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NEWS

ISSUE 21

A HAPPY TIME IN LOMBOK

NEW SHOPPING MALL IN MATARAM

APPOINTMENT OF NEW NTB GOVERNOR

WHAT'S HOT

THE INDONESIA SUPERVOLCANO MOUNTAINEERING CHALLENGE

BALI AIRPORT SET TO EXPAND

INDONESIAN GETS 15 YEARS JAIL FOR AUSTRALIAN'S MURDER

LOCAL SCENE

PLN REFUSE TO PAY MEKAR COMPENSATION

JAPANESE TOURISTS ARRESTED

WEIRD WORLD

VP UPBEAT ON INDONESIA`S TOURISM

PAY HOLIDAY ALLOWANCES 7 DAYS AHEAD OF LEBARAN

GILIS SCENE

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A HAPPY TIME IN LOMBOK

Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok's complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island. Use the Guide to explore Lombok and check out the best hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing options, to make your Lombok holiday special.

As we go to print this issue, the majority of people in Indonesia are over halfway through the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Most are sharing a sense of accomplishment at making it through the hardest part of the fasting and knowing that the next two weeks will be easier. The last ten days are especially important to Muslims, as the Night of Lailatthul Qadr falls during this time and is the most important night of the year in the Islamic religion, when they believe that magical things can happen and that all sins are forgiven for those who pray on this holy night.

The end of Ramadan heralds the two happiest days of the year, with the Eid, or Idul Fitri, falling on 1 and 2 October this year. Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of people will be travelling home to see their families and friends.

The Idul Fitri celebrations are very like Christmas in the west, with families getting together, presents being exchanged, and everyone celebrating and feasting on special foods after the month of fasting.
If you are in Lombok on the last night of Ramadan, 30 September, be sure to join in the “Takbiran” held every year in the city at the Lapangan Mataram, the park opposite the Governor's office in Mataram.

Communities across the island gather together to take part in a fantastic parade to mark the end of Ramadan, carrying wonderful lanterns and brightly lit symbols of their religion.

Many of the floats and symbols depict scenes from the Qur'an such as giant Noah's Arks, holy letters lit from within, and miniature mosques and the Ka'bah. There is a happy, festive atmosphere, fireworks and music, and all are welcome to come along and join the fun.

There's always something happening in our patch of paradise! To find out all the latest news and happenings, pick up a copy of The Guide from the locations listed on page 30 or visit us on the web at www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you'll be enchanted!

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NEW SHOPPING MALL IN MATARAM

The extension of the Mataram Mall is nearing completion, with the barrier between the old mall and the new section having been opened and new shops already operating in the newly built mall.

The new section of the mall is large, open and modern, with an atrium-style roof letting in ample natural light. There are two sets of escalators, as well as a modern glass elevator, serving the upper levels.

The new Mataram Mall now extends between Jalan Pejanggik at the front and Jalan Panca Usaha (the one way street to Ampenan) at the rear. Ample parking has been provided for in the extentions, with undercover multi-level parking for cars and motorbikes accessed from the side of the mall, from Jalan Panca Usaha.

When we visited this week, some new stores are already trading in the new section. On the ground floor a large baby and children's wear shop is open for business, while a Julia Jewellery store is days away from opening. There is also a new restaurant, which was doing brisk business for “buka puasa” a few nights ago. Fast food outlets, KFC and McDonalds in the old mall, are supplemented by a new CFC store in the new section.

Department store, Tiara, is expanding their premises from the second level of the old section through to the second floor of the new section… making a huge department store space, if they decide to keep the entire premises.

There will also be a large variety of boutiques, gift shops, specialty stores and other interesting retailers opening over the next few weeks. Now it's going to take a very long time to do the shopping!

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APPOINTMENT OF NEW NTB GOVERNOR

The final decision on the appointment of a new Governor for West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) has been signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and was given to the Area Secretary on Saturday, 13 September.

The new governor for the Lombok and Sumbawa (NTB) region is Muhammad Zainul Madjdi (also known as Tuan Guru Bajang), with Badrul Munir appointed as Vice Governor.

The formal inauguration ceremony will take place on Wednesday, 17 September at 10 am during a ceremony with NTB Regional House of Representatives.

