Local News

Bali College Students Urge Government To Reopen International Borders

During the National Labor Day, Denpasar National College Student Movement (GMNI) conveyed their aspiration to the central government to reopen the international travel corridor.

The Head of Denpasar GMNI, I Putu Chandra Riantama criticized the central government’s policy to ban all international visitors to gain entry into the island since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Bali’s tourism-reliant economy.

“Bali economy has been paralyzed since the government implemented the travel ban policy, causing many people to lose their jobs,” Riantama said on Saturday (1/5).

He noted that tourism workers have been patiently waiting for the economy to recover since the government had been planning to reopen the international corridor last year in 2020, yet they haven’t seen the execution of that idea.

“People are getting tired of waiting for the border to reopen, and I think it should be the responsibility of the Bali Governor to represent the people of Bali and keep insisting on the central government until they reopen the border for international tourists,” Riantama added.

He also hopes that the plan to reopen the border by June or July this year will stay on track. Meanwhile, the Head of Legal Bureau of Denpasar GMNI, Daffa Dhaifullah explained that there are three points that they urge the government to consider, as follows: fully reopen the international travel corridor in June or July 2021, to protect the workers’ rights once the border reopens and to propose revisions to the latest Employment’s Policy that was issued in 2020 (coconuts.co 03/05/2021)


2 COVID-19 variants detected in Bali cases: official

Bali will be sending all samples of confirmed coronavirus cases to the Health Ministry this month for complete genome sequencing, an official said, after two people in the province were found to have been infected with the South African and UK variants.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster announced the findings today, noting that one patient has been confirmed to have been infected with the B1351 variant from South Africa, while another was infected with the B117 variant from the UK. Health authorities made the discovery after analyzing some positive COVID-19 samples from Sanglah General Hospital.

The patient infected with the South African variant, Koster said, was previously treated at Sanglah but has since passed away. The patient was from Badung regency and had not undergone vaccination, he added.

Separately, Health Ministry spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi said the patient with the South African variant had their samples taken on Jan. 25, before passing away on Feb. 16. Health authorities have now launched an epidemiological investigation to understand the risk of transmission from when the case was first confirmed.

“Meanwhile, the other patient confirmed to be positive with COVID-19 variant from the UK has recovered, in good health, and has been sent home. [They are] from Denpasar. This patient has now been vaccinated,” Koster said.
The chief of Bali’s health agency, Ketut Suarjaya, said that samples from all positive cases in Bali this month will be sent to the Health Ministry’s Health Research and Development Agency (Litbangkes) for complete genome sequencing.

Indonesian officials are on alert to prevent transmission of dangerous new mutations of the coronavirus, especially in light of India’s ongoing COVID-19 crisis that has been traced back to a new double mutant coronavirus strain known as B1617. All arrivals from India are currently banned in Indonesia.
As of yesterday, Indonesia has identified six strains of the coronavirus within its borders, namely D614G, B117, E484K, B1525, and B1351.(coconuts.co 04/05/2021)


2 influencers set for deportation over face paint mask: immigration

The two influencers who have been the subjects of outrage across Indonesia for their face paint mask prank in Bali will be deported soon, an official said today, after a video of their stunt was widely castigated online earlier this month.

In a video received by Coconuts, the Head of the Bali office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Jamaruli Manihuruk, declared that the two influencers violated a gubernatorial regulation mandating mask use in public. As such, officials deemed that they have also violated Indonesia’s immigration laws subjecting them to comply with local regulations, sanctions of which include deportation.

“The plan is to deport them, but it’s still a plan because we’re still looking at when they can depart, it depends on the flights to their country, but we hope to do it soon,” Jamaruli said.

A Taiwan-born influencer named Josh Paler Lin and a Russian influencer, Se Leia AKA Lisha, sparked outrage across Indonesia earlier this month for their ignorant prank video, which shows Lisha going into a local grocery store with a painted mask on as Lin films her, both expressing disbelief that no one noticed and that the stunt “worked.”

The two have re-activated their Instagram accounts after briefly setting them to private following the controversy, with Lin having uploaded an apology video about a week ago. With proper masks on, they claimed that they had no intention to disrespect or encourage people not to wear masks, and that the prank video was made “to entertain people.”

Lin now has over 325,000 followers on Instagram and 3.4 million subscribers on YouTube, while Lisha ⁠— who appears on many of Lin’s recent videos ⁠— has about 25,000 followers on Instagram. It is not lost on us that the two have racked up a couple thousands followers since we first reported on this controversy.

Earlier this year in January, Indonesian immigration deported an American digital nomad named Kristen Gray after her controversial Twitter thread about moving to Bali went viral and was deemed to have “unsettled the public” by officials. In the same month, immigration also deported a Russian influencer named Sergei Kosenko for violating health protocols and the purpose of his stay permit during his time in the country. (coconuts.co 30/04/2021)

Please for prayers from families of fallen sailors in sunken KRI Nanggala-402 submarine

Families of crew members on board the KRI Nanggala-402 submarine, which has been declared sunk with no survivors, are making pleas for prayers for the fallen sailors as recovery efforts continue following the tragic incident.

