Sat, 13 May 2000

Check and checkmate

First of all, we are lucky to have a President like Gus Dur. Why? Indonesia has been "dying" since we were hit by the monetary crisis years ago. Common sense says there is no cure to this crisis.

All of a sudden, instead of looking for a good doctor to remedy the economic illness, we chose a "chess player", Abdurrahman Wahid, better known as Gus Dur. Fortunately Gus Dur is not an amateur, but a super Grand Master (GM).

As a GM, Gus Dur will never let his opponent read his moves. Unlike an amateur, a GM never moves his pawns first, instead he might sacrifice his knight or his bishop.

The first move was to sacrifice his knight, Mr. Hamzah Haz. This move shocked many people. They were puzzled, upset and then lost their temper.

But Gus Dur secured one point here, the Axis force. Without Mr. Hamzah, the Axis force had lost one of its hands in the government. Then came the time for the second move, offering the bishop, Mr. Wiranto. The second move secured another point, the military.

After securing two points, Gus Dur slowed the game by offering two of his pawns, Laksamana Sukardi and Jusuf Kalla. Why these two? Simply because both of them were on the first line of the chess board, not because they were incapable or uncooperative.

In playing chess we have something that is called the "time crisis", and Gus Dur knows this very well. He knows when he should move, and when he must wait. Now Gus Dur still has a king, a queen, a rook and pawns.

So when will Gus Dur trap the opponent's king? Only Gus Dur himself knows that answer. But one thing is clear, that when Gus Dur checkmates the opponent's king, he will secure the last point, i.e. "a democratic Indonesia".


Bogor, West Java