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Lion Air to fly to Jeddah
May 5th, 2009

Indonesian airline Lion Air is to fly daily to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to serve migrant workers, tourists, business travelers and Muslim pilgrims – igniting a head-to-head competition with bigger rival Garuda Indonesia.
The Jakarta Post said that the new route was offi cially announced ast week by President Director Rusdi Kirana at a media onference. The inaugural fl ight is set for June 28. Currently only the national fl ag carrier Garuda Indonesia and
Saudi Airlines service the route.

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SEAsia finance minister to meet in Bali on joint rescue funds
May 3rd, 2009

BANGKOK, May 1, 2009 (AFP) – Regional finance ministers are to meet on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank gathering this weekend to formally announce the setting up of joint funds to beat the global economic crisis.

Ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus key partners China, Japan and South Korea, will meet May 2-3 on the Indonesian island of Bali, said Somchai Sajjapongse from Thailand’s fiscal policy office.

“On May 2 there’s going to be a meeting of deputy finance ministers and on May 3 the ASEAN + 3 finance ministers will meet,” Somchai told AFP.

The meeting would formally announce the establishment of a regional emergency fund, he said.

The “Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation” is an expansion of the Chiang Mai Initiative — a bilateral currency swap scheme set up after the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis.

Under the new scheme, the swaps will be multilateral, making it easier for countries under stress to borrow emergency funds.

“Since the last meeting the ministers have agreed on the main elements of (it) and expect to have a conclusion at the Bali meeting,” he said.

Ministers plan to expand the fund from the original 80 billion dollars to 120 billion dollars, with China, Japan and Korea collectively providing 80 percent of the monies.

Of the three key partners, “China and Japan are competing to be the main contributor but the final decision is going to be on third of May,” Somchai added.

The ADB and ASEAN + 3 would also establish a credit guarantee investment mechanism to guarantee corporate bonds within the ASEAN +3 countries, with an initial capital of 500 million dollars, Somchai said.

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Serangan coral reef to open for marine tourism
April 9th, 2009

Following their success with transplanting coral, residents of Serangan, Denpasar, are planning to develop a marine tourism site to give visitors a chance to experience the beautiful underwater scenery while learning about environment.

“We are still working on the concept,” said Wayan Patut, who pioneered the coral reef transplantation in Serangan. “But basically the people, the village administration and the traditional leaders have agreed to make it happen.”

Serangan, about 10 kilometers south of the heart of Denpasar, used to be a small island, separate from Bali. But the Bali Turtle Island Development (BTID), one of the business enterprises belonging to the family of former president Soeharto, reclaimed the area in 1995 and 1996 as a tourist development.

Patut was one of the public figures in Serangan who opposed the megaproject, as it had a negative impact on locals, who until then had earned a living as fishermen, by damaging both the local economy and the environment.

“The fish disappeared, many coral reefs died. Some fishermen turned to collecting coral for a living,” he said, referring to an activity that is harmful to the environment.

In 2002, Patut started to transplant coral using the grafting technique, or planting coral seeds on substrates (where the coral grows, including dead coral). In attaching the “seeds”, Patut was helped by local youth groups, who later established the Karya Segara Beach Fishermen’s Group. They make small “stools” or plates from cement with metal or concrete frames to position the coral.

They have planted 32 species of corals, which are growing well across a 3.5-hectare area, according to Patut.

“Many fish have also started to come. What makes me happier is that since 2003 people have stopped collecting coral,” he said.

He is also glad because local customary rules have been revised, stipulating that people are obliged to help preserve the environment, especially coral reefs.

When Serangan becomes a marine tourism site, its long history will be an important story for tourists, while the main attraction will be the magnificent underwater coral reef garden.

Patut added that he has mapped out the route for visitors who are interested in snorkeling and diving. A glass boat will be available for those who do not dive.

