Indonesia’s 2009: Showdown of Suharto’s loyalists
Suharto may pass away. But his loyalists i.e. family members, old crony, and the followers may stay on. They are still alive, and kicking! Next year, 2009, Indonesia will hold national election. It would certainly be a battleground for Suharto’s loyalists to have a stronger grip on national politics after their patron left them for good.
Check the list: The present Indonesia president, Yudhoyono, was part of Suharto’s old power pyramid and is going to run for the election. He used to be a military official during Suharto’s New Order serving under Wiranto, the massacre architect in East Timor as well as anti-reformasi general who is also going to run for 2009 election. Both military men are now backed up by their cronies.
Yudhoyono is creating new cronies with one of them is a (former) intellectual Andi Malarangeng, the present spokesman, being already coopted to the president’s political party, Democrat party. As for Wiranto, he has been loyally supported since long ago by Suharto’s former finance minister, Fuad Bawazir. These persons are now acting as the intellectual dresses for the actually-fierce-looking generals going to run for the presidency.
Another hopeful for presidency in 2009 is Sutiyoso, another former military officer during Suharto’s New Order as well as a former governor of Jakarta serving for two periods. In addition to this, the present governor, i.e. the king, of Jogjakarta namely Sultan HB X who is also Golkar official – Golkar was Suharto’s political party and is incumbent now being chaired by Indonesia’s Vice President- is also going to run for 2009 presidency. Another Golkar soul who might also run is, unfortunately, Din Syamsuddin while he should not have mixed his Islam organization Muhammadiyah with cheap politicking.
Furthermore, Akbar Tanjung who has now polished himself as an intellectual getting a PhD from Gadjah Mada University would seem to also run for 2009. Involved in national logistics fraud in 2003 and being permanently attached to Suharto’s Golkar party, he completes the political crowd of New Order followers.
Tanjung seems to have used up the best of Indonesian intellectuals by combining them into The Akbar Tanjung Institute. Some of the institute’s writers have also sublimed themselves into other “academic” organizations to get readers’ consent of the ideas they offer in national newspapers and magazines. To make things worse, Suharto’s first daughter, Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana so called Tutut, has also been warmly welcomed by Vice President Jusuf Kalla who is chairing Suharto’s party, Golkar, to join his party: an effort to absorb Suharto’s family interests.
Worse, in recent national political polls, those who top to be “popular candidates” for 2009 are those abovementioned. Indonesia post-2009 then would only be another hopeless nation to achieve good governance, prosperity, and powerful as mentioned in the Preambule of the national constitution. Why? Because New Order paradigm internalized by those abovementioned is nothing but, borrowing the term from Paul Hutchcroft, to plunder the state power and the national assets.