Indonesia Travel Restrictions Suspended
Indonesian President Joko Widodo formally withdrew the policy limiting public movement (Pembatasan Kegiatan Masyarakat – PPKM), effective 30 December 2022.
According to the Singapore Straits Times, the decision by the Indonesian government to end policies controlling and limiting domestic activities and travel was taken after Indonesia had not experienced a significant increase in daily new cases for ten consecutive months. At its height, the PPKM Policy bought inter-provincial transportation by bus and air to a virtual standstill and, over time, required travelers to be fully vaccinated, undergo COVID testing, and submit to extended periods of quarantine and re-testing. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
In abolishing PPKM measures, President Widodo said: “But, we need to remain vigilant . . .the public must independently take steps to prevent infection, detect symptoms, and seek treatment.”
News published by NIKKEI ASIA, under the title “Indonesia lifts all remaining COVID restrictions for the new year,” casts a spotlight on Indonesia, which once recorded the highest level of COVID-19 infections in Asia, but recorded less than 1,000 new daily cases over the past week, also reflected in relatively low rates of hospitalization and fatalities. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
NIKKEI reported Health Ministry data that lists Indonesia as the fourth most populous country in the world and has recorded more than 6.7 million overall cases, including 160,583 deaths. Almost 75% of the Indonesian population older than six years, or 174.7 million people, have received two COVID vaccinations, and a further 68.5 million have received a COVID-booster shot. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Praise was also heaped on Indonesia by Free Malaysia Today reported a statement by President Joko Widodo that his country had conquered all impediments to preventing the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring that most Indonesians now carry the antibody against the virus.
In a press conference announcing the end of PPKM, President Joko Widowo said: “There are no longer any limits on meetings and movements.”
Also celebrating the end of PPKM in Indonesia, The Hindustan Times has published an article No masks, no tracking app: Indonesia lifts remaining Covid restrictions. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
President Widodo said: “On Friday, (30 December 2022) Indonesia eliminated all remaining steps to control the spread of COVID-19. Effective immediately, this was done because the majority of the country’s populace now carried the antibody against this disease.” Adding: “There will no longer be any limitations on meetings and movements.”
With the President’s ruling, it is presumed that the need to present proof of vaccination to travel by air domestically has also been abolished. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Retirees Not Applying for 2nd Home Visas
The 2nd Home Visa, launched with much fanfare in late October 2022 and scheduled to become available on 25 December, has failed to attract any takers in Bali.
The State News Agency Antara reports that Anggiat Napitupulu, Head of Immigration in Bali for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, confirmed that there had been no applicants for the new class of 2nd Home Visas filed with his office. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The new class of 2nd Home Visas is intended to provide wealthy foreigners the opportunity to obtain stay permits valid for 5 or 10 years without any obligation of employment or a requirement to own a business in Indonesia. The key requirement for a 2nd Home Visa is that the applicant must be able to demonstrate to immigration authorities that they have Rp. 2 billion on deposit with a Government Bank or can present a deed of ownership for a luxury property in Indonesia. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The government’s anticipation that foreigners living in Indonesia on retirement visas would quickly migrate from retirement visas to 2nd Home Visa has failed to materialize.
There are an estimated 6,000 foreigners living in Bali using retirement visas.
Speaking at a press conference held in Denpasar on Monday, 26 December 2022, Napitupulu said: “For Bali, I have not yet received confirmation that any foreigner has departed to Indonesia holding a ‘second home visa.’ 6,000 people in Bali hold retirement visas.” (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Putting to rest widespread concerns that those on retirement visas would be required to convert their immigration status to a 2nd Home Visa, the Immigration Chief for Bali added that individuals holding retirement visas can renew and extend their current visa.
Those applying for a 2nd Home Visa must present proof of an Rp. 2 billion deposit with an Indonesian government bank or a property certificate for a “luxury” property in Indonesia. Within 90 days of the second home visa applicant’s arrival in Indonesia, they must present the supporting financial documentation to immigration from a bank or a certified copy of the land ownership certificate. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Police Mull 3-Tiered Motorcycle Licensing
The Indonesian police are revisiting long-standing plans to issue new “C-Class” driver’s licenses (SIM) across three sub-types. The appropriate SIM-C driver’s license class will be linked to the vehicle’s engine size.
- A SIM C License will be valid for motorcycles with 250 cc engines or less.
- A SIM CI License will allow the holder to operate a bike with an engine between 250cc and 500 cc.
- A SIM CII License will be required to operate a motorcycle with an engine of more than 500cc.
A spokesman for the National Traffic Police, AKNP Arief Budiman, said the differentiations for a SIM C Driver’s License are based on the need for specific skill sets depending on the size of the motorcycle. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The three classes of SIM C are outlined in Police Regulation Number 5 of 2021, signed by the Head of the National Chief of Police, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, on 19 February 2021. That regulation has yet to be implemented by the Indonesian police, who claim more time is needed to socialize and enforce the new licensing system for motorcycles.
While police are mulling when to launch the three-tiered motorcycle licensing system, a national survey is now underway to determine the actual number of motorcycles with engine capacities greater than 250 cc operating in Indonesia. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
As reported by Beritabali.com, police are also preparing requirements to be put in place to obtain a CI or CII Motorcyclist License. While drivers must be at least 17 years of age to get a SIM C Standard Motorcycle License, this age limit increases to 18 years for a SIM CI and 19 years for a SIM CII.
Also, to qualify for a SIM CI, an applicant must have held a SIM C license for 12 months. Similarly, to apply for a SIM CII, applicants must have held a SIM CI for 12 months. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
These requirements raise the legal question if anyone is eligible for a SIM CII for at least one year from the introduction of the new three-tiered system. In other words, anyone desiring a SIM CII for a “monster bike” of 500 cc or more would need to park that bike for one year while they first obtain and hold the newly minted SIM CI for one year to meet the requirements to apply for a SIM CII.
