MM Lee says Indonesia's Suharto not getting the recognition he deserves
By Channel NewsAsia's Indonesia Bureau Chief Sujadi Siswo
Posted: 13 January 2008
As Mr Suharto has been widely criticised for corruption and human rights abuses during his 32-year rule, Mr Lee said he is sad that the former leader is not getting the recognition he deserves.
Mr Lee is the first foreign leader to visit Mr Suharto after he was admitted to the hospital more than a week ago...
He said: "I feel sad to see a very old friend with whom I had worked closely over the last 30 years, not really getting the honours that he deserves. He deserves recognition for what he did. And the younger generations – both in Indonesia and in the world – do not remember where Indonesia started. I do. That's why I came here to visit him."...
Despite the growth and prosperity that Mr Suharto brought, the former military general has come under heavy criticism for abusing his power.
Mr Lee said: "Yes, there was corruption. Yes, he gave favours to his family and his friends. But there was real growth and real progress. I think the people of Indonesia are lucky...
"I'm very sad to see his life come to an end without the full glory that he deserves. There're very few people of his age and my age who can remember the past. And if they can remember the past, they will know that in the 1960s..."
Sigh! The poor old man is still talking about "the 1960s". He doesn't seem to understand that more than 40 years have passed and it is now 2008, and people are questioning what he has been doing for them in the past 5 years, 10 years or even,15 years - not what he supposedly did (single-handedly?) 40+ years ago!
The poor old man is afraid he will be suffering the same fate as Suharto - coming to an end "without the full glory that he deserves"
The poor man doesn't seem to understand that no amount of economic progress can successfully bribe citizens to turn a blind eye to their leader's corruption and human rights abuse.
Or rather, he must have understood by now, seeing how his "very old friend" is being treated by Indonesians. So perhaps, the more accurate phrase would be "disappointed" and "shocked":
The man is (extremely) disappointed and shocked that no amount of economic progress can successfully bribe citizens to turn a blind eye to their leader's corruption and human rights abuse, and that it is by the latter 2 criteria that leaders will go down in the history book!
In Suharto, the man sees his own future fate - how his own citizens would be writing about him in their school's history books for generations to read!
Anyway, at least Suharto is lucky to have this "very old friend" to come support him. But when it is this "very old friend" 's turn, I wonder who will be coming to support him? Well, maybe some general from Myanmar or North Korea?
P.S. Some of you may be wondering why I am talking like this about my big boss. Shouldn't I be singing his praise instead? Well, please remember that we, in Young Pay-And-Pay, do not have any morals or guiding principles in our lives. We pick who to lick ass and apple polish, depending on who can give us the most money and power. And as I see it, the days when this poor old man can continue to reward us - his lackeys - with such goodies, is pretty numbered. And going by how Suharto is being treated from his countrymen, I think it is about time for us all in Young Pay-And-Pay to find new masters to serve, be they from SDP, WP, or Jeya's Reform Party, if we want to continue to receive money and power. So, new masters, please treat this blog post as our first unsolicited CV to you - an indication as to how we can serve your interest in the post-lee era, if you will!