Fri, 08 Dec 2000

A number of 'too lates'

Relying mainly on my intuition and common sense (intellectual analysts may arrive at different conclusions based on their expertise, party loyalty, or political instincts), I have here some "too lates" which are detrimental to the nation's interests in the short and long-term.

First of all, it is too late now to convict former president Soeharto as he has been declared unfit for trial. He is also no longer in the news. It is also too late to apprehend Tommy Soeharto. The fact that Tommy could hide undetected for so long is a big shame for the authorities.

For President Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid it is also too late to withdraw from the Bulog scam now that Rusdihardjo has made some serious allegations.

In a sense I agree with Amien Rais that it may be too late, too, to keep the rebellious province in the north (Aceh) within the republic. Too much blood has been shed, too many empty promises have been made. The Acehnese may only be able to bury their mistrust of the government if their cry for freedom is met.

Also my senses say it is too late for the province in the shape of a bird's head, in the eastern most part of the country (West Irian) -- the Dutch called it Vogelkop -- to reconcile with the rest of Indonesia. There have been too many inconsistencies in the government's policies.

Please remember that the Dutch have allowed the people of the province of Friesland to have their own provincial flag flown from any pole or building, or printed on any object. Have you not noticed the Friesian flag (Frische Vlag) on the canned milk produced and exported by the Dutch?

The best way seems to me is to allow the people of the province of West Irian to fly their own Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flag, provided they recognize the national red-and-white flag and have it hoisted above their own. It would look admittedly odd but they would not be satisfied with anything less.

It is very saddening to realize that it is also too late to change the corrupt mentality of most Indonesian leaders and business people as long as they are greedy, dishonest and want to get rich quickly by stealing.

Also I reckon it is too late for ASEAN to act cohesively after President Abdurrahman Wahid's tirade on Singapore.

Fortunately, it is not too late to bring jobs to more people, health and education to more families, and food and medicine to the hungry and sick. But it may take two or three generations to get rid of this corrupt mentality and immorality of the present generation.