Saturday, 2 May 2009

Bali Discovery Update - Villas Sores

Bali Discovery Update - Villas Sores
By Bali BS News
Aug 6, 2005, 04:11

Recently we published an article on the clearly duplicitous nature of Jack Daniels, CEO of Bali Discovery Tours, and asked the question if he was soon to go to jail: previous Bali Discovery Tours Report. Today we continue to show the two faced methodology of the man that appears to extol himself as the pious leader of the Balinese travel community, and we show he has also reneged on his promise to make his so called “Bali Update” newsletter something positive for Bali. Instead we intend to prove Jack has made it a nasty soap box for his own end and / or agenda, ultimately hurting the island’s economy he said he would promote positively. Today we take the example of his articles about “illegal” villas dated the 24th April and 3rd May 2005. In the former he underlines and headlines the possible specter of building permit double standards, no doubt trying to appear to be on a pious moral crusade. While in fact it is should soon become clear he was privately practicing exactly the thing he was publicly championing against, all for a nasty vendetta of his own. Against villa owners whose only "crime" was to want nothing to do with Jack.

Mr. Daniels ran two articles about how new villa projects such as Halcyon, Villa Kalinka and Villa Boeddha were being halted by officials in the south of Bali as they did not yet have building permits. He also pointed out villa building regulations and the so called “100 meter rule”; that nothing can be built within 100 meters of the high water mark unless given special dispensation for being “in the public interest”. The villas Mr. Daniels cited were building without permits, therefore also without special dispensation, in conservation areas in the already overstretched tourist area of the south of the island. Yet he featured a photograph of Villas Agung Bali Nirwana, already built on the other remote side of Bali, with the required building permits, with special dispensation awarded because the regency that covers their village had been instructed to attract further tourist development and because those villas both sponsor / manage the local coral reef project and provide valuable income to one of the poorest areas of Bali. So why did Jack Daniels run an article about illegal villa construction yet use a photo of and refer to legally constructed and highly respectable villas in Bali?

The fact is that Villas Agung Bali Nirwana has told Bali Discovery Tours that they want nothing to do with them. Although Mr. Daniels did not name the villas, his photo clearly masqueraded the front of their open air restaurant, not covered by the 100 meter rule, as villas within 100 meters of the high water mark in Sambirenteng. As Villas Agung Bali Nirwana are the only villas in that village, he clearly identified them with an obvious intent to harm their business and let us add, very good name. It seems clear Mr. Daniels, out of his own personal agenda against these villas, traveled 4 hours to the remote north coast to take a deceitful photo and then 4 hours back to his office in Sanur again. “Oh so what? What’s a little license / prod at others?” you perhaps ask? Because it is not the truth, it is nasty, it is duplicitous and it gets worse.

While Mr. Daniels was busy defaming Villas Agung Bali Nirwana, his own web site (Bali Discovery .Com) was proudly advertising rentals for other beachfront villas in the same area as the building work suspended Halycon in the south of Bali and while Jack was promoting on both his Bali Update and his web site the real estate services of his friend Henry John Brett, owner of IP Bali in Seminyak. So what you ask? These multiple ads on Jack’s the very newsletters and web site defaming Agung Bali Nirwana lead directly to IP Bali’s real estate sales site. Upon inspection, Mr. Brett was offering beachfront land for sale to build a villa on, not far from Villas Agung Bali Nirwana. The minimum plot for sale was 2000 square meters, which meant any villa built there would be within 100 meters of the high water mark. And presumably the land would not yet have a building permit.

So why not use a picture of one of the villas you sell rentals for, which are actually in the same area as Halycon Mr. Daniels? And why are you promoting the sale of beachfront land elsewhere on your web site which has no building permit yet and would require the villas to be built within 100 meters of the high water mark? Selfish agenda and double standards are the only answers. Especially when you consider building permits with special dispensation have virtually stopped within the last few months, so any poor soul who bought that particular plot of land through his friend's business would be highly unlikely to ever be allowed to build a villa there.

Villas Agung Bali Nirwana did nothing wrong except to want nothing to do with Jack Daniels and his company Bali Discovery Tours. They actually bought the land they built on from a local man with a building permit already issued for that land. The reason the building permit / special dispensation was given 4 years ago was for the good of the environment and the local community. The villas help provide a special footpath for villagers to use, although they all tend to simply use the beach of course. The villas maintain the coral reef that sits offshore and help enforce the preservation order on it; in fact they do this within a project run by them in conjunction with the Indonesian Ministry of Fisheries. They actually exemplify the best of Bali villas ideology and commitment to the island, plus they are by no stretch of the imagination alone in that area of Bali for villas and hotels legally built within 100 meters of the high water mark. So why pick on them if not for pure and nasty selfishness? Even when asked to remove the photos and references to them pointing out the facts and both the inappropriate nature of the photo and them being used as an example, Mr. Daniels refused.

If Mr. Daniels is in fact the leader of the Balinese travel community, we can only say the industry must be rotten to the core. It shows that you can not rely on anything Bali Discovery Tours publishes, and indicates false advertising must be rife on Bali if Jack is the role model everyone else follows. Jack Daniels boasts he is the former chairman of the Bali chapter of the travel association PATA, perhaps that is why PATA recently appear to have dropped their membership code of conduct! In forthcoming issues, we will be using Mr. Daniels' apparent 8 hour plus trek from Sanur to Sambirenteng and back to take a misleading photograph for his nasty article. You see, we believe acts like this actually show Mr. Daniels is mentally ill, and therefore under Indonesian law he should not be running a company; especially when that company sends out newsletters claiming to represent the island and people of Bali.

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