The final swearing in of the new Governor comes at the end of weeks of speculation and uncertainty, after the incumbent Governor, Pak Lalu Serinata and his chosen Vice Governor, Muhammad Husni Djibril, lodged a protest with the High Court in Jakarta, alleging corruption and cheating during the elections held in July this year. They stated that the election process was corrupt and that the results were therefore invalid.

Muhammad Zainul Madjdi was due to take office on 1 September, but the official appointment was delayed while the corruption charges were heard in court.

However, the Court has upheld the results of the election and exonerated the NTB Area General Election Commission who supervised the voting process, saying the ballots were valid and that the running team of Muhammad Zainul Madjdi and Badrul Munir won the highest number of votes.

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The anticipation builds for the event of the year – the upcoming “Walk in the Stars” party at Qunci Villas in October. Only 50 of Lombok's special ladies have received invitations and all will feature in a catwalk at the glittering event. Rumours of top level media coverage by Cosmo, Femme and other famous magazines have the girls running to their best designers! To help them strut their stuff on the night, five big black African models are arriving to teach the ladies how to shake their booties down the catwalk. Stay tuned!

We love Delicio Café in the Mataram Mall! Not only is it open every day of the week for drinks and tasty meals, but it provides a welcome spot for some relaxing time out during a day of shopping. It's a great place to meet with friends in the city, or do a spot of business, or just to grab a cold one while you're rushing around town. We especially like the Tami Goreng Ayam, crunchy deep fried noodles with chicken, and the Opera Cake is a chocoholic's dream!

Great news for the ladies, with 50% discount on professional waxing at Puri Mas Luxury Spa in Kerandangan Valley. Lombok ladies know how hard it is to find somewhere that doesprofessional waxing on our island so, if you haven't tried their service yet, now is definitely the time! The staff are well-trained anduse a special wax gun tokeep the temperature at comfortable levels as they whisk those unsightly hairs away. To make your experience more relaxing, the Spa is also offering a free glass of wine with all treatments… with their compliments!

Restaurant Taman is back in the coffee business, now serving delicious Illy coffees all day in the garden restaurant. The popular Senggigi restaurant has also just installed WIFI receivers to provide super-fast internet connection for guests, so now you can set up office in the garden with a cup of quality cappuccino or a cold glass of wine… what a great way to do business!

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THE INDONESIA SUPERVOLCANO MOUNTAINEERING CHALLENGE

The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, launched a new national and international tourism initiative called “The Indonesia Super Volcano Mountaineering Challenge (ISVMC) 2008” in Jakarta on Thursday, 11 September 2008.

The inaugural mountaineering challenge will take place between the two islands of NTB, Lombok and Sumbawa, between 14 28 October 2008 and will incorporate Mt Rinjani on Lombok and Mt Tambora in Sumbawa.

The event is part of the government's Visit Indonesia Year 2008 initiative and hopes to attract mountaineers from around Indonesia, as well as participants from abroad.

The mountaineering challenge is being organized with cooperation between national government, together with Lombok and Sumbawa government agencies, and is expected to become the first step in developing future eco tourism opportunities on the two islands. It is also intended to promote tourism in the region and to introduce visitors to the unique cultures of the NTB region.

Participants in the Challenge will be divided into teams of three climbers, with all participants expected to have mountaineering skills and experience.
Races will be divided into three day series between Rinjani and Tambora and the race committee will apply skilled elements such as navigation, rigging, hinder to hamper, speed, and procedural safety; with each element part of the assessment criteria in determining the champions.

Participation in The Indonesia Super Volcano Mountaineering Challenge (ISVMC) 2008 is open to mountaineering groups, nature lover's organisations and individuals with a special interest in mountaineering.

The Committee will provide prizes for each division in the form of money, trophies, and record certificates from the Minister, Governor and Regent. Trophies from the Department of Tourism and Culture will be awarded to champions in the Tambora Series, the Rinjani Series and the overall SVMC champion.

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BALI AIRPORT SET TO EXPAND

BisnisBali reports that the management of Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, PT Angkasa Pura I, have allocated Rp 1 trillion (US $108.7 million) from their 2009 budget for a 130,000 square meter expansion of the passenger terminal. When completed in 2011, the redeveloped facility will be capable of accommodating 16 million travellers every year.

