Local News

Bali Police Install Devices At Lights To Catch Traffic Violators

Bali Police Department has begun installing electronic devices as part of the preparation stage of the Electronic Traffic Law Enforcement (ETLE) in Denpasar.

This new system will automatically capture traffic violations such as speeding, expired registration, riding two-wheelers without a helmet, driving without a seatbelt on, red lights, distracted driving, and more.

The Director of Denpasar Traffic Officer, Kombes Pol Indra confirmed that officers started the installation of electronic devices in several different locations of Denpasar on Saturday (17/4).

“We’ve already installed the devices in some intersections in Denpasar such as Buagan intersection and Imam Bonjol – Teuku Umar intersection on Saturday evening,” Kombes Pol Indra said on Sunday.

The devices are currently under observation by the police department to assure that they’re able to work effectively in capturing the registration number of vehicles that violate traffic rules on the road.

“We’re still observing the devices to synchronise the data with the Registration Administrator System (SAMSAT) before officially implementing this method” Indra added.

The ETLE is expected to begin operating by May 2021 after officially being launched by the Head of the Indonesian Police Department, Police General Listyo Sigit Prabowo.
Indra also explained that when this system finally runs in the near future, it will identify traffic violators by their registration number, and the ticket would be delivered to their address by mail.

“The capture from those cameras would be accurate evidence as it will give us the exact information about traffic violations in public roads” Kombes Pol Indra concluded. (thebalisun.com 20/04/2021)


Deputy governor calls for Bali to be exempted from mudik ban, says tourists are not the same as exodus travelers

Bali officials are appealing to the central government to allow tourists into the island during the mudik ban period next month, arguing that leisure travelers should not be put into the same category as those who are returning to their hometowns.

Mudik is the annual homecoming exodus tradition in Indonesia that coincides with the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which sees tens of millions of Indonesians visiting their hometowns annually before the pandemic. With Eid holiday expected to fall on May 13 and 14 this year, Indonesia is set to ban the exodus from May 6 to 17 to reduce potential risks of COVID-19 transmissions.

This will undoubtedly have an impact on Bali, which has always been a popular destination for domestic tourists around the Eid holiday period. Earlier this month, officials in the province stressed that travelers defying the mudik ban will be turned away at various ports of entry.

Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, also known as Cok Ace, said there should be an exception made for Bali during the upcoming mudik ban.

“[People] are not going on mudik to Bali, they are going on a holiday to Bali and [domestic] tourism in Bali has been open since last July. So we are appealing for an exception for tourists,” Cok Ace said yesterday.

Despite the risks of COVID-19 transmission, Cok Ace claimed Bali has been able to keep the number of infections low even during previous holiday periods, and said that the number of tourists are expected to reach 10,000 at the most for Eid, when it is presently between 4,000 and 6,000.

Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist from Griffith University Australia, told Coconuts today that high mobility, regardless of whether or not it is for mudik, increases the risk of transmission that could worsen the pandemic situation in Indonesia.
“There’s a high probability or possibility that people who are mobile, people who go on mudik, will bring all sorts of viruses with them,” Dicky said.

He explained that Indonesia has yet to control the pandemic and is at the level of community transmission, where it is difficult to detect the source of infections of clusters.
The public health expert said that only extremely essential travel should be allowed, adding that negative results of a PCR test or an antigen rapid test must be required for those who do travel. (coconuts.co 20/04/2021)

Deeper Crisis Due To The Upcoming Travel Restrictions

The tourism sector in Bali is expected to fall into a deeper financial crisis due to the travel restrictions that will be in place during the upcoming holiday season.

As The Bali Sun previously reported the central government has decided to ban all domestic travellers from both arriving and departing Bali during the Eid Al-Fitr celebration. This policy was put in place as a prevention step from the government to avoid Covid-19 cases from surging during the holiday season.

The Senior Associate Director Research Colliers Indonesia, Ferry Salanto predicted that the occupancy rates of Bali hotels in 2021 won’t be showing any significant changes. “With this many hotel rooms available and the lack of visitors, Bali hotels have no choice other than to wait for the situation to get better.” Salanto said.

He also explained that the promotions that the hotels have been trying to offer haven’t shown a significant result. But he admitted that the Covid-19 vaccine distribution gave a positive signal to gain people’s trust to start traveling again. “The distribution of the Covid vaccine brings hope to the tourism sector in Bali as the central government plans to reopen the international travel corridor by July.

Hotels in Bali brace for impact from upcoming mudik ban

Tourism players and researchers are making gloomy predictions for hotels in Bali ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, as Indonesia gears up to ban the annual homecoming exodus tradition known as mudik.
Before the pandemic, thousands of tourists regularly poured into the island.
“If all modes of transportation, from sea, air, to land, are prohibited to go to Bali during Eid al-Fitr festivities, of course it will have an impact on Bali. The hotel occupancy rate might only be in the single digits,” Rai Suryawijaya, who heads the Badung chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), said.

