Local News

Bali warns misbehaving tourists will be sent home after Instagram influencers play with holy water

Incensed Bali officials have warned that misbehaving tourists will be sent home or face purification rituals after a Czech couple filmed themselves splashing each other with holy water from a temple on the Indonesian holiday island. The Balinese authorities appear to have finally run out of p

atience after a recent spate of tourist misdemeanours that has included an Australian fly-kicking a man off a motorbike and a Russian visitor who tried to smuggle out a drugged baby orangutan.

The latest incident has caused particular outrage as it took place in a temple in Bali’s Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, a popular attraction for the millions of tourists drawn to the island’s tropical beaches and lively nightlife. In a now deleted video by Czech Instagram influencers, Zdenek Slouka is shown lifting up the skirt of his girlfriend Sabina Dolezalova and splashing water on her bottom.

In the ensuing public backlash, Wayan Koster, the island’s   governor, said the local government would step up its role in protecting holy sites. “In the future, if there are tourists behaving like that we should just send them home, they are being disorderly coming to Bali. We will give them this warning,” Mr Koster said in a statement.

The contrite couple tried to make amends on Thursday by taking part in a ritual purification ceremony where they wore traditional clothes and touched pressed hands to their heads as a show of respect. “I’m really glad that we had the opportunity to purify this place and now I would like to say thank you to all the   Balinese people because they were very kind to us,” Mr Slouka said afterwards. Arya Wedakarna, a local senator, suggested the ritual could be made compulsory in future for tourist gaffes. “They made a mistake sullying our island,” he told AFP. “Anyone who violates our traditions must take part in a purification ritual,” he added. [Telegraph.co.uk August 16, 2019]


Drunken Aussie arrested after Bali rampage, fly-kicking man off motorbike

Nicholas Carr – a 26-year-old man from Adelaide – is being     pilloried online and across Bali after he launched a flying kick and knocked a motorcyclist off his bike. He then attempted to jump over a car, landed on his backside and was tied-up with rope and arrested by police. Footage posted by an Indonesian Instagram page showed the man jumping around in the road, kicking the motorcyclist and leaping onto a moving car, followed by several men as they try to catch him. The page also posted a picture of Carr tied up with rope – shirtless and barefoot, with a bloody nose, surrounded by police – and sitting on the pavement.

Carr has apologised and offered to compensate victims of the spree where he also allegedly smashed windows at a mini-mart and a restaurant. He also allegedly assaulted residents in their homes. He is currently in a police holding cell in the Kuta tourist precinct and was being questioned on Monday morning. An apprenticed builder, the man said he drank vodka and     cocktails and can’t remember what happened, adding: “I have drunk until I have blacked out but I have never done this before, ever.” Carr reportedly apologised, adding: “I’ll do   whatever they want.”

The flying kick caused the rider to crash and skid out of control while the Australian sustained only minor injuries. Video and images showed showed the man, dressed in brown shorts and white t-shirt – being treated in hospital for minor cuts – and bruises after he charged a car on Sunset Road shouting “f**k this, f**k you, you f**king …” and attempted to leap it, rolling off the bonnet instead. He ran off, chased by two men. Further CCTV footage showed the man harassing residents in their homes. Nyoman Purda told Seven News the bleeding man had invaded his home and assaulted him before escaping through a window. “I opened my room door and he approached me and straight away pulled me by my neck. I fell down,” he said. “When I fell down, my arm got injured. My nose was also bleeding. He was bleeding when he arrived here. There was a lot of blood, also in my room.” [10daily.com.au August 12, 2019]


Australian arrested after her car allegedly hit and killed a motorbike rider on Bali’s infamous ‘Skull Track’

Police in Bali’s Jembrana regency yesterday arrested an Australian woman, identified as Susan Leslie O’Brien, for hitting a motorcycle with a car she was allegedly driving without a   license and killing the rider. As reported by local media outlets, the accident took place on Wednesday afternoon on the Denpasar-Gilimanuk Bypass. A 19-year-old motorcycle rider from Banyuwangi, East Java, identified as Rizqi Akbar Putra, died at the scene from his injuries, according to the police. The chief of the Jembrana Traffic Police, Yoga Widyatmoko, said O’Brien had been attempting to overtake a truck when her car collided with Rizqi’s motorcycle, according to a report from Tribun-Bali. “The driver of the APV wasn’t being careful enough when     she was trying to overtake the truck, which resulted in this accident,” Yoga was quoted as saying in reference to O’Brien.

In addition, Yoga told Detik that while O’Brien wasn’t speeding during the accident, she was not carrying any driving license with her when it occurred. The police officially declared her a suspect for vehicular manslaughter yesterday. Under Indonesia’s 2009 Traffic Law, O’Brien faces a maximum of six years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of IDR 12 million (USD 842). Bali’s Gilimanuk-Denpasar Bypass is so infamous for the numerous deadly accidents that have taken place there, which has led locals to refer to is as Jalur Tengkorak, or the “Skull Track.” Earlier this month, two young girls are orphaned after a tragic accident took the lives of their parents, who died after they were run over by a truck. [Coconuts.co August 16, 2019]


Bali judge throws the book at an Australian tourist

Perhaps reflecting recent criticism suggesting malfeasance   reflected in the light sentences being meted out to foreign nationals in narcotics trials, the Denpasar District Court presided over by Bambang Ekaputra has handed down a sentence to a 45-year old Australian man, Ryan Scott Williams, that was much more severe than that sought by public prosecutors. On Thursday, August 15, 2019, Judge Ekaputra sentenced Williams to 5 years in prison for possessing 43.15 grams of cocaine, a period of imprisonment much sterner than the “lighter” sentence of 15 months demanded by State Prosecutors.

