Saturday, October 23, 2010

Efforts to Rehabilitate Soeharto's Name

On 21 May 1998, the Indonesian people forced the late President Soeharto to step down from 32-years of authoritarian rule.

Since then, efforts have been made to investigate Soeharto's involvement in the killing of hundreds of thousand of alleged Communists between 1966 and 1968.

Efforts have also been made to bring him and his family to trial for several allegations of corruptions, disappearance of political opponents, and other bad things that happened during his rule.

However, until Soeharto died at the age of 86 around two and a half years ago, none of those allegations were proven, thus all those efforts were fruitless.

A few days ago, Soeharto's children and supporters commemorate the One Thousand Days of his death, and they have proposed the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono to declare Soeharto as National Hero during the commemoration of the National Heroes Day on 10 November.

This proposal is supported by Suharto's children and followers, who claimed that Suharto has stabilized the country which enabled development, for which he was named the Father of Development.
Meanwhile, former victims of Soeharto's authoritarian rule and pro-democracy activists opposed the idea.

If Soeharto is named as National Hero, his name would surely be rehabilitated. This would benefit the Golkar Party as the heir to Soeharto's political legacy, especially that its chairman Aburizal Bakrie is a possible candidate in the 2014 presidential election.

For details, please read the following articles 
-   Indonesia Debates Possibility of Honor for Suharto (The New York Times)
-   Family Leads 10,000 Visitors in Suharto Day of Honor (The Jakarta Globe)
-   Soeharto (Wikipedia Bahasa Indonesia)

Photo : Courtesy of The Jakarta Post

12 comments:

the dream catcher said...

This may sound harsh but I think I like him better when he was the president. At least I was able to go home late at night without worry someone might rob me or something like that...
On the other hand, he was charged with many accusations ....feel a bit ridiculous to name him as a National Hero?
Apa Kata Dunia ?

Information said...

great nation is a nation always appreciate the service of the heroes ...

ReBorn said...

if he got his title as national hero, then all other murderers and corruptors can be a hero too. I think this is not desired by everyone. in my opinion, the title hero is only given to those who contributed in a GOOD way.

Buditech said...

Soeharto sins couldn't forgive by them who tortured by his regime. He blamed for the Indonesian poverty since He's stole our money for his saving.

He may awarded the cruelest man ever, not a hero title.

Btw Nizam, it seems that your blog already worth big buck since you has reach thousands followers, good rank in alexa and google. Do u remember me? I'm ur friend in Blog catalog, I never sign in there since they change the site appearance.

H. Nizam said...

@The Dream Catcher,
Actually Soeharto has a great potential to make Indonesia a lot much better than it is now. That is by upholding: supremacy of law, national discipline and order, clean governance. Unfortunately he failed all that, whereby in the dieing days of his power he make Indonesia obey the instructions of IMF and other foreign powers.
Like you said, if he is named as National Hero = Apa Kata Dunia ?

@Information,
I agree with that, but heroes should be people who are not suspected of corruption, collusion and nepotism (KKN), right ?

@Reborn,
I fully agree with you. Hero should be person who is suspected of bad things.

@Buditech,
I agree with the first and second paragraphs of your comment.
Yes I still remember you the guy from Bali who also have other blogs about Bali.
I am glad to see you here again.
About Blog Catalog, I seldom go there after change in appearance.

berpikir positif said...

we know that situation in suharto regime is more better than now but what happen if his regime still exist until now maybe our country will lost now

H. Nizam said...

Berpikir Positif,
I agree with you, mas. It's a pity that Soeharto has not been as people expect him to be.

Ferdinand said...

untuk sebagian org penobatan pahlawan nasional mungkin kurang bisa diterima karena kasus korupsi dan HAM.. tapi klo aku pribadi sih setuju aja.. org perekonomiannya makmur jaman beliau....

Sukses slalu Sob..

colson said...

Soeharto was never convicted. But he would have been in a proper trial by independent courts.

It's his children's right and his stubborn fans' right to try, and the Indonesian people's duty to prevent the hero's status for the dictator.

Not only he was one of the most ruthless and bloody dictators of the second half of the twentieth century, but also the most corrupt one.

His legacy is a legacy ( corruption, bureaucracy, a self serving political elite) which up to this day handicaps the development of Indonesia.

Yari NK said...

Harry, actually I don't really care whether Soeharto will be designated as national hero or not. But according to my opinion, he does not deserve that. If they consider Soeharto as national hero on the opinion that Soeharto had led his nation and his people to prosperity for which he was dubbed 'the father of development' in the past, it's rather hilarious. It is his duty as the head of government and the head of state to lead his nation to prosperity, what's so heroic about that??

Au contraire, in the beginning of his presidency, he had an obligation to bring his people into prosperity. And just to meet an obligation one cannot be named as hero, especially when his economic job finally turned zero in the end of his presidency in 1998!

DS. Utomo said...

The Javanese proverb says "Mikul dhuwur mendhem jero", just like "Gone with the wind"...

H. Nizam said...

@Ferdinand,
Memang keadaan waktu itu terasa/ terlihat lebih stabil, karena orang dan pers tidak boleh bicara yang jelek2. Sekarang semuanya transparan maka hal jelek kecil akan terlihat jelas.
Saya menghargai pendapat anda.

@Colson,
I agree with you that and independent court would have gave a proper sentence not just to him but also his children.
Now the best thing would be not to name him a hero award, so as not to re-open wounds.

@Yari,
Yes you are right, as a president he has an obligation to develop his country. The fact that he left office causing the country in big financial crisis and huge debt, beside a whole lots of allegations against him and his children makes it impossible to accept him as national hero.

@Pak Utomo,
Thank you for reminding me of the Javanese proverb, which I have often heard during the Soeharto era.