Emil Salim defends Suharto's record on Aljazeera

Perspektif Online
19 January 2008

101 East - A legacy of a dictator

Aljazeera TV, 17 January 2008

Introduction by Perspektif Online: On the 101 East program on Aljazeera TV, Emil Salim defends Soeharto's records. He said that the alleged crimes happened only as excesses in the last years of his rule. Most of Soeharto's rule, says Salim, was used in managing economic growth and stability. Mugijanto one of the student activistss who were kidnapped by the Soeharto regime, disputes that. He said that Soeharto's atrocities started from the beginning of his rule and was maintained throughout all his years in power. Lee Kuan Yew and Emil Salim say that the money Soeharto took for his family and friends is not important compared to the economic growth that he created. Wimar says that whatever good for his economy does not cover the immense damage Soeharto's caused in people's lives. So how could Soeharto stay in power for so long? Wimar says because people defended him and covered his crimes. And that includes Emil Salim.


Watch the interview in two parts:

Part 1

Interview transcript

Joining me now in our studio is our respected journalist, commentator and former presidential advisor Wimar Witoelar, former student activist Mugianto, who now runs an organization searching for those who disappeared during the Suharto regime. And joining us from Jakarta on satellite, Dr Emil Salim, who was part of the Suharto government as chief economist, and advisor for many many years. Gentlemen thank you all.

Dr Salim, you were an economic advisor and part of Suharto's economic team for a very long time. I want you to respond to Lee Kwan Yew's assertion that the draining of funds that apparently took place under the Suharto regime was as nothing compared to the amount of economic growth that occurred while he was in power. Do you think that's a fair comment?

Emil Salim:  Actually you must see it in a longer perspective. That you only take the last part of the Suharto's regime, then you have a distorted picture. At the beginning in the late 60s, Indonesia was in shambles. There was a high rate of inflation, you can compare it with Zimbabwe today, there were practically no, the government was not running, it was a failed state. Therefore the key question at that time was how to overcome all these difficulties, economic difficulties. You must see it, in that kind of time perspective. If you only take one portion the late portion, then eh, the picture will be rather distorted. Well the point is Indonesia at the time was in serious trouble, and something has to be done. But ..... The slaughter of a, up to a million people, many of whom who are probably not even communist. Is that the way to do it?

Wimar Witoelar: Of course not. The thing is most of us at that time did not know it happened and people like Emil Salim who were in the government also didn't inform us that those atrocities were happening. We have to learn from the west later on. We have a very high respect for Emil Salim and his colleagues, for bringing a sound economic concept and democracy to Indonesia after 66 and democracy was in Indonesia after Soekarno's time for about 2 years. And then it all went downhill.

I differ with pak Emil's point that the last years of Suharto are used to distort the early years.  It is the last years that count because those are the years when he mass murdered people in East Timor, mass murdered people in Aceh, stole from the people, completely threw Emil Salim's policies into a shambles, and I wonder why nobody complained. They just let him get away.

Host: Well let's stick with the early period for just a second longer. Dr Salim, you were saying that there was an enormous necessity for some kind of action at the time and that action were taken, but I'll put to you the same question. Was the action that he took necessarily the correct one, the price that was paid in terms of human life, was that worth it, and how much of that did you agree with at the time?

Emil Salim:  We must look at the problem in the proper perspective. At the first time then the nation was confronted with a rice shortage, food shortage, self-sufficient food becomes number one. And then necessarily the focus of development went to the broadest base of the people to the agricultural sector. And that created that the total number of the population below the poverty line which at the time was around 40% by 76, but 20 years later becomes 11% below the poverty line. So poverty was reduced at the time in that period

Host: Let me stop you there for a minute, because I don't disagree at all with your economic analysis. My question was, was the loss of lives worth it, and was the loss of lives the correct price to pay to solving economic problem?

Emil Salim: My point is that when that policy took place, and that was then in the 60 still, the mid 80s, the loss of lives was not taking place. The loss of lives took place at the end of the 90s. So when you compare the benefits and the loss of lives, you are comparing two different things. And that distorts the picture, that's my point.

Host: Let me bring you Mugianto in here, because we defined two time period, and your (Mugianto) time period was definitively the second part. And into the overthrow of Suharto. Just tell me about how you felt then?

Mugianto:  Do you know that the lives taken, during the Suharto administration not only happened at the end of his administration, but from the very beginning until the end. So I can mention the atrocities in 65-66. You know, the massacre, and the killing, and the detention of hundreds of thousands of people accused as a communist or supporter of communists. And they were not necessarily communist. Many of them are nationalists, supporters of the former President Soekarno at the time. And then later, in the 70s and 80s. There were also other massacres, the massacre of an Islamic group in Tanjung Priok, for example, in 1984, and then another Islamic Group in Lampung in 1989, and also in East Timor, in West Papua, in Aceh. So those are series of events in which human lives were taken. On behalf of

Host: OK, so by the time you became active politically, this is well toward the end of his reign, regime. And you were clearly moved and very angered by what was going on. Let's go back to the beginning then. As Dr. Salim

Wimar Witoelar: The atrocities started from 66. Dr. Emil's point is that the economic development did great things in the mid 80s. Both are correct. He did mass murders, and he developed economically, and because he developed economically, he could gain a political power to continue with his purges. That's how became stronger and acted against Aceh, Papua. In the end he even gets rid of good people like Emil Salim because he had enough credibility to go off on his own.

