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Wasti Atmodjo , The Jakarta Post , Denpasar | Thu, 03/19/2009 3:03 PM | Bali

The Denpasar administration is ready to turn Bali’s provincial capital into a creative city by 2010 in anticipation of population growth and globalization, by planning for sectors such as agriculture, education, tourism, trade and industry.

Denpasar Mayor IB Rai Dharmawijaya Mantra said Tuesday the programs should involve all layers of society and fully benefit the public.

Rai, an avid advocate of the implementation of information technology for all city officials and residents, has appointed head of the Denpasar Development Planning Board, I Gusti Putu Anindya Putra, to coordinate the planning works.

“We need to have a framework and blueprint to guide the policies for several years ahead,” Rai said.

“I have asked my officials not to draw up monotonous programs. Creativity should start from us officials as decision makers.”

“Currently, we are still at the exercise stage, but by 2010 I expect everyone to be ready.”

The mayor pointed out the agricultural sector as an example where the administration had tried to reinvigorate the spirit of the tumpek wariga or tumpek bubuh ritual, believed to be the day the gods bless all plants.

The city administration held a floral exhibition involving farmers grouped under the Denpasar branch of the Farmers’ Market Association (Aspartan) to commemorate the ritual.

As for cattle, an exhibition was also held, as well as a competition for Balinese cows in conjunction with the tumpek kandang ritual, in which the gods bless all cattle.

“Such examples are part of the creativity combining local genius in real life,” Rai said.

“We cannot keep the philosophy alive without giving it meaning.”

Rai also said his administration had encouraged farmers’ creativity, as seen in Peguyangan Kaja village in North Denpasar district, where villagers are engaged in organic agriculture. The villagers are urged to produce their own fertilizer using cow droppings.

“All good programs will be strengthened, while those that aren’t will be made over, so at least there will be innovation,” Rai said.

Anindya said he expected all agencies and offices in the Denpasar administration to submit their plans in a month’s time to be discussed together.

“Creativity doesn’t just mean innovative programs, but also refers to local genius and emphasizes public participation,” he said.

“All this time, the public was just the object of a program, but now we will promote them.”

“The public is also encouraged to create their own programs if so desired.”