The wreckage of the submarine, broken into three pieces, was located on Saturday at a depth of 838 meters, and the Indonesian military yesterday declared all 53 crew members dead. Authorities lost contact with the sub in the early hours of Wednesday as it prepared to conduct a torpedo drill.
After days of Indonesians hoping and praying for the sailors to be found alive, yesterday’s announcement was met with an outpouring of grief from across the country.

The family of Second Lieutenant Munawir is still hoping that his body could at least be recovered.

“He was fulfilling his duty. Every day that’s what he does. Whatever the condition, we must be strong to accept. But we still hope that he will be found in whatever condition,” Munawir’s father-in-law Lim Sukardi said.

While Ekhan Retno, the wife of Marine Major Eko Firmanto, was among those who pleaded for a prayer for her husband.

“Please pray [for him],” Ekhan said.
In his address to the nation, President Joko Widodo said: “All of us Indonesians express deep sorrow for this tragedy, especially to all the families of the submarine crew.”
“Let us all pray and hope for the best for these 53 patriots guarding the country’s sovereignty, and for the families to be given patience, fortitude, and strength.”

Navy chief of staff Yudo Margono said yesterday that recovery efforts will continue despite challenges posed by the vessel being in deep waters, adding that there have been offers of assistance from “partners abroad.” Officials have yet to determine the cause of sinking.
In addition, Indonesian Military Chief Hadi Tjahjanto, said that he’s proposing a posthumous promotion for all crew members of KRI Nanggala-402 to Jokowi.(coconuts.co 26/04/2021)


‘COVID is the best time to travel’: Foreign tourists show off ease to visit Bali thanks to loose quarantine enforcement

Foreign travellers headed for Bali were able to skirt around Indonesia’s COVID-19 restrictions upon arrival, a number of social media posts showed this week, triggering a fresh wave of criticism against the government’s commitment to tackle the pandemic.
“Fly around the world during a pandemic and fear nothing. Covid is the best time to travel,” one Instagram user wrote on her caption in Russian, before revealing that she “managed to avoid five days of quarantine.”

Some tourists wrote that they were able to avoid the mandatory quarantine altogether, while others claimed that they were able to freely roam Jakarta during their mandatory quarantine in the capital. One user, who said she bought her own groceries at the supermarket, acknowledged that not everyone had the freedom during quarantine as she had, and told her followers to contact her for tips.

Lapor COVID-19 (Report COVID-19), a civil society coalition that crowdsources coronavirus information throughout the country, was among those who criticized the government for their “negligence.”

“Where is the government’s seriousness to handle the pandemic?” the tweet above reads.
Lapor COVID-19 also went on to share a bunch of Instagram screenshots from foreigners who shared their experience of arriving in Jakarta before heading to Bali. Most of them appear to be Russian-speaking and have since explored the island. The large number of posts that are now circulating widely perhaps indicate that they are not exactly mere exceptions to the rule.

In addition, these posts reveal that some of the hotels in Jakarta designated for quarantine are clearly not upholding tight restrictions with regards to the coronavirus, as their guests are able to walk around, go to the gym, and even swim in the pool.

At a time of heightened concerns amid India’s COVID-19 crisis and dangerous new mutations of the coronavirus, the allegations of a relaxed approach to enforce mandatory quarantine underscore Indonesians’ lack of confidence in the government’s competence to tackle the pandemic.
As one Indonesian user said on Twitter: “It’s been a year, is the government filled with people who are stupid? No sense of crisis, no working logic, not even empathy.” (coconuts.co 26/04/2021)


Water Transportation Businesses Face More Potential Loss

The Water Transportation Business Association (Gapasdap) has predicted that they could potentially lose millions of dollars from the upcoming travel ban policy.

The Head of Padangbai Gapasdap, Anang Heru said that the water transportation business has to face another challenge due to the travel ban policy that will be implemented during the Eid Al-Fitr Celebration this year. “Our businesses have been facing a major crisis since the Covid-19 pandemic struck last year, and now we have to accept another challenge from this policy.” Heru said.

He explained that the Eid Al-Fitr used to be the momentum for the water transportation business to increase their income, but the internal travel ban that will start from the 6th to 17th of May 2021 and is predicted to give a massive loss to the transportation sector. “Each company will have different levels of loss, it depends on the size and capacity of their fleet.” Heru added. Heru also said that out of the previous 12 companies who had been operating their fleet at Padangbai Port, one of them has decided to change their base due to the lack of passengers since Covid-19 pandemic began.

“Our total earnings since the travel ban policy on the Eid Al-Fitr celebration last year is only USD 69,000 (IDR 1 billion), and it will continue to drop in the future. During these hard times, we only hope that the central government won’t put a restriction to the logistic transportation as well, because they’re the only reason why we’re still operating.” Heru concluded. Meanwhile Heru also proposed to the government to not extend their travel ban policy once it’s ended in order to prevent their staff from getting laid-off as the company would be struggling to survive.(thebalisun.com 01/05/2021)