Subject: Re:Editorial of the Phil Daily Inquirer on the Death of Suharto
At the opening of the conference of the states parties to the United Nations Convention against corruption in
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono set the tone when he called on his countrymen "to pay their last respects to one of
The editorial of the newspaper The Australian said that "for
The Wall Street Journal commentary concludes by comparing Suharto to Deng Xiaopeng, both great men, and responsible for a great deal of development in their nations. And, we might add, a great deal of bloodshed. Deng, in his twilight years, ordered the massacre in
And in case the so-called greatness of Suharto, in the minds of some observers, shouldn't be tainted by tens of thousands of deaths, there remains the question of a personal fortune in the tens of billions of dollars.
Forbes.com quotes a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in September placing the funds siphoned off by Suharto at $35 billion. His children are immensely wealthy: Bambang Trihatmojo (one-time owner of luxury sports car marquee Maserati) has a reported net worth of $200 million, 33rd on Forbes' 2007
Canadian Press report, Jeffrey Winters, associate professor of political economy at
To be sure, Suharto fostered a statesmanlike attitude toward ASEAN, and together with Lee and Ferdinand Marcos, turned our part of the world into a bulwark against the expansion of communism. For a time, Suharto and Marcos achieved spectacular growth for their countries, but unlike Lee, they failed to step down and groom qualified successors. They also looted their countries, which is something Lee has never been successfully accused of doing. This makes Lee an aberration, and neither Marcos nor Suharto a great man.
This goes to the heart of the grim inheritance Suharto left the Indonesian people: one that again proves true the old adage that if you steal enough, all will be forgiven, as well as the one that says absolute power corrupts absolutely./ //