Host: But how much you agree with the contention that at the beginning, his motives were pure and his actual deeds are pure?

Wimar Witoelar:  Well, I would be able to say that if not for the atrocities. He did things in a very much bipolar way.  In his memoirs he refuses to acknowledge the atrocities but to claim for the deeds. Actually the economic development was done by people like Emil Salim. He took credit for it and people like Emil Salim never lifted a finger against the atrocities, never pointed out that Suharto has bad sides. He never mentions Suharto's bad sides.

Emil Salim: Yes, well at that time it was not by design. The killing that was happening, during the 65 war, was a consequence actually from the whole clash that happened between the military and the communist group. And that is happening actually as more a result of the killing of the generals, that was point one. It is not an effort that is by design, specifically being done. Second on this Tanjung Priok case, there was a whole effort at that time to create an addition to economic development, stability of politics in which the Pancasila ideology, was being promoted.

Mugianto: But I don't agree with the statement of Mr. Salim saying that all good atrocities are the excess of development. I myself believe that all are by design. For example, the atrocities that happened in 65 and 66. It is not the excess because everything is well plan including the, what is it, the deployment, the sending of those accused as communists to Buru Island, isolated Buru Island, that's the state policy. The state policy, the policy of the government, means that this is the design, this is the policy. And also what happened in, in, you know in East Timor, and also Mr. Salim also mentioned about what happened in Tanjung Priok, in 84 the massacre of the Islamic, that is not the excess, that is the policy. The policy is that for the Indonesian government policy to have one sole ideology and that is Pancasila, and this must be applied to all organizations.

Host: OK. Now let me ask you then, if you're saying that the problems if you like, and the killing, the downside of Suharto's regime, only began to manifest himself on the second half of this regime, what caused that transition? How did we go from positive development of the economy to the kind of chaos that we're talking about?

Emil Salim: Point one, one basic principle is that, I don't think it's appropriate to keep a leadership for too long, is point one. Point two, when you see to the, the way the leadership takes place in Asia, take Lee Kwan Yew, take Mahathir, it is a kind of not ehm, ehm, free democracy as such, but it's a kind that often, little bit guided democracy, this is the point two. And the key notion is that both that all this type leaders, Mahathir, Lee Kwan Yew, and also President Suharto, like to see that the development must take place first before you move into the direction of freedom of democracy.

Host: There is a big debate whether it's correct or wrong. Why did Suharto feel for he could do what he do in East Timor.

Wimar Witoelar:  Well, because good people like Emil Salim didn't lift a finger to prevent him, and it was only brave people like Mugianto, very few, who risk their lives against him. The largest numbers of people were apologists for the regime, just like you heard; they say Suharto is not really bad because he helped economic development. They refuse even in this late day, they refuse to recognize that Suharto is bad. They say everybody is bad but Suharto is good. And I just cannot see that kind, of statement coming from very intelligent and very decent people like Emil Salim. I'm sorry to see him have to apologize for the Suharto Regime because it's a bad regime, period.

That's a good place to take a quick break. We'll pull for a moment. Please stay with us when we return we'll continue our discussion on Suharto: Legacy of a dictator.


Part 2:

Host: Welcome back to 101 East for this week, we discussing the legacy of Indonesia's president Suharto. With me in the studio, our commentator, Wimar Witoelar, former student activist Mugianto, and on the satellite from Jakarta Dr. Emil Salim, who for those 3 decades was a key economic advisor to, and a minister in the administration of the former President Suharto. Gentlemen, thanks for staying with us. Do you think that eh, Suharto should have been tried?

Emil Salim: According to the MPR, he must be tried because his involvement must be clear. And I think for his own sake, it is important that there will be a judgment, an objective judgment to see to what extent he's guilty or not guilty. And the nation needs to know about this. Is he really, as a few of my friend told me, bad, or he is really good?

Wimar Witoelar:   Do you really believe he could be good?  Are you still trying to tell us that he is good?

Emil Salim: Well, I worked with him…

Wimar Witoelar:   So he is good?

Emil Salim: Well, I worked with him all those years. And I see that of course, every human being is not always 100% good, they have a bad side.

Host: Let me change the subject a little bit.  Mugianto, you work with families looking for people who were disappeared. How do they feel about the legacy of Suharto?

Mugianto: What they experienced is that Suharto is so repressive, and that is why like myself and the other people being the victims, and being the relative of the victims. And we want that justice must be upheld. There is no trial. So, there are some trials for some cases but justice is still far beyond.

