Home

Indonesia
Digest

Global
Digest

Editor

 

 

 

 

 Indonesia Digest

 

 Global Digest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indonesia Digest

Introduction

Profile

Diplomacy

Development

Sukarno years

Suharto years

Overview

Government

US relations

Economy

1965 Gestapu

 World Bank/IMF

History

Current Affairs

New Beginning

Business

Silent Genocide

Globalization

 

 SPECIAL REPORTS

Global Rulers

  Rule By Secrecy

 US Relations 64-68

Suharto Obit

Corruption

East Timor

 

 

Intel

Media

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELECTIONS 2014

 

 

 

 

GENERAL

CANDIDATES

 

 

 

 

ELECTION ANALYSES

 
 
 

Prabowo

Jokowi

Sri Mulyani

Bakrie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prabowo Pilihanku! 

 

 

 

 


Prabowo’s Message Supported by Slick PR Team and Organization
By Yeremia Sukoyo on 09:09 am Apr 11, 2014

Jakarta. An analyst attributed the significant vote increase for the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) to party founder and presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto’s openness to the media.

Agung Suprio, a political expert, said on Thursday that Gerindra’s success at the polls, where it garnered 12 percent of votes, according to quick counts, from 4.5 percent in 2009, was influenced by the former Army general presenting himself successfully in various forums and being accessible to the media, both conventional, such as print, and online.
“Prabowo appears to come across as more media-friendly than in previous years,” he said. “Not only that, Prabowo’s accounts on social media like Twitter and Facebook, where he can convey his ideas without time restrictions, are followed and liked by millions.”

Agung said that the negative publicity against Gerindra by political rivals ahead of the election had proved to be ineffective.
“It’s true that there was a lot of negativity directed toward Prabowo, in part because of alleged involvement in human rights abuses,” he said. “But Gerindra had a very slick, polished media team that was able to respond well to the negativity.”

In fact, Agung added, the attacks against Prabowo seemed to have had the reverse effect, with his position and support base strengthening and his opponents taking a hit at the polls.
“It was Prabowo who gained all the sympathy and those who persisted in the negative comments lost votes,” Agung said. ”For that, credit must be given to Gerindra’s team. This is because the media team were able to field the smear campaigns and even responded in kind at times.”
He added that Gerindra’s PR team had worked tirelessly at getting the party’s message out to the voters by publicizing the party leader’s statements and campaign activities.

One message that seems to have resonated with voters was Prabowo’s suggestion that he would support the fight against corruption and that he would strengthen the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), empower village economies and promote Gerindra as a party of change — territory that the National Democrat Party (NasDem) hoped to make its own with its slogan “Movement for Change.”
“It’s proven that Gerindra benefited from those who left the Democratic Party and other parties,” Agung said.

He added that Gerindra’s political machine was working optimally and productively to boost Prabowo’s and Gerindra’s electability in the regions and it was also able to effectively convey all of Prabowo’s messages to the constituents.

Arya Fernandes, an analyst from Charta Politika, said that Wednesday’s quick count results, yet to be officially confirmed, showed the Gerindra message resonated with the voters and that the party had been very effective in encouraging supporters to get out and vote.
Arya said that a candidate’s experience, energy and party credentials played bigger roles as the determining factors than the individual’s personality.

He added that the effect of Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) presidential candidate Joko Widodo’s popularity had not been as significant as many analysts and experts had predicted, suggesting many of his supporters had their eye on more local candidates from other parties for the legislative election.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 23, 2014

 

 

 

 

 


Scholars, intellectuals endorse Prabowo’s bid
Thu, April 03 2014, 8:39 AM
Hasyim Widhiarto and Margareth S. Aritonang,

A group of university professors and intellectuals announced on Wednesday its collective endorsement of Gerindra Party presidential candidate and chief patron Prabowo Subianto, giving the retired army general another moral boost ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

Former Bandung-based Padjadjaran University rector Yuyun Wirasasmita, who read the group’s endorsement during a gathering in which Prabowo and Gerindra officials were in attendance, claimed the group represented 300 professors and intellectuals from all over the country who considered Prabowo to be the most suitable person to take on the country’s complicated social and economic problems.
“Despite its abundant resources, Indonesia has failed to become what it should be: a developed country […] We know the facts and we can’t be fooled. We have found a leader that can transform Indonesia into a strong nation in the future,” Yuyun said, referring to Prabowo.