It will start from the location outside the transplantation zone, where visitors will see the spread of destroyed coral. “It is a vast area. It is so sad to see it because it looks like a desert,” he said.

The journey will continue to the coral reef garden. Visitors will first see the young coral and the stools and plates that support them, before they are taken to see the adult ones surrounded by a range of species of fishes and other marine biota.

“This route will allow visitors to see the real underwater state of Serangan, coral that died because of natural causes or reclamation or because of people’s activities, collecting coral for commercial purposes,” he said.

He said he believed people’s hard work and strong commitment would lead to the existence of a coral reef garden with ecological and economic benefits.

But, he stressed, it was not about the money. For this reason, he plans to limit the number of participants in each underwater tour.

“In a day, we will allow only 10 to 15 people to prevent any impression that we are exploiting or commercializing it,” he said.

The aim of the policy is to protect the coral’s growth and to prevent any potential harmful impact from the tourists.

He also said he was determined to avoid any interference by investors, especially the BTID. “We have quite a lot of experience, so we will be more careful about the persuasion of investors, even though we are in need of money. We won’t let them cheat us again.”

He said the planned tourism development required not only equipment such as a boat and snorkeling and diving equipment but also guides who have diving certificates and can speak foreign languages, at least English.

Local people, he said, would be able to do everything and would be managed by the traditional village authorities.

“We want to create our own jobs to earn a living, so there won’t be any moral duty to any party, and we won’t be under their command.”

According to head of Kaja hamlet in Serangan, Ketut Pusara, local people now have a greater awareness about the environment. For example, he said, those who used to make money by collecting coral now become fishermen.

“In the past, many people used coral to build houses or temples. But not anymore,” he said, “We agree to the tourism development plan as long as it is good, for us and for the environment in Serangan.”

Patut added that he had set a target of completing the coral transplantation on the 8-hectare area by 2015, considering the limited funding and human resources.

He is relying on the support of the government and NGOs for the coral cuttings and the procurement of a place to grow them. Patut and a group of local youths will look after planting and maintaining the coral voluntarily; the only money they might receive will be a meal allowance.

By his calculations, people’s volunteer contributions were worth Rp 5 billion. “This was calculated from making the plates to the plantation and the maintenance,” said Patut.

He has also formed a special team providing coral-planting services, called the Working Group for Bali Coral Reef Conservation. The group has served several clients in Bali and other islands.

He said the group had provided 200,000 seeds for the coral transplantation in Serangan. The market price of an 8-centimeter coral seed, under special permit from Natural Resources Conservation Office (BKSDA), is anywhere between US$6 and $15.

But Patut said they still needed seeds to expand the coral reef garden, adding that tourists might later be involved in the plantation project by putting their names to a special plate, for a fee.

Marine tourism activities at Serangan will be priced affordably. Visitors will be able to rent a boat for Rp 250,000 per trip and scuba equipment for Rp 100,000 per person. The fee for hiring a guide is Rp 100,000.

Tourists will also be invited to see the economic activities of fishermen at Karya Segara beach.

The fishermen, who are part of a savings and credit cooperative, which has about 40 members, sell soft coral to several countries. Patut said that soft coral harms other types of coral, and so collecting it supported the efforts to preserve the coral reef garden.

The group also cultivates aquarocks, or rocks to decorate aquariums. The process of making such rocks is similar to that for making the plates or stools for the coral reefs garden, using cements and filler.

The rocks are then planted in the sea so that sea biota, a kind of algae, grows on them. After between three and six months, they can be harvested and sold for about Rp 8,000 per kilogram.

Patut said many visitors from various areas had come to Serangan to learn about coral transplantation. They included government officials who wanted develop similar projects in their regions and high school students who came for their scientific projects



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Surfing legend Kim ‘Fly’ Bradley dies in Bali
April 3rd, 2009

Australian surfing pioneer Kim “Fly” Bradley died last week at his home on Bali, the Indonesian island he surfed almost alone in the early 1970s. He was 54.

