Tue, 08 Feb 2000

From bad to worse

The Indonesian political situation is going from bad to worse, which should not be the case because of the President's goodwill mission abroad. Everywhere the President goes, he assures foreign governments and Indonesians living abroad that he is in full control of the situation. But sometimes our President makes decisions and statements which can wait until he is back home to hear firsthand from sources what is actually going on.

The strained relations as reported in the newspapers between the President and Gen. Wiranto has caused the country's economic development to stagnate.

The most harmful situation is the steady stream of rumors of an impending coup by the Indonesian Military (TNI). This has become an international issue and foreign dignitaries find it necessary to give their opinions and issue warnings to the military. Are we an independent and sovereign country, or are we still a camouflaged colony of the superpowers?

Despite assurances by the TNI commander and the Army chief of staff that there is no plan for the military to stage a coup, rumors of a possible coup keep circulating. Why the fuss? I think that the underlying factor of all the rumors and news reports is the hatred and jealousy of the TNI, which in the past played such a prominent role in Indonesia's political scene, giving no chance to politicians to play their parts.

TNI has become a victim and has suffered the most from all the statements made domestically as well as internationally by prominent Indonesian political leaders. We accept the right and freedom of all citizens to express themselves as long as it is aimed at improving the situation and not worsening the domestic condition of Indonesia.

The tense relationship between the President and Gen. Wiranto is at the moment the most destructive factor for the country, while we actually do not even know whether such tension really exists.

According to Kompas, on Feb. 7, 2000, the President expressed his full confidence in Gen. Wiranto, who once saved him and Megawati Soekarnoputri from an assassination plot. Gen. Wiranto has assured the President that there will be no coup.

And according to economic experts, the President's "request" that Gen. Wiranto leave his job has had a negative impact on the economy. The proof of this is that rupiah has become weaker and weaker against the U.S. dollar.