Host: Is the fact that there has been no trial, a function of the fact that there are still apparently so many people willing to defend Suharto?

Wimar Witoelar:   Exactly. Since Suharto officially stepped down from the president, he had not really left power because his works, his fortune, his record is being defended by people like Emil Salim. So people don't have a chance to tell right or wrong. We tried to bring him a trial, lots of forces resisted. President Wahid try to bring him to trial, instead he got ousted. So the forces for and against Suharto were continuing even after he stepped down from power. And a lot of good people who could actually be the conscience of the people defend Suharto constantly.

Host: Emil Salim, would you also defend what remain in his legacy in terms of his family, his children are notorious around the world, unpopular, deeply unpopular within Indonesia, within Indonesia. Should they be on trial, and would you defend them in the same way that you defending Suharto?

Emil Salim: I'm not defending personalities, I'm defending the policies.

Host: Those policies included ingraining the culture of corruption into the Indonesian economy, and a destruction of any kind of check on power. That has proven very much of a challenge to subsequent democratic government. Do you think that's a problem?

Emil Salim: Now what bothers me most is that why when it was being discussed in the MPR, why the 500 members of the MPR, and all the political parties. Why did they all keep silent, and why they did not raise the issue at that time?

Host: Wimar, does he have a point?

Wimar Witoelar:  He can answer that point himself. Why did those people stay silent? Why does Emil Salim stay silent?  Why does Wijoyo stays silent?  Why do all the good people stay silent? Why doesn't anybody take a moral stand against Suharto and say, look at your policy, you are fine, but your murders are not. Your organized corruption schemes are not.  He should get a red card, because you might be a very good player, but if you keep tackling viciously.

Host: Would bringing the children to court be justice at any kind?

Wimar Witoelar:   It would, because it would give people a sense of what is right and what is wrong. A sense of right and wrong which has been clouded by people straddling on the fence for so many years. People who are good, doing good policies and making people forget the atrocities. It has damaged the country, that's a very big big damage.  If you say, what is a few billion dollars corruption if he develops economically, then I would say sir, what good is economic development if destroys the soul, the spirits, and the lives of the nation. How you compare economic development with tens of thousands people disappearing in mass murders and in mass graves.

Host: Dr. Salim, despite the economic benefits and structural benefits, do you agree with Wimar here, that has there been an enormous price?

Emil Salim: That I agree. I agree that there must be clearance, is pak Harto guilty or not guilty, or the children, or whoever.  Because for history, it also serves the right of the children to defend themselves, right or wrong. So to get the history straight, you see, all of us now, things are now being said, why don't you do this, why don't you do that. At that time, sitting in the government, of course we did fight against certain policies that we disagree. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But at least, you do something in the government. But those who are shouting now outside, what they have done in the past?  What have they done to make the corrections?  That's why, rather than saying you're right, you're wrong whatever, let the judges take the case, and put the history straight, what is wrong what is right, let the judges decide.

Wimar Witoelar:  Mr. Salim just accused people who are not in the government of doing nothing. How could you say that?  How could say that only people in the government did something for the country. What about people like Mugi, what about the students, what about opposition leaders, what about people who cried out against the dictatorship, does he feel they did nothing. That is a logic I cannot fathom.

Host: Final analysis is going to show a man who is never tried, never convicted. All we have is what we have been doing today, a lot of talk with a lot of different opinions. Do you think this is a problem for Indonesia?

Wimar Witoelar:  He will continue to be tried. Actually it is not only Suharto who is being tried. The Indonesian public is also being tried. The Indonesian public is being tried so they can stand up...

Host: Mugianto is talking about justice. Will any sort of justice occur?

Wimar Witoelar:  Yes, we will make it happen. We are part of the process. We are not observers, we are not watchers, we are part of Indonesian people, and we want to make sure justice is served.

Host: There, we will have to leave it there. Gentlemen, thank you all very much for being with us tonight. And that's it. From 101 East, until next time, it's goodbye.


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  1. From Bhakti Dharma on 19 January 2008 14:43:25 WIB
    Why I am living in Holland now instead of in Indonesia:

    Our family moved to Holland in 1966 because my father who was university teacher of biology at Trisakti University in Jakarta got a temporary job for 2 years in Holland. We planned to return after that to Indonesia. But this never happened. Why? Because suddenly bad events took place in Indonesia under president Suharto's rule. My father, who was member of BAPERKI (associated with the then Indonesian communist party), although only passive (he was not a real communist at all just supporter), was put on Suharto's blacklist. Meaning if he would return to Indonesia he would be put in jail or even sent to Buruh island perhaps. We were thus forced into exile in Holland and stayed there. All our plans to return to Indonesia where my father planned to continue lecturing at the university were shattered.
    We still had our house there waiting for us, but this had to be sold, I remember I even had all my childhood toys and books left there. I even never really said goodbye to my schoolfriends because I thought I would see them again after 2 years. My father never saw my grandfather (his father) again because of this. My uncle, who was also BAPERKI member also had to go on exile in England and the rest of his life never could return home again.
    I myself as son was able to return on holiday and see my grandparents, but I wonder untill today if there was no Suharto then what my life would be now, because surely then I would be living in Indonesia now instead of in Holland.
    Not that life in Holland is bad, but Suharto did destroy our personal choice in this respect.
    My example is just one small, unimportant example of what happened during the Suharto era. I am glad young people in Indonesia now enjoy a lot more freedom and free expression of meaning. I just wish it would have been the same during the Suharto era.
  2. From dmitri on 19 January 2008 20:19:47 WIB
    Soeharto is nothing close to Stalin. but Stalin didnt run away with money. Soeharto did.

