BALI UPDATE #422 - 11 October 2004
President-Elect SBY Sets His Agenda
President-Elect Yudhoyono Sets the Tone and Agenda for His First 100 Days in Office.
Following the confirmation of his election as Indonesia's next President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gave his first political speech on Saturday, October 9, 2004, setting both the style and goals for the first 100 days of his new administration which commences on October 20, 2004.
Calling for national unity, Yudhoyono pledged to be a President for all Indonesians, regardless of their party or background. Saying that with his formal election the time for political competition between parties had ended, the President-elect called on all citizens to give their best to the Country. Yudhoyono asked all politicians and political parties to set aside their individual parties political symbols and slogans in favor of a united spirit to build a better country both "for and by the Indonesian people."
Yudhoyono paused in his speech to issue his thanks to the outgoing President and Vice-President for their service to the Nation and their faithful stewardship in guiding Indonesia to its first direct popular election of a President and Vice-President.
The First 100 Days of the SBY Administration
President-elect Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) set out three main agendas now before him, namely, a smooth and efficient transfer of power; the appointment of a new cabinet to take their seats on October 20; and the implementation of the "action plan" for his first 100 days in office.
The highlights of SBY's plan for the first 100 days in office, include:
An outright war on corruption, conducted without exception or favor to any corruptor.
An intensive review of the law and the enforcement mechanism to be used in fighting corruption.
Intensive cooperation between all government departments and agencies.
An urgent review of the state budget for 2005.
Quick actions to end the ongoing conflicts in Aceh and Papua.
The introduction of measures to stimulate the national economy.
Laying an effective foundation for national educational programs.
In his first political speech since being formally declared the winner of the race for the National Palace, Yudhoyono said: "I invite the people, the leadership from every level of society, all public figures and the national elite to be united in a common struggle. Let us fight for our future. Let us secure that our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren improve with the future. Let us together ask God's protection and His strength to create the changes that are best for the People of Indonesia."
Editorial: All Global Politics are Local
Queensland Politician Who Tried to Politicize Bali Bombing Receives Electoral Cold Shoulder From His Constituency.
Australia's Prime Minister John Howard has swept into a historical fourth term in office defeating his Labor Party opponent Mark Latham, who conceded defeat late on Election Day, Saturday, October 9, 2004.
The Bali Bombing on the Australian Ballot
A Queensland Labor candidate for Fairfax, Ivan Molloy, found himself a "half-witting" participant in a political side-show act during the just completed elections when his wife declared all the Liberal Party Parliamentarians bore a moral responsibility for the deaths resulting from the Bali terrorist bombing of 2002.
Mrs. Molloy, a state Labor Parliamentarian in her own right, said: "I hold the Liberal sitting members (of parliament) accountable for the bombing in Bali and for the deaths of the Balinese and the deaths of Australians."
A dutiful Mr. Molloy later admitted that while his wife's comments were "provocative," he supported them 100 per cent.
Not unexpectedly, Liberal politicians and a large segment of the Australian public were outraged at Mrs. Molloy's slanderous comments and her husband's sheepish "yes, dear" acquiescence. One political commentator wents as far as to say Mrs. Molloy's comments ranked "as one of the most contemptible and extremist statements ever made by the endorsed candidate of a mainstream political party in Australia."
Arguably showing the same lack of leadership that eventually cost him the Prime Minister's post, Labor leader Mark Latham failed to publicly dis-endorse or distance himself from Mr. and Mrs. Molloy's hurtful accusations of murder leveled against his political opponents. Either Mr. Latham believes Australia's Liberal Party politicians were actually to blame for the unspeakably tragic loss of 202 lives in Bali, or he found it politically expedient during a national election to allow such heinous accusations to stand unchallenged from a member of the political party that he leads.
The Fairfax constituents of Queensland have apparently given Mr. Molloy the "heave ho" with interim results indicating he is heading for a resounding defeat, tallying less than 30% of the vote.