The CEO of PT AP I, Bambang Darwoto, said "we have budgeted Rp. 1 trillion for the expansion of both the domestic and international terminals at the Ngurah Rai Airport." Darwoto's comments were made at a reception to introduce the Airport's new general manager Heru Legowo.

The US $108.7 million project plans to relocate the international terminal and to increase the size of the domestic terminal by more than 500%. The domestic terminal at Ngurah Rai presently occupies 13,000 square meters, with the international terminal covering 70,000 square meters.

Saying that the Bali passenger terminal can no longer handle current passenger levels, Darwoto added, "the Terminal Ngurah Rai is an old building dating from the 1970's and is no longer adequate."

In the expansion plans, the 13,000 square meter domestic terminal will be enlarged to match the international terminal at 70,000 square meters.

The new plans call for the international terminal to be shifted to the east in a location roughly equivalent to the current domestic terminal.

The newly installed Bali airport manager, Heru Legowo, asked the public for their support in the efforts to upgrade the airport. Legowo said, "We ask the support from everyone so that Ngurah Rai can become the best (airport)." He said he hoped that the people would adopt a disciplined mindset in how they use Bali's sole airport.

Legowo began his career with AP I as an air traffic controller at Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan in 1976. During his more than three decades of airport management, Legowo has managed the Lombok airport and served as the Commercial Manager of Ngurah Rai from 2002-2004.

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INDONESIAN GETS 15 YEARS JAIL FOR AUSTRALIAN'S MURDER

An Indonesian court sentenced a man to 15 years in prison Monday for murdering an Australian woman on the resort island of Bali.

Ahmad Fahrul Rozi killed Heidi Murphy, 34, during an attempted robbery at her villa in Bali's Canggu area in February 2008. She had more than 30 stab wounds.

Rendering his verdict and sentence in Denpasar district court, Judge Daniel Palitin said the case was proven “legally and convincingly”.

Prosecutors had asked for a life sentence.

Rozi was arrested in the city of Malang, East Java province, late in February. Police said Rozi told them he needed money to buy engagement rings for himself and his girlfriend.

Commenting on the sentence, Ni Wayan Umi Martina, a lawyer representing Murphy's husband, said he was disappointed with the sentence.

“He thinks that the sentence is not fair, as Rozi deserves to be punished with a life sentence or even a death sentence,” she told reporters.

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LOCAL SCENE

MAMA CHRIS’S BIRTHDAY @ SEKOTONG

Cleopatra and all friends from Australia, Singapore and Lombok celebrated Eqyptian-style on the shores of Sekotong

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PLN REFUSE TO PAY MEKAR COMPENSATION

The state electricity company, PLN Mataram, has refused to accept the District Court's instruction to pay compensation of Rp 75 billion to local ad hoc judge and owner of Mekar Café and Karaoke, Wayan Jaman Saputra.

PLN Mataram Manager, Wasito Adi, and lawyer Hendy Ardianto, said that the Court's decision was wrong and that, in another legal case, Mekar technician Nurdin was sentenced to five months imprisonment when found guilty of stealing electrical current at the popular café near Senggigi.

Representing the PLN, the pair said they felt that the judges had made a mistake in considering their case.

They stated that there was clear evidence that the former employee had stolen electricity from the PLN and that the PLN was right in cutting the electricity supply to Mekar Café.

The PLN will lodge an appeal against the verdict to the High Court in Mataram. The amount of 75 billion is around 4 month's turnover for the PLN, who average income of around Rp 20 billion per month.

The three judges presiding over the case said in their verdict that the PLN had acted unlawfully in cutting electricity supplies to Mekar Café and that, in doing so, the company had damaged the good name and reputation of the owner, Wayan Jaman Saputra, and therefore must compensate him for losses both material and moral.

The PLN first discovered that Mekar was stealing electricity when they attended a fire at the venue on 27 January, 2007. As a result, Mekar was fined Rp 43 million, calculated on PLN's losses during the previous six months. However, Mekar refused to pay the fine when the power supply was cut by the PLN.

Previously, the PLN had lodged an application to the High Court in Mataram refusing to reconnect the power supply to Mekar, but the High Court refused the appeal after Wayan Jaman Saputra won an application to have electricity reinstated in the District Court.