    Pak Emil also did a lot of good, thanks to Soeharto. But also thanks to Soeharto, more people were not given the chance to contribute positively for Indonesia. Thanks to Pak Harto, Pak Emil became a rare success (even if you doubt it). Yet, in a more neutral circumstances, there would've been more people like Pak Emil.

    maaf, Pak Emil. Bapak saya juga orang yg berjasa buat saya, tapi hutang2nya tetap akan ditagih sama tukang tagih ke saya. ada baiknya, Pak Emil yang masih hidup sehat (salah satunya karean jasa Soeharto yang memberi kestabilan ekonomi), ikutan memperbaiki kesalahan Pak Harto. Misalnya, dengan ikut merealisasikan peradilan Soeharto.
  3. From najjara on 20 January 2008 10:09:47 WIB
    Quoting mr. Dillon 'it's always nice to be a part of the elite', and pak Emil was one during the new order. of course, he couldn't tell anything bad about Suharto, because to him and other new order's worshipers it was a golden time. Suharto was the Messiah of the nation. Rather than having Sukarno as president, who let the people in hunger for the sake of his own fame, Suharto is far better. Besides,How could you talk bad about someone who provided you a nice and comfortable life, and made you minister for years? isn't Suharto nice ? if you were Pak Emil,wouldn't you do the same thing?
    Frankly, Emil was one of my favorite ministers of Development Cabinet in my elementary school. He's a good guy, but as WW said, he hadn't doing well to fix the mess. Again, another dark side of most Indonesia Intellectuals....
  4. From irman on 20 January 2008 16:22:03 WIB
    It is an endless debate, and useless. Because there are people get benefit during Soeharto's era and many people suffered during his era. Both group of people then argue if Soeharto is a bad guy or a good guy...then pleas imagine what will happen. I think only a fair court should make it, if current court fails then God's court will do. Other than Soeharto, there are still (I believe) million of people who stole our money (including John Perkins' ex-friends) and still them and send to jail before they die.

    Let's spend more energy on issues of Tempe/tahu, Lapindo Brantas, hunger, lost generation, corruption, illegal logging, unemployment, energy crisis, health service, education, mass transportation in big cities, many things to do that we forgot in last 2 weeks.....
  5. From Martin Manurung on 21 January 2008 10:49:20 WIB
    Thank you Wimar. Thank you Mugiyanto. Thank you also Al Jazeera, which help, much better than most of the Indonesian media, to create clear perspective on Suharto, Indonesia and Justice.

    Watching the show, I can now once again be proud of being an Indonesian.
  6. From Bhakti Dharma on 21 January 2008 17:39:01 WIB
    Re: Useless debate?
    To add my first comment, I do also have family in Indonesia who did benefit from Suharto's regime, no doubt about that, so of course I am happy that they did well then and now. In fact from their point of view I do understand that they are not too much anti Suharto.
    I do not agree however that this debate is useless and that it is important only to look at the present daily problems. Of course we should also spend time on trying to resolve the current problems, but keep in mind that those problems partly are still due to what happened during the Suharto area. In Indonesia sometimes the tendency is to look at what is happening today, but to make a good solution it is also important to see what caused this in the past as well as what lies ahead of us in the future. I think the best ex president Suharto could be compared to is Chile's ex president Pinochet (although in that country much more people against him simply disappeared and were killed secretly). Untill his death 2 years ago there was a lively debate between those who wanted to put him to trial and those who defended him. Finally, he died at old age (91) rather peacefully. But his legacy to Chile, is still present and will be untill the controversy about what he did in the past can be spoken openly and will be included in that country's history books. We shall see if the same will happen to Suharto.
  7. From Intox on 21 January 2008 21:08:53 WIB
    Thanks so much for the transcript, it speaks volumes about our condition, and about the insane "logic" the "good" people have.
  8. From Ario Praswandaru on 22 January 2008 11:11:01 WIB

    "Punya Mobil Mewah....Biasa, Punya KAPAL....baru LUAR BIASA"

    (Kemitraan usaha kapal tangkap ikan No: 1 di Indonesia)

    Bangkitkan kembali kebesaran sejarah bangsa Indonesia sebagai bangsa bahari.
    Oleh karena itu kami membuka peluang kepada masyarakat untuk
    memiliki usaha kapal tangkap ikan.

