Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Insufficient transportation facilities and electricity supply have become major problems in Southwest Maluku (MBD) district which officially separated from West Southeast Maluku (MTB) district in 2008.
The islands that make up MBD district used to be the remotest and the least accessible with almost no facilities for visitors but now the central government is making efforts to gradually improve the district`s infrastructure.
In an effort to open the isolation of MED district, the Ministry of Transportation is currently constructing a new airport on Moa island.
Moa which is part of the Leti Islands in Maluku province is located close to Australia but it has nothing to do with the Moa island in the Banks Channel of the Torres Strait, Queensland; nor the extinct giant flightless birds native to New Zealand.
John Rante, head of Maluku`s Air Transportation Office, said in Ambon on Wednesday that the Transportation Ministry had allocated Rp25 billion from the 2011 State Budget for the first phase of the airport`s construction in Moa island in MBD district.
"The first phase of the airport project on Moa island includes piling-up and compaction, scheduled to be completed in late December 2011," John said.
He noted the presence of the airport on Moa island which has been chosen as the site of Southwest Maluku district`s administrative center was expected to smooth air transportation to and from the region.
"When completed, the airport will have a 1,400-meter-long runway," John said.
John admitted MED district already had an airport on Kisar island but it was too small to meet the local people`s need for air transportation.
At present, Purpura airport on Kisar island is MED district`s only air link with the outside world. Merpati Air maintains a regular four-times-a-week service between Purapura and Ambon and Kupang in East Nusatenggara.
The only other way one can travel from Kisar island to Ambon and Kupang is by so-called pioneer boats that cover the distance in several days` time.
According to Maluku Transportation Office chief Benny Gaspersz, the runway of Purpura airport was extended from 800 meters to 1,300 meters last year to support the international marine event of Sail Banda 2010 whose peak event took place in Kisar.
Gaspersz said the expansion of Purpura airport`s runway was a strategic measure to step up air transportation service to Southwest Maluku district by operating bigger aircraft than the Cassa 212 planes being operated by Merpati Nusantara Airlines.
But the already existing airport in Kisar was not enough to accommodate the ever increasing number of passengers from day to day.
Therefore, the new airport on Moa island was expected to be completed as soon as possible in order to enable the operation of another airline company such as Trigana Air which has planes with a capacity of 42 seats, besides the Cassa 212 planes of Merpati Airlines.
Besides transportation, electricity is also a major problem for the Southwest Maluku district administration and the region`s residents.
Of the eight sub-districts in Southwest Maluku, only four are linked to the local power grid, namely Kisar, Serwaru, Tepa and Babar Timur, but not all villages in those sub-districts have been linked to the power line.
Therefore state power company PT PLN Maluku branch is building a 1.5 megawatt power plant (PLTD) in Moa island.
Energy and energy resources division head of MBD district administration Ronny Kakerissa said in Ambon recently that he had coordinated with PT.PLN to build the PLTD in September 2011.
He said they had already prepared the land for the facility, so that construction work could be started.
"Thus by the end of December 2011 the project could be operated as some kind of Christmas and New Year`s present to the district administration as well as the people of MBD which had been expanded from Southwest Maluku on September 16, 2008," Ronny said.
He said electricity has been posing a problem in boosting development, administration and social services in MBD which is geographically close to Timor Leste and Australia.
Moreover, power is only provided for 12 hours a day.
"Imagine that government activities and public services are certainly affected because power is only supplied 12 hours daily, and that is only during the night when the offices are idle," Ronny pointed out.
He said the PLTD would boost the activities of the administration of Tiakur as MBD capital.
The activities of government, building and social services were still carried out in Kisar.
"Therefore the MBD district head Barnabas Orno and his deputy Johanes Letelay who had been instilled by the Maluku Governor in Kisar on April 26, 2011 had decided that in 2011 government activities are carried out in Tiakur so that the PLTD should have started operations by the end of December this year," Ronny said.
He admitted that the infrastructure and climate changes had been posing a problem in optimizing the potential of natural resources, especially oil/gas and minerals in the district.