As reported by balitribune.co.id, the Presiding judge rejected the Prosecutors decision to charge the man only as an illicit user of narcotics, changing his indictment to sentence Williams as a distributor/producer of narcotics. The Indonesian anti-narcotics law specifies that 1.1grams of cocaine is a “reasonable” amount of the drug for personal consumption in a single day, while the Australian was arrested with more than 43 grams of cocaine in his possession. This, according to the Court, automatically classified the Australian as an operator/producer in the illicit drug trade. Williams did, however, escape a Rp. 10 billion fine that could have been imposed by the Court in the case.

William had established a small laboratory in his residence for producing cocaine that he told the court he needed for “pain control” for an injured leg. The man has been warded in a police hospital since last month for the treatment of an injured leg kept encased in a walking brace. In handing down the sentence, Justice Ekaputra said weighing against the Australian was that his crime could result in damaging the future generation of the nation and the large amount of drugs found in his   possession. In partial mitigation, however, was the fact that Williams acted politely before the Court during the trial and the fact that he was the financial backbone of his family.

While prosecutors said they would consider whether or not to appeal the decision, Williams and his attorney Edward Pangkahila quickly signaled they would not contest the verdict of the court, even thought it was three time more than the penalty sought by prosecutors. Williams’ attorney later told the press that risk of appealing the sentence might result in an even stiffer sentence of death before a firing squad being rendered on appeal. Williams was arrested in March 2019 at a private villa in Kerobokan with 43 grams of cocaine hidden in two glass jars in the villa’s dressing room. [Balidiscovery.com August 20, 2019]


Jokowi wears traditional Balinese attire for Independence Day ceremony

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), his first son Gibran Rakabuming Raka, and grandson, Jan Ethes Srinarendra, came dressed in traditional Balinese clothing bearing varied colors and patterns for a ceremony marking Indonesia’s 74th Independence Day. President Jokowi’s traditional attire in black, with gold brocade, along with headdress bearing gold motifs was from Klungkung. Ethes wore a purple headdress, yellow sarong, and footwear with gold motifs. Gibran Rakabuming wore a white shirt and brown headband of woven fabric. “We have worn traditional clothes from Aceh, West Sumatra, South Kalimantan, West Java, Central Java, Bali, Sulawesi, and   others,” President Jokowi stated at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Saturday.

The president affirmed that he would wear traditional clothing at other celebrations. “Indeed, Indonesia has thousands of traditional clothes. We will showcase our traditional attire,” the president stated. [Antaranews.com August 17, 2019]


Australian could face 7 years in prison if convicted of purse snatching in Bali

Australian Matthew Richard Woods remains under detention at Kerobokan Prison in Bali awaiting trial in a purse snatching that occurred on June 19, 2019. His case has been sent to State Prosecutors for presentation to the Denpasar Courts. According to the State News Agency Antara, Prosecutors now have 20 days to bring the case to trial. Woods stands accused of attempting to snatch the belongings of a tourist Soraya Dergham. At the time of the theft, he was reportedly collaborating in the theft with a man named Dean who continues to be sought by police.

The two men, were reportedly driving a motorcycle as they passed Soraya Dergham and tried to pull her handbag off her arms. Witnesses to the robbery attempt heard the woman’s scream and pursued the thieves who were eventually brought to ground by security guards and their pursuers. The woman’s purse was found near where the men were knocked down by angry locals who reportedly beat the men, while Dean made good his escape. Police passing the scene managed to stop the beating and place Woods under arrest. Wood will be charged under Section 363 Paragraph 1-4 of the Criminal Code for theft that carries a maximum prison sentence of 7 years. Wood is adamant in claiming he did not commit the crime. The total loss suffered by the victim is put at Rp. 10,903,000, plus a hand phone and Rp. 244,000 in cash. [Balidiscovery.com August 20, 2019]


Two dolphins freed from Bali hotel pool

Rocky and Rambo, two dolphins who have been captive at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Lovina, North Bali, have been freed by animal aid organizations. A total of five dolphins had been held in a chlorinated swimming pool for at least ten years, where tourists would pay to swim with them and watch them perform tricks. With the help of local organizations, Central Jakarta Forestry Department and the Jakarta Animal Aid Network, dolphin protection group Dolphin Project confiscated two of the cetaceans, along with a number of other animals that had been living in the hotel’s zoo. Tragically, one dolphin died before the rescue, however plans are in the works to save the remaining dolphins.

The cetaceans were transported to The Dolphin Lodge, Bali where they will     begin the process of rehabilitation in the hopes of eventual release. Though capturing wild dolphins and whales is illegal in Indonesia, there is a loophole often exploited by the fishing industry. When animals are caught at night, and said to be rescued from fishing gear, workers are able to sell the them to Wersut Seguni Indonesia. From there, the dolphins are sold throughout Indonesia. The Dolphin Project is assisting in stopping these illegal captures by monitoring the enforcement of laws and helping helping to build sustainable fishing practices. [Raisevegan.com August 9, 2019]