Applicants for SIM CI and SIM CII are also obliged to pass a road safety theory quiz, undergo a motorcycle simulator test, and take a road test supervised by the police. A minimum passing score of 70 is required for the theory portion of the test. Those failing to obtain a passing score are allowed two separate retests within 14 days. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Indonesia Sets Tourism Targets for 2023
Speaking during a visit to Jembrana Regency in Bali on Thursday, 29 December 2022, Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandia Salahuddin Uno, urged West Bali to strengthen its readiness for the onslaught of tourists that will result in the opening of a toll road connecting Denpasar and Gilimanuk. The Minister said future developments will help achieve a more equitable distribution of tourism across all Bali areas that are now overly focused on the south and east of Bali. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The Minister underlined how the new toll road scheduled for completion in 2025 would impact Bali’s development. Adding: “We need to get ready because Jembrana will be along the toll road connecting Denpasar and Gilimanuk. We must prepare a tourism ecosystem as many things will soon be relocating to West Bali.” (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Commenting separately and quoted by Beritabali.com, Minister Sandiaga reminded his listeners that Bali remains foremost in the world’s mind as a tourism destination. He urged that Bali’s sustaining popularity be used to the optimum. Adding: “This is the basis of our continuing optimism; the tourism ecosystem and creative economy must be prepared, starting now. This is our homework so that tourism recovery takes place more equitably, emphasizing quality and sustainability.”
Minister Sandiaga said that the target for domestic and international tourists in 2023 is projected to double the current performance. For international tourists in 2023, Indonesia aims to welcome 7.4 million visitors, while domestic travelers are expected to hit between 1.2 and 1.4 billion movements.
Sandiaga said: “All tourism and the creative economy operators must address these (targets). Don’t let us get left behind! We must prepare to create new business opportunities that create the widest employment opportunities.” (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
High Winds & Rain Claim Trees in Denpasar
Balipost.com reports that heavy rains and strong winds experienced in Bali’s southernmost region on Friday night, 23 December 2022, uprooted trees in several locations in Bali’s capital.
The Head of Denpasar’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD-Denpasar), I.B. Joni Ariwibawa, said on Saturday morning, 24 December, that a downed tree on Jalan Sudirman in Denpasar, claimed the life of a driver Suwarto (39) and caused minor injuries to his passenger, Vebry Aberson Simarmata (23).
The BPBD responded to reports of fallen trees in locations that include Jalan Ahmad Yani Utara in front of Peguyabngan Temple in North Denpasar, Jalan P.B. Sudirman in front of the Santo Yoseph Junior High School (SMP), and Jalan Raya Sesetan, South Denpasar. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The winds also upended trees on Jalan Setra Dalem Sesetan in front of the Sesetan Cemetery, South Denpasar; Jalan Pulau Lingga, Denpasar in front of Banjar Ambengan Pedungan; and on Jalan Malboro in West Denpasar. “These incidents were handled by the BPBD Fire Brigade in Denpasar and the environmental agency,” added Joni.
On Thursday night, 22 December 2022, the day before the storm, several trees also fell victim to the extreme weather, including a Weeping Fig Tree in Puputan Field in Central Denpasar. A tree on Jalan WR Supratman also fell, blocking the roadway that was eventually cleared by BPBD and Environmental Agency (DLHK) workers.
Separately, a division head of DLHK-Denpasar, Ida Ayu Widhiyanasari, ST, said that Angsana Trees (Pterocarpus indicus) are among the trees most susceptible to falling in wind storms. Because of this, city authorities said they would discontinue planting this tree species.
Trees standing in soil made moist by rains and floods often fall in high winds when their root systems become compromised.
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Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions
Online Visa Indonesia
The Director General of Immigration -Ministry of Law and Human Rights has announced that foreign travelers coming to Indonesia can apply online for an electronic visa (e-visa-on-arrival) 90 days before arrival.
“The time limit for the use of an E-VOA is 90 days from the date of issuance.,” explained the sub-coordinator for public relations of the Director General of Immigration, Achmad Nur Saleh, in a written statement issued on Thursday, 15 December 2022. Saleh continued, saying that foreign nationals can apply online for a visa-on-arrival three months before their intended arrival date. The online VOA will be valid for 30 days. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Immigration officials urge foreign travelers to apply before commencing their travel to ensure the VOA is in hand and confirmed before arrival in Indonesia. If circumstances require, the application for a VOA can be made manually at the port of entry.
To apply for an e-VOA, travelers should prepare a photo of the biodata page of their passport (format JPG/JPEG/PNG). A passport-size personal photograph and a major credit/debit card to pay the visa fee (Visa/Mastercard/JCB). (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Third-party payment of the visa fee in a name other than the visa applicant can be made using 3D secure technology for international bank card transactions.
Ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do!
A storm of controversy has erupted following the legal endorsement of a new section in the criminal law addressing adultery and sex, with members of the Indonesian House of Representatives accusing Australians and other foreigners of failing to understand the new law. In fairness, based on reports in local media, more than a few Indonesiannedia sources are also confused by recent events. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Article 412, paragraph 1 of the new law states: “Anyone living together as husband and wife outside of marriage shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 6 (six) months or a fine.”
Many members of the international media are focusing on Indonesia’s ratification of the law that criminalizes sex outside of marriage. One source, BBC.com, has published coverage under the title “Indonesia Passes Criminal Code Banning Sex Outside Marriage,” emphasizing an alleged criminalization of non-marital sex.
Similarly, The New York Times has written an article titled “In Democratic Indonesia. New Penal Code erodes Long-Held Freedoms.” (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Meanwhile, Indonesian press and social media outlets are decrying the new law as overreaching and an outright interference in the private rights of the individual. In response, Indonesian lawmakers accuse the press of misinterpreting and twisting the intent and purpose of the new law.
