|MEDAN, North Sumatra: The
Indonesian Embassy in Singapore said on Sunday there had been
an increase in the number of visa applications ahead of the
election campaign, which will run from March 11 to April 1.
"There are now about 500 to 600 applicants
(a day), while previously there were only some 150 visa applicants
every day," said embassy immigration officer Agus Widjaja.
"Most of (the applicants) are from Asian
countries such as China, Japan and South Korea."
Indonesian diplomats could not explain the
phenomenon, but said in general only a fraction of the foreign
tourists visiting Singapore continued on to Indonesia.
The perceived lack of security in Indonesia,
as well as various disease scares such as bird flu and dengue
fever, undoubtedly contributes to the low number of visitors.
Indonesia will hold its legislative election
on April 5 and its first ever direct presidential election
on June 5, with a second round on Sept. 20 if necessar. (Antara)