March 21 2013
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Citilink opens Batam-Pekanbaru route
March 21, 2013
Planned Batam brewery fizzles over govt rules
THE BATAM Free Trade Zone Authority (BP FTZ) says that central government regulations have led local officials to reject a Swiss proposal to build a S$250 million (US$200 million) brewery in Batam. 
The authority rejected the firms proposal on the basis of Presidential Regulation No. 36/2010, the government’s so-called negative investment list, which bans investment in alcoholic beverage industries, in addition to 18 other types of investment.
Happynings did a quick check of breweries already operating in Indonesia, and found: Asia Pacific Breweries (Bintang, Heineken, Guinness), with breweries in Jakarta and Surabaya; PT. Delta Djakarta (Carlsberg, San Miguel); and PT. Bali Hai Brewery (San Miguel, Asahi, Bali Hai Premium).
Ilham Eka Hartawan, a spokesman for the BP FTZ, said that the head of Eicoglobal Holding AG, Arthur Kurt Eilers, initially discussed the firm’s proposal at
GOODIES’ new, expanded dining and entertainment space had a great workout on St. Patrick’s Day, as a large crowd came on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to enjoy live music from Phil Aitken, good Irish food, great company, and a wee bit of the nectar.
the 2013 Mustermesse Basel (MUBA) Exposition, held at the Swiss Embassy in Jakarta on Feb. 22.
Ilham said that the Swiss firm had seen “many benefits in Batam, such as land, location, transportation and available raw materials, so they deemed building a brewery in Batam as something that was very suitable.”
The BP FTZ had previously told Eicoglobal Holding AG about local manufacturers in Batam that might support the proposed brewery, according to the spokesman. 
“Batam is also home to glass bottle manufacturers in line with the needs of a brewery. According to the plan, the brewery would have exported their products, which were not intended for the domestic market,” Ilham said.
“We expressed to them that breweries were included on the negative list, so they could not build a brewery in Batam,” Ilham said. “The negative list of enterprises is in effect across the country, including in special economic zones, such as Batam. We conveyed this to the Swiss ambassador to Indonesia, so he would discuss the matter to Eicoglobal Holding AG.”
BATAM’s Phil Shearer celebrated his 50th birthday at Goodies Restaurant at Smiling Hill with family from Perth who flew up just for the occasion. Phil’s father, David, is at left and his mother, Barbara, is on the right. Also, surrounding Phil are his wife, Reni, daughter, Chloe, and sister, Margaret. At left, the celebratory cake and birthday boy.
“From the aspect of the presidential regulation [breweries] have been banned, so we also could not accept the investment in Batam. The BP FTZ has no plan to propose a revision of the regulation,” Ilham said.
According to the spokesman, plans for the brewery had raised community concerns. During Friday prayers on March 15, for example, the brewery became a topic of the sermons at several local mosques.
A number of Islamic organizations in Batam have reportedly voiced their concerns, including Azhari Abbas, the head of the Riau Islands chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), who disagreed with the construction of a brewery for religious reasons.
“It’s improper and I don’t agree with the presence of an alcoholic drink producer in Batam,“ Azhari said. ”We will question this. [We won’t] let it suddenly materialize and only then raise our qualms about it.” 
“I wish for this to be discussed and prevented from being realized. We have heard that it has become a hot topic of public discussion.” – The Jakarta Post
CITILINK has opened a new route from Batam, offering more options to passengers departing from Indonesia’s nearest gateway to Singapore. Operating every day, Citilink flights to Batam to Pekanbaru depart Batam at 1:40 p.m. and from Pekanbaru at 3:20 p.m with fares starting at Rp 329,500 (US$34).
“Pekanbaru’s  economic and cultural tourism potential led us to pick the city as our newest destination,” chief executive officer Arif Wibowo said in a press release dated March 11 2013.
The capital of Riau is the latest addition to Citilink’s existing routes from Batam, which are Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Padang and Palembang.
Arif added that the low-cost carrier planned to add more routes and to increase flight frequency from Batam. – The Jakarta Post
IN SMILING Hill’s continuing effort to find the best fishing experiences for guests, a group from McLen Equipment and Leighton recently went out on the water to try their luck. Above right, from right in rear, are Bayne Kuch, Saeful Mawar, Michael Kuch, middle, Roni, Tabuan, Ramos, and front, Donald and Simon. A tiger shark and a few other fish were caught. Unfortunately, the night ended early due to winds and choppy water (and upset stomachs).
THE BATAM Legislative Council (DPRD) passed a regional bill (Perda) to eliminate human trafficking in the city’s entertainment industry. Under the new regulation, all business players within the Batam entertainment industry and/or agencies that recruit workers for the industry must provide a letter stating the origins of a worker.
The DPRD and Batam administration said that the Perda aimed at eliminating human trafficking within the entertainment business in the city, such as at massage parlors, karaoke halls and pubs.
The head of the council’s special committee (Pansus) debating the bill, Ruslan Ali Wasyim, said the council was concerned that human trafficking continued to increase and that Batam was affected by human trafficking as it was one of the places of transit or destination for victims.
Batam legislators pass bill on human trafficking
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“Trafficking is very troubling. Many parents worry about such practices conducted by dirty business players. Human traffickers bring the victims from their areas of origin and transit in Batam before smuggling them to the destination countries,” Ruslan said.
In many cases, the Batam administration bears the responsibility of returning victims of trafficking home. “So, we consider that this regulation will be effective in preventing such practices,” said Ruslan, a council member from the Golkar Party.
The Perda consists of 15 chapters and 24 articles. One article stipulates that business players within the entertainment industry and/or agencies that recruit entertainment industry workers from other areas or those who are domiciled in Batam must submit a report on the status of their workers to the Batam tourism office.
Ruslan said the council would also encourage the Batam administration to improve the ability of public order officers (Satpol PP) in the implementation of the Perda. He said Satpol PP would be charged with implementing the regulation in the field.
Meanwhile, Batam Deputy Major Rudi said human trafficking prevention should be a concerted effort between state agencies. He said the Perda was an effective prevention tool for the Batam administration to eliminate human trafficking in the city’s entertainment industry.
“Trafficking is a crime with an international network; so any prevention effort should be conducted systematically from upstream to downstream,” said Rudi.
Meanwhile, Saud Situmorang, a spa and massage center manager, said the policy merely increased 
bureaucratic red tape.
“We have yet to learn which entertainment businesses they consider to be ‘dirty entertainment.’ Do they think that all tourist services in the city are dirty entertainment businesses with the potential to trigger human trafficking? I think it’s just a tactic to complicate licensing procedures so that it will cost us more money.” – The Jakarta Post