Below is a list of Batam news archives, of older news articles for your information and reference.

List of Batam News Archives

Batam News Archives

Singapore opens consulate in Batam

August 8 2010
Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo visited Batam on Friday for the official opening of the Singapore Consulate in Batam.

The consulate in Batam is Singapore's third representation in Indonesia.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said the establishment underscores Singapore's strong ties with Indonesia, and in particular, the Riau Islands Province (KEPRI).

Besides providing consular services to Singaporeans in KEPRI, the Consulate will also help to promote and enhance exchanges between Singapore and KEPRI.

Mr Yeo also attended the Singapore National Day reception as Guest-of-Honour.

He met KEPRI Acting Governor Muhammad Sani, Vice-Governor-elect Soerya Respationo and guests at the National Day reception and discussed how Singapore and KEPRI could continue to strengthen their existing cooperation. (Batam News Archives Source: Channel News Asia)

Batam tax hike proposal criticized

August 3 2010
A Batam city administration plan to increase taxes has sparked protests from the Riau Islands business community, which fears the measure will reduce the island’s competitiveness as a free trade zone.

“We object. The plan to increase taxes on 19 items would further burden the struggling business sector,” said Cahaya, chairman of the Riau Islands chapter of the Indonesian Employers’ Association.

The Batam free trade zone has not been implemented fully, and economic growth is estimated to be around 1 percent, compared to 7 percent previously, he said.

“The administration should provide tax incentives to improve the investment climate instead of increasing taxes,” Cahaya said.

Hoping to increase revenues, the Batam administration submitted a draft bylaw on the tax increases to the Batam Legislative Council in April.

If approved, the bylaw would hit hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues hardest.

The draft proposes 15 to 75 percent increases in taxes on discotheques, karaoke clubs, night clubs, massage parlors and saunas, and a 20 to 35 percent hike for sporting events.

The draft also recommends increasing cinema ticket tax from 10 percent at present to 35 percent; arts, music and dance performance tax from 15 to 35 percent; exhibitions from 10 to 35 percent; and fashion shows and beauty contests from 15 to 75 percent.

Since the central government provides a 10 percent exemption on value-added-tax for manufactured goods, it should show goodwill by fostering a more favorable climate for investors, Cahaya said.

The city has targeted a revenue of Rp 1.3 trillion (US$141.3 million) this year, around Rp 80 billion of which would be derived from locally initiated revenue, Batam Revenue Office chief Raja Supri said.

“Most of Batam’s income is mainly derived from the provincial administration and central government, while our own municipal revenues are relatively meager. That’s one of the reasons we plan to raise taxes,” Supri said.

While a schedule for the deliberations has not yet been set, the municipality is determined to introduce the tax soon and keep the increases in line with the 2009 Regional Taxes and User Fees Law, Supri said.

The law stipulates clear-cut provisions on the division of taxation authority between the national, provincial, regency and municipal governments.

The law designates 16 types of taxes and user fees regional administrations are authorized to impose.

Of the 16, regency and municipal administrations are authorized to impose 11 taxes, while the remaining five fall under the provincial administration’s mandate. (Batam News Archives Source: Jakarta Post)

Police detain 5 alleged pirates

July 30 2010
Police arrested five people who were allegedly involved in piracy attempt on the Singapore-flagged ship Century II.

Riau Police's marine unit director Mohammad Yasin Kossasih said Monday that the suspects used a wooden boat in attempt to ambush the vessel and its tugboat, the Malaysian-flagged Marcopolo, en route from Singapore to Sei Guntung, Riau.

"The police officers at a surveillance post were suspicious and approached the vessel with a patrol boat. Officers found four suspects about to commit criminal acts. It's most likely they were attempting to pirate the vessel," Yassin said.

The police said that they had confessed during the arrest. The suspects confessed only to attempting to steal the rope, which they could have resold for Rp 125,000 (US$13.87), Yassin said.

"It would have been too risky to only steal the rope. We are still developing the case," he said. (Batam News Archives Source: Jakarta Post)

Kartika buys 30 Sukhoi Super jets

July 22 2010
Indonesian domestic carrier PT Kartika Airlines has agreed to order 30 Sukhoi Superjet 100 airplanes in a contract estimated to reach US$951 million.

The contract was signed at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England, by the president of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC), Vladimir Prishyazhnyuk, and Kartika CEO Kim Johannes Mulia.

With the agreement, Karika becomes the first company in Southeast Asia to purchase the new Super Jet 100 (SSJ-100) airplanes.

“The agreement outlines the basic terms for the delivery of 15 SSJ-100 aircrafts in the basic configuration and provides an option for 15 additional planes. The order is worth $951 million,” SCAC said in a statement.

The delivery of the airplanes will be carried out between 2012 and 2015.

