Local News

Massive fire engulfs Bintang Supermarket in Seminyak, no casualty reported

A massive fire engulfed Bintang Supermarket in Seminyak earlier this week, along with a number of stores and kiosks located in the same area.

According to reports, the fire started at around 3am from the back of Bintang Supermarket. It soon spread to other stores nearby, and firemen battled with the blaze until about 5am.   “It was quite difficult as everything was locked and we were late to the scene, so the fire grew really big. The roof was perforated so we shot the water from above, but if we were able to open the doors from the beginning we might have been able to control the fire,” I Wayan Wirya, fire department chief in Badung regency, told Tribun.

Bintang Supermarket is a popular supermarket chain in Bali, with locations in Ubud and Seminyak. Bintang Supermarket Operations Manager, Agus Sanjaya explained that the supermarket stands on an area of about one hectare, inside the supermarket, there are nine tenants besides Bintang’s own management. “For us, everything inside was destroyed,” said the manager. Sanjaya estimated that the total losses from the fire for Bintang is more than Rp 40 billion. “The total loss can be above Rp 40 billion, however we do have goods and building insurance,” he said.

Bintang supermarket in Seminyak has been around since 1996. “There was no inkling or indication of anything untoward before the incident. In fact, we had just finished the Odalan ceremonies for the full moon the day before,” Agus said, he continued, employed 160 people and had a turnover of approximately Rp 700 million per day. “70 percent of our customers are foreigners,” said Agus Sanjaya.

Agus is sure that supermarket will rise again after all the fire business is settled. He was quoted elsewhere as saying it will take seven months to reconstruct. “After this, in principle, we shall rise again and we will improve,” he said. Videos of the terrible fire made its rounds on social media this week, showing the extent of the situation earlier as well as the           aftermath, which reportedly affected about a 3,400 square meter area. Authorities have yet to determine what caused the fire, but said that there were no reports of casualties or injuries from the incident. (coconuts.com 20/1/20)


Badung targets 6.2 million foreign tourists in 2020

Badung District in Bali Province, has set a target of attracting some 6.2 million foreign tourists during 2020.

“So in 2020, based on the Regional Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMD) we set a target of 6.2 million people. That target is very moderate for us to achieve,” I Made Badra, the Head of the Badung Tourism Office, said here Friday. He is upbeat that the target is achievable as the district received some 6.2 million foreign tourists in 2019. “If we intensify   tourism promotion activities in 2020, and with the support of conducive situations and information on security, and tourist comfort, we are very optimistic that we can achieve the target,” he said.

The local tourism office plans to evaluate the target in June of July and might increase it if the tourism industry’s trend is improving. Of the total 6.2 million tourists, he expects some two million to come from China this year. Besides tourists from China, Badung also targets around 1.6 million tourists from Australia and New Zealand, 1.8 million tourists from  European countries, and 600 thousand tourists from India. (Antara.com 21/1/20)


Bali prosecutors demand 3.5 years for Mauritanian who allegedly spent IDR400 million using stolen credit card

Prosecutors at the Denpasar Court yesterday demanded that Roughaya Abeidi, a 31-year-old Mauritanian woman accused of stealing a British tourist’s credit card, be sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

“The defendant had taken something that belonged to another person and this is in violation of Article 362 of KUHP,” prosecutor Ni Putu Eriek Sumyanti told the court, referring to Indonesia’s criminal code. Article 362 carries a maximum of five years’ imprisonment. According to several reports, Abeidi threw a water bottle upon leaving the courtroom yesterday, seemingly angry with the prosecutors’ demand.

Abeidi was arrested back in October, after she allegedly stole a credit card belonging to a British tourist, identified as Holly Jemima Hartley. Abeidi allegedly purchased more than IDR400 million (US$29,272) worth of goods, mostly at fancy malls in Bali, using the stolen card, which eventually led to her arrest. (coconuts.com 21/1/20)


Stuck in Bali airport traffic? Airport to get LRT access to reduce congestion

Bali Airport will soon get a facelift through the development of a South Korea-backed light rail transit (LRT) service to reduce traffic congestion in the area, an executive of the project’s construction firm has said.