With restrictions on leisure travel for foreigners still in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bali’s tourism industry has been depending on domestic tourists from other regions, such as Jakarta and Surabaya. According to Rai, the first quarter of this year saw improvements in terms of hotel occupancy, which at some point reached 22,000 occupied rooms in one day.

Related — Over 134,000 domestic travelers flew to Bali in March: airport officials
But as Indonesia seeks to reduce any potential risks of COVID-19 transmission with the mudik ban, hotels and other tourist-dependent businesses are now bracing for impact.

“The second quarter of 2021 is a difficult moment for hotel businesses because of the mudik ban,” Ferry Salanto, senior associate director of research at Colliers Indonesia, also said. (coconuts.co 18/04/2021)

Bali Vaccinates More Than 1000 Denpasar Market Vendors

As the vaccine campaign continues in Bali, the Denpasar city government has decided to focus distribution in several traditional markets across Denpasar City. More than a thousand market vendors have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, and more scheduled in the coming days.

The Spokesman of Denpasar Covid-19 Handling Task Force, I Dewa Gede Rai, confirmed that Kreneng Market in Denpasar was one of the top priorities of government officials to distribute Covid-19 vaccine; 1,086 people from the market thus far have received the vaccine.
“1,086 people in Kreneng Market such as local vendors and couriers have received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday (18/4).” Gede Rai confirmed.

After Kreneng Market, Gede Rai is looking at Badung Market to distribute the vaccine in the near future.

“After finishing the distribution in Kreneng, we will start distributing the vaccine to Badung Market as one of the biggest traditional markets in Denpasar, and 645 vendors in there are expected to receive the vaccine soon.” Gede Rai added.

He also explained that the government officials aimed to distribute the vaccine to 16 different markets which are operating under the city’s management.

“Around 7,500 people from 16 traditional markets in Denpasar were registered to receive the vaccine in order to achieve herd immunity in our traditional markets in Denpasar.” Gede Rai concluded.

Additionally, Gede Rai is continuing to distribute the vaccine to the senior citizens and teachers across Denpasar, specifically pre-school, kindergarten, and elementary school teachers in every village before reopening in-person learning. (thebalisun.com 20/04/2021)

Indonesia Bans Idul Fitri Exodus

The government has decided to extend the ban on 2021 Idul Fitri homecoming, one of the world’s largest annual migrations, to Indonesia’s entire population in its latest effort to suppress the Covid-19 virus transmission among its population.

“In 2021, homecoming will be forbidden to the civil servant, the police and armed forces, state-owned enterprises employees, private-sector employes, entrepreneurs, and the entire population,” the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy said in a virtual press conference on Friday.
This ban takes effect from May 6 to 17, the minister said. “Before and after that date, people are advised not to travel outside their region [of residence] unless it is really urgent and necessary,” Muhadjir said.

Previously, the government only impose the ban on the civil servant, the police and armed forces, state-owned enterprises employees.

The government allows an extra one-day off in addition to the official two-day Idul Fitri festival for civil servants. Normally, the extra paid leaves bring together the Idul Fitri holidays to a full week.
The country has seen new daily Covid-19 cases dropped to around 6,000 cases this week, from its peak at around 13,000 cases in January. The country bucks the trend in Asia, where many countries are seeing the next wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Small tick-ups in the number of daily new Covid-19 cases that followed the Chinese New Year holiday in February and Isra Mikraj holiday early this month have enough to stoke concerns among the policymakers.

Idul Fitri, which will fall on May 12 and 13 this year, is the largest holiday in Muslim-majority Indonesia in terms of mass migration, compared to those two holidays.

The government estimated around 23 million people traveled from large cities to their hometowns across the country in 2019, up 14 percent from 21.5 million a year earlier. At the scale, Indonesia’s Idul Fitri annual migration is only behind Chinese New Year in China, which involved 385 million people, the Thanksgiving homecoming in the United States (51 million), and Arbaʽeen Pilgrimage in Iraq (45 million).
Last year, Idul Fitri arrived three months into the pandemic amid the government’s large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) that limit people’s activities.

Strict health protocol and testing requirements for travel were enough to deter people from making their annual journey last year. Data from the Transportation Ministry showed air travel dropped by 98 percent during the Idul Fitri season last year, from a year earlier, while toll road traffic dropped by 60 to 70 percent.
Still, the number of cases picked up by 37 percent three weeks after the holiday. The similar patterns got repeated for the remainder of the year, with the number of daily new cases shooting up two or three weeks after public holidays. (jakartaglobe.com 19/04/2021)


Face Paint Mask: Calls for deportation against influencers who pulled a mask prank in Bali supermarket

Two influencers have drawn flak online for a prank video they did in Bali, in which one of them painted on a face mask while visiting a local supermarket for what appears to be the sake of content. Being maskless in public is in violation of the province’s mandatory mask rule.