Speaking from Jeddah on Wednesday, 07 December 2022, the Indonesian Minister of Law and Human Rights, Yasonna Laoly, said: “What is developing is a misperception, especially from outside. For example, regarding extramarital sex, It seems that the twist is going too far. I have to underline that extramarital sex (in this instance) is a complaint-based offense.”
By “complaint offense,” the Minister meant the police can only action charges of adulterous behavior if an immediate family member initially files a formal police complaint.
Yasonna explained that no one would be arrested for adultery or extramarital sex without a police complaint filed by a family member. The cabinet minister accused those depicting the new law as interference in personal privacy of overreaching. He is asking that foreign visitors not be worried about the new anti-adultery law that can only apply if a family member makes a police complaint. Adding: “There has to be a complaint made. If an Australian wants to holiday in Bali with a partner or stay in the same room or whatever, that’s their business. This would require a formal complaint from the parents in Australia which is not their culture,”
In addition to Yasonna, the head of the House of Representatives (DPR), Sufmi Dasci Ahmad, has tried to defuse the controversy surrounding the new law, emphasizing the law is grounded in the need for someone to make a formal police complaint. Ahmad said the DPR would soon create a task force to socialize the new law to the public. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
RI Adultery Law: What You Need to Know
The recent ratification of a new law – the KUHP on adultery and extramarital sex has generated widespread international press comments, much of it exaggerated and misrepresenting the true nature of Indonesia’s criminal justice system.
Here’s what you Need to Know and Understand About Indonesia’s new anti-adultery law.
- KUHP 412 is primarily a family protection act to safeguard existing legal unions between husbands and wives. It creates a new legal tool for a man or woman to take criminal action against an unfaithful spouse to preserve and reaffirm their marriage vows.
- It is a law created explicitly by lawmakers to provide a legal remedy exercised within the limits of the family unit to protect the sanctity of a marital union.
- Under the new law, enforcement action CAN ONLY BE TAKEN by the police after a formal police complaint is lodged by an immediate family member of one of the parties accused of participating in an illicit sexual relationship. This means that the person making the criminal complaint under the law must be the legal spouse (i.e., husband or wife), mother, father, or child of the accused. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
- The new law is intended to help limit or end extramarital unions through corrective rather than legally punitive measures. Accordingly, the party making the complaint is entitled to withdraw their complaint and end all proceedings at any time before trial.
- The law’s structure prevents its use against foreign couples traveling in Bali and the rest of Indonesia. There is no practicable or readily available way for immediate family members residing abroad to file a police complaint concerning their family member, presumably engaged in an illicit sexual union in Indonesia.
- Indonesian leaders know the varying international cultural and legal perceptions of marriage. No plans or legal basis exist under the new law for changing how foreign or domestic guests will be handled while staying at Indonesian hotels. As in the past, hotels will continue to welcome and check in adult guests without requiring the presentation of marriage certificates. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
- In the future, if police action is ever taken against domestic travelers under the new law, this can only happen in three years’ time once the law is formally promulgated. And, even in that instance, police could only move in response to a formal complaint from an immediate family member of the accused.
- Those asking why the new law has been introduced should understand its passage is seen in many circles as deference to the cultural sensitivities of several segments of Indonesian society. At the same time, the law is purposely structured to have a very narrow applicability that would have no discernable impact on domestic or international travel movements and patterns. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Govt Ditches High Entrance Fees to Komodo
The Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, has announced that plans have been revoked to increase the admission fee to visit Indonesia’s Taman National Komodo.
Precipitating widespread protest, plans were announced earlier this year to increase the individual admission fee to Rp. 3.75 million on 01 January 2022.
Speaking in Jakarta on Thursday, 15 December 2022, Minister Sandiaga said: “It (The High admission fee) has been withdrawn and revoked. So there will be no increase in the entrance tariff for Komodo.”
The Minister did not elaborate on the decision to revoke the higher admission fees long championed by Minister Luhut Bismar Panjaitam, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment. In July 2022, the Provincial Government of East Nusa Tenggara announced the new admission fee for the Komodo National Park would increase to become Rp. 3.75 million. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
That announcement sparked demonstrations in Labuan Bajo, NTT, which serves as the gateway to The Komodo National Park. Local businesses threatened to strike, causing the NTT Provincial government to postpone the substantial hike in admission fees until 01 January 2023.
Based on the Minister of Tourism’s most recent announcement, the admission cost will remain at Rp. 150,000 per visitor.
Local tourism operators are complaining about the contradictory announcements. The eventual reversal of the unpopular policy will do little or nothing to recoup hundreds of canceled bookings and momentum in group interest in traveling to Komodo. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Criminal Liability for RI Bar Operators
A new article (424) in Indonesia’s revised criminal code (KUHP) should give pause to bar and nightclub operators.
Under the new law, bartenders and service staff – and by extension, their employers – can be held criminally responsible for serving drinks to customers who are intoxicated and should have been refused further service. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Service staff and their places of employment discovered to continually serve drunk customers more alcoholic beverages may be subject to criminal prosecution and jail terms of multiple years.
Among the stipulations of the just ratified Article 424 of the Criminal Code include the following:
- Persons found guilty of selling or serving intoxicating drinks to someone already intoxicated can be fined and imprisoned for a maximum period of one year.
- Persons found guilty of selling or serving intoxicating drinks to children can be fined and imprisoned for a maximum period of two years.
- Persons found guilty of using violence and the threat of violence to compel someone to drink or consume an intoxicating substance can be fined and imprisoned for three years.
- If anyone provides intoxicating beverages or substances that results in serious injury to the user or others, they can be fined and imprisoned for a maximum period of five years.
- If anyone serves the intoxicating beverages or substances described above, the use of which results in the death of the user or others, can be imprisoned for a maximum of seven years.