    Ario Praswandaru (08123273163)
  9. From Martin Manurung on 22 January 2008 16:59:08 WIB
    Why is the past important? "A nation that ignores its past, will have problems in the present and a bleak future." (Winston Churchill)
  10. From Martha on 23 January 2008 10:38:21 WIB
    LKY said the mass killing worth the economic development?

    Soeharto issue is really layered and covered by too many people with personal interest. Gotta find the right knife to peel off these people.
  11. From Charlie on 23 January 2008 17:03:56 WIB
    I second Martin Manurung to thank al-Jazeera, Mugiyanto and of course WW. These past 3 weeks have been a madness where our local newspapers treated the ailing dictator as saint. The transcript is like an oasis in the middle of dessert. Such a shame that a lot of people seemed to be puzzled about what is good or not, it's even more shameful that a good guy such as Emil Salim defended Soeharto deviantly. Hopefully we will pass this trial and be able to rebuild our character once more.
  12. From herdian on 23 January 2008 19:18:15 WIB
    that was very cool debate
  13. From MichaelS on 24 January 2008 01:10:09 WIB
    Kalau kebenaran dan keadilan mau ditegakkan. Yang salah mustilah TETAP salah. Ketika "apa yang salah" kemudian mulai coba dibenarkan atau mencari pembenaran atasnya, maka saya yakin korupsi, dan kejahatan-kejahatan hukum lainnya akan semakin pesat berkembang. Apalagi kalau hukum itu sendiri bisa dimanipulasi for the sake of orang2 seperti Soeharto, Chronies, dll....

    Semoga akan ada pembaharuan di negeri yg sama-sama kita cintai ini. No matter what!
  14. From Toni W on 24 January 2008 23:14:47 WIB
    I truly sympathize with Pak Bakti and millions of people who massacred during the dark history or our nation in 1965. We shall never forget any chapters of our history no matter how painful it was. We have the right to seek the truth in line with the victims of the regime who still struggling to seek justice. I must agree with Alexander Solzhenitsyn when he said that "Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.”
  15. From robert riwu kaho on 25 January 2008 10:34:44 WIB
    Great posting Pak Wimar! Keep it coming hey. Thanks.

    I am not that surprise to see my fellow Indonesians are seing the good sides of Soeharto in his dying days rather than his crimes during 30 something years in power. And the current political debate whether or nor Soeharto should be tried is futile. Why? Simply because this political debate is not happening in vacuum but within the Indonesian culture where somebody in a leadership position is seen as "bapak" (orang tua) and bapak only has the best intention for his childrens despite his shortcomings. It makes perfect sense the Indonesians granted Soeharto the title Indonesian "Father of Development."

    In my opinion, Soeharto will never be tried and frankly he will be pardoned by the Indonesian elites but I take my comfort in the history, which will judge him harshly.

    Cheers - r

  16. From bisaku on 25 January 2008 12:37:57 WIB
    I disagree with some opinion that said if this debate useless. Because, lets we think about Suharto and his mistake in the new order, even if we talk it around the globe, a way that conducted by our government and some of activist or any component in Indonesia that care with this issue, held an administer justice to Suharto are hard to be done. You can think if there are no debates like this. Of course, we are wrong if we try to forget all of his positive contribution to our country.

    I agree if that was a cool debate.
  17. From harun on 25 January 2008 15:55:58 WIB
    With all my respect for mr senior minister, let me as apart of public convey the opinion about your comment. According to my light, this issue is not needed to be exaggerated. let this issue come to the court. And there, everything will be clear,with the condition, the authority holder in justice can behave transparant and have conscience in deciding the justice of course for people. Let people learn it as their education about the law and their right as victims during mr soeharto's reign is struggled for the justice..
  18. From bocah gemblung on 27 January 2008 00:01:01 WIB
    konkretlah sudah semua perkiraan dan pernyataan.

    Semua proses hukum dan pernyataan2 yang berusaha menuntut keadilan atas eyang agung itu menjadi hambar dan seketika jadi sandiwara tak lucu, manakala eyang itu dimanjakan dengan sangat2 berlebihan. gak tau sampai berapa milyar habis buat kesembuhan yang sepertinya sudah jauh panggan dari api, karena usianya yang sudah tua.

    Dulu suharto dijilat-jilat supaya si penjilat naik pangkat, sekarang suharto disayang-sayang supaya nyawa nya tidak segera melayang, dan para penyayangnya menyayanginya sebagai balasan atas kasihsayang sang eyang pada saat sang eyang berkuasa tinggi mengawang.

    Terima kasih Pak Harto, atas dagelan yang kaurekayasa sejak jaman kau berkuasa. Dan sekarang para penjilat dan penyayangmu tak sadar sedang berada dalam rekayasamu, agar mereka berbalas budi dan menjauhkanmu dari upaya hukum dan tanggung jawab terhadap jutaan nyawa yang telah kaupertaruhkan dan kauinjak-injak.