But let's give Mr. Latham and the Molloy's the benefit of the doubt and assume they are people who speak from a basis of truth and conviction. As a result, we wonder had the Australian Federal elections gone otherwise, would Mr. Latham's new Government now be sponsoring a massive retribution and compensation package to the many people, both in Bali and abroad, who suffered as a result of the Bali bombing they sincerely believe was caused by their fellow countrymen?
When we whispered this hypothetical construct to our much loved pet Australian "budgie," the poor dear choked on his seed and promptly fell from his caged perch in shock.
Content to leave Australian politics to the Australians, the overwhelming majority of people who live in Bali could care less than little about the outcome of Australia's national elections.
At the same time, Mrs. Molloy's crude efforts to make political capital from the Bali bombing tragedy was seen by many locally as an insensitive slap on the face of the Balinese and the many others who suffered so greatly from that night of terror.
Believing that the Universe is constantly striving to remain in balance, the Balinese embrace the concept of Karma Phala, a certain knowledge that what comes around, goes around. Thus, from the distance in far away Bali, there are those who think the Molloys, and all those who stood shoulder to shoulder with them politically, may have recently gotten their just desserts.
Bali Arrivals for August Near All Time High
Bali by the Numbers: Strong August 2004 Performance Only Slightly Behind Totals for 2002.
Total foreign direct tourist arrivals to Bali for August 2004 reached 155,628 - the second-best August in history coming in just behind the 160,420 foreign visitors recorded in August 2002.
Bali Arrivals 1999 2004
Comparing Bali's August arrivals for the past 6 years:
1999 - 146,209
2000 - 144,324
2001 - 145,290
2002 - 160,420
2003 - 115,546
2004 - 155,628
Where Did They All Come From?
Arrival figures continue to demonstrate that Bali's tourism growth is coming from the Asia-Pacific region with Japan, Taiwan and Australia accounting for a combined 56.73% of all arrivals in August.
balidiscovery.com will bring you a detailed breakdown of August arrivals by source country residency in the October 18 issue of Bali Update.
Kiwi Wins Tour d'Indonesia 2004
Indonesian Cyclists Win Final Stage Ending in Denpasar.
While New Zealand cyclist Nathan Dahlberg and his Greenfield's Fresh Milk Team turned in the overall best time to win the 9-stage Tour d'Indonesia, local fans were thrilled to see the Indonesian team sweep all the top spots in the dramatic final 135 kilometer leg from Gilimanuk to Denpasar (Bali) on Wednesday, October 6, 2004.
Three Indonesian riders Rochmat Nugraha, Abdullah Fatahillah, and Heksa P. Prasetya swept the top three pole positions on the final day, crossing the finish line side-by-side in Bali's capital city, covering the 135 kilometers from Gilamanuk to Denpasar in 3 hours and 26 minutes.
The ten-day race, in 9 stages covering the distance from Jakarta to Bali, saw New Zealander Nathan Dahlberg turn in the overall best time of 36:29:21 followed by Indonesian rider Amin Suryana finishing just 2 minutes behind at 36:31:32. Third place was claimed by Hong Kong cyclist, Wong Ngai Ching (36:36:12).
84 riders started the race in Jakarta on September 27 with 24 failing to finish due to disqualifications and injuries.
Bali's former Vice-Governor and Chairman of the National Sports Committee (KONI), welcomed the cyclist to Bali saying he hope the Tour d'Indonesia might become a regular fixture on the national sports calendar and called on local enthusiasts to start developing Balinese athletes to become international caliber cycling champions.
Bishop Desmond Tutu to Speak at Bali Conference
Appearance Part of World Peace Conference December 4-8, 2004.
Outspoken and charismatic Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu is scheduled to speak at a Global Healing Conference in Bali December 4-8, 2004.
The Conference, organized by Cross Cultural Journeys, will be held in Ubud with conference activities centered at the ARMA museum complex, operated by Agung Rai.
In addition to Rev. Tutu, the 5-day conference will feature a number of well known international speakers, Balinese academics, artists and musicians. Organizers have dubbed the conference a "gathering of global citizens and innovative thinkers in a quest towards a more collaborative, peaceful and sustainable future for humankind and the planet."