Supported by : JavaTourism.com, LintangBuanaTours.com,JavaBikers.com,Liburs.com,TourSumatra.com,FloresTour.com,Java-Adventure.com
Revisit The Glory That Was Majapahit
Discover the ancient wonders of Indonesia’s royal past and visit the remains of the once great Majapahit kingdom. Founded by Singosari prince Vijaya in 1294, the Majapahit kingdom became the most powerful kingdom in the history of Indonesia, covering territories even beyond present day Indonesia. The remains of the royal court are today scattered over a large area around the village of Trowulan in East Java.
During the reign of Singosari’s former king Kertanegara, a Chinese Mongol fleet was sent to Java to force Singosari to submit allegiance to China. Kertanegara responded by cutting off the ear of the Chinese emissary. Enraged, when Chinese emperor Kublai Khan heard this he commanded his fleet to avenge on Singosari. Unknown to them, King Kertanegara had already been slain, defeated by Jayakatwang of the kingdom of Kediri.
To regain the throne, prince Vijaya of Singosari joined the Chinese fleet to remove the new king from the Singosari throne. Upon this victory, however, Vijaya turned around and ousted the Chinese fleet from Java. (see also the Singosari temple). Vijaya then established his new kingdom around the village of Trowulan and named it Majapahit. During the following two centuries, up until the early 15th century, Majapahit expanded to become the most powerful kingdom in this archipelago notably under King Hayam Wuruk and his Prime Minister Gajah Mada.
Wander around the remains of the old capital and you will see what was once a great and glorious city. At the peak of its power, the Majapahit kingdom ruled an enormous area, receiving tributes from most of the regions that encompass present day Indonesia as well as areas in what are today Vietnam and the Philippines.
During the golden period of the Majapahit empire many literary works were produced. These include the famous Negarakertagama poem by Prapancha. The work venerates the king and describes how royal divinity permeates the world cleansing it of impurities.
In the Majapahit era, Hinduism and Buddism were the dominant religious. The kingdom was based on the principle of bhinneka tunggal ika ¬– unity in diversity. This motto preaches tolerance between the Buddhist and Hindu faiths. This spirit of tolerance became a defining feature of the Majapahit kingdom. Today the motto: bhinneka tunggal ika – unity in diversity is adopted as the motto of the modern Republic of Indonesia.
The dominant religion of the kingdom was a hybrid of Hinduism with worship of the deities Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, - and Buddhism. However Islam, which entered Java in this era, was also tolerated. Ancient Koranic burial inscriptions suggest that Javanese Muslims resided within the area of the kingdom.
The kingdom reached the height of it’s power and influence under the leadership of the Prime Minister Gajah Mada during the reign of king Hayam Wurk. Gajah Mada is considered one of Indonesia’s greatest heroes. Until his death in 1364, he suceeded in spreading the power and influence of Majapahit throughout the archipelogo. Gajah Mada is believed to have developed his own oath of allegience, the Sumpah Palapa, which vowed to unite the archipelogo.
The empire came to an abrupt end possibly in 1478 when the north coast power of Demak invaded. This forced the Majapahit elite to flee to Bali.
It is possible to spend the whole day in Trowulan wandering around the old temple ruins. Or, if the heat is too much, try a becak or a car to explore the area. The most popular ruins include the gateway of Bajang Ratu and the Tikus Temple (Queens’ bath). The Troloyo Cemetery has the oldest Muslim grave found in Java dating back to 1376 AD
Visit the Trowulan Museum and you will see superb examples of Majapahit sculpture and pottery. The enormous statue of Kediri’s King Airlangga-as-Vishnu on a giant garuda is one of the highlights of the museum’s collection.
Trowulan is 60km from Surabaya and can be visited as a day trip from the city.
Supported by : JavaTourism.com, LintangBuanaTours.com,JavaBikers.com,Liburs.com,TourSumatra.com,FloresTour.com,Java-Adventure.com
The indigenous people inhabiting the dense tropical rainforests of Borneo are collectively called the Dayaks, but in fact they comprise many tribes that are diverse in culture as well as in language. The word “Dayak” actually means “inland” or “upriver”, especially where the Indonesian part of Borneo, - called Kalimantan, - is cut by many long and wide rivers as well as many tributaries, that are used as transportation highways.
In Central Kalimantan live the Ngaju Dayaks, the Lawangan, the Ma’anyan and the Ot Danum, known as the Barito Dayaks, named after the Barito river. Among these, the most dominant are the Ngaju, who inhabit the Kahayan river basin by the present town of Palangkaraya. The Ngaju are involved in agricultural commerce, planting rice, cloves, coffee, palm oil, pepper and cocoa, whilst, the other tribes still mostly practice subsistence farming through the slash and burn lifestyle.
