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Bali Tourists Reminded Of Zero Tolerance Stance On Bad Behavior

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Tourists, digital nomads, and expats in Bali have received a warning from the Indonesia Minster for Tourism and Creative Economies.

During the Weekly Briefing with Sandi Uno, the Minster responded to viral videos of foreigners lashing out in Bali. 

Dreamland Beach in Bali Sun Loungers and Umbrellas.jpg

The discussion around badly behaved foreigners in Bali is sadly never far from the headlines nor the top of the social media news feeds.

In the last week, yet more footage has appeared online of foreigners being violent in Bali; one video in particular is very disturbing. 

The footage shows a foreigner, believed to be American, assaulting a driver in a seemingly unprovoked attack.

According to local reporters, the driver pulled into the driveway of a villa, parked the car, and the tourists got out.

He approached the foreigner and asked about the motorcycle he had rented to him. The foreigner immediately lashes out and punches the driver in the face.

It has been confirmed that the blow knocked the local man’s teeth out, requiring hospital treatment. The CCTV footage shows a foreigner and his partner can be seen fleeing the scene. 

In response to this incident, and others like it, Minster Uno said, “There must be no tolerance if naughty tourists continue to act up. We will act firmly and in accordance with the law because this is a country of laws.”

He confirmed ‘We cannot tolerate it.” Due to incidences such as this, Bali has created a dedicated Tourism Civil Service Police Force.

Training is underway for the specialist unit that will patrol Bali’s busiest resort areas to ensure that tourists behave in a culturally respectful way and do not break the law. 

The new Bali Tourism Civil Service Police Unit is similar to that in place in Yogjakarta. Officers will be dressed more informally to help tourists feel more comfortable approaching them. All the officers are good English speakers and have extensive experience in the police force already. 

This police unit has been tasked with not only keeping public order but also improving Bali’s public image.

Speaking as the training began, the Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, told the recruits, “We want to change the paradigm of the civil service police, no longer as thugs and rioters but as regional representatives of maintaining humane order and security.

Tourists-Walk-Through-Bali-Market-in-Ubud

He added, “I ask that the Tourism Police be able to provide a sense of comfort so that tourists do not feel anxious while on holiday in Bali.”

With this in mind, the Acting Governor told the new trainees, “[I want you to] assure tourists that visiting Bali is safe and comfortable, so don’t hesitate to come to Bali.”

Tourists-Walk-Along-Street-in-Ubud

The Bali Civil Service Police Unit will work in partnership with the Tourism Task Force, which is made up of other civil service officers, tourism officials, and immigration. 

However, given the level of violence that some unruly tourists have been known to display, the new Bali Civil Service Police Unit is also being trained on restraint and handling.

The Head of the Bali Province Civil Service Unit, Nyoman Rai Dharmadi, has designed much of the new training program.

Dharmadi told reporters last week, “For the next ten days, 40 participants for the Badung Regency Saptol PP and 31 members of the Bali Province Satpol PP will receive training, and we will select them to become new members.”

Tourists-in-Seminyak-Beach-in-Bali

He added, “We will first introduce all the material regarding Satpol PP’s duties and functions; we will discuss how to defend ourselves if we find something related to a disturbance to order at tourist attractions.”

The new Bali Civil Service Tourism Police will be deployed on the 14th of February, 2024, the same day as the Indonesian general election and the introduction of the new tourism tax. 

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Wayan Bo

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

Some tourists become aggressive because they have to pay to much money without getting appropriate value in return, so they feel mugged. Such aggressive behavior could grow in near future. Especially in backgrounds of wars and not good world’s economic situation. - In 1980’s such aggressive scenes wasn’t even imaginable. - At this times tourists could buy in front of Made’s Warung near Bemo Corner censored issue of Newsweek or The Time magazine with some inside pages colored in black. - Cheers, 4 the good times

BaliDuck

Sunday 4th of February 2024

@Wayan Bo, Bali decades ago was worth every penny. Today it's nothing but a dump.

Mick

Friday 2nd of February 2024

I saw a Balinese guy on a scooter on Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai, have a not too severe head on accident with a Japanese tourist driving a Suzuki rental car. The Balinese guy was going against the traffic on the footpath as the Japanese guy came out of a Indomart carpark. No doubt he was only looking for oncoming traffic so he could drive on to the road. Little did he suspect that they ride on the footpath and against traffic here. Anyway, the tourist took several seconds to get out of his car in which time the Balinese guy took off. Just the bumper and the headlight were damaged. At least he was laughing about it.

petter gleeson

Friday 2nd of February 2024

we dont know what happened in the lead up to the incedent but there is no need for violence, i hope he is caught and delt with

Exp

Thursday 1st of February 2024

In one of the major news sites today the top story is a group of foreigners ("geng bule") spotted driving motorbikes on Jl ByPass only wearing shorts and without wearing helmet.

The police is now on the lookout for these lawbreakers and local news refer to "the use of helmets for motorcyclists is regulated in Article 57 paragraph (1) jo paragraph (2) of the Law. Number 22 of 2009 concerning Traffic and Road Transportation."

So you see the local authorities are sticklers for all laws to be followed in Bali. The funny thing though is that in my south Denpasar area quite a few locals daily; drive with 3-4 on one motorbike, let their underage children drive; are speeding, are not using lights after dark, drive very noisy motorbikes without mufflers; are wearing only sandals AND you guess it: are not wearing helmets!

Make no mistake: Most foreigners arriving in Bali very quickly pick up on the local driving culture on what goes and not. So unless the locals are educated and change the Balinese can not expect foreigners 100% following laws and regulations they no nothing about.

James

Friday 2nd of February 2024

@Exp, Exactly this. But that is something the Balinese will never understand. They think that if we just put bad bule in the news, this will work. But setting foot on this Island just for one minute and you know: no local is obeying any rule whatsoever. And the fact that media (like this one) only talk about what some bule do wrong, instead of starting to highlight the fact that ALL PEOPLE should obey the rules, only causes a polarisation between groups that is not at all helpfull.

Miles D.

Thursday 1st of February 2024

Bali has turned into a full-blown authoritarian hell-hole. I saw it really starting to happen as I survived two years of covid stupidity there. I left and will never return to that dump. Hopefully the Russians just overtake it. God knows the locals would be too lazy to do anything about it.

wilter

Friday 2nd of February 2024

@Miles D.,

Same here, retirement over.