SSJ-100 is a medium-haul passenger aircraft developed by Sukhoi in cooperation with US and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace and Honeywell.

Kim Johanes said the SSJ-100 would be perfect to fill a market gap on regional capacity as major Indonesian carriers are focused on large single aisle aircraft.

“With this new right-sized aircraft we can develop and serve more point-to-point destinations with obvious operational efficiency and unsurpassed comfort for passengers,” he said, adding that the new aircraft would be able to effectively support Kartika’s regional flight services.

Kartika plans to cooperate with state aircraft company PT Dirgantara Indonesia on the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the new Sukhoi aircraft.

Herry Bakti Gumay, the air transportation director general at the Transportation Ministry, said airlines in the country mostly still competed in providing services on existing domestic routes because they promised higher profits and due to the fact that most aircraft were still too large to serve regional routes.

SSJ-100 airplane might be better suited to serve such regional routes, Herry said.

Kartika had not yet informed the ministry where it planned to operate the new airplanes. “But the planes can service any airport with at least a 1,500 meter-long runway. [Indonesia] has those airports,” he said.

Currently, Kartika serves eight domestic routes; Batam-Jambi, Batam-Medan, Batam-Padang, Batam-Palembang, Jakarta-Batam, Jakarta-Medan, Jakarta-Padang and Medan-Padang. It operates three units of aircraft; MD-80, Boeing 737-200 and Boeing 737-300.

The company, which is owned by PT Truba, was established in 2001 with its inaugural flight on 15 May 2001.

Meanwhile, British airline Flybe said in London Tuesday it had signed a deal with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer to buy 35 aircraft worth $1.3 billion, as it drives its expansion in continental Europe.

The order, which comprises 35 firm initial orders of the Embraer E series aircraft for $1.3 billion with options for 65 more and purchase rights for a further 40, has the total potential value of $5 billion.

Flybe chairman and chief executive Jim French told Reuters he was confident of growth, despite challenges earlier this year from the Icelandic ash cloud and nervous consumer sentiment.

“We have grown by about 20 percent compound [in the past], we see anything up to 10 percent as going forward,” he said.

He said the group was confident of its business model, which focuses on domestic flights from smaller regional airports, after maintaining a profit through the recession. (Batam News Archives Source: Jakarta Post)

3 Store 3 comes to Batam

July 11 2010
GSM cellular operator PT Hutchison CP Telecommunications, Thursday (08/07/2010) inaugurated its new store located in Batam Centre, the presence of 3 Store 3 is expressed as a commitment to provide maximum service to customers in the area of Batam.

3 Store Batam center operates every day from Monday - Sunday from 8:00 am to 18:00 pm. Following the inauguration, 3 Store worked together with Mandala Airlines, providing special rates for customers of three airline tickets to destinations to Batam - Pekanbaru, Batam – Jakarta and Batam - Padang and vice versa, for the reservation period begining on July 8 to 31, 2010.

"With the presence of 3 Store in Batam, customers can easily access programs and innovative services from 3, and also give us the opportunity to provide the best service to customers and understand their communication needs," said Henry Panjaitan, GM Sales Distribution 3 Sumatera Region .

He also added, along with the presence of 3 Store in Batam, Hutchison also provides additional benefits such as special price tickets from Mandala Airlines. The program is given as an appreciation of customers while providing convenience for customers who want to enjoy going home during Ramadan or just for a vacation.

3 Store customers in Batam, Pekanbaru and Jakarta have the chance to get tickets from Mandala Airlines with the flight route Batam - Pekanbaru, Batam - Jakarta, and Batam - Padang with rates starting from Rp199,000 nett one-way trip. "To get this special rate, customers can do the transaction of at least Rp50,000 or applications at 3 Stores postpaid Batam, Jakarta and Padang," said Henry added.

Complete a transaction in the 3 Store and book a ticket between 8 to 31 July 2010, and customers will receive an sms notification that it can be shown to the Mandala Airlines or at the Airport when purchasing airline tickets on routes that have been determined. "This special rate applies for reservation tickets for scheduled flights August 1 - 30 October 2010, except December 8 to 13 September 2010," said Henry.

And with the presence of 3 Store in Batam, Henry also guarantees the signal will get faster and faster and has covered nearly 80 percent of Batam. 3 Store offers tariffs for broadband services from Rp 25,000 to unlimited amount of Rp 99,000. (Batam News Archives Source: Business News)

Batam police told to uphold law

July 8 2010
A provincial legislator wants Batam Police to continue its criminal investigation of April’s riots, even though efforts to settle tensions out-of-court is underway.

Makmur Nasution, secretary of Commission I on legal affairs at the Riau Islands Legislative Council, said the police have failed to complete an investigation of the riots at PT Drydocks World Graha in Batam that erupted on Apil 22.