- If the serving of intoxicating beverages to inebriated individuals, to minor children, or forcing the consumption of these items is done by an employee as part of their assigned duties, the operating license of the company can be revoked. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
The new Indonesian law reflects the situation in many countries that hold bars and entertainment establishments legally responsible if they knowingly continue to serve someone already intoxicated.
Cigarette Taxes Increase 01 January 2023
Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani has announced that effective 01 January 2023, the excise tax on Tobacco products would increase an average of 10%. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Speaking at the DPR Complex, Sri Mulyani told the press on Monday, 12 December 2022, that the higher taxes would apply as soon as January 2023
As reported by CNN.com, Kamrussamad, a member of Commission X of the DPR, questions if the tax increase has been adequately socialized in advance to the public. The Legislators said no “road map” exists detailing the steps leading up to the tax increase’s eventual implementation in 2023. He also lamented that the amount of untaxed, illicit tobacco products still in circulation exceeds 5%. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
“Illegal cigarettes stand at 5.5% in 2022. When will this be reduced to 3% or 2%? This situation is chaotic, and the Ministry’s road map does not define any clear policy. The amount of illegal cigarettes is always more than 5%. This represents a leakage in the State’s funds,” commented Kamrussamad.
In defense of its administration, the Ministry of Finance insists it has always paid attention to the impact of its policies on employment and related industries. They also consider the effect on state revenue. A spokesman points out that competing interests are at play. For example, some want to emphasize health and do not necessarily think in the same direction as those who want to create jobs. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
A Ministry spokesperson said introducing excise tax would require 5-10 years to complete.
Seen from another perspective, the head of The Fiscal Policy Agency (BKF) of the Finance Ministry, Febrio Nathan Kacaribu, discussed the slowness of the creation of a road map on matters related to tobacco excise taxes.
He explained that such a road map must contemplate a range of considerations and that his Ministry always pays attention to issues linked to public health, employment, and manpower and also consider the impact of policy decisions on related industries. In the end, the Ministry must always weigh how any issue impacts State revenues. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Differing increases in excise tax apply for kretek machine-made cigarettes, white machine-made cigarettes, and handmade kretek cigarettes.
The Finance Minister said that the average increase in excise tax would be 10%, with the two types of manufactured kretek cigarettes increasing between 11.5% and 11.75%. White manufactured cigarettes will incur an increase in excise tax of between 11% and 12%. Meanwhile, handmade cigarettes will see an excise increase of only 5%. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
194 Foreigners Deported from Bali in 2022
NusaBali.com reports that 194 foreign nationals were deported from the Province of Bali in 2022.
Records kept by the Bali Ministry of Law and Human Rights office said the largest deportations involved Brazilians and U.S. nationals. The Bali Chief of Immigration, Anggiat Napitupulu, confirmed 194 deportations through 20 December 2022. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Napitupulu also confirmed that 15 Brazilians were deported for violating the terms of their visas. The Brazilians failed to pass the on-arrival interview process at Bali’s Airport, causing immigration examiners to presume those rejected were not visiting Indonesia for tourism purposes but for professional and business reasons.
A group of 15 Brazilians was denied entry into Indonesia.
Immigration also deported 12 U.S. Nationals in 2022, mainly for overstaying their visas.
Anggiat said that of the 194 foreigners deported in 2022, most were deported for overstaying their visas. Others were deported after completing a prison sentence or because they were caught involved in activities not allowed under their visa class. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
US Cancels LGBTI+ Special Envoy RI Visit
The US Government has announced the cancellation of a Visit to Indonesia by President Biden’s Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Jessica Stern. The planned visit was to meet with Indonesian leaders in the private and public sectors regarding President Biden’s 04 February 2021 Presidential Memorandum on Advancing the Global Human Rights of LGBTQI + persons.
The US Ambassador to Indonesia, Sung Y Kim, announced the cancellation of Stern’s visit. In canceling the visit, Ambassador Kim issued an official statement: “One of the reasons the United States and Indonesia have such a strong relationship is that we both uphold values such as democracy, human rights, diversity, and tolerance. Those values should apply to every member of society, including LGBTQI+ persons.” (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Despite the cancellation of Stern’s visit, Ambassador Kim added: “While we look forward to continuing our dialogue with religious leaders, government officials, and members of the public on the important topic of ensuring respect for the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons, after discussions with our counterparts in the Indonesian government, we have decided to cancel Special Envoy Stern’s visit to Indonesia. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Knowing that around the world, LGBTQI+ persons experience disproportionate levels of violence and discrimination, it is important to continue the dialogue and ensure mutual respect for one another rather than pretending that the issues do not exist. Countries like Indonesia and the US can learn from one another about how to counter hatred and ensure more prosperous, inclusive societies for all.”
Jessica Eve Stern holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Public Policy (1992) with a Master’s Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Columbia University.
Dr. Stern has held professional assignments in the Clinton Administration’s National Security Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. She is highly regarded for her expertise and publication on counter-terrorism and law. (Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia)
Among those voicing objections to Stern’s planned visit to Indonesia was the Deputy-Chairman of Majelis Umum Indonesia (MUI), Anwar Abbas.
In a written statement on 01 December 2022, Anwar said regarding the arrival of Jessica Stern, the US special envoy to promote LGBTQI+ human rights from December 7-9 to Indonesia, the MUI has stated that it firmly rejects the presence of the special envoy.
Anwar emphasized that Indonesia, as a religious and civilized nation, does not need to receive guests who aim to damage and unsettle Indonesia’s noble religious and cultural beliefs and values.
