Local News

Bali’s Governor abandons national family planning model telling the Balinese to have at least four children

In a bold departure from national population policy, Bali Governor Wayan Koster has issued instructions to Bali’s Regents and Mayors to immediately cease support and socialization of the National Family Planning Campaign of limiting Indonesian family size to just two children. A spokesman for the Province, A.A. Ngurah Oka Sutha Diana, said on Thursday, June 27, 2019, the Governor’s instruction to abandon national family planning directives was contained in Instruction Number 1545 of 2019 on Instructions on Family Planning for the Balinese People.

As reported by Kompas.com, the Governor of Bali’s instructions are claimed by Provincial Officials to protect the “reproductive rights” of the Balinese people and are based on time-honored familial traditions and intended to sustain the cultural dominance in Bali of a quality endemic population. “The advancement of Balinese reproductive rights is based on the view that the Balinese have the right to have more than two offspring, or even four children, that (in the Balinese tradition) can be named Wayan, Made, Nyoman and Ketut,” said Sutha.

Meanwhile the head of the Population, Civil Registry and Family Planning office in Bali, I Gusto Agung Ketut Kartika Jaya Seputra, commented separately that the population of native Balinese-Hindus has been on the decline for the past several years. Adding: “We all know that the population of “Nyoman’s” and “Ketut’s” (third and fourth born) have become more rare. Because of this and in accordance with the Governor’s instructions, we are going back to recommend that the Balinese have four children.” He explained that the past program of encouraging people to only have two children has produced a worrying tend in the Island’s demographics.

Seputra said the Governor’s instructions were not simply to have four children, but to also pay attention to planning births, distancing in time the birth of each child, understanding the ideal age for childbirth, and other aspects of family planning “Bali style.” At the same time, there has been little or no comment from the Governor’s office on supporting his desire for larger families through free-education programs starting from grade school through high school or even tertiary levels, child care programs, social welfare programs, and public housing on a traditional village level. [Bali Update July 9, 2019]


Ngurah Rai Immigration Office chief seeking to root out foreigners operating businesses or working illegally in his jurisdiction

Amran Aris, the head of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Immigration Office has announced that his office will take strong enforcement measures against foreign nationals found to be operating businesses or working illegally in Bali. As reported by Radar Bali, Aris reminded that foreigners investing money in Indonesia must follow the rules established under the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and aliens must hold a formal work permit if they are involved in any employment, paid or unpaid. Amran’s comments were made on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, before a multi-agency meeting responsible for monitoring the activities of foreigners in Indonesia (Timpora). He warned that strict enforcement measures were in place to prevent foreigners from usurping employment opportunities reserved for Indonesian citizens. Adding, “We need to protect job opportunities for Indonesians.”

The immigration chief said his office frequently encountered foreigners working illegally in Bali. He specifically cited illegal instances in which foreigners open motor cycle rental agencies, operate bars or restaurants, or rent out villas without possessing a work permit (IMTA) or a temporary stay permit (KITAS). Continuing, Amran said: “For example, in the Canggu area there were persons renting cycles, opening a bar, or running other businesses that came to the attention of the police. We need to take action against such occurrences.”

Amran said that in order to bring illegal workers under control, the immigration office must synergize its enforcement measures with all related government agencies in Bali. In the area of responsibility for his office, he is seeking cooperation starting from the level of district chiefs (camat) in Kuta, South Kuta, and North Kuta. He is also approaching village leaders, pacalang, and the head of police precincts to help enforce the law and track down illegal aliens.

“In this context, we are all sharing information. From district chiefs (camat) to those working under the camat. If a foreigner is found (operating a business or working illegally) report them immediately. We will come. Our eyes are limited, but with help from the public who know better what’s happening in their surroundings, we will be more effective,” Amran said. Amran clarified that expatriates with work permits are not a problem. But their employment must conform with that which is written in their stay permit (KITAS). [Bali Update July 9, 2019]


Bali’s current “cold spell” to last through August

A spokesman for Bali’s Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics Agency (BKMG-Bali), Imam Faturahman, told NusaBali that Bali’s current “cool spell,” felt especially in the evening hours, is the result of cold monsoonal weather over Australia sending currents of cold winds towards equatorial Indonesia. BKMG says the colder than normal weather in Bali will persist until August. In nearby Java, the current cold spell sent nighttime temperatures on the elevated Dieng Plateau in Central Java to minus 8 Celsius and shocked residents living near the Bromo Volcano in East Java who awoke to find snow on the ground last week. On 15 June 2019, the airport at Ruteng, West Manggarai Flores recorded a low nighttime temperature of 9 degrees Celsius.