An Indian national, who said “all Indonesians are stupid”, was previously named sole suspect in allegedly provoking the riot, which damaged 20 vehicles and several warehouses as well as injuring six, including four Indian nationals,“The police have clear facts and all the data at hand and should have no problem in completing an investigation,” Makmur said.

“But the police are working too slow to solve the case. The legal process is not working,” the Democratic Party politician told The Jakarta Post.

“The legal process must continue even if there are efforts to reach a peaceful settlement between both parties.” He said that the police should remain professional and independent and bring all suspects to court and also investigate allegations of riot damage caused by local workers.

Those moves will show that the legal process is being upheld, not halted, he said.

“The investigation has been ongoing for some time and the police already have enough evidence and information. We ask the police to immediately solve the case,” Makmur said.

Batam, Rempang and Galang Police chief Sr. Comr. Eka Yudha Satriawan said that many people, including the Batam city administration and the Indian government’s consulate in Medan, have been working to reach a peaceful out-of-court settlement of grievances.

“We welcome the effort. Batam’s city administration initiated the peaceful settlement. We’re still processing the case and have named a suspect, but we don’t know when the official investigation will be completed,” he said.

The police had released the suspect from custody because the crime he is alleged to have committed carries less than a five-year prison sentence, he added.

“We released the suspect, but he is still in Batam since we are holding his passport,” Eka said.

Eka denied that the government was brokering a peaceful settlement in return for compensation.

“There has been no compensation offered to the police related to the process. The case is still ongoing,” he said.

The Batam city administration did facilitate an out-of-the-court settlement, city manpower office head Rudy Syahkirti said.

“It’s the right of both parties to reach a settlement and not to continue the legal process. Neither Indians nor local workers need be punished. It’s fair,” he said.

“I’m not sure whether the move violates the law or not,” Rudy added.

Setia Tarigan, a union activist in Batam, said his group had asked the police not to release the suspect and not to name local workers suspects in the riot.

“The Drydocks riot resulted from accumulation of disappointments over a huge welfare gap between workers, where foreign workers get high benefits while the government did nothing about it. This case should be used as a first step to solve labor problems in Batam,” he said. (Batam News Archives Source: Jakarta Post)

Dragon Boat Race held in Batam in 2010

Dragon Boat Race Batam

July 4 2010
Batam City Government held the International Sea Eagle Boat Race 2010 in the waters of Belakang Padang, Batam, 2 to 4 July 2010. The annual event is the seventh time since it was first held in 2004.

Chief Executive of the Executive Committee, the Sea Eagle Boat Race 2010, Buralimar said, preparations have been done to their best. In general, the activities will be implemented according to plan and agenda. The participants who took part are 45 teams consisting of 30 local teams and 15 teams from overseas. Each team consists of 15 people, including a “Tekong”, a twelfth rower, and two reserve rowers.

Preliminary rounds will be held 2 to 3 July. While the semi-finals and finals will be held on the last day, July 4. The length of the track is 600 meters from start to finish.

In addition to the rowing events, the organizers will also hold exhibitions of small and medium enterprises, as well as typical Melayu food, folk games activities, and entertainment on stage. The committee will also be showing off the ship “Ceng Ho”.

Batam Mayor Ahmad Dahlan said the race is expected not only as a sporting event but also a means of promotion, creation, and appreciation of coastal communities in support of Visit Batam and Belakang Padang in 2010. In fact, the event is called the root event Visit Batam 2010. Local and foreign tourists are expected to visit through the event.

Sea Eagle Boat Race 2010 winners will receive trophies and equipment, a plaque of appreciation, and cash worth a total Rp. 45 million. The champion will receive Rp 15 million, second place winner gets Rp 13 million, third place gets Rp 10 million, and fourth place gets Rp 8 million.

In 2009 and 2008, Kepri won the team championship. While in 2007 and 2006, Red Batam Team won the championship. (Batam News Archives Source: Kepri News)

US supplies radar for Indonesian navy

June 29 2010
An Indonesian navy official said that the United States will supply radar to the navy as part of U. S. contribution to help the country's navy fleet to secure the busy Malacca strait from hijacking acts, local media reported on Monday.

According to Indonesian Navy West Region Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Ade Supandi, the radar is included in the Integrated Maritime System aid that will be handed over by U.S. Government representative to the Indonesian defence ministry. "The U.S. system will eventually be used by navy's base in Batam, " Agus was quoted by the Antara news agency as saying in Batam where the navy has set a base to oversee the Malacca strait waters that accommodates 60 percent of world's trade ships.

Reports said that trade ship hijackings were frequently occurred in the strait that separates Indonesia from Malaysia and Singapore territories. (Batam News Archives Source: People’s Daily)

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