Reverend Tutu is the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa. In addition to winning the Nobel Prize in 1984 for leading the non-violent struggle against apartheid he served as the Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Press reports estimate 600 delegates are expected to attend the international event.
Fighting Terrorism with Tourism
Minister Ardika Calls on Tourism Industry to Make a Stronger Commitment to Security.
Visiting Bali to officially open the Suly Resort Salon and Spa in Ubud on Wednesday, October 6, 2004, Indonesia's Minister for Culture and Tourism, I Gde Ardika, called on the people of Indonesia to fight terrorism through tourism.
Urging tourism practitioners to take every possible action to enhance community security, the Minister pointed to Bali as an example of how to promote human rights and social justice for all people. By creating opportunities for economic advancement, the underlying social injustice that causes terrorism is ameliorated.
When acts of terror do occur, according to the Minister, experience has taught Indonesia the value of crisis management and effective communication techniques, using such tools as Media Centers to maintain positive contacts with the press. The Minister pointed out that through such effective communications the world has come to correctly see terror as an international threat. He also urged the tourism industry to continue its program of intensive one-to-one contact with travel partners abroad during overseas trips to source market nations.
In Love with Bali
Australian Adele Baker Makes a Lasting Difference to Her Adopted Island.
Nearly 30 years ago, Australian Adele Baker made her first visit to Bali. Since then, she lost count of how many times she's returned to the island.
Adele and Bali have managed to somehow "click." Travel warnings, travel bans and alluring holiday offers to other exotic holiday destinations couldn't budge Adele from regular visits to her favorite "home away from home" Bali.
Thus, when the Bali Bombers struck on October 12, 2002, Adele refused to stand still and allow evil men who "loved to hate and hate to love" have the final word. Determined to make a difference, Adele cleared the decks and redoubled her long standing commitment to the people of Bali. In the two years that have passed she has tirelessly sought donations, organized concerts and other fund-raising events for a long list of relief projects in Bali.
To date, she's raised well over AUS$ 100,000 which have aided many projects, including the following:
A food and livestock program for 2,000 Balinese families living in 5 villages. A project organized through the Bali Hati Foundation, Adele's work recently won her a letter of congratulations from Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard.
Provided stationery packages comprised of books, pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, and pencil sharpeners for 1,000 local school children.
Organized the supply of 12 computers for three Bali schools.
Funded a well and water pump for a local village, eliminating a 10 kilometer walk for a bucket of water.
Provided donations to the East Bali Poverty Project.
Funded the purchase of 75 school desks for a school in Datah.
Set up a scholarship program for destitute students. Funds provided by Sydney residents now provide scholarships for 50 children, with more scholarships promised in the future.
Funded a new toilet facility for a school in Pejeng Kawan - 4 new white-tiled toilets complete with wash basins.
Coordinated a donation from Sydney resident, John Angel, in memory of his daughter, Janet, who died of cancer at age 34, to construct a fishing cage and a refrigeration unit to assist local fisherman.
Is Adele finished with her Bali projects? Not by a long shot.
A recent meeting with this lady, who seems to have endless resources of personal energy, evoked stories of a "new Ubud Project" and her "MFK-Bali" program an acronym for "money for kids in Bali" - a project intended to provide much needed school uniforms to local children.
Quick to humbly point out that "all she does is network with others to help Bali," Adele sings the praises of local hoteliers, Rotarians, local charitable foundations, airline officials and private citizens who are "always there" to support her many trips to Bali and non-stop program of fund-raising.
Interested in knowing more about Adele's work? Drop her an e-mail through the link provided.
Praying for a Better Tomorrow
Mass Prayer Meeting Planned for Tuesday, October 12, 2004.
Gema Perdamaian Voice of Peace
While organizers of the "Gema Perdamaian (Voice of Peace)" mass rally insist they are not organizing a Bali bombing memorial event, the coincidental timing of the rally to fall on the 2nd anniversary of the Bali tragedy is not lost on those planning to participate in the event to be held in downtown Denpasar on Tuesday, October 12, 2004.
