The straight answer to this question has been in the past a clear NO. Up to now foreigners CANNOT OWN freehold property in Bali i.e. having their name on the official land title. These laws are changing, but until now (Year 2004) it has not yet been clearly defined by law WHICH foreigners (permanent residents, temporary residents with working or retirement visa, certain categories of visitors, etc) will qualify.
However, although foreigners probably will not be able to own "freehold" property (Hak Milik), several Government Regulations issued in 1996 allow foreigners to hold a "Hak Pakai" title (Right of Use) valid for 25 years with the possibility of another 25 years extension.
The following "Regulations" are the official rules at this time:
Government Regulation No. 41 of 1996 (GR41/96) states that "foreigners resident in Indonesia" can hold a Hak Pakai title. This broad definition was clearer defined with the issue of "Regulations of the Minister for Agraria" No. 7 of 1996 (RMA 7/96): Article 1(1) states that "a foreigner whose presence in Indonesia gives opportunities for national development" may own a property under Hak Pakai, and Article 1(2) says such a foreigner is one who "has and maintains an economic interest in Indonesia by implementing an investment in the ownership of" that property.
In a letter accompanying RMA 7/96 the Minister stated specifically that, according to this new concept, a foreigner will qualify for Hak Pakai even if he is in Indonesia only "from time to time".
In other words, the Minister says any foreigner who invests in and maintains a property in Indonesia is contributing to national development and therefore entitled to hold a Hak Pakai title – even if he is only an occasional visitor to Indonesia.