13 February 2011

SBY Taking Credit For Hosni Mubarak's Resignation?

Perhaps it is the cynic in me, but how desperate is SBY and the Democrat Party? Marzuki Alie of the Democrat Party, and Head of the House of Representatives, has stated unequivocally that SBY sent a personal letter to Mubarak suggesting that he step aside. The letter was delivered by hand by Special Envoy Hassan Wirajuda.

Apparently, the substance of the letter went along the lines of "Hey Hosni, better take on the Indonesian example and step aside and let the hand-picked Veep take over." "And, it is time to start stashing those billions in hard to find places so as to live your life out in peace and comfort. Take our boy Soeharto, we protected him all the way to his grave." "Final point mate, the sooner you do this stepping aside thing, the sooner I can start doing the rounds and claiming credit for myself as the instigator of your smooth resignation and the movement of Egypt to greater democracy". "Peace Out! Your main man in Indonesia, SBY! Salam!"

Funnily enough, SBY also suggested that Egypt establish an independent election authority to administer free and fair elections. I would be guessing though that Mubarak and his cronies, including his family, would not be giving the proverbial "rat's" about what happens after they squirrel away their billions and bugger off to Monaco or wherever.

But, the biggest chuckle was reserved for the statement that these initiatives at brokering Egyptian peace are enshrined in the 1945 Constitution, and as such Indonesia, and SBY, has an obligation to participate. This maybe so, but the reality Mr. President and Mr. Alie is that Indonesia has some serious constitutional problems at home. For example, the increasing persecution of religious minorities and a president that continually fails to fulfill the mandate granted to him twice. Maybe cleaning up one's own backyard may in fact be more beneficial to a greater majority of Indonesians than claiming credit for cleaning up Egypt's backyard.

I would reckon that the Egyptians got this far without SBY, then they are probably more than capable of going the distance on this one by themselves. In any event, what Mr. Alie and others fail to realise is that 1998 Jakarta and 2011 Cairo are two very different sets of circumstances. Perhaps, it should be Mubarak sending a personal letter to SBY about how to manage his own departure from Indonesian politics!

The idea that Indonesia has transited to democracy is a little premature. Let's face it money politics and corruption are still prevalent. Even more concerning is that the Ministry for Home Affairs is leading the way, with the agreement of a democratically elected president, in winding back the opportunities for Indonesians to elect their leaders at a local level in favour of having those leaders appointed by others.

The whole idea that SBY had any significant role in resolving events in Egypt reeks of desperation, it reeks of a president trying to map out a future tilt at some role on the international stage as a statesman of some repute.  To make it on the big stage might require some success on the domestic stage, and those successes are few and far between, and of late have been non-existent.

Mr. President, rather than getting your point men to claim success on your behalf in Egypt why don't you focus on securing minority rights for Indonesians at home? Why don't you focus on ensuring that those facilitating corruption are punished? Why don't you focus on ensuring that the people of Sidoarjo get fair and full compensation for their losses? The list probably can go on and on and on, but you get the point. Because if you don't then maybe the next letter you receive will be a letter of condolence from Hosni Mubarak commiserating on your unfortunate removal from office with more than half of your second term to go!

Happy Sunday to y'all!


Anonymous said...

could not agree more

Rob Baiton said...

@ tbelfield...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

It will be interesting to watch how things unfold in Egypt, perhaps there will be some lessons for Indonesia in there?

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