‘Toothless Tiger’ Jibe at Satpol Over Best Western Kuta

DALUNG

Badung Satpol (public security) has been labelled a toothless tiger over its lack of action in the dispute over the Best Western Kuta hotel, which is operating without a licence and was built without permits.

Local legislator I Wayan Regep, a member of Badung’s Commission A, said Regent AA Gede Agung had said law enforcement could not be done on a pick-and-choose basis, but the hotel had remained free to operate for more than year without obtaining the necessary permits.

“The Badung government seems to close its eyes and like a toothless tiger Satpol did not dare take action,” Regep said.

He said the danger was that if the regency authorities were seen to be selective or to play favourites, the community would lose respect for its local government.

“In this case it would be better to treat Best Western as we would treat a semi-permanent stall which would be dismantled because it violates the rules,” he said.

Regep also urged Badung Satpol to immediately follow up the first warning letter sent to Best Western Kuta with a second letter and if necessary a third one, as required by law.

“If after a third warning letter Best Western Kuta remains stubborn, the regency should immediately close it,” he said.

Commission A secretary Made Duama said the commission would now call in all the relevant parties and was seeking to call Satpol too in order to ask questions about the regency’s attitude to the Best Western violation.

“What is clear is that Badung regency should take firm measures. Because if left unchecked, it would tarnish the credibility of Badung regency. In fact, the regent is known to strictly enforce the law. He did that with his orders to dismantle illegal telephone towers,” he said.

Badung Satpol has a new chief, I Ketut Martha, but he has said he cannot yet act on Best Western because he is still coordinating with his subordinates.

Late last year Regent Agung met the managers and owner of the Best Western in an attempt to sort out the problem. It was suggested building permits could be issued retrospectively and the hotel – which has more than a 100 rooms – could apply for an inn or villa-style operating licence.

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