Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. Support for Indonesia’s Komodo Island National Park to be named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature continues to mount, with more than 100 million votes sent by text message since the service went live in mid-August.
“The total number of text messages sent in support of Komodo broke the 100-million barrier on Saturday night,” said Emmy Hafild, head of Supporters for a Komodo Victory (P2Komodo).
She said that as of Monday night, with 11 days left until voting ends, the park named after the giant monitor lizards it hosts would have about 110 million of the 120 million votes it needed to ensure a place in the final seven.
She added that the 28 finalists currently in the running were expected to garner a combined one billion text messages.
Emmy said that those who had sent more than 100 messages, at a cost of just Rp 1 per message, would be “immortalized as witnesses to history” by having their names inscribed on the Komodo Monument, to be unveiled at a ceremony on Nov. 11 to announce the seven winners.
P2Komodo is the official supporting committee for the park’s bid in the competition held by the New7Wonders Foundation.
It has courted former Vice President Jusuf Kalla and other high-profile figures to help in its bid, after taking over the role of chaperone from the Culture and Tourism Ministry, which withdrew earlier this year as the official supporter of the bid.
The ministry, however, said that there had been no agreement on the matter and claimed the foundation had insisted that Indonesia pay $10 million in licensing fees and Rp 420 billion ($47 million) to host the ceremony. New7Wonders has denied this, saying the government’s only commitment was $10 million to support the private group organizing the ceremony.