The Taiwan-born influencer, who we will identify as JPL for now, uploaded a video on Facebook last Friday, in which he and another influencer called L are visiting a local grocery store. After security told them that L was not allowed to enter without a mask, the two returned to their car and painted a mask on L’s face instead. They then returned to the supermarket ⁠— JPL using a proper physical mask ⁠— and filmed themselves as they walked around the store.

“Did you notice like no one’s actually looking at you?” JPL asked.

“Exactly, because it looks real,” L answered.
“No one noticed! Even the security. I can’t believe this works,” JPL said, to which L responded with a laugh.

Anything apparently goes for the sake of content, even if you’re violating the law or putting other people at the very real risk of COVID-19 transmission in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. The video reeks of blatant ignorance, which many people online have since called them out on.

The original post itself appears to have been deleted from JPL’s Facebook page, while his and L’s Instagram accounts have been set to private at the time of writing. JPL has over 321,000 followers on Instagram and 3.4 million subscribers on YouTube, while L – who appears on many of JPL’s recent videos – has about 19,000 followers on Instagram. In addition, it might be worth noting that pranks, challenges, and social experiments seem to make up the bulk of JPL’s content.

JPL’s mask prank video has made it onto Balinese designer and politician Niluh Djelantik’s radar, who posted screengrabs of it on her social media accounts earlier this afternoon and called on immigration authorities to arrest and deport the influencers, who both appear to be foreign nationals.

“These two people don’t have empathy. They are using COVID-19 as a joke. I am asking with respect for @ditjen_imigrasi and @imngurahrai to strictly act upon these two people. Don’t let them step on Bali’s dignity,” Niluh wrote on one of her several posts on the matter, tagging the official accounts of Indonesia’s Directorate General of Immigration and their Ngurah Rai regional office.

Others have taken to expressing their outrage in the comments, with mounting calls for authorities to kick them out of the country. (coconuts.co 20/04/2021)

Swedish man arrested for allegedly refusing to pay, assaulting sex worker in Bali

Police have arrested a 44-year-old Swedish national for alleged assault against a sex worker in Bali. The man reportedly refused to pay up after their date and went on to point a gun and knife at the victim.
In a statement issued yesterday, head of the general crimes unit at South Denpasar sub-precinct Hadimastika Karsito Putro said that the foreigner, identified by his initial D, assaulted the victim, identified by her initials AP, multiple times following their time together last month.

“[The victim] was hit several times with a fist on the face, head, neck, and left arm. [The suspect] also choked and pointed a gun on her face, and put a knife on her throat,” Hadimastika said.

D was arrested last Friday, while the incident itself had taken place back in March. According to reports, police found an airsoft handgun at D’s place.

AP told authorities that she was initially called up by D’s friend, identified by his initial R, to keep his friend company on March 21, just slightly before midnight. AP agreed to come for a IDR800,000 (US$55.17) fee, to which R accepted. She then left for the location with a friend, identified as L, and arrived around 1am.

AP drank with R’s group for the rest of the night, until D took her into a room at about 6am. After they were finished, AP asked D to pay up according to the agreement she had made with R, to which D also agreed to at first. However, D appeared to change his mind not long after and refused to transfer the money, leading to an argument that eventually led to the alleged assault.

Under Indonesia’s criminal code (KUHP), D could face up to 2 years and 8 months in prison for assault.

Though sex work is technically illegal in Indonesia, the trade remains a flourishing industry across the country. In the statement, however, police did not go into detail about AP’s status as a sex worker. (coconuts.co 20/04/2021)

Bali Will Implement Covid Breathalyzer Testing At Six Tourist Attractions

Officials from Badung regional government have planned to implement the GeNose C-19 breathalyzer test in several tourist attractions in Badung District in the near future.
The regional government has approved GeNose C-19 testing in Badung as a prevention method to avoid a surge in Covid-19 cases once the international travel corridor reopens in July.

The Head of Badung Tourism Agency, Cokorda Raka Darmawan said that this policy was made in response to the instructions given to the Regent of Badung District, I Nyoman Giri Prasta.
Darmawan explained that at the beginning of this program, he would implement the GeNose test in six different tourist attractions across Badung.

“To start this program, we will spread the GeNose C-19 test kits in six tourist attractions including the Uluwatu Temple, Nung Nung Waterfalls, Labuan Sait Beach, Pandawa Beach, Taman Ayun Temple, and Sangeh Monkey Forest,” Darmawan said on Monday (19/4).

He mentioned that he was uncertain regarding the amount of GeNose test kits that will be provided to all the tourist sites as it would be fully sponsored by the Regional Development Bank (BPD).

“According to the information from Badung Regional Secretary, the test kits would be fully sponsored by the CSR from BPD Bank, and they’ll inform us once it’s all ready,” Darmawan concluded.

He also urged other tourist attractions to implement GeNose C-19 tests in to provide early detection of Covid-19 at lower costs.

Meanwhile, Darmawan is yet to have further discussions with officials to decide whether they would raise ticket prices for those tourist sites once GeNose C-19 is implemented.
He added that officials are still preparing the procedure in handling the visitors who are confirmed positive after getting tested in those tourist areas.