    Terima kasih atas nuranimu yang masih membela kaum papa, Pak WW.
  19. From Basuki on 27 January 2008 00:05:38 WIB
    Apakah ampunan berasal dari emosi pribadi yang dikolektifkan dan diformalkan, atau berasal dari keadilan berdasarkan hukum?

    Pada Pak Emil Salim, saya menghormati Anda karena kecendikiawanan Anda, namun hukum harus ditegakkan.
  20. From ari condro on 27 January 2008 12:33:34 WIB
    hemm. jaman pak harto aliran agama yg ekstri bisa ditekan,sementara di jaman sekarang, aliran ekstrim maju ke depan. bahkan menekan yg moniritas juga. pusing kagak sih :p
  21. From wahyu on 27 January 2008 19:19:21 WIB
    Bung WW trimakasih transkripnya. Hari ini Pak Harto sudah berpulang. Status hukum PH belum jelas, namun semestinya keluarga PH secara resmi memintakan maaf pd bangsa Indonesia, terutama pada mereka yg merasa menjadi korban.

    Setiap kali pada upacara pemakaman, ketika tiba pada sambutan keluarga, biasanya selalu ada pesan, apabila yg wafat masih mempunyai utang piutang, keluarga mempersilakan si pemberi utang untuk menemui keluarga guna menyelesaikannya. Hutang piutang katanya akan membebani si almarhun/mah. Apakah mBak Tutut dan keluarga besarnya berani berkata demikian?
  22. From timothy i malachi on 27 January 2008 21:19:00 WIB
    Mungkin kalau Pak Harto tidak bertangan besi Indonesia lebih berantakan dari sekarang, lebih banyak pemberontakan/separatis, lebih banyak kritikus kurang kerjaan yang cuma bisa ngomong....
  23. From Marthin on 28 January 2008 08:34:09 WIB
    Kritikus memang harus selalu ada..tetapi pernahkah kita berpikir dengan logika "jika" :
    - Apa yg terjadi jika segala sesuaatu bentuk pemberontak yang mengancam stabilitas nasional dibiarkan?
    - Apa yang terjadi jika suatu negara yang belum dewasa berdemokrasi tidak dipimpin oleh pemimpin yang tegas..

    Come on guys, tahun 2008 saja di Indonesia masih saja pertikaian antar sesama bangsa hanya untuk yang namanya ajang PILKADA

    The bottomline is ada kemungkinan lebih dari 50% negara kita akan semakin terpuruk jika tidak dipimpin Soeharto. Kesalahan dia yang terbesar adalah terlalu sayang sama anak2 dan kroni2nya
  24. From janeman on 28 January 2008 09:19:23 WIB
    Hi bung timothy,

    itu merupakan sebuah kemungkinan yang bisa saja terjadi tapi ada juga kemungkinan kalo suharto demokratis maka negeri ini mungkin sudah lebih maju dari sekarang, masyarakatnya lebih cerdas, melek melek huruf, lumayan makmur dan dia akan dikenang sebagai seorang bapak bangsa yang luar biasa...

    tapi tidak kan? Soeharto nyata2 adalah tiran/leviathan/cesare borgia..... yang memang lalim saat berkuasa....

    mending sekarang mari kita pikirkan bagaimana menyelesaikan masalah2 yang ditinggalkan pak harto.. harus dituntaskan bukan malah dipetieskan kala dia wafat.....

    bangsa yang besar itu bukan hanya mengingat jasa para pahlawannya saja tapi juga menyadari dosa dan kesalahannya serta meluruskan juga memperbaikinya jangan malah ditutup rapat dan dianggap selesai saat beliau wafat....

  25. From anas fauzi rakhman on 28 January 2008 10:55:54 WIB
    Diluar segala kesalahannya mari berdoa untuk beliau agar diampuni dosa-dosanya. Ada sebuah kisah tentang seseorang yg berdoa utk pimpinan negerinya, ketika ditanya dia menjawab "jika saya berdoa utk pimpinan negeri ini niscaya akan bermanfaat buat semuanya". Dalam hadits juga disebutkan bahwa pimpinan jelek adalh krn rakyatnya yg jelek.
  26. From wak tul on 28 January 2008 17:24:23 WIB
    "Apfel fliegt nicht mehr weit vom Baumstamm runter"

    "kacang ora ninggal lanjaran ne"