An estimated 3,000 people are expected to gather at the Monument of the People's Struggle (Lapangan Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat Bali Bajra Sandhi Renon) at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday to hear speeches and prayers offered by international and community figures. The event is open without charge to the public who are asked to bring a candle and single flower when attending the rally.
Many have asked why Bali was chosen for a mass demonstration in support of peace, when Bali is known as an island largely free of conflict. Those hosting the event have replied, pointing out that precisely because Bali is an island of tolerance where leaders of various religion can meet in a single forum makes it the ideal place to plant the seed for a world peace movement.
Their hope is that Bali's example presented in the "Voice of Peace" rally will spread beyond the island's border to other parts of Indonesia and the rest of the world.
A most timely idea, worthy of your support:
Lapangan Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat Bali
Lapangan Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat Bali Bajra Sandhi Renon
Lining Up For Tourism's Top Post
Tourism Think Tank Puts Forth 7 Names for Tourism Minister's Job.
The Tourism Think Tank (MPI) has formally recommended 7 names, all drawn from professional tourism circles, for consideration as Indonesia's next Minister in charge with tourism affairs.
The Chairman of MPI, Pontjo Sutowo, in announcing the list of potential candidates, said the new government has the opportunity to appoint a tourism minister matching both the problems of tourism and the demands of those working in the tourism sector.
The seven names put forth by the MPI are:
Pontjo Sutowo - Chairman of the MPI and the head of the Hilton Hotel Group in Indonesia.
Iqbal Alan Abdullah - the Chairman of the Indonesian Congress and Conference Association (INCCA).
Ben Sukma - the Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA).
Adnan Karamoy - a Director of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN).
Achmad Zacky Siradji - the Secretary General of MPI.
Miranti Abidin - President Director of Fortune Public Relations.
Melani Suharli - the Secretary General of the Indonesian Women in Travel Association (IWAPI).
Sutowo was quick to add, however, that "the MPI will support any eventual appointee to the post of tourism minister providing that individual is professional, understands tourism, has extensive networks and is able to synergize well with other government departments."
He went on to say that tourism must receive the commitment of the new government, mirroring the situation in Thailand and Malaysia.
Gede Gunawan to Top Sales Post at Conrad Bali
Experienced Balinese Hotelier Moves from Bali Tropic to Join Conrad Bali Resort and Spa.
Conrad Bali Resort & Spa has announced the appointment of Gede Gunawan as Director of Sales & Marketing.
Gunawan, an Indonesian national, has spent his 15 year hotel career with a number of five-star hotels in Bali, occupying a number of senior management positions.
Beginning his career in the hospitality industry in 1991 with Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, he moved 2 years later to the Bali Hilton International as a Sales Executive. In 1996, he received a Gold Award and was named Sales Person of the Year for Asia & Pacific by Hilton International Asia Pacific. He was subsequently promoted to Director of Sales of the Bali Hilton in 1997.
Prior to joining the Conrad Bali Resort & Spa, Gunawan served as General Manager of the Bali Tropic, a four-star all-inclusive resort located on Tanjung Benoa in Bali.
In his new role Gunawan will oversee the entire sales & marketing department, supervising 20 sales team members, including proactive sales, reactive sales, reservations and public relations.
Gunawan graduated from the Academy of Hotel & Motel Association in Boston, Ma., USA, with a certification in Sales & Marketing in 1998, and obtained a degree in Master of Business Administration from Overseas International Education Centre of Warnborough University, UK, in March 2003.
When not promoting his new hotel, Gunawan is busy perfecting his golf swing and spending time with his wife, Maria, and their two twin daughters.
Putting and End to the Shell Game
Local Environmental Groups Demonstrate to Save Bali's Turtles.
On Wednesday, October 7, 2004, twenty-three members and supporters of ProFauna, a non-governmental group dedicated to protecting Indonesia's environment, gathered on Kuta's busy beach front to demonstrate, calling for an end to Bali's illegal trade in endangered turtles.