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JAPANESE TOURISTS ARRESTED

Four Japanese citizens, three of them doctors from Osaka, have been arrested in Lombok on charges of cannabis possession and consumption.

The four tourists, identified by the initials SU, aged 34 years, KT, TT and TW, aged 21 years, were arrested at 8 pm on Tuesday 9 September at the Kuta Indah hotel in Kuta, the popular tourist resort on Lombok's south coast.

The Head of Police Liaison for West Nusa Tenggara (Polda NTB), Senior Commissioner HM Basri, reported that the Japanese tourists were arrested following a tip off from the public. The case is currently being investigated and Polda will give the arrest information to the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta.

After receiving the tip off, a team of Kuta police officers broke down the door of the hotel room in which the Japanese tourists were staying and discovered 11.37 grams of cannabis leaf and seed hidden underneath the bed, together with a mineral water bottle and straw used for smoking the drug.

Cannabis is classed as a “Golongan I” or Class I narcotic in Indonesia, the equivalent of heroin, and possession of the drug carries harsh penalties. The Japanese Consulate General in Bali has appointed four lawyers to assist the four suspects.

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Seen near Gunung Pengsong

Moving house...

 

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VP UPBEAT ON INDONESIA`S TOURISM

Vice President Jusuf Kalla has expressed optimism that the tourism industry in Indonesia will fare much better following the recent decrease in world oil prices.

“Because world oil prices are going down, the tourism industry in the country will certainly get better,” the vice president said at the opening of an Indonesia Tourism & Travel mart in Jakarta on Thursday, 11 September 2008.
He said the tourism industry in Indonesia would continue to improve only if people from all walks of life and tourism operators remained cohesive in making every effort to increase the number of tourists visiting the country.

”For the first time in 30 years, our country with its abundance of natural beauty, is now safe for tourists. Therefore, our capital is already strong and although there are shortcomings, they can be overcome through cohesiveness,” Kalla said.

Therefore, he called on all parties engaged in the tourism industry to remain cohesive and cooperative in promoting the country's tourism sector at whatever cost.

Earlier, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik reported that of seven million tourists targeted to visit Indonesia this year, 3.5 million as of July had arrived in the country.

"We still have five more months and I am optimistic that the target of 7 million tourists can be reached," Jero Wacik said.

To reach the target, the culture and tourism minister said, Garuda flight frequency from Sydney to Indonesia had been increased. In addition, the possibility of additional flights from Tokyo, Beijing, Tehran, and South Kora to Indonesia was being explored.

He said since July, Air Asia had started flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Makassar, South Sulawesi, and later from Kuala Lumpur to Manadao in North Sulawesi and to Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara.

“With the additional flight frequency, we are optimistic that the target of 7 million tourists visit Indonesia this year can be met,” Jero Wacik said.

* Local enquiries and a search of Air Asia's website show no evidence of an Air Asia flight between Kuala Lumpur and Lombok – Ed.

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PAY HOLIDAY ALLOWANCES 7 DAYS AHEAD OF LEBARAN

Manpower and Transmigration Minister, Erman Suparno, has reminded all companies across the country of their obligation to give holiday allowances to their employees seven days ahead of the Lebaran post-fasting month festivities.

“I have issued a circular to all governors, district heads and mayors across Indonesia requiring companies to pay the allowances to their employees seven days before the D-Day,” the Minister said.

The amount of allowances for employees working for less than three months depended on each of the companies` decision, whether they would give them such holiday allowances or not.

But if the employees worked for more than three months, the amount of allowances must be in proportion to how long they had worked for their respective company.

“If they have worked for one year they will deserve holiday allowances equivalent to one month's salary. To monitor whether or not the companies have complied with the circular we have formed a Lebaran post command in cooperation with the local manpower offices, labour unions and APINDO (the Association of Indonesian Businessmen),” he said.

The post command was tasked with monitoring the payment of holiday allowances, among others, he said.

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GILIS SCENE

RACHEL’S BIRTHDAY @ HORIZONTAL

Horizontal & H Rooms on Gili T keep the good times rolling with a weekend birthday party for Bali-based
writer, Rachel Greaves, attended by the beautiful people of Lombok & Bali

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