JPost A lot has been said about Suharto’s legacy in the weeks before and the week after his death. Those who think highly of him point to his economic successes and his achievements in poverty alleviation. His critics of course refer to his human rights record: the killing of more than half a million in the aftermath of the 30 September movement, his invasion of East Timor and the political repression during his 32 year rule.

In the reactions to his dead in Australia the second version of Suharto’s legacy clearly was the dominant one (in the main stream media as well as the Aussie blogosphere). It was therefore quite a surprise for me to read an Australian op-ed in the Jakarta Post yesterday (click picture for a screenshot) in which the writer defended the actions of Suharto and criticised the Australian media. But I was even more surprised to see who wrote the letter: “…The writer is former Australian Prime Minister…”.

Isn’t that strange? Signing an op-ed as ‘a’ former Prime Minister of Australia while not making explicit which one of the former Prime Ministers you are? I do have some ideas about his identity though…

Update: I guess it was just a mistake of the JP not to mention the author. The second part of his ‘defense of Suharto’ was published a day later. This time with a name. And yes…I was right…

This article has 1 comments

  1. John Orford

    well that’s the thing, i reckon his economic record is questionable. compare the welfare of indonesians to others in the region.

    he is made look good by sukarno’s economic policies which would make anyone look good :)

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