Posted January 27, 2008on:
There are people who hated him for the corruption and oppression they accusse he did during his 32 years of presidency. They claim that Soeharto was one of the most vicious leaders in the world that he was responsible for the unfair political condition in Indonesia for so many years, putting the wrong people into jail. They say Soeharto granted his children and cronies a lot of economic priviliges and left people with frustrating debt and a crippled government. They cheered when Soeharto was announcing his resignation, they claimed their victory and they were relieved that now they were looking at the better Indonesia ahead. Freedom of speech, at last.
But I know that there are people who loved him and thought that he was a great president who once transformed this nation into a proud and prosperous nation. Those people think that Soeharto’s government was better than the one we have right now. The political condition may not have been so democratic but the economy was good and everything was affordable, they say. They don’t care about reformation. The word they used to hear every single day in 1998 is nothing but a souvenir from the past right now. No one really talks about it anymore. They see condition is more chaotic. They see people act so uncontrollably and rebelliously. No more Indonesian manner. They wanted their Soeharto back.
I remember Soeharto was my favorite when I was still in the elemantary school. The New Order and all its ministers were my heroes. I guess I was a victim of New Order’s brainwash strategies, I remember I had to study PMP (Pelajaran Moral Pancasila) in order to be a good citizen. No question was allowed. I remember how I loved him and how I idolized him, he was simply my hero.
As a grownup I hated him. I hated him knowing the fact that he’d been a dictator instead of a Bapak Pembangunan. I hated him knowing the fact that he’d faked our economic condition and corrupted people’s money for so many years. I hated him knowing the fact that he’d stolen people’s freedom and rights.
Now, he’s gone. But is he really gone?