The demonstrators staged a "shell in" in which protestors laid down shells peacefully on the beach and donned artificial shells, becoming "turtle people" to show their solidarity for the green turtles of Indonesia threatened by those who kill it for meat or ornamentation.
According to the group, Bali is a center for the illegal turtle trade with an estimated 3,000 green turtles having been smuggled into and traded from Bali between January and August of 2004. The group also claims that because of recent official steps to control the illegal turtle trade, Bali turtle traders continue to operate their businesses on a sub rosa basis.
Freedom for the Sea Turtle
The protest demonstration on Bali's busiest beach in Kuta saw twenty-three participants, all wearing imitation turtle shells, lay prone on the beach for more than one hour while they made a symbolic crawl back to freedom in the adjacent sea.
ProFauna has actively been campaigning to protect Indonesia's remaining turtle population through raising public awareness of the illegal trade in turtles and educating children to the importance of preserving turtle populations.
According to a ProFauna spokesperson, the center of the turtle trade in Bali is the port area of Tanjung Benoa where traders smuggle turtles ashore in sampans from larger ships that bring them to Bali from across the archipelago.
More information: ProFauna Web Site
'The Java Man' by Jamie James
Indonesia-based Author Launches Second Novel at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.
Jamie James's latest novel, The Java Man, is an acerbic, often hilarious satire in the tradition of Evelyn Waugh and Jonathan Franzen. The Java Man tells the story of Noor, a picaresque Indonesian poet who comes to England on a fellowship, where he wreaks emotional havoc among the inhabitants of a secluded country village. The book is set in present-day England, Singapore, and Indonesia.
The Java Man is James's second novel and launched in conjunction with the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival October 11-17, 2004. His first novel, Andrew & Joey: A Tale of Bali, about a pair of gay American men in Bali, garnered widespread critical acclaim when it was published in 2002.
The Java Man
For more than a hundred years, nothing has changed at Thistlethwaite, a gloomy old mansion in rural northwest England that shelters a society of poets and scholars with lots of money at their disposal, but little common sense.
Then a mysterious stranger, a poet from Java who has won a fellowship from the society, arrives in their midst. Noor brings with him healing potions, a magic kris, and a bawdy ancient epic fascinating glimpses of a world utterly unknown to the innocent inhabitants of Thistlethwaite. One by one they fall under Noor's spell, especially Tildy, the society's 60-year-old director who thought she had learned to live without love. When a scandal threatens to shut down Thistlethwaite forever, Noor comes to the rescue, leading a merry chase that careens from a ruined castle in the wilds of England, to the luxurious watering holes of Singapore, to a chaotic household in Yogyakarta.
The Java Man, Jamie James's second novel, is a witty, entertaining, deeply compassionate study of miscommunication across the cultural divide, the dangerous limitations of book learning and the healing power of love.
When the Indonesian edition of Andrew & Joey was published, the Asian press was equally impressed. Brian Bennett wrote in Time Asia, "Jamie James's first novel, Andrew and Joey: A Tale of Bali," paints a vivid portrait of paradise, and shows how sour things can turn, through 365 days of breathless, gossipy e-mail exchanges. Quick and pleasurable to read, the novel provides a strangely haunting glimpse into the world of exquisite illusions that Bali was until so recently." In Tempo, Indonesia's leading news weekly, Dewi Anggrani wrote, "James's first work of fiction, a touching story about an American gay couple against a Balinese backdrop, has come off exceptionally well. Andrew & Joey should be read: its human quality reaches and touches the reader's emotional core."
Jamie James is also the author of six nonfiction books including The Music of the Spheres: Music, Science, and the Natural Order of the Universe, which The New Yorker called "graceful and entertaining," and Pop Art.
Jamie James was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He has lived full-time in Indonesia since 1999; prior to that he lived in New York City, where he contributed to major newspapers and magazines. As a literary critic, his work has been published by The New Yorker, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Time Asia. His travel writing appears regularly in The Atlantic Monthly and Condι Nast Traveler. James was art critic for The New Yorker from 1995 to 1999. He lives in Seminyak, Bali, where he and his partner own and manage a restaurant.