Saturday, 1 August 2009

About me ("Nasty Mark") and Bali

My name is Mark Andrew Austin, my wife is Balinese, I used to operate a bespoke travel service for Bali and also owned an eco-friendly luxury villa resort on the north of the so called 'Paradise Island". I felt the need to publish my blog after years of abuse by the Indonesian state plus defamation and lies against me by some of the human garbage which inhabits one of the most corrupt and human rights abusing countries in the world. An island infamous for sheltering criminals on the run from the west and human abusers such as pedophiles as it is famous for being a cheap tropical vacation destination.

Like most people who get involved with Bali, it started off for me with a holiday. Having read up on the negatives of resort areas like Kuta, I decided to do "walkabout" around the island to find the real paradise. After a couple of trips from my native England, I started a part time hotel reservations "business" (dealing primarily with hotels I had "discovered" and loved) and travel forum in 1998. I have been very "vocal" about what I found and loved in Bali, but also equally about aspects of the island I disliked, reporting bad practices about certain Indonesian travel agents and about which hotels I felt offered appalling value. This put me in conflict with a number of hoteliers, agents and tourists; the later who felt the need to be devoted to and thereby stalwart defenders of certain hotels. For example, after having stayed at most of the so called luxury hotels in and learned the sordid history of Nusa Dua, I said then and I say now that anyone staying at one of these hotels is not staying in Bali, are getting poor value for their dollars and with it actually supporting the oppression of the Balinese people.

All was not bad, much was good, but the great was hard to find and I wanted to share everything with my fellow travelers. Unfortunately the Indonesian state via their very nasty, corrupt and human rights abusing police in Bali (e.g. Manfred Nowak, the senior UN human rights monitor has stated the Balinese police have shot and beaten people simply to torture them while in custody) has ensured I can no longer go to Bali to support the small bespoke Balinese businesses. So this blog is about the bad in Bali; at least some of the bad as there is so much.

After the 2002 terrorist bombings in Kuta and the economic blight afflicting the Balinese that ensued, I donated all of the money I made from my reservations business to some of the worst affected Balinese sent home without pay, redundancy or social security. After the 2004 terrorist bombings, days after I had opened a luxury villa resort, I provided free accommodation both at those villas and via my reservations site (using the commissions earned from the hotels) to bomb victims and their families; I believe I was the only accommodations provider and / or reservations site owner to do this, the other free accommodation for victims and their families being paid for by charities. And yet, somehow, a little group of people started calling me "nasty Mark"; I believe "Freud" says enough.

In 2002 I was unlawfully detained by the Balinese police and threatened with execution for being a spy! The British Embassy in Jakarta had to intervene to secure my and my passport's release. The police action was ordered by the then police chief himself, Budi Setywan, after an aggrieved business competitor (named in one of my previous travel agent scam warnings), Jack Daniels of Bali Discovery Tours filed a police "complaint" with Setywan about an email I had sent to a hotel, which was then broadcast to some of the Balinese tourism community by a well-intentioned third party. My email simply criticized airport security and police inaction in Bali after I made a trip to the island directly after the attack, in the hope something could be done to help remedy the situation. The police said this constituted spying and helping the terrorists as they would then know security was bad! A joke? Yes, but a very sick one.

After I left Bali I exercised my civil and human rights by publishing the facts of my unlawful detention, naming Jack Daniels as the complainant. Unfortunately for me I did not understand Indonesian law in that, although I was outside their jurisdiction when I wrote and published what I did, the Indonesian police and judiciary are so corrupt they receive money to hold extreme interpretations of the law, you need the permission of another person in Indonesia to say bad things about them (even if those things are true) or it is considered defamation, and finally libel is a criminal offense in Indonesia. So you can not say anything truthful about another (more influential) person which they do not like, or you will go to jail. So next time anyone publishes an account of how bad they thought their hotel was in Bali, they may want to remember that hotel can have them arrested for criminal libel if they ever return to the island! It is not likely to happen because of the bad publicity and business it would bring, but the fact remains it legally can happen and with it indicates what the people themselves of Indonesia have to endure.

From that time the Balinese police have set out, initially paid for with corruption money (bribes) from Jack Daniels, to "get" me. As I found out what they were doing, all of it totally unlawful, I published the facts and with that the Balinese police got involved against me personally. As I reported their unlawful acts, they grew increasingly determined to not just arrest and harm me, but recently also to kill me.

In 2004 armed Thai gangsters tried to kill me at our home in Phuket. I found out afterwards they had been paid for by my nasty business competitor in Bali after he received details from the Balinese police as to my whereabouts in Thailand. I also later found out how the Balinese police knew my whereabouts; they had placed an automated watch order against me with Interpol, claiming I was a suspected terrorist! The Thai immigration were then obliged to feed the regional Interpol HQ with my data, which was passed onto the Balinese police, who then gave it to the man who wanted to kill me. I truly believe if it were not for the kindness of a local police officer in Phuket I had come to know, I would now be dead. A police officer in Bali afterwards boasted about and showed the Interpol file on me to various people, plus stated that the then police chief Made Pastika, the current governor of Bali authorized the watch order after receiving $3000 USD as a corruption bribe / bung from Jack Daniels.

So my wife, young son and I fled to Europe where we now live and I continue to tell the world about what happened to me, and what goes on in Bali. Some friends in Indonesia asked me long ago why I simply did not pay the police to leave me alone and even take revenge on people like Daniels, but the fact is I am not prepared to pay a single cent to a bent Bali cop acting unlawfully against me. Yes, publishing the truth has cost me more money, but my conscience is clear and my standards / honour preserved. But this has cost me dearly, not just with the mafia law enforcement agency of Bali.

In harmony with the unlawful even criminal police actions against me, certain people in Bali have deemed it their place to "work" with Jack Daniels of Bali Discovery Tours and the police against me, because they do not like what I publish or rather what they claim I publish. The Balinese police have provided them with scans of my passport and even credit card details (which the police got from a hotel I stayed at) and these have been widely circulated on the Internet to try and intimidate me, to try and make sure I do not come back to Bali, Indonesia or even SE Asia, and to defraud me; thousands of dollars were stolen from my credit card using the information and passport scans provided by the Balinese police.

These people are all anti-Balinese. As I was no longer able to travel to Bali as Mark Andrew Austin to promote Balinese and Balinese friendly hotels, and because I was worried about the consequences of retaining a commercial operation for Bali, I turned my reservations business over to charitable work; that is every penny it (Travel Ethos) made from direct reservation commissions was paid directly by the hotels / villas to a children's charity in Bali. The "end of the line" came for me when one of the nasty people of Bali, Roy Thompson in Ubud, started publishing false statements that this charitable aspect was a con, that I was still taking the hotel commissions and in doing so was defrauding the charity. Despite the fact from early 2007 the hotels and villas only ever paid commissions earned by my reservations site directly to the charity's nominated bank account, and that it was only the needy children who benefited from the charity who would suffer economically from such malicious lies, the dregs of Bali deemed it acceptable to publish this hate in an attempt to get at me. And that is what Indonesia is all about, a cockroach of a country in which the parasites of society not just survive but thrive.

My name is Mark Andrew Austin, the so-called "Nasty Mark of Bali" and these are my blogs / substantiated stories about some of the human garbage that infests Bali. The people I name here claim I fabricated everything, that the police investigations against me never happened, that nothing wrong was done to me, that I am a mad hatter and made everything up. So here I show police documents and other evidence to prove what I say is the truth, and that there is sufficient evidence to expect those named here are investigated and even jailed, including several senior police officers past and present, including the Governor of Bali, Made Pastika.