Scottish Philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873) first proposed the idea of “personal space” in his treatise “On Liberty”. His idea was at the time very far ahead of current thinking whereby he said that everyone has the freedom to do whatever they wish as long as it doesn’t interfere or disturb anyone else, who were in turn, entitled to their privacy, their peace, their sanctuary, what the Americans call “our space”. (My very casual interpretation of a complex philosophical proposal!).


In most countries this is now encapsulated in local laws and applies very strictly to every aspect of life including sound, which carries over walls and round corners without hindrance, and because it is invisible is often ignored – until too late!

So under most countries laws you can’t built a huge tower over someone’s small house because they are entitled to their “line of sight”, you can’t put a noisy factory in a residential area or a smoky chimney anywhere it will pollute the neighbourhood. People are legally protected from such disturbances.

But here in Bali it seems there is no problem to open a bar or nightclub which blasts music till 4am totally destroying the peace of neighbouring villas and hotels with paying guests. It’s okay to make an entertainment area like the new swings in Ubud where the cries of delight (and fear) permeate the rooms of the highest paying villas in the village. It’s not just sad, it’s bad for the whole reputation of Bali, and that’s bad for everyone’s business and must be stopped now.

Who is ready to finally say “enough is enough”, and bring real peace to the island?

Alistair G. Speirs

Alistair G. Speirs

Alistair G Speirs, OBE, is the Publisher of NOW! Magazines. He has been in the publishing, advertising and PR business for the last 25 years. He started both NOW! Bali and NOW! Jakarta as each region's preferred community magazine.