Main Article: Online Visa Indonesia
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SEAZA Zoo Conference at Bali Safari Park
The Indonesian Island of Bali has played host to the 30th convening of the SEAZA (South East Asian Zoos and Aquariums Association) Conference at the Bali Safari and Marine Park situated in Bali’s Gianyar Regency. The 40-hectare Park is home to over a thousand animals across 120 species. It is world-renowned for its conservation and rare species propagation program, including endangered Komodo Dragons, Orangutans, Bali Starlings, Sumatran elephants, Sumatran tigers, and more.
SEAZA has nearly 200 institutional members from Southeast Asia, comprised of conservation groups and zoos. (Main Article: SEAZA Zoo Conference)
“Every year, SEAZA holds an annual conference to be attended by members and delegates from various zoos throughout Asia, America, the Middle East, and Europe. This year, Perhimpunan Kebun Binatang Se-Indonesia (PKBSI) / Indonesia Zoos & Aquariums Association (IZAA) is the organizer of the 30th SEAZA Conference 2022 held at Bali Safari Park, November 20 to November 23, 2022,” said Rahmat Shah, said IZAA on Friday, November 11, 2022.
Known internationally as “The Island of Gods,” Bali was chosen as the venue based on its reputation as a tourist destination. Rahmat explained that Bali is well-known for its beautiful natural scenery, traditions, art, and culture. Furthermore, The Island has an established strong record for hosting international conferences.
Before the SEAZA conference in mid-November 2022, Bali hosted the G-20 Summit, which welcomed the leadership of 19 countries. Bali has also proven its ability to implement health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In his remarks opening the Conference, Rahmat Shah said there are ten PKBSI member-operated sites in Bali that SEAZA conference participants can visit. The Conference aims to be a forum for participants to discuss and exchange views and build networks for a better future in conservation organizations.
Opening of SEAZA Conference at Bali Safari Marine Park – 21 November 2022
This year’s SEAZA Conference has adopted the theme “Stronger Together, For Sustainable Conservation & Eco-Tourism.” This theme reflects a shared enthusiasm in confronting the Covid-19 pandemic that has plagued the world for the last two years.
Rahmat hopes that through this theme, all parties can learn that togetherness is the key to creating a group spirit in embarking on a brighter future. Rahmat reminded everyone that the global pandemic affects not only health but also all sectors, including the tourism industry and the operations of conservation organizations. Adding: “The responsibility to care for and protect animals rests on our shoulders.”
The chairman of the Animal Welfare & Ethics and Organizing Committee of the 30th SEAZA Conference, Willem Manansang, said that 174 participants from 20 countries are attending the Conference.
The participants will share their experiences, knowledge, and success stories, including strategies for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. SEAZA members will also demonstrate the role organizations can play. Bali was chosen as the venue in the hope of increasing tourist arrivals.
In addition, attending virtually or in person at the Conference was the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar; Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno; Governor of Bali I Wayan Koster; and SEAZA President Cheng Wen-Haur.
Conference participants were also treated to safari park activities, the Bali Agung Show, seminars, and expert dialogues on a wide range of subject areas. Speakers will explain issues related to conservation activities, success stories, challenges, obstacles, and solutions taken in operating animal parks.
Bali Links: Murder Verdict in MH17 Tragedy
On 17 July 2014, a Malaysian Airline Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by Russian-controlled forces over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The shoot-down occurred during the war in Donbas, an area controlled by Russian separatist forces.
The initial findings of the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) and a Dutch Government investigative team that the missile was fired by the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Federation was affirmed last week by the Dutch Courts on Thursday, 27 November 2022. Lead Justice Hendrik Steenhuis declared that the Dutch Court found that MF17 was hit by a Russian-made BUK missile launched from a farm field near Peryomaisk, Mykolaiv Oblast in Ukraine, resulting in the death of 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers.
The ruling by the Dutch Court was handed down more than eight years after the catastrophe. Steenhuis said the Court had conclusively found that Russians were in complete control of the rebel troops operating in eastern Ukraine at the time of the incident that saw a field of crash debris spread across a wide area, including a field used to cultivate sunflowers. The Dutch Court also convicted in absentia for terrorism and murder two Russians and one pro-Moscow Ukrainian who failed to answer the summons to appear before the panel of judges.
The three remain at large and were sentenced to life imprisonment. A fourth Russian man was found not guilty due to a lack of evidence. The three mass murderers who are now under an international warrant for their arrest are:
- Igor Girkin (51)(a/k/a Igoe Ivanovich Strelkov)– a former colonel in the Russian Federal Security Service (the primary successor agency to the former KGB). At the time of the incident, Girkin was the minister of defense and armed forces commander for the Donetsk People’s Republic militia. He was dismissed from his position one month after the missile attack. Girkin has publicly admitted “moral responsibility” for the attack but denies actually “pushing the button” that fired the missile.
- Sergey Dubinsky,a Ukrainian serving under Girkin’s command.
- Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian serving under Dubinskiy’s command.
A fourth man, Oleg Pulatovis, the only indicted man represented by legal counsel, was found not guilty by the Court due to a lack of evidence.
Meanwhile, Moscow has repeatedly refused responsibility for the shoot-down of MH17. The Russian Foreign Affair Minister has pledged to review the decision of the Dutch Court carefully.
The vicious missile attack on MH 17 caused the death of 283 passengers and 15 crew. The death toll of 298 comprised:
- 27 Australians
- 4 Belgians
- 1 Canadian
- 4 Germany
- 12 Indonesians
- 43 Malaysians
- 193 Dutch Citizens
- 1 New Zealander
- 3 Philippines
- 10 United Kingdom
The tragedy was sorely felt on the Island of Bali, with many foreigners and Indonesians who died in the plane’s downing had family, friends, and lovers in Bali.
If anyone knows the physical whereabouts of any of these three men, they should report that information to their local police or the nearest Interpol office.
Bali Targets 11 Million Malaysians in 2022
The continuing increase in the number of international airlines and air routes connecting the world traveling to Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport has prompted the management of Bali’s airport to target 11 million international and domestic travelers in 2022.