His daughter, Dewi Bradley, said he died on March 26, a spiritual holiday for Balinese Hindus known as the “Day of Silence.”

Family members found him two days later, in his favourite room in the house he built overlooking Kuta beach, she said.

The surfing legend and father-of-two from Sydney had battled skin cancer for years but the official cause of death had not been determined.

“My father had long suffered from skin disease, but the cause of death will be issued in two weeks by the hospital,” Dewi told AFP, adding that her father, a convert to Hinduism, would be cremated at the end of April.

Fair-skinned and fair-haired, Bradley grew up surfing Sydney’s northern beaches in the 1960s before the days of effective sunscreen.

In his later years his condition was so bad he was unable to venture out in the sun, let alone on to the waves, so he busied himself with surfboard design and shaping.

Known as “the Fly” because of his small stature, Bradley claimed to have made the first surfboard built in Indonesia and later started a successful clothing business with his Balinese wife, Made.

His friend, Dian Hadiani, said he would often talk about his early days on Bali when he surfed the famous breaks of Dreamland, Nusa Dua and Balangan alone, having flown to the island on a whim in 1974 aged just 19.

“The last time I met him was a week before he died. He hugged me tightly and quite long. He then gave me a pile of his diaries and photos and asked me to keep them,” she said.

“I didn’t find anything wrong with his health — he smoked cigarettes as usual.”

In a 2007 interview with “Surfer’s Path” magazine, Bradley recalled the excitement of exploring Bali’s huge offshore breaks with a small group of other surfers.

“We had to work it out for ourselves… there’s like 26 breaks or something on the Bukit Peninsula now, but when I came we knew of two,” he was quoted as saying.

“Paddling out at 12 foot (four metres) Nusa Dua by yourself… even at eight foot it’s pretty scary.

“You’re looking out there and it’s 10-12 foot but it’s too good to resist so I’d say a quiet word to myself and my master: ‘Well if it’s today, it’s a good day to die.’

“If I die standing up in a 12-foot barrel, if the master says it’s my time to go… then what a way to go.”

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SYD and MEL now see direct Bali services from Virgin
April 1st, 2009

Sydney and Melbourne will now see direct services to Bali with Virgin Blue and to celebrate the introduction of the two new routes, as well as increasing the existing capacity to Adelaide.

DJ152/153 Melbourne and Denpasar will operate three times a week from the 2nd of June, while DJ150/151 Sydney and Denpasar will operate twice a week from the 5th of June.

“Bali has traditionally been a popular destination for Australian’s and we have seen strong connecting traffic from Melbourne and Sydney so the next obvious step was to put on direct services,” said Brett Godfrey, Virgin Blue CEO.

“Once we launch the new flights, Pacific Blue will offer [Denpasar] direct flights from more Australian cities than any other airline.”

Fares for the Sydney and Melbourne services start from $459 one way, when booked online.

Virgin Blue is also planning to increase its Adelaide services to Denpasar from twice a week to three times a week from the 3rd of June.

Additionally, Blue Holidays has just launched a new Bali package deal, which features return airfares and five nights accommodation at the Novotel Nusa Dua in Bali, starting from $898.00 per person twin share, ex-Perth.

To celebrate the launch, Virgin Blue offered a special $299 one-way fare over the weekend for Sydney and Melbourne travel to Denpasar.

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Jaidee edges home in bali
March 2nd, 2009

Thongchai Jaidee has shot a 3-under 69 to claim his 1st win on the European Tour in four years at the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open.The Thai ace began the final round of the US dollars 1.25 million co-sanctioned tournament on Sunday with a one stroke advantage and went ahead by as many as four shots with birdies on four of the first seven holes at New Kuta Golf Club.

Bogeys on the eighth and 14th saw his lead trimmed to one but a birdie on the 16th gave him a cushion to take into the closing holes as he finished on 12-under-par 276 – two strokes ahead of Sweden’s Alexander Noren and the English pair of Steve Webster and Simon Dyson.