Faturahman said the cool winds and dry winter winds are affecting wide areas of Indonesia south of the equator – primarily in Bali, Java and Nusa Tenggara. “Indeed, significant temperature effects are being experienced in Bali. During night time hours, the trend is for colder than normal temperatures. This is because of an effect often referred to as Australian monsoonal air currents,” Faturahman commented. He said the current colder than normal temperatures would continue throughout July and August, coinciding with Indonesia’s dry season. The coldest  temperatures in Bali, he said, would be felt in higher elevations.

Faturahman said the current weather condition is leaving temperatures in South Bali between 20-30 degrees Celsius with humidity measured between 55-95 percent. Wind speeds, adding to the wind chill effect, are between 8 and 42 kilometers per hours. Current temperatures are 3-4 degrees Celsius below the normal range for this time of year. [Bali Update July 9, 2019]


Bali upgrading to handle 32 flights every hour by October 2019

Balipost.com reports that Bali’s Airport   Authority – Angkasa Pura is adding additional flight slots to facilitate a hoped-for increase in tourist arrivals starting from October 2019. Elfi Amir, head of the District IV Flight Authority that includes operations from the Ngurah Rai International Airport, confirmed on Monday, July 1, 2019 that Bali’s Airport will go from handling 30 flight movements per hour to 32. The additional flight slots will be available only for international flights.

Amir said that his office has long been under pressure to create more flights slots to meet demand from new international destinations. He confirmed that there are currently four airlines on the waiting list to commence new flights to Bali that he hoped would be possible starting in October 2019. There are no plans to add domestic flight slots at this time. The managers of Bali’s Airport, Angkasa Pura I, are targeting to have a new rapid exit taxiway (RET) ready by October. [Bali Update July 9, 2019]


Bali cracks down on ‘problematic’ Australian tourists who beg

Bali is targeting tourists from first-world countries who have been begging people on the street for money to fund their travels. The Indonesian island’s immigration department said the travellers – dubbed ‘begpackers’ – are primarily Australian, British or Russian. Numerous tourists with western appearance have been spotted holding signs begging for money to ‘travel around the world’, while some sell items on the streets. However, immigration officials say they are unlikely to be deported unless they have committed a criminal offence.

Setyo Budiwardoyo, an official from the department, said the relevant embassies should be responsible for the reported tourists. We tend to report these cases to the relevant embassies so that they can oversee their citizens who are on holiday,’ he said in a statement, Detik reported. Mr Budiwardoyo said the respective embassies of ‘begpackers’ must now address their financial difficulties. Other ‘begpackers’ have also been spotted busking on the streets with guitars and percussion instruments. Mr. Budiwardoyo said Indonesia had in the past provided food and accommodation to foreigners who have run out of money. But he said the immigration department has since become wary of fraudulent beggars. ‘I’d rather not give food for people who are pretending,’ he said. ‘Foreign citizens who run out of money or are pretending to be beggars, we will send them to their respective embassies.’ [Daily Mail July 8, 2019]

Bali legislators claim Benoa Bay reclamation project ‘will not be implemented,’ activists demand proof

Bali’s Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) said yesterday that the Benoa Bay reclamation project will not be implemented, adding that they support Bali Governor Wayan Koster’s position of rejecting commercial development in the area. “In regards to the Benoa Bay reclamation project, we announced where we stand when the Bali Governor was elected on August 24, 2018. We were there, and we supported the elected governor in a statement, which is to say that the Benoa Bay reclamation project cannot be implemented,” DPRD speaker, Adi Wiryatama, said yesterday, as quoted by Radar Bali. Adi also responded to a criticism raised by the Balinese People’s Forum to Reject Reclamation (ForBALI), which claimed that the council have never received them to have a dialogue. “There are members of civil society who we have yet to receive, whether during working days or holidays, and we would like to apologize,” Adi said.

ForBALI promptly   responded to Adi’s recent statement, which they labelled as “misleading.” “To ensure that the Benoa Bay reclamation project is not implemented, there must be a checklist,” the organization said in a statement. That list includes a revocation of the location permit, putting a stop to the developer’s environmental impact assessment, known locally as an amdal, and finally, a revocation of the 2014 Presidential Regulation that permitted the reclamation. “Without those, the speaker of the DPRD should never say that the Benoa Bay reclamation project will not be  implemented,” ForBALI said. [Coconuts Bali June 27, 2019]