January 8-14, 2010

Busway Plan To Beat Congestion

DENPASAR ~ A Jakarta-style busway is to be developed to provide cheap public transport in Denpasar and adjacent areas of Badung, Gianyar and Tabanan. The scheme was announced by the provincial government this week.

The concept, which mimics the Sargagita Busway in Jakarta, is being touted as one solution to congestion and the availability of cheap public transport.

Bali’s transportation chief Krisdiyanto said planners were studying the best routes and busway infrastructure would be developed on 17 arterial roads in time to start services with 20 buses in November this year.

Chips Are onthe Cards

LEGIAN ~ New Indonesian credit cards issued from early this year will have to contain a computer chip as an added security measure, Bank Indonesia says.

A regulation issued by BI, the central bank, in April 2009 mandates the use of chips so that customer information is less accessible to criminals than is the case with magnetic strip cards.

Only credit cards issued in Indonesia are affected by the new ruling. Whether ATM cards and other debit cards will eventually be included in the new ruling is still under review by the central bank.

Bank Indonesia says that 99.6 percent of the 10.2 million Indonesian credit card holders have already had their old cards converted to chip-carrying cards. The chip cards require special readers but BI says nearly 84 percent of the 219,000 machines operating in Indonesia are already able to read them.

Foreign travelers with magnetic strip cards may be unable to use them here as older data-reading equipment is phased out.

Holiday Keeps Gilimanuk Hopping

GILIMANUK ~ Port workers and police at Gilimanuk have had a busy holiday season, handling 10,122 individual travellers, 275,257 car drivers and passengers, 22,000 motorcycles, 19,000 private cars, 3,824 buses and 13,784 trucks since the combined Christmas-New Year-school holidays period began in mid-December.

Port authorities said food hawkers at the ferry port had doubled profits over the holidays. But traffic was not as heavy on the Bali-Java ferry crossing as during Lebaran. Traffic queues had mainly been confined to port land.

Tabanan’s HIV List Grows

TABANAN ~ A Hindu priest and a junior high school student are among the latest victims of HIV/AIDS in Tabanan regency, the local head of the national AIDS commission, I Ketut Randem, said this week.

The regency now has 48 registered HIV positive residents, mostly aged between 19 and 30. Four people in Tabanan have died of AIDS. Randem said freer sexuality was to blame for the spread of the virus. Most HIV patients are sex workers.

Phone Scam Costs Man Rp6.5m

DENPASAR ~ A 49-year-old civil servant has complained to police that he was the victim of a mobile phone scam that cost him Rp6.5 million (US$650).

Anak Agung Sagung Suardaniata, of Jl Veteran, confessed he had foolishly fallen victim to the scam, in which he had been telephoned by someone pretending to be an XL employee telling him he had an opportunity to win a lottery and offering gift if he bought a new phone.

“The victim believed he had been entered in an XL lottery draw, but he did not check,” police said this week.

He had transferred money to a bank account number he was given.

Good Neighbours, Says Holiday Inn

KUTA ~ The Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali has taken dramatic steps to strengthen ties with the surrounding community by signing two memoranda of understanding with community leaders in Kuta.

As part of an increasing level of cooperation, the hotel has installed lighting along the beachfront and around a nearby temple, built a statue at a main intersection near the resort and provided fresh water for use by local fishermen and beach workers.

The resort, located near to Bali’s airport, was constructed on the site of a previous hotel and opened last year.

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The Island

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