Spirits buoyed by the reactivation of flights between Kuala Lumpur and Denpasar by Air Asia X, Handy Heryudhitiawan, the general manager of Bali’s airport, has retargeted the total number of domestic and international passengers traveling through his airport at 11 million. Although there is only a little more than a month remaining in the year, he is optimistic that the 11 million total Malasyain traveler target will be reached.
Many are challenging Handy Heryudhitiawan’s projection suggesting it may be over-ambitious or misspoken, including all passengers of any nationality traveling on flights traveling between Malaysia and Bali. But, even from that perspective, the 11 million figure appears to be very over-inflated.
The inaugural Air Asia X Flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali on Thursday, 24 November 2022, an Airbus A330 – Air Asia X Flight Number D7 798, carried 227 passengers. The return flight to Kuala Lumpur loaded and carried 325 passengers.
The new service connecting Kuala Lumpur and Denpasar will operate three times a week, flying on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
From January – October 2022, a total of 56,026 Malaysians landed at Bali’s airport. Currently, 22 international air routes connect Bali to the world, operated by 25 airlines. New routes and airlines have declared their intent to resume flights to Bali in the coming months.
Min. Wage Levels: Java, Bali, NTB, & NTT
Official minimum wage levels for all the provinces in Java were announced on 29 November 2022, unexplainedly delayed eight days from the original date scheduled for announcement on 21 November 2022.
The minimum wage levels for the island of Bali and adjacent provinces of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) for 2023 were announced earlier, to take effect on 28 November 2022.
The minimum wage levels for 2023 in Bali, NTB, and NTT.
- Province of Bali Rp. 2,713,672 increasing 7.81% from the 2022 minimum wage of Rp. 2,516,971.
- Province of NTT Rp. 2,123,994 increasing 7.54% from the 2022 minimum wage of Rp. 1,975,000.
- Province of NTB Rp. 2,371,407 increasing 7.44% from the 2022 minimum wage of Rp. 2,207,212.
The new minimum wage levels will take effect from 01 January 2023.
Mainland Chinese Poised to Return to Bali
Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, announced on Saturday, 19 November 2022, that Mainland Chinese tourists are expected to return to Indonesia in 2023. Before the global pandemic, Chinese tourists represented one of the leading sources of foreign visitors to the Republic.
Sandiaga, quoted by the State News Agency Antara, confirmed that several Chinese Airlines have applied to resume flights to Indonesia. The Tourism Minister views the return of Chinese tourists as a positive development. Adding, the flight applications filed by PRC Airlines are a positive signal that the Chinese are prepared to reinstate Indonesia as a favorite holiday destination.
Sandiaga projects that at least 255,700 Chinese tourists will come to Indonesia in 2023. Before 2019 and the onset of the global pandemic, Chinese visitor numbers to Indonesia managed to achieve 2.07 million. Chinese visitors were second to Malaysians totaling 2.98 million.
At this time, the largest source of foreign tourists to Indonesia is Australia, followed in order of size by Singapore, Malaysia, India, and the U.K.
Sandiaga said the relaxation of travel restrictions imposed by the PRC government would facilitate the coming flights and significantly impact the rebuilding of Indonesia’s travel industry and creating employment opportunities.
Traffic Police: Watching From a Distance
In conformance with the order of the National Chief of Police, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, calling for digital ticket ticketing and the ending of in-person ticket issuance by the police, equipment is being installed in major cities, including Bali’s capital of Denpasar, to allow Electronic Traffic Law Enforcement (ETLE).
As reported by Balipost.com, Commissioner Satake Bayu explained on Friday, 18 November 2022, that ELTE surveillance equipment has been initially installed in the following 7 locations:
- At the intersection of Jalan Teuku Umar and Jalan Imam Bonjol
- At the intersection of Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai and Jalan Pulau Serangan
- At the intersection of Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai and Jalan Raya Kampus Unud
- In front of the operations base on Jalan Bandara Ngurah Rai west of the Gas Station.
- In front of the operations base on Jalan Bandara Ngurah Rai east of the Gas Station
- On Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai at Benoa, South Kuta
Satake Bayu said: “Electronic ticketing has been in operation for three months. The mobile system has been in use since preparations were underway for the G20 Summit.
Satake said the public who violate traffic laws are no longer ticketed directly, with traffic summons issued via an e-ticketing system. The actual traffic violation is digitally photographed and sent electronically to the violator based on the addresses recorded on the car registration (STNK).
The vehicle owner is expected to pay the fine shown on the issued ticket within two weeks or face difficulties in renewing their registration annually.
Traffic police officers on patrol can photograph the violation, which can be sent to headquarters for processing. Police say they will be patrol seeking motorists committing violations such as a failure to use a seatbelt, smoking while driving, or using a handphone while driving.
Traffic violators are given two weeks to settle their fines. Failure to pay would result in the vehicle registration being blocked in the system.
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Domestic Travelers in Bali – Latest Rules 2022
PT Angkasa Pura, the state-owned company that manages Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, has published the new travel guidelines for air travel following a circular memorandum issued by the Ministry of Transportation (SE 77 of 2022) covers travel during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The General Manager of Bali’s Airport, Handy Heryudhitawan, told Radarbali.com that he was assuring the public that there would be no obstacle to implementing the new travel guidelines. “Implementing the memorandum SE 77 travel regulations will not change passenger flows at the Airport, and there will be no backloads or accumulation of passengers or operational problems at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport,” said Herydhitawan on Tuesday, 16 August 2022. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
From January to July 2022, Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport served 5,612,677 domestic and international passengers, with passenger flows continuing upward. Reflecting what has been labeled as “low season” and higher ticket costs, domestic and international passengers are now averaging around 20,000 each day, down from a daily average of 28,000 in July.
