27 January 2008

Soeharto - Off to Meet His Maker...

What can I say the Death theme continues; t'is the season to be dying, at least so it seems!

This death though is neither sudden nor unexpected, you can see some earlier posts for that. It has been an interesting ride these past couple of weeks with the interesting coverage of the
old fella's illness and how to portray what he has done bad and good over the 32 years he was dictator and the ten years or so of life after being toppled!

There has been a seven day mourning period called and flags are at half mast around the country as a mark of respect for the passing of the former President. I gotta be truthful here and say that I am not sad, I was sadder when my dog died and I am still sad about my dog even now...but with Soeharto I am sure that those who loved him are sad and should be allowed to have their time to grieve their respective loss. For me, I am disappointed that his alleged fighting spirit and the miracles of modern medicine could not nurse him back to health. As the reality is that much of the bad he did and authorized will have died with him. The only place a dead man will be tried is in the court of public opinion. This is hardly likely to bring the sort of closure that the victims of the New Order's excesses need.

But those of you out there who read this blog and are God-fearing people have gotta know that the old fella is now off to meet his maker and that is surely going to be a conversation where I would like to be a fly on the wall. I have always wondered whether or not you can buy your way into heaven by paying off your evil deeds with good deeds in return. This is certain to be a challenge for any person but is sure to be a special challenge for the "Father of Development".

Today is sure to be a day of reminiscing about the past but more intriguing is the future and how Indonesian history deals with the allegations of abuse of power and corruption that do not disappear with the death of the second President of the Republic. The biggest and best irony would have been if the old fella stole his last breath while Megawati was still President and just watching to see whether she afforded Soeharto the same sort of recognition in death that Soeharto had shown Soekarno...unfortunately that scenario was not to, and will never, be.

Selamat Jalan Pak Harto...

Nah, is that "good bye and safe journey" or "good riddance"...I leave that to you!

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