Sat, 25 Jan 2003

One of the most boring of subjects in Indonesia is the saga of Akbar Tandjung which must go down in history as the biggest drag of the millennium. The number of times the House and all its carnival members have debated, discussed, argued, considered, deliberated, examined, sifted, voted and digested this apparent dilemma must be a world record that will never be surpassed. It has honestly reached a stage where his presence has such little credibility that he may as well sit there all day and do the crossword so that everyone else can get on with the work and just ignore him.

Why the House members must go through this extreme waste of time debating over whether Akbar should stay or go is totally irrelevant, as the House is unable and therefore unwilling to remove him. That means that the "sheep" that support the shepherd have no need for bleating, and they have no need to pull the wool over the eyes of anyone, because the plain truth of the matter is, that there are no morals or integrity in the building, so why pretend there is.

His status as a convicted embezzler does not in any way discredit the House, as within the institution there are many who are the same, with the only difference being that Akbar got exposed. The saying "There but for the Grace of God go I" means that every legislator should simply look at Akbar and just accept that his only crime was in being caught. The only way this particular saga is going to shake off its boring tag is for the money trail to be exposed, and as that is not going to happen (the Supreme Court will probably forget to ask that one) then better to forget the whole thing and support the lad for the presidency, and then he can pardon himself."

DAVID WALLIS, Medan, North Sumatra