“I hope the new travel guidelines will not affect traffic flows at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport,” added Herydhitawan.
SE 77 sets the following new guidelines:
- Every domestic air traveler must use the Government’s online health certification application PeduliLindungi.
- Domestic air travelers aged 18 and above who have received a complete vaccination program, including a booster shot, are NOT required to present proof of a negative RT-PCR or rapid antigen test.
- Domestic air travelers aged 18 and above who have only received the first and second COVID-19 vaccine must show proof of a negative RT-PCR performed within 3 x24 hours of departures.
- Domestic air travelers aged 6 – 17 years who have received both the first and second vaccination are NOT required to present a negative test result from an RT-PCR or rapid test antigen.
- Domestic air travelers aged 6-17 years who have only received the first vaccination or have received no vaccination are required to present proof of a negative rapid test antigen performed within 1 x 24 hours of travel or a negative RT-PCR test performed within 3 x 24 hours of travel.
- Domestic air travelers aged 6-17 years who have not been vaccinated and are arriving in Indonesia on an international flight are required to show a negative rapid test antigen performed in 1 x 24 hours of travel or an RT-PCR performed 3 x 24 hours of travel.
- Domestic air travelers suffering from specific health conditions or comorbidities preventing them from undergoing vaccination are exempted from government rules on immunization. They must present proof of a negative RT-PCR performed 3 x 24 hours of travel. This group is also required to submit a letter from a doctor or Government Hospital stating the traveler is unable to under vaccination against COVID-19.
- Domestic air travelers under the age of 6 years are exempted from vaccination requirements and are not required to present proof of screening by RT-PCR or rapid test antigen. Travelers under the age of 6 years must be accompanied by an adult who has satisfied the COVID-19 vaccination and screening tests outlined in the government deadlines.
Handy added that vaccination service is available at a special facility at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. This service has been open since 07 July 2022 and operates from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Bali Hosts World Tourism Day on 27 Sept
Indonesia has won the privilege to be the global host of the 42nd World Tourism Day, which falls on 27 September 2022.
Quoted by Kompas.com, the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, said: “For the 42nd edition of World Tourism Day, Indonesia has received the honor of being named host with the headquarters for the global celebration to be Bali on 27 September 2022.
The tourism minister announced during his weekly online press briefing on Monday, 08 August 2022.
Sandiaga reminded everyone how World Tourism Day for 2022 has adopted the theme of “rethinking tourism” that encourages the re-surveying of what constitutes quality and sustainable tourism. Meanwhile, the Tourism Ministry’s acting deputy for resources and tourism institutions, Frans Teguh, commented that the theme of “rethinking tourism” needs to be embraced across Indonesia. Adding: “As hosts (for World Tourism Day), we need to agree with other nations that we (all) want to encourage tourism enterprises to develop a tourism model that is people-oriented, quality-oriented, and sustainable.”
Bali’s role as the host for the global celebration also entails the hosting of related events. These events will include panel discussions led by Bali tourism practitioners on “Rethinking Tourism as a Key Element on Recovery” and “The Tourism We Want.”
In the run-up to World Tourism Day on 27 September, the Ministry of Tourism says seminars, competitions, community projects, and clean-up campaigns will be held nationwide. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Bali Terrorist Umar Patek Early Release?
International media is focusing on the planned imminent early release from prison of Umar Patek (50), the convicted bombmaker in the Bali Bombing of 12 October 2002 that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians, 23 Britons, and 53 others, spread across 20 other nationalities. At least 209 others suffered severe injuries in the attack. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Patek’s release forms part of a long-standing Indonesian program to reintegrate into mainstream society former terrorists now professing a personal reformation. Patek’s proposed release at this time would fall just short of the 20th anniversary of the murderous attack and represents a total of two years’ sentence reduction for the East Java man. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Channel 9 Australia quotes Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese: “This will cause further distress to Australians who were the families of victims of the Bali bombings. We lost 88 Australian lives in those bombings.” Adding: “His actions were the actions of a terrorist, and they did have such dreadful results for Australian families that are ongoing, the trauma which is there.”
The Australian Prime Minister is reportedly making “diplomatic representations” to the Indonesian leadership to discuss Patek’s planned early release and other issues, including the fate of Australians sitting in Indonesian jails. The Prime Minister said Patek’s release from prison is “abhorrent.”
The Indonesian prison system typically grants sentence reductions in conjunction with the Nation’s Independence Day (17 August) or on religious holidays. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
The head of the provincial office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Zaeroji, told the Associated Press that Patek has received a five-month reduction in his sentence for good behavior and could subsequently be released in August 2022. Zaeroji said prisoners in Indonesian prisons are eligible for early release if they meet the legal requirements. Explaining: “While in prison, he behaved very well, and he regrets his radical past, which has harmed society and the country, and he has also vowed to be a good citizen.”
A former member of the militant Islamic terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiyah, Patek, was arrested in Pakistan in 2011 and extradited to Indonesia, where he stood trial and was convicted for his involvement in the 2002 bombing. In 2012 he was sentenced to 20 years for murder and bomb-making in connection with the Bali terrorist attack and a Christmas Eve attack on a church in 2000. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
The anger of many members of Australian society is disagreeably palatable. Erik de Haart, an Australian, who helped evacuate victims from the Bali bombsite, speaking on the Australian TV program Sunrise, questioned the Indonesian justice system that allows a man who has killed and injured hundreds, like Patek, to go free and the execution of Australian citizens Bali Nine members for simply smuggling drugs and who had demonstrated regret and remorse during their pre-execution imprisonment. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
De Haart added, “This guy’s responsible for the death of over 200 people, and he gets released early because he was a good boy in jail? Please. Anyone can pretend to be de-radicalized—but, at the end of the day, he made a weapon that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians. And, you know, 10 years? Is that enough? … He doesn’t deserve to be given a good-behavior release”.