    Semua ini ada sebab untuk akibatnya. Berdoa dan menganjurkannya adalah hak masing2.
    Pribadi adalah pribadi, bisnis adalah bisnis. Ketentuan akan agama adalah sesuatu yg bersifat pribadi
  27. From Dana Pamilih on 28 January 2008 22:35:35 WIB
    Membangun bangsa adalah membangun karakter bangsa. Membangun karakter bangsa ialah dengan pendidikan dan supremasi hukum. Pembangunan karakter bangsa tidak cukup dengan terpenuhinya periuk nasi. Ekonom di Indonesia spt Emil Salim sangat naif. Mereka menyangka bahwa ilmu ekonomi pembangunan cukup utk membangun bangsa. Sangat naif, sangat dangkal.
  28. From Tejokusumo on 29 January 2008 08:47:40 WIB
    Sudah hukum Sang Khalik bahwa disetiap insan terdapat prestasi kebenaran dan prestasi kesalahan. Peristiwa perjalanan hidup yang baru turun layar kehidupan ini merupakan CERMIN yang sangat baik untuk kita semua. Kalaulah survey "Transparancy" (?) menyatakan 9 dari 10 manusia dewasa pelaku kegiatan di Indonesia pernah melakukan KKN (salah satu atau kombinasinya) maka ANDA punya peluang 0,9 melakuan KKN dalam rentang dua tahun (survey setiap dua tahun, mohon dikoreksi bila keliru !!). Tentunya sesuai skala level peran anda. Hal ini bisa mulai dari urusan sepele uang belanja sehari-hari, pengadaan ATK kantor, urusan KTP di kelurahan, urusan proyek-proyek dipemerintahan, urusan nyontek saat ujian, hingga urusan yang besar yang terkait bernegara, beragama atau berkeyakinan. Oleh sebab itu kejadian ini merupakan CERMIN yang sangat baik untuk kita MENGACA sepak terjang dan prilaku kita sendiri. Bila kita tidak mendapatkan hikmah dari kejadian ini, maka Kita termsuk orang yang terjebak dalam tempurung. Janganlah SEMUT diseberang pulau tampak, sementara GAJAH di depan pelupuk mata tidak tampak.
  29. From agus wiratno on 31 January 2008 12:32:35 WIB
    wimar, saya ndak setuju sama kamu, kamu sebagai intelektual seharusnya mengerti resiko politik, dan poin yang kamu tunjuk cuma2 itu2 saja, kamu menutup mata terhadap keberhasilan pak harto, dan memaksa orang lain menyetujui dosa2 pak harto.

    Wimar, resiko politik waktu itu antara pki dengan angkatan darat, bukan dengan pak harto saja. oke pak harto bertanggung jawab karena dia di pucuk pimpinan, tp orang2 terdekat selalu percaya, pak harto tidak pernah menyuruh melakukan pembunuhan, peristiwa malari? pak harto tidak juga menyuruh, pembebasan irian barat? timor-timur? aceh? apalagi? itu bagian dari perjalanan bangsa. dan seperti pak emil bilang pak harto tidak pernah buang badan apa yang dilakukan anak buahnya yang mungkin over akting, mengamankan stabilitas. Kalo toh mau fair, segeralah diusut jangan cuma debat kusir tanpa ujung yang jelas, anda jangan cuma menuntut dan berkokok diluar kandang, tanpa memberikan solusi.

    Segera dibuktikan jangan cuma omong doang, saya malu mempunyai tokoh seperti ini. kerjanya cuma menjelek2kan tanpa memberi solusi. solusi dong dibahas. buktikan pelanggaran HAM nya, datangkan saksi yang bertentangan dan mendukung, usulkan ke negara.

    Saya berdoa anda menjadi presiden, dan merasakan bagaimana sulitnya memimpin sebuah bangsa yang beraneka ragam, kalo anda mau meneliti resiko sejarah segera diteliti tanpa dendam, jangan cuma menunjuk2 pak harto.

    Sungguh saya malu.
  30. From Anti Politikus on 31 January 2008 17:08:50 WIB
    Saya setuju dengan pendapat Agus Wiranto.

    Menurut saya, untuk korban kediktatoran Pak Harto, mungkin saja menganggap Pak Harto sangat berdosa -dan itu bisa dimaklumi-, tapi untuk Anda-anda yang sekarang ikutan menghujat Pak Harto tapi tidak pernah jadi korban langsung, anda-anda adalah orang-orang munafik. Saya bisa pastikan, dulu Anda-Anda ikut merasakan nikmatnya harga murah, dolar cuma sekitar Rp.2000 dan menikmati hasil pembangunan. Sekarang dengan munafiknya menghujat Pak Harto, emang kalian pikir yang ngebanggun bangsa ini siapa ??

    Anda-anda sebagai pengamat (yang dari dulu cuma bisa mengamati dan tidak pernah berjasa sebesar Pak Harto ke negeri ini) boleh berceloteh tentang dosa-dosa Pak Harto, tapi saya bisa pastikan jika Anda-anda bertanya pada rakyat-rakyat kecil, petani-petani di desa-desa, mereka dengan tulus dan dari hati akan berkata kalau mereka merasakan jasa Pak Harto.

    Jadi saya ingatkan kepada politikus dan pengamat-pengamat ga jelas, kalau anda belum bisa beruat lebih aik atau minimal menyamai pak harto untuk negara ini, jangan berkoar-koar dan menyalahkan media atas penghargaan yang segitu besarnya ketika Pak Harto meninggal. Menurut saya, jasa-jasa yang beliau lakukan, membuat beliau pantas diperlakukan seperti itu. Tapi kalau Anda-anda yang diperlakukan seperti itu, mungkin saya yang pertama yang akan protes, anda pernah ngapain buat negeri ini ?
  31. From kampung boy on 07 February 2008 09:49:23 WIB
    in all fairness, Emil Salim did make the effort to change the system from within. He got fired from his position as transportation minister back in the day because of that. Also later he nominated himself as a vice president (against Suharto;s whish, who nominated Habibie) which to me showed his symbolic gesture against the oligarchic power.

