachyderms living at the Taro, Central Bali facility.
Pediatric Medicine for Elephants
The arrival of new elephants at the Park is always a cause for excitement. Recently, after a bureaucratic process that consumed two years and a grueling 5 day non-stop overland journey from Sumatra, 10 rescued elephants arrived at their new home in Bali. Included among the herd was an adorable 18-month-old orphaned female, Debbie whose already weakened condition, due to the long trip and the harsh situation of her former home, was further exacerbated by a severely infected abscess on her left cheek.
A surgical procedure requiring nearly 1.5 hours to compete was performed by the Park's head Veterinarian, Dr. Dewa Dharma, who happily reports that Debbie is well on the mend, enjoying her new, luxuriant jungle home.
In an Elephant's Eye
Another resident of the Park requiring medical attention was 37 year old Eva, who was largely blind in her right eye due to cataracts.
Unprepared to see any of his animals suffer unnecessarily, Nigel Mason approached Yayasan Kemanusiaan Indonesia and Dr. Dharyata who has spent the past 14 years restoring the sight of nearing 17.500 poor people in Bali. Working through Mr. John Fawcett, the legendary Bali-based Australian who is the driving force behind the prevention and cure of blindness program on Bali, research was undertaken that indicated a corrective procedure would be possible.
Eventually a surgical team from the Indera Hospital, Dr. Dharyata, and the Park's Veterinarian Dr. Dharma acting as anesthesiologist assembled and performed a delicate two-hour operation that has successfully returned vision to Eva's eye.
The entire operation was filmed by the Australian TV program Current Affairs and shown to Australian audiences on September 23, 2004.
Thinking Globally, Bali Discovery Launches Daily Newspapers from Over 50 Countries Delivered Hot Off the Press in Bali.
Enjoying your morning coffee in Bali but missing the habitual joys of your daily paper?
Rejoice. Now your hometown paper can be delivered simultaneously with its original print run back home.
In cooperation with P.T. First News Today, visitors to balidiscovery.com can review the list of more than 200 international newspapers available, listed by country, and order the papers they want delivered directly to their accommodation in Bali. Papers are downloaded and printed in Bali almost simultaneous with their original print run using special, high-speed laser printers.
For a complete list of newspapers and prices, visit the Newspaper Direct link provided.
Chief of Tourism Think Tank Points to Thailand in Demonstrating the Failure of Indonesian Policy Makers' Approach to Tourism Issues.
According to Pontjo Sutowo, the Chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Think Tank (MPI), almost 90% of Indonesian economists and legislators have no understanding of tourism resulting in policies that fail to coordinate the activities of the various components of the tourism industry and preserve national competitiveness.
Quoted by the Indonesian-language bisnis.com, Sutowo claims, "the result of the lack of serious attention from the government in efforts to restore tourism's health have caused losses of US$ 6 billion over the past 8 years."
According to Sutowo Thailand and Indonesia in 1996 both generated foreign exchange from tourism equal to US$ 6 billion. However, by the year 2000, Thailand was producing US$ 10 billion while Indonesia corresponding figure was only US$ 4 billion. This is particularly ironic, in Sutowo's view, given the fact Thailand's focus on increasing tourism was driven by a regional economic crisis originating in Thailand, while Indonesia was only a secondary player in that crisis.
Sutowo suggests Indonesia's failure to protect and promote the competitiveness of its tourism product may be due to the inability of economists and legislators to understand the effects and benefits of tourism. He feels that the potential role and contribution of tourism is not appreciated, a situation that is perhaps the result of the tourism industry's inability to convince legislators of tourism's central importance to the national economy.
In explaining Indonesia's relative lack of competitiveness, Sutowo points to Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong where the head of each nation directly intervenes in preserving tourism's position. For example, during the SARS crisis, the Governor of Hong Kong invited international tourism experts to Hong Kong to help in the tourism economy recovery. Accordingly, increasing Indonesia's international competitiveness in tourism matters warrants serious attention from the new administration.
"This is the problem: tourism must get serious attention from all parties, including tourism players, to convince the Government that tourism matters. Let the economist look at the concrete evidence so they can understand that tourism is an alternative that can be relied upon in the wake of diminishing natural resources," said Sutowo.
The Need for Professional Spa Training
Leading Indonesian Beauty and Style Educator Calls for Formal Spa Training Center in Bali.
Indonesia's foremost hair stylist, beauty educator and hair salon entrepreneur has called on Bali to establish a formal educational program for spa training. Rudy Hadisuwarno, Indonesia's internationally-acclaimed hair stylist and owner/franchiser of salons bearing his name spread across the Country, believes that prospects are very good for the establishment of a formal spa curriculum of one or more years in Bali.
Citing the island's pre-eminence as a worldwide spa destination and the large pool of available talent in Bali, he believes Bali is a natural location for such a school capable of producing graduates for employment both at home and abroad.
Rudy Hadisuwarno's comments were made at the national examinations for hair dressers recently held in Bali at which he served as a member of the jury.
Closer Cooperation with Immigration Authorities
Bali Tourism Board and Immigration Department Pursuing MOU for Closer Cooperation.
The Indonesian-language Bali Post reports that the provincial office of the Department of Justice and Human Rights is involved in ongoing discussions with the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations that, when signed, will acknowledge and facilitate the role of immigration services in Bali's tourism product.
The proposed MOU now under consideration will create a cooperative atmosphere and practical mechanisms between the tourism industry and immigration department for enhanced services to tourists, including procedures for handling complaints from the public regarding bad service.
A meeting held on Wednesday, September 22, 2004, between the Chief of the Bali Department of Justice and Human Rights Office, Gede Rata, and the Chairman of the BTB, Agus Antara, and attended by representatives of various tourism stakeholder organizations in Bali, discussed practical steps to achieve a common understanding on tourism issues between immigration and tourism.
Those attending the meeting praised Gede Rata for his commitment to improving service from his department and his desire to work together with the local tourism industry. Gede Rata also suggested monthly meetings between his department and local tourism leaders be held to handle any complaints emanating from the public or tourism operators.
A Continental Shift
Continental Airlines Eric Kaler Transferred to Guam.
Eric C. Kaler, the Bali-based Manager for Continental Airlines has accepted a promotional assignment in Guam where he will be in charge of regulatory compliance matters for the airline in the Asia-Pacific. A major contributor in efforts by local airlines to enhance security at Bali's airport, Eric's new posting will allow him to utilize his experience in security and safety management on a broader, regional scale.
Eric has worked in Bali for Continental Airlines for more than 4 years. Fluent in Indonesian, Eric is a graduate of the Jakarta International School. Active in the community, he has been a member of several charitable organizations, including the Rotary Club of Nusa Dua.
Introducing Dara Mustika
Stepping into the top Bali position for Continental Airlines will be Ms. Dara Mustika. Joining the airline 1.5 years ago, Dara brings to her latest assignment previous experience with Austrian Airlines and Lauda Air - as well as a earlier stint with British Airways in Jakarta.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.