Bali’s Bad News Highlights – No "Ho ho ho" here!
By Santa's Clause
Dec 22, 2005, 07:26
On the economic front Indonesia has been forced to admit its oil exploration targets, which are the basis of its long term oil revenue and economic recovery predictions, have failed woefully. Still reeling from the legacy of the corrupt and thus spectacularly inefficient Pertamina monopoly, watch out next year for spiraling inflation including further fuel hikes and revisions of when Indonesia will likely be able to enjoy the benefits of its rich oil reserves. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been banking on these revenues to appease his increasingly impoverished and disillusioned electorate; so 2006 may become the Indonesian year of the riot! Not that Indonesians will get the truth or even facts any more though.
Remember when General Yudhoyono stood for office as a presidential candidate and promised sweeping anti-corruption measures plus freedom of press and information? Ironically Indonesia had one of the region’s most free press before Yudhoyono opened his mouth, but oh look at it now! Admittedly Megawati started the process of bringing in press reporting (constraint) laws and tolerating, even condoning increasingly abused criminal libel laws where you need the permission of the man who murdered your wife to tell people who it was who actually murdered her (you only need his permission to tell the truth if he is more powerful than you of course!). But Indonesia's apparent senior cheat and liar President Yudhoyono has now seemingly made Indonesia as bad as it was under Suharto. First he saw through Megawati’s initiatives to restrict what the Indonesian press can say, now he has reinstated the position of the inappropriately named “Information Ministry” to curb foreign news from being seen in Indonesia. While the legitimacy of this ministry is now being contested in the Indonesian courts, the notorious Information Minister Sofyan Djalil has shown no remorse or intention to revoke new laws brought in to stop Indonesia being able to see, read or hear foreign news. How long have you been in power Yudhoyono? How many promises have you broken already and how? But of course the president’s continued assertions regarding bird flu are the most worrying.
In previous reports we have clearly shown how the Indonesian authorities have continually stated falsehoods about the bird flu situation in Indonesia, and indeed Bali (see: H5N1 Bird Flu Indonesia). So the current official Indonesian talk of eliminating bird flu from Indonesia altogether can surely only be an attempt to upstage the former Iraqi regime’s (Saddam Hussein’s) claims the Iraqis were winning the war (Operation Desert Storm) when the American marines had just secured most of Baghdad! While Indonesia notches up its tenth official recorded bird flu fatality (world experts say there have been many more) there are growing signs that H5N1 is mutating as feared and expected. In addition some evidence exists to show that a milder form of the virus has already made the transition to human-to-human contagion able. While other countries ready their Tamiflu stock piles and health services plus provide total transparency, International cross co-operation and guarantees to close their national borders to try and avoid or rather limit the effect of any looming mass killer flu pandemic. Indonesia just tries to deal with the PR problem (cost to business) with lies and spin in the belief they can cheat people into still coming to / investing in Indonesia while simply hoping the flu problem goes away. What makes such despicable actions worse is that Indonesia is one of the most likely nations where the plague may well finally manifest, especially because they chose deceit and inaction over honest action. With the addition of a massive polio outbreak and 18 deaths from dengue fever the other day in Indonesia, perhaps the time is fast approaching when foreign governments will be forced to close Indonesia’s borders from the outside; so be careful not to end up spending longer in Bali than you intended because International flights have been grounded! But if the flu bug doesn't get you one way or another in Bali, maybe the inherent Indonesian terrorist virus will!
While Indonesia still refuses to ban Jemaah Islamiah, not only do they prove that anti-western sentiment (jealousy) extends all the way to the top, they signal these sad terrorists that they can operate with a certain impunity. Now in the light of increased expectations of a Christmas and New Year bombing campaign, the Indonesian Central Police (Polri) has ordered that various potential targets such as embassies in Jakarta receive extra specialist anti-terrorist police protection; yet not one mention of any extra protection for Bali! Departing terrorism failure, corruption and human rights abuse implicated Made Pastika (see: Polda Bali Police Chief) was bad enough at keeping the bombers out, but look what they are replacing him with; a PR man!. Wonderful, they are entrusting Bali with a spin merchant, not a senior officer with anti-terrorist experience; ask yourselves why! Isn't it clear by now the Indonesians don't ever address the problem, they only ever address the situation with false words? So now the Balinese police’s seemingly proven inaptitude in all matters except extorting money, the recent "more terrorist attacks to come and soon" warnings plus the recent Indonesian terrorist web site detailing how to commit terrorist acts against foreigners (which the authorities took ages to have removed), it would seem that Bali’s unsuspecting, uninformed, possibly uneducated and even incredibly naive foreign visitors are to become even more likely sitting targets. The only up-side to all this is the increased risk by nature of the terrorist web site information to target foreigners in cars stuck in traffic and entering car parks, is that the nasty expatriate community of Bali who continually lure foreign tourists to the island on the basis it is as safe as anywhere else, when it clearly is not, may well get a taste of what they have previously inflicted upon others.
Finally, with recent news in Bali of a murdered young Italian business woman and a Chinese descent Indonesian man who was chopped into pieces allegedly because he would not give robbers the PIN number of his bank card, it is becoming clear the crime rate in Bali and the callous, sick, racist nature of serious attacks is escalating out of control; and all of this before you realize an estimated 95% of serious crime in Bali goes unreported because of police corruption (see: Bali Crime Rates Suppressed). What a paradise [sic] Bali has become, and what an undeserving and dangerous place Indonesia is for foreigners.