Noren shot a closing 70, Webster fired a bogey-free 68 while Dyson was left to rue a double bogey on the 14th in his closing 69.

Rafael Cabrera Bello of Spain carded the day’s best round of 65 to join Richard Bland (70) in a tie for fifth on nine under with Jyoti Randhawa of India (70) and the English pair of Simon Griffiths (71) and Simon Khan (68) a further shot back on eight under.

Thongchai continued a trend that has seen the third round leader or co-leader win every edition of the Indonesia Open since it was revived as a joint-sanctioned event by the European and Asian Tours in 2005.

Nursing a narrow lead at the start of the final round, he parred his first two holes before sinking consecutive birdies on the next three including a chip-in from the collar of the green on the fifth.

The 39-year-old narrowly missed out on a fourth in a row when his long putt lipped out on the sixth, but he holed his birdie attempt from the fringe on the seventh to improve to 13 under.

That briefly gave him a four shot advantage but he gave one back with a bogey on the par-three eighth after putting his tee shot into the bunker and blasting well past the pin from a dreadful lie in the sand.

His lead appeared fragile at times on the back nine and he found himself just one ahead of Webster when he bogeyed the 14th after putting his approach shot into rough and failing to get up and down.

But with Webster failing to capitalise on birdie opportunities on his closing holes, the Thai managed to stretch his advantage once again with a birdie on the 16th.

He nearly found trouble on the final hole when he missed his approach shot on the final hole, but he holed a testing par putt from eight feet to close out his third win on the European Tour and 11th on the Asian Tour.

Noren began the final round in second place, one stroke off the lead but dropped off the pace on the front nine after going out in 36 with two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine.

A bogey followed on the 14th after he needed two shots to escape a fairway bunker but the Swede closed back to within two shots of the lead with an eagle on the 16th and a birdie on the 17th.

He had the chance to put some pressure on Thongchai at the last but narrowly missed his 18-foot birdie attempt to finish tied for second with Webster and Dyson.

Webster, the leader after two rounds, slipped three shots behind Thongchai after carding a 72 yesterday but re-discovered his touch and closed the gap to the leader with birdies on the fifth, seventh, 10th and 16th.

However, he narrowly missed his birdie attempt at the 17th and left his 12-foot putt just inches short at the final green to miss out on his first Tour win since the 2007 Portugal Masters.

Dyson began the day on seven under and launched an early challenge for the lead, drawing level with Thonchai on 10 under after picking up three birdies on the first five holes.

However, the 2006 Indonesia Open winner was unable to sustain his challenge as he three-putted the seventh for a bogey and missed a short birdie putt on the 10th.

A birdie on the 11th put him back into contention but his challenge evaporated on the 14th when he carded a double bogey after he found a fairway bunker with his tee shot and shanked his shot from the sand into an unplayable lie behind a tree.

Birdies on the 16th and 18th proved too little, too late for the 31-year-old from York.

ALL THE FINAL ROUND SCORES
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

276 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 71 69 67 69

278 Steve Webster 69 69 72 68, Alexander Noren (Swe) 69 73 66 70, Simon Dyson 68 71 70 69

279 Richard Bland 72 71 66 70, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 71 72 71 65

280 Simon Griffiths 70 70 69 71, Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 74 70 66 70, Simon Khan 68 76 68 68

281 Seung-yul Noh (Kor) 69 76 70 66, Jason Knutzon (USA) 72 70 70 69

282 Anthony Kang (USA) 70 71 70 71, Jeppe Huldahl (Den) 73 66 70 73, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 70 71 74 67, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 69 73 70 70

283 Bryan Saltus (USA) 70 72 72 69, Daniel Chopra (Swe) 73 71 70 69, Gaurav Ghei (Ind) 72 68 74 69, Scott Drummond 71 69 69 74, Pelle Edberg (Swe) 74 71 69 69, Digvijay Singh (Ind) 69 72 71 71

