Berikut ini terlampir artikel di New York Times, pandangan mengenai mantan
Presiden Soeharto, Orde Baru dan Orde Reformasi.
A Resilient Indonesia Moves Beyond Suharto
By SETH MYDANS - NY Times
Published: January 12, 2008
JAKARTA - As Indonesia's former strongman, Suharto, lay on his sickbed this
week, the country that rejected him 10 years ago was in the early stages of
a democratic election campaign.
Though the nation's leaders spoke with respect of the man who had been their
master and mentor for three decades, they were by their actions repudiating
him, moving forward with a new Indonesia that contrasts in almost every way
with one he bequeathed to them.
From one of the most centralized and controlled countries in the region, it
has transformed itself into one of the most decentralized, free, open and
From a brutal and corrupt regime under the heel of the military, it has
become the standard bearer of democracy in Southeast Asia. It stands out for
its political liberalism at a time when coups and coup attempts have
discredited the region's two exemplars of democracy, Thailand and the
"Indonesia represents a good-news story in the region and in the world,"
said Ralph Boyce, a former United States ambassador to Indonesia during the
It did not disintegrate as a nation or fragment into a tumult of mini-wars,
as many people feared when the dictator suddenly released his grip. It was
not engulfed in Islamic radicalism, although that struggle is still playing
itself out. It did not fall back into the grip of the military or collapse
in economic ruin.
"They're well on their way to establishing a more democratic and modern
Indonesia," Mr. Boyce said, "which is quite a challenge when you are dealing
with one of the world's largest and most disparate societies."
A vast archipelago with a population of 240 million, Indonesia is the
fourth most-populous nation, whose people are 90 percent Muslim. As the
country with the largest Muslim population in the world, it is demonstrating
that Islam can be compatible with democracy.
Since Mr. Suharto was ousted as president in May 1998, Indonesia has had
four presidents, all of whom have worked, unlike him, within the democratic
system. The next election is a year away but already three of them the four
have declared that they want the job again.
In the past decade, Indonesia has held three national elections and more
than 300 elections for provincial and district officials in votes that have
been judged to be relatively clean and in which the results have mostly been
accepted by the losers.
In the marketplace of elections, political Islam has failed to win support,
and Indonesians have mostly rejected the radicalism and violence of Islamist
groups. In general, the country has become more devoutly religious but has
not embraced extremism.
"I think the more hard-line Islamists discredited themselves in the early
post-Suharto period" when they attempted to bully the nation into Islamic
conservatism, said Greg Fealy, a specialist on Indonesia at the Australian
National University. "They added to the wariness that the general public had
toward strong Islamism."
After three decades in power during which he bent Indonesia to his will, Mr.
Suharto disappeared almost completely from public life, puttering quietly in
his modest home in central Jakarta as his health grew steadily worse.
"What we learned," said Mr. Boyce, "is that at least in Indonesia, when you
lose absolute power, you lose it absolutely."
In today's Indonesia, Mr. Suharto is not even a reference point against
which policies and reforms are measured.
His legacy is a mixture of economic growth, a culture of corruption and a
stunted political system.
A nation that was written off as an economic failure when he took power in
1965 became one of Asia's tigers. Roads, schools, clinics and electricity
raised living standards, and economic liberalism tied the economy to the
When the economy collapsed during the Asian financial crisis of 1997, Mr.
Suharto lost the basis of his legitimacy, and growing discontent burst into
In the decade since then, Indonesia has climbed back toward prosperity. A
growth rate that fell to a negative 13 percent has risen to more than 6
But although the nation embraced democracy with starved enthusiasm, it found
that Mr. Suharto had eviscerated its institutions, weakened its political
parties and blocked the rise of potential leaders, setting back its
There are no fresh faces in the presidential field for 2009. Political
analysts say they are waiting until the next vote, in 2014, to see a new
One of the most profound changes has been the decentralization that
dispersed power and political accountability from the all-powerful executive
in Jakarta to local governments around the country.
The country's bank deposits fell from 70 percent in the capital, Jakarta, to
35 percent, said Craig Charney, a political scientist and pollster based in
New York - "a redistribution of wealth rare in countries outside of
revolution or war."
This has increased the political accountability of local leaders,
potentially improving the delivery of government services, and it has
increased stability by defusing separatist demands.
But it has also run the risk of creating what people here call hundreds of
corrupt and autocratic mini-Suhartos. And it has weakened the hand of the
central government in putting its policies into effect.
This accomplishment is Indonesia's main task today, said Defense Minister
Juwono Sudarsono, a cabinet minister under every president since the time of
"Before we claim to be the third largest democracy we have to overcome what
I call the delivery deficit," he said. "For democracy to take root here it
must prove that it can improve the lives of the people."
Forty-nine million people live on less than $2 a day, he said. Ten million
are unemployed. Large numbers have no access to health care, primary
education or clean water. The infant mortality rate is one of the highest in
"We call it procedural democracy," said Bonar Tigor, who heads a
pro-democracy group called Solidarity Without Borders. "We have freedom of
political expression. We have good freedom of the press and freedom of
assembly. We no longer have political prisoners." But he said, "Democracy
has been kidnapped by the elites who have gotten all the benefits. The hard
daily life of the people on the bottom is still the same."
For many of these people, the controls of the Suharto regime offered a
marginally better life. Commodities like gasoline, rice, sugar and cooking
oil were subsidized by the government. Now the poor are at the mercy of the
Problems like these are challenges for the country's democratic government,
the hard work of everyday governance. Indonesia's success now depends on
small and incremental changes rather than on the heart-stopping historical
turning points of a decade ago.
"The biggest news here is that there is no crisis," said Douglas Ramage, the
country representative for the Asia Foundation.
"What strikes me is the sheer normality of the country. Indonesia is now a
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