Although many Dayaks have modernized and converted to Christianity and Islam, however, the majority still adhere to the original Kaharingan belief, also known as the Hindu-Bali Kaharingan, which is a state recognized faith
Kaharingan belief focuses on the supernatural world of spirits, including ancestral spirits. For this reason, funeral rites and structures are elaborate. Most essential, however, are the secondary funeral rites, called tiwah, when the bones of the deceased are exhumed, cleaned and placed in a special mausoleum, called sandung, which are placed next to their other ancestors. These coffins are normally beautifully carved and adorned. The tiwah is believed to be a most essential ceremony to allow the soul of the deceased finally to be released to the highest heaven.
When visiting the Dayaks upriver one can also see many funeral poles. While best examples of funerary art are found on the upper reaches of the Kahayan River at Tumbang Kuring.
Bali by The Numbers: Bali Sets to Close the Year with Record 2.75 million Visitors
Foreign tourist arrivals to Bali for October 2011 totaled 241,370 – increasing 7.93% over arrivals in October 2010 (223,643).
For the ten months January – October 2011 foreign arrivals hit 2.293 million, an improvement of 10.10% year-on-year for 2010.
Projected to the end of 2011 it now appears our projection of 2.75 million total foreign arrivals will be achieved.
Results by Major Markets
Australia – Continues to be Bali’s biggest source of foreign arrivals. October 2011 arrivals ex Australia (75,050) represents a 20.9% increase over the same month last year. Year-on-year Australian arrivals are 24.52% ahead of 2010. Australian visitors now constitute a 28.81% market share of all foreign arrivals.
Japan – Once the undisputed leading source of foreign visitors to Bali, Japan has now slipped to third place after Australia and the PRC. Japan’s decline continues with October arrivals (14,064) declining 20.5% as compared to October 2010. Year-on-year the decline in Japanese visitors stands at 26.71%.
People’s Republic of China – Now the second largest source of Bali visitors, the PRC arrivals for October 2011 (19,571) are 9.8% ahead of the same month a year before. Year-to-date Mainland Chinese visitors are up 13.76% through the end of October 2011. Look for Chinese arrivals to flatten as that country's export-oriented economy begins to feel the impact of the U.S.A. and Europe’s faltering economies.
Taiwan – After a period of stagnation, Taiwan is on the rebound with arrivals to Bali in October 2011 (11,486) improving 27.9% over October 2010. On a cumulative basis through the end of October, Taiwanese arrivals are up 21.37%.
Malaysia – Malaysian arrivals have hit a plateau. October 2011 arrivals (13,116) are virtually on a par with arrivals for October 2010 (13,023). Year-on-year through the end of October Malaysian arrivals are up 13.14% as compared to 2010.
South Korea – South Korean arrivals are on the decline. October 2011 South Korean visitors totaled 11,055 – a number down 6.3% from the totals in October 2010. Year-on-year South Korean visitors have declined 2.08% through the end of October 2011.
France – French arrivals in October 2010 are up 4.06% at 10.591 visitors. Year-on-year French visitors have increased 4.95% during the first ten months of 2011.
Russia – Russian arrivals remain bright. October arrivals totaled 5,202 an improvement of 7.8% over October 2010. Russian arrivals year-on-year are up 14.11%,
The Netherlands – Dutch arrivals to Bali are ailing. October 2011 arrivals standing at 6,000 is virtually the same as October 2010 (5,977). Year-on-year arrivals from Holland are down 8.61%.
U.S.A. – Economic uncertainty at home is not deterring Americans from packing their bags and coming to Bali. October 2011 arrivals (7,043) are 14.1% ahead of the same month one year before. Year-on-year the picture is even brighter with U.S. arrivals through the end of October 2011 up 20.83%. Next question: Will Bali arrivals from the U.S. improve even more due to the “Obama effect” of the just completed U.S. presidential visit?
Germany – The European economy is in recession, making “flat” results from Germany arguably more good news than bad. German arrivals in October 2011 (9,380) are almost even with arrivals for October 2010 (9.314). Similarly, German arrivals year-on-year are equally lackluster, down 0.39%