284 Wei Chih Lu (Tha) 71 70 71 72, Darren Beck (Aus) 71 71 72 70, Juvic Pagunsan (Phi) 71 74 69 70, Tony Carolan (Aus) 68 74 71 71, Gary Murphy 70 72 71 71, Angelo Que (Phi) 64 76 73 71, Michael Hoey 71 73 73 67, Ross McGowan 69 71 69 75

285 Jamie Donaldson 68 71 71 75, Danny Willett 70 74 73 68

286 Frankie Minoza (Phi) 74 69 70 73, Andrew Coltart 73 71 71 71, Rhys Davies 69 73 73 71, Chawalit Plaphol (Tha) 71 71 74 70, Kyung-Tae Kim (Kor) 73 68 74 71, Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 71 74 74 67, Brett Rumford (Aus) 70 73 74 69, Gavin Flint (Aus) 70 72 71 73, Sam Little 73 70 71 72, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 72 73 72 69, Rory Hie (Ina) 70 72 72 72

287 Richie Ramsay 68 76 72 71, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 74 71 71 71, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 74 71 73 69

288 Joakim Haeggman (Swe) 71 74 73 70, Zaw Moe (Kor) 73 71 71 73, Lian-Wei Zhang (Chn) 69 74 71 74, Andrew Dodt (Aus) 68 75 73 72, Gary Lockerbie 71 72 69 76, Ted Oh (Kor) 73 67 73 75, Chapchai Nirat (Tha) 70 72 71 75, Miles Tunnicliff 69 71 77 71

289 Chinarat Phadungsil (Tha) 70 71 72 76, James Kamte (Rsa) 72 71 70 76, Oliver Fisher 71 74 72 72, Mardan Mamat (Sin) 74 71 72 72

290 Neven Basic (Aus) 75 70 70 75

291 Antonio Lascuna (Phi) 68 73 75 75, Mark Foster 72 71 73 75, Seve Benson 70 73 74 74

292 Markus Brier (Aut) 71 74 73 74, Scott Strange (Aus) 73 71 76 72

293 Jean Van de Velde (Fra) 71 72 81 69, Marcel Siem (Ger) 76 68 78 71, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (Ind) 70 73 77 73

294 John Bickerton 71 74 72 77

295 Alessandro Tadini (Ita) 74 71 74 76

298 Taco Remkes (Ned) 70 73 77 78




Indonesian Open moves to Bali
February 26th, 2009

JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Indonesian Open has moved from the capital Jakarta to the resort island of Bali, with the US$1.25-million tournament attracting a strong field including Sweden’s Daniel Chopra and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand.

The jointly sanctioned European Tour and Asian Tour event will be played from Thursday at the recently completed 7,361-yard, par-72 New Kuta Golf Club overlooking the world-famous surf at Balangan Bay.

Defending champion Felipe Aguilar of Chile will be back along with previous winners Mikko Ilonen of Finland, Simon Dyson of England and Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant.

Chopra, 35, who has played in 10 different Tours on four continents before joining the PGA Tour in 2004, has claimed 14 victories including two U.S. PGA Tour events.

Jaidee was the first Thai golfer to win a European Tour event and last year claimed the Hana Bank Vietnam Masters and the Cambodian Open.

American Anthony Kang, who won the Malaysian Open two weeks ago, South African Anton Haig, Englishman Nick Dougherty and China’s Liang Wenchong are among the other top names expected to assemble in Bali.

Thaworn won the Indonesian Open at Jakarta in 2005 and is aiming for a record 11th Asian Tour title.

“This is a nice place to be playing golf. I’ve had a slow start (to the year) but I hope it will all change this week,” the former Asian No. 1 said. “The course is tricky and it will be a good test.

“My game has been inconsistent but. I have a feeling that things will change this week.”




 

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