    Yet his comments rather showed his ignorance of those who have been trying to push the change from the outside. At this point one can only speculate that Emil Salim just did not want his (economic policy) legacy goes away in history as Suharto goes. -there must be a more elegant way to do so without appearing too much of defending Suharto's regime.

    A possible solution is, as a society, we should also find a way or create a space to recognize those well meaning people who served under Suharto's regime without having to give credits to Suharto himself. A brief period of economic growth is not Suharto's legacy (it was the technical legacy of those technocrats). Suharto's legacy was simply his hunger for power and affirmation from his constituency (including his family), manifested in many well calculated political moves. Some happened to benefit the country (such as appointing the technocrats for a while) while others did more harms than good
  32. From panji on 07 February 2008 19:35:53 WIB
    Hmm, setuju dg Emil Salim ketika bilang bahwa perspektifnya harus ditarik sedikit ke belakang. Ada yang pernah menyinggung bagaimana mood sosial pada masa 60-an awal sampai mulainya pembantaian orang2 yg dianggap komunis? (Well, my mother, a grass root, could remember how the feeling was).

    WW, sebelum anda menyalahkan Suharto atas pembunuhan2 yg terjadi pada th 60-an, sudahkah tim anda menginvestigasi apa yg dirasakan pihak nonkomunis sebelum percobaan kup?

    Suharto "hanya" berusaha--ini opini saya, krn ngga pernah saya baca ada ahli sejarah mencoba memakai perspektif Suharto/TNI AD serta NU, Masyumi, PNI, PSI dll yg diberangus/dipites rezim Nasakom secara objektif --menjalankan sentimen kebencian yang muncul dari sisi pihak nonkomunis. Kalau mau jujur, banyak komponen yang perlu diadili dan dihukum gara2 peristiwa itu. Jelas Emil Salim cenderung membela Suharto, karena dia tahu bgmn emosi massa saat itu. Tanyakan ke saksi2 pelaku pembunuhan massal yg masih hidup sampai sekarang, mumpung belum pada mati dan dicekik kuburnya.

    Kenapa Suharto ngga mencoba mencegah supaya pembunuhan tidak terjadi? Jawab emosional saya: gila apa, massa segitu banyak sudah benci mau coba2 dicegah.

    Barangkali generasi saya musti bayar hutang HAM ke orang2 komunis sambil kehilangan 'pride' sbg bangsa (spt juga generasi baru Jerman yg harus bayar hutang-baca:duit-ke orang Yahudi sampe sekarang). Silakan WW bawa generasi baru kita ke taraf keadilan spt itu, jg cuma bawa Suharto. Saya kira, itulah kenapa ada dualisme sikap thd kematian Suharto. Suharto tidak mau bangsa ini kehilangan 'pride', walaupun ternyata ia tidak bisa menjaga harga dirinya sendiri. Against human rights? Answer it ourselves.

    Maaf ya, panjang dan agak emosional.
  33. From Aji Abdul Mullah on 07 March 2008 19:25:22 WIB
    My family probably one of those disadvantaged during Suharto reign. We are from poor family, still we feel much beter and easier to live in the time when Suharto was in power as compare to now. Crimes spread everywhere, I feel no security whereever I go now. Crimes in bus terminals, airport terminals, everywhere. In Suharto's time, security was even better.

    People like Wimar Witular does nothing to the nation but selling his idealistic democracy principle never been actually applied in counties even USA, UK, or other succesful western countries. If you ask people to choose between autocracy with greater prosperity and democracy with instability, they would likely to choose the former as I would do. That explained why people remain love Suharto even today.

    Dictatorship! no one wants it, but look at to our close neighbors Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, etc do they more democratic than we were? No.
    It seems that we did actually need Suharto as did Malaysian need Mahathir and Singaporean need Lee. These three leaders were about using the same way to lead their nation and were actually proven to be best fit for the kind of people like us (Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean) which more or less typical in many respectives.
  34. From Nicky Adams on 20 August 2008 17:46:42 WIB
    i would like to second comments by Aji Abdul Mullah above. it is almost impossible to lead a clean and perfect democracy in a country. and it is a definite impossibility to implement in indonesia, given the divest groups of people, large population and level of education). along the way in managing the country, there will be issues / resistants that will need injustice treatment to solve them (as that is the most effective and feasible way to do it).

    there will be grievance from those being oppressed, there will be ignorance from people being advantaged by the ruling party. that\'s the painful fact we need to live with.

    i\'m no fan of corruption. it kills the country, bleeds the people. misdeed for corruptions should be brought to justice. punish rightfully to remind people how bad it can damage everybody.

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