De Haart has joined a substantial chorus of fellow Australians calling for Australia to take a harder line with Indonesia, including rejecting a billion-dollar loan being extended by Australia for COVID-19 recovery.
Jan Laczynski, a survivor of the bombings, interviewed by Channel 9, said that many Australians would be “devastated” by Patek’s release. “This guy should not be going out unsupervised, unmonitored,” he said. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Bali Police Bust Online Gambling Racket
A police strike force headed by the chief of the Denpasar Precinct, Police Commissioner Bambang Yugo Pamungkas, raided a fourth-floor meeting room in an unnamed hotel on Jalan Kartika Plaza in Kuta Bali at 8:00 pm on Saturday, 13 August 2022, suspected to be the headquarters of an illegal online gambling operation.
When police arrived at the scene, the conference room was empty. Police seized four computers, four operating units (CPU), seven routers, and four handphones. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
As reported by Balipost.com and Beritabali.com, Police Commissioner Yugo told the press that police came to the location following reports from local citizens and the hotel’s management, who were suspicious of activities taking place in the hotel’s Orchid Meeting Room. Yugo confirmed that the Head of the Bali Provincial Police has ordered a crackdown on online gambling and that his officers continue reviewing the material gathered from the suspected gambling center.
The hotel’s management confirmed that the meeting room had been booked and used over the past several weeks. Police believe the party renting the conference room were locals currently sought by police. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Travel+Leisure: Bali 3rd Best Island
Kompas.com reports that Travel + Leisure has published its list of the “25 Best Islands,” naming the Island of Bali as the World’s 3rd best.
In an online poll conducted from 25 October 2021 until 28 February 2022, the sophisticated readership of Travel + Leisure were asked to rate their favorite travel experiences, from destinations to hotels, attractions, and transportation providers.
The list of favorite holiday islands was based on Travel + Leisure reader reviews on the friendliness of native populations, local cuisine, tourist activities, panoramic views, and quality of beaches. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
The Travel + Leisure global list of the 25 best holiday islands for 2022 and accompanying scores:
- Ischia, Italy 94.61
- Maldives 94.44
- Bali, Indonesia 92.51
- Milos, Greece 92.50
- Fiji 92.38
- Galapago, Ecuador 92.00
- Phuket, Thailand 91.90
- Dominica 91.00
- Boracay, the Philippines 90.89
- Cape Breton, Canada 90.88
- Palawan, the Philippines 90.81
- Paros, Greece 90.62
- Azores, Portugal 90.48
- Phu Quoc, Vietnam 90.25
- Moorea, French Polynesia 90.24 (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
- Cebu, the Philippines 90.12
- Ibiza, Spain 89.89
- St. Vincent and Grenadines 89.79
- Madeira, Portugal 89.78
- Maui, Hawaii, USA 89.55
- Anguilla, UK 89.43
- Crete, Greece 89.40
- Mackinaw Island, Mich, USA 89.10
- Hawaii, USA 88.53
- Kiawah, South Carolina USA 88.49
2 Holiday Inns Seized on Kuta Beach, Bali
Teams from the Attorney General’s office have seized the assets of an Indonesian businessmam Surya Darmadi located across three provinces of Indonesia – Jakarta, Bali, and Riau,
As reported by Sindonew.com, Darmadi is currently charged in a corruption case involving Rp. 78 trillion in two separate cases. One is the result of allegations of malfeasance by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) involving the change in the status of jungle land in Riau. The second case alleges Darmadi, via his company PT Duta Palma Group in Riau, illegally usurped land measuring 37.095 hectares. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
In Bali, as reported by Balipost.com, Prosecutors have taken action based on a ruling made by the Denpasar High Court (Nomor: 5/Khusus/Pen.Pid.Sus-RPK/2022/PN/ Dps). Prosecutors seized a parcel of land held by PT Menara Perdana measuring 26,730 square meters on Kuta Beach occupied by the Hotel Holiday Inn Resort Bali and the adjacent Hotel Holiday Inn Express Bali.
Another parcel of land in Kuta comprising 2,000 square meters owned by the Duta Palma Group has been seized as part of the corruption case. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
The case also includes a 4,470 square meters parcel on Jalan Rasuna Said in South Jakarta, a piece of land measuring 9,271 square meters, and a building on Jalan Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta.
In Riau, the government has seized a piece of land measuring 10,944 square meters on which stands a building operated by PT Duta Palma in Pekanbaru.
State Prosecutors seized the lands in three separate provinces of Indonesia in a continuing criminal case for money laundering against businessman Surya Darmadi originating with his Palm Oil business (PT Duta Palma Group). (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Gala G20 Cultural Dinner to be held at GWK
Bali’s iconic Garuda Wisnu Kenaca Cultural Park (GWK) Lotus Pond has been selected as the venue for the welcoming cultural dinner for at least 20 heads of state and related delegations expected to attend the G20 Summit in Bali in late November 2022.
As quoted by NusaBali.com, Andre Prawiradisastra, the head of marketing communication and events for GWK, told the press on Saturday, 20 August 2022, that preparations for the prestigious November dinner have reached the 80% level.
Among the items being prepared for the G20 Summit Dinner at GWK in November is the renovation of the entrance gate, creating new steep access roads. Andrew confirmed these three main preparatory steps with other projects, including CCTV surveillance installation and enhanced public area lighting. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Various government ministries and agencies are helping GWK prepare for the big event. This includes the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing. Andre added: “Everything must be ready by September. But, by August, President Joko Widodo may come to check that all is clean and ready.”
Andre warned the public to expect the popular GWK Cultural Park to be closed for three days before the event, from 16 -18 November 2022, and 2 days after the gala dinner.
Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali – Latest Rules 2022
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