February 04 2015

February 04, 2015

Ministry Introducing Gas Fuel for Vehicles

The Environment Ministry for the Bali and Nusa Tenggara region alongside Bali’s Provincial government has put forward a program to introduce LPG gas to fuel vehicles on the island. The “Gas for a Clean Bali Program”, which was launched last December, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2020. “With vehicles using environmentally friendly gas the environment carbon fuel emissions will be reduced making for cleaner air on the Island,” said Novrizal Tahar, the Head of the Ministery for Bali and Nusa Tenggara. According to Tahar, Bali is currently well below the targets set forth by the Environment Ministry and with the growth of automobile registrations at 7% per year, it is vital that the program is implemented. (January 15th 2015)

Toll Road Fees Set to Increase

The Ministry of Public-Works has announced plans to reassess toll road fees across Indonesia. The Bali Mandara Toll Road will most certainly rise in 2015. Jasamarga Bali Head of Public Relations, Drajat Hari Suseno, confirmed to Tribune News that toll road fares would go up in 2015, but was unable to specify by exactly how much the fare would increase. Suseno added that the exact amount of the fee hike would be based upon a review conducted by the Ministry of Public Works, and that the tariff increase is legally permissible under Article 46 of Law No. 38 of 2004, which allows for the adjustment of toll rates every two years. (January 22nd 2015)

Bali Nine: Please No Executions on Bali Soil

Bali’s pro-death penalty governor doesn’t want Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed on his island, believing it may spoil the Islands harmony. Made Mangku Pastika, a former head of Indonesia’s national narcotics agency, testified against members of the Bali Nine in a 2007 challenge of their death sentences. Then, he described drug traffickers as “mass murderers” who were deserving of death. Sukumaran and Chan have now been denied presidential clemency and only a last-ditch legal bid stands between them and the firing squad. Asked if it was for the sake of Bali’s people, he said: “I think they want Bali to keep in harmony, remain safe, remain peaceful. So if possible, not in Bali, please.” Aussies still make up the bulk of tourists to the so-called Island of the Gods. The Australian families of Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 33, will also arrive in Bali this week. Both families spoke on Saturday about their anguish for the Sydney men, who they believe have reformed and deserved to have their sentences commuted to life. “I’ve been told my son will be taken out and shot at any time,” Raji Sukumaran, mother of Myuran, told reporters. “I don’t know what to do.” Both families said they trusted Tony Abbott and the Australian government would do all they could to stop the executions. However, diplomatic efforts failed to save citizens of the Netherlands and Brazil, who were among six drug offenders executed last week. Of those six, five were shot at Nusakambangan, an island prison in Central Java known as “Indonesia’s Alcatraz”. (January 27th 2015)

Bali Allocates Rp6.18 Billion to Prevent and Control Rabies

The administration of Bali province has set aside Rp6.18 billion for rabies vaccinations as part of prevention and control programs in nine regions of the resort island. “The budget will be used to purchase rabies vaccinations and cover operational costs, as they will be allocated from the regional and national budgets,” Head of Animal Health Division of Balis Livestock and Animal Health Office Nata Kesuma said here on Tuesday (13/1). “We will focus the efforts in areas with a high population of free-ranging dogs and pups,” Kesuma stated. Currently, there are some 70,000 doses of rabies vaccines available from the 2014 program, while the administration is set to buy 250 more doses for the prevention and control program this year. The issue of rabies receives great importance in Bali as dogs have always been an integral part of Balinese culture. (January 14th 2015)

Pastika Wants All Provincial Government Heads To Speak English

Bali Governor Made Pastika now requires all agency and department heads in the provincial government to be able to speak English. He stated this requirement yesterday at an evaluation meeting in front of all the department and agency heads and their deputies. According to Pastika he had been shocked and disappointed when reading a memo on “Travel Warnings” which was written as “Triple Woning”. He said that such a mistake was “embarrassing” and that his staff should have a good command of the English language while working in Bali. He said that to move up the civil service hierarchy, government workers must learn English and that failing to do so might mean demotions. He said that he would change the English requirement for civil servant application to include an English essays and verbal skills as well as tests to show the ability to formulate problems in English. (January 23rd 2015)

Ban On Sale Of Alcohol At Minimarkets

Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel has issued a ban on the sale of class “A” liquor and alcoholic beverages with below 5% alcohol content at mini markets in Bali, with the regulation to take effect in April. The regulation was signed on January 16, however President Widodo has allowed a 3-month processing period for vendors to withdraw the beverages from sale. By April 16 the regulation will be enforced in full. According to the Vice Chairman of Indonesia’s Retailers Association (APRINDO), Tutum Rahanta, the regulation will have severe consequences on the revenue of mini markets throughout Bali. Rahanta believes the government should restore the previous rules that govern the sale of alcoholic beverages in mini markets, that is the vendor must submit a Certificate for the sale of class “A” liquor and must display alcoholic beverages in a separate shelf than other goods. (January 23rd 2015)

Indonesia’s Military Halts AirAsia Jet Recovery Effort

Indonesia scaled down search and recovery efforts January 27 for the bodies and wreckage of an AirAsia passenger jet that crashed last month as the military pulled out from the operation, navy officials said on Tuesday (27/1). Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 vanished from radar screens on December 28, less than half way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia’s second largest city Surabaya to Singapore. All 162 people on board were killed. “Obviously it has been 30 days so the joint team will pull out from the search area and I do not know what’s next. I’m withdrawing the team because I received instruction from military chief to withdraw our assets,” Rear Admiral Widodo, commander of the Navy’s Western Fleet, told reporters. Seventy bodies have been recovered so far and sent to a hospital in Surabaya for identification. Days of rough weather and poor visibility have hampered navy divers’ efforts to find more bodies and recover the fuselage of the plane. (January 17th 2015)

Bali Government Hopes Visa-Free Entry Will Boost Tourism

Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office Anak Agung Yuniarta is optimistic that visa-free access to the citizens of four countries can increase the number of foreign visitors to Bali he explained on Thursday (22/1). He said that the countries to be included in the implementation of the visa-free program are viewed as potential markets of foreign tourists to Indonesia. The government had provided visa-free facility to the citizens of China, Japan, South Korea and Russia. These countries were selected as they were the main markets for Indonesian tourism. The increase in the number of visa-free countries was needed to achieve the target of 20 million foreign visitors, or 450 thousand additional foreign tourists per year, by 2019. (January 22nd 2015)