State-owned construction firm Nindya Karya signed Thursday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with South Korean public company Korea Rail Network Authority (KRNA), and Korea Overseas Infrastructure and Urban Development Corporation for the Rp 5 trillion (US$400 million) project. The LRT will span 4.78 kilometers with four stations between a would-be satellite terminal in Kuta, Bali’s tourist epicenter, and the airport, Nindya Karya acting president director Haedar A. Karim, said.

“The project is the first step to a green city and transit-oriented development in Seminyak and Kuta,” Haedar said after the MoU signing in Jakarta. The LRT service could benefit millions of visitors who travel in and out of the airport each year by providing an alternative means of transport to the airport. Around 5.7 million people went through the airport’s gates between January and November last year, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data show. Construction for the project would kick off around three months after the MoU signing (about June 2020), Haedar said. He expressed hope that the LRT would be able to start running in one-and-a-half to two years. “It will look like [Jakarta’s] MRT,” Haedar said, adding that it would be built 30 meters below surface level. “We will build the LRT fully underground because in [Balinese] culture, building above [15 meters] is forbidden.”

Aside from Bali’s LRT project, KRNA has also provided $500 million to finance the development of the LRT serving the velodrome facility in Rawamangun, East Jakarta, to Dukuh Atas, Central Jakarta. (TheJakartaPost, 23/1/20)


Bali narcotics officers find large amount of marijuana in Canggu boarding house

Bali narcotics officers (BNNP) discovered a large stash of marijuana last week in fashionable Canggu. 31.6 kilograms of marijuana in 53 bags was found in the room of suspect, G.R, in a boarding house in the Canggu area of North Kuta on Thursday. “The suspect has already been arrested a number of times by Bali BNNP. They believe he is part of a Bali-Medan network. The amount of evidence was huge, too,” said a witness to balipost.com on Sunday.

The witness also said that the Bali BNNP Eradication Team suspected that the sender was a big dealer based in Medan and sent the packages to GR, who was on standby in Bali. The packages were sent by courier on Wednesday and arrived in Bali the next day. “After the package was  received, the suspect was immediately arrested. When they searched his house, they found marijuana being dried in the sun,” he added. The suspect and the evidence were brought to the BNNP Bali Office on Jalan Kamboja, Kereneng, East Denpasar. BNNP officers are still investigating the case. (Seminyaktimes.com 21/1/20)


Bali ports increase health monitoring amid Wuhan coronavirus outbreak

After the airport authorities in Greater Jakarta began ramping up the health monitoring of incoming passengers, other airports across the archipelago are following suit amid concerns about a pneumonia-like outbreak in China and some other countries.

Since December last year, dozens of cases of the pneumonia-like coronavirus have been reported in Wuhan. I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport authorities in Denpasar, Bali had installed thermal scanners on two of the airport’s international arrival gates to anticipate any coronavirus transmission that was suspected to be the cause of the pneumonia.

“The scanners have been installed since Jan. 4 and their activation followed the recent updates on the global epidemic,” said Putu Alit Sudarma, an official of the Denpasar Port health office, on Saturday, as quoted by Antara news agency. He added that the office had also intensified health monitoring in seaports across the island. “However, there are not yet any ships coming to China that landed in Bali this month.”

The Health Ministry has issued a travel advisory for Indonesians who wish to travel to countries affected by the Wuhan coronavirus and handed out health alert cards to passengers arriving from China and other affected countries. Authorities also said that all 135 entry points into the country had been equipped with thermal scanners that could identify a person’s body temperature remotely through cameras. As of Monday, Reuters reported that the total number of known cases worldwide was more than 200, with most cases – 198 – reported in Wuhan, which recorded three deaths. South Korea had also reported its first confirmed case on Monday.

Scientists believe that the recent pneumonia outbreak is likely caused by a new virus belonging to the same family of coronaviruses that causes the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The syndrome killed nearly 800 people globally during an outbreak in 2002 and 2003 that also started in China. (Jakartapost.com 22/1/20)