Wed, 24 May 2000

Forgive Soeharto

Nobody will deny that (former president) Soeharto caused a good deal of trouble for many people during the time he was in power. Nor will anyone deny that during those years he permitted certain people to benefit tremendously while inflicting immense hardship on others. Nevertheless, it must not be forgotten that Soeharto led this nation for many years.

The law in our country, in this era of reform, displays some grave injustices. As Soeharto is being punished through all kinds of moves and maneuvers, other suspects of corruption are allowed to walk free. While Soeharto is accused of having built a corrupt regime, only Bob Hassan and Soeharto have so far been placed under (some form of) arrest. Where are all those people who during the New Order regime so vocally pledged to give their support to whatever Soeharto wanted?

Let us stop looking at Soeharto with eyes that are blinded by anger. Or go after him with clenched fists holding rocks and clubs. Instead, let us look at him with compassion in our hearts.

-- Media Indonesia, Jakarta