16 March 2009

Gus Dur Supporting Prabowo for President


Well, almost...but good readers I am sure you are already aware that it will take more than this foolhardiness to stump me for words.

This support apparently comes with strings attached. There is a sizable push for Yenny Wahid (aka Zannuba Ariffah Chafsoh Rahman Wahid) to be placed on the Prabowo ticket as the Vice President.

For me this support makes Gus Dur (Abdurrahman Wahid) increasingly irrelevant on the Indonesian political stage. I am also surprised that Yenny Wahid is going for this. Yet, in the big scheme of things this foolhardiness is not all that surprising. Gus Dur is a bitter man and still feels that the PKB, which was his political vehicle, was wrenched from his control by traitorous enemies and the complicity of the government. He is likely to do anything to redress this wrong, even supporting Prabowo.

Prabowo Subianto and his political vehicle might indeed have some similarities to Gus Dur and those that support him. However, the reality is that Prabowo's skeletons are real and they are nasty. The man may have been honorably discharged from the army, but there are remaining questions as to whether this was deserved. There are still unanswered questions as to his imvolvement in the Rose Group and his responsibility in the kidnapping and disappearing of activists in 1998.

The interesting thing about Gerindra is that the party has adopted some real socialist ideas in trying to garner support from farmers and blue collar workers under the guise of Pancasila. Pancasila has always been viewed as an avid tool to be trotted out in the fight against communism and socialism. Although, it is easy to argue that the social justice elements of Pancasila in fact lend themselves to a socialist democratic platform. There is certain irony in the support of Prabowo and Gus Dur for these ideals.

In any event, even Gus Dur's support is not going to be enough for Prabowo to be relevant in the coming presidential contest. This is at best a three-way horse race at the front with SBY, Kalla, and Megawati, with SBY being slightly in front as the incumbent. The dark horse will be PKS and whoever it is that they nominate.

Hopefully, after this little charade Prabowo and Wiranto can be prosecuted for their alleged crimes and then fade into history.

Yes, a dream, but without dreams there is no point in living.


Carla said...

I still don't understand how someone whose past criminal cases hadn't been solved yet, could be allowed to join presidential election (or any political party) at all.

Used to admire Gus Dur. But he's getting old. He's kinda losing his mind.

orangdesa said...

Regarding his crime (and Carla's comment):
Let's be fair: someone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
So sure he can run. He's never been convicted.

But will the Indonesian people be dumb enough to vote for him?
In the end it is up to us, the people. (who unfortunately the majority are poor and hence some may tempted to 'sell' their vote for a box of indomie).

As for Gus Dur's support:
here they are, a former general with really bad resume, backed by a former president with really bad resume too.

If this kind of combination worked, Indonesia is doomed.

Rob Baiton said...


Prabowo's crimes (as for Wiranto as well) are alleged and have yet to be proven in a court other than the court of public opinion.

There is no legal impediment to prevent him from running or starting a political party to act as his vehicle.

Gus Dur, nuff said!


Fair, interesting word choice. I am pretty sure that I used alleged crimes (see the comment above for what this means).

Yes, I believe even Prabowo has a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. That, though, was not my point.

Money politics remains a real issue although I am not sure that it will be the determining factor. I think that there are plenty of Indonesians who realize that they no longer need to settle for one box of indomie.

There is always hope and that is how I finished off my post.

Harry Nizam H. said...

Gus Dur didn't even get enough support from NU to beat his own nephew Muhaimin in PKB. But the case would perhaps be different if money starts talking.

I doubt that the next president would ever want to prosecute Prabowo and Wiranto for their alleged crimes.

Rob Baiton said...


Yep, I had not got around to making that point on NU. I would have :D

Don't know that Gus Dur has the money talks ability. Prabowo might?

I agree, on the prosecution front. But, I did say that it was a dream for which I live to see happen one day.

rani said...

I start to think that the only president who would be willing to prosecute all new order related crimes is Naga Bonar. And I mean Jendral Naga Bonar himself, not Deddy Mizwar.

schmerly said...

Hang on Rob isn't there an international arrest warrant out on Wiranto? vis-a-vis East Timor?

Rob Baiton said...


Perhaps :D


Yes, but an arrest warrant does not indicate beyond a reasonable doubt guilt, does it?

tikno said...

Hmm... Gus Dur really unpredictable person.

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This cannot have effect in actual fact, that's what I think.