Tue, 21 Nov 2000

Consistent at being inconsistent

President Abdurrahman Wahid said recently that it was premature to evaluate his government's performance after a period of only 12 months. That statement is clear proof of how consistent he is at being inconsistent.

Only some weeks later, Hamzah Haz resigned from the first Cabinet following the President's allegation that some members were involved in practices of corruption, collusion and nepotism. Later, Jusuf Kalla and Laksamana Sukardi were fired only months after serving in the National Unity Cabinet, under allegations that they were not able to work together with other members.

However, he told legislators later that the two ministers were involved in corruptive practices without giving any evidence. Still recently, the President fired National Police chief Gen. Rusdihardjo -- even without consulting the legislators -- after only eight months in office. This may be legally right, but what about the spirit of reform?

The President should remember that he got the mandate from the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). And therefore he should always comply with the people's aspirations as represented by the MPR, if he really is to retain the presidency until 2004.

One birthday, I got a greeting card in which was written: "There are two ways of doing something... the wrong way, and my way". I hope none of us take either way.


Bogor, West Java