Among the scholars and intellectuals that attended Wednesday’s gathering were former Golkar Party lawmaker and Indonesian Muslim Scholar Association (ICMI) presidium board member Marwah Daud Ibrahim; Jakarta-based Dr. Hamka Muhammadiyah University (Uhamka) rector Suyatno; Jakarta-based Pancasila University’s (UP) engineering professor Antonius Anton; and Mahmud Hamundu, former rector of the Haluoleo University in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi.

UP’s school of communication dean Andi Faisal Bakti, who organized the gathering, however, said the group had only accommodated the political views from emeritus professors or non-civil servant professors to avoid conflicts of interest.
“I, however, believe there would be more support for Pak Prabowo if we include [professors] who are classified as civil servants,” Andi said.

The 2014 law on state civil apparatus prohibits civil servants from becoming a member of any political party. According to the Education and Culture Ministry, as of 2010 Indonesia had 4,717 professors out of a total of 197,922 university educators in 83 state universities and over 3,000 private institutions.

Prabowo said he felt honored by such an endorsement. “Your support reinforces my belief that we can eradicate poverty in this country.”
Later in the day, Prabowo attended a discussion at the Muhammadiyah headquarters in Central Jakarta to share his vision and mission as a presidential candidate in front of the leaders of the country’s second-largest Muslim organization.
“I’m supposed to be out of town today. But I dare not decline Muhammadiyah’s invitation [to come here]. In this country, Muhammadiyah and NU [Nahdlatul Ulama, the country’s largest Muslim organization] are two organizations that you cannot ignore,” Prabowo said, chuckling.

In his speech, Prabowo also deplored the “bitter fact” of Indonesia being unable to develop into an advanced country despite its abundant natural resources, a situation that Prabowo promised his audience would change under his leadership.
On the sidelines of the discussion, Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin said that the presence of Prabowo in the discussion did not indicate political support for Prabowo.
“This not about political support, rather it is about holding an open discussion and sharing views,” he said.

Bagus BT Saragih also contributes to this story.

 

 

 

 


"How Prabowo and Gerindra Will Get Indonesia Back on Track"

Hashim Djojohadikusumo Become a fan
Founding Member, Indonesia's Gerindra Party
04/03/2014 5:59 pm EDT

Indonesians go to the polls next week for our country's most important legislative elections to date. The 180 million registered voters will be deciding which parties are best positioned to address the immense challenges facing our nation. Corruption, income inequality, and religious intolerance represent three of the most critical threats to the future of Indonesia. Prabowo Subianto, the leader of the Gerindra party, is the only candidate to share his vision and policies for meeting these and other challenges and ensuring a better Indonesia for the next generation.

The challenges we will face over the next 20 years - and how to deal with them in a way that represents the sentiments of the Indonesian people - will require bold new ideas and strong leadership. While other candidates and parties have offered empty promises, or nothing at all, backed by untested and inexperienced leadership, Prabowo and the Gerindra party continues to offer real policy solutions backed by decades of strong leadership and unwavering dedication to serving the people of Indonesia.

Prabowo's "Six Point Action Plan to Transform the Nation" provides the Gerindra party's blueprint for getting Indonesia back on track. While all of our challenges are important to ensuring a prosperous future for Indonesia, three urgent threats to our future must be addressed immediately and with the full commitment of strong leadership.

Corruption: The Indonesian people are fed up with government mismanagement and corruption. Every citizen at home and abroad knows this country faces a severe problem with corrupt officials and systems. Since the implementation of "otonomi daerah" or regional autonomy, we now have 34 provincial governments. Officials from 17 of these provincial governments are already under indictment for malfeasance or are awaiting trial. Of the 528 regions, civil servants from 138 are either in jail, facing trial or under indictment. Even senior officials - up to the Ministerial level - are being caught red-handed receiving bribes or carrying out nefarious activities. Of course, these are only the cases we know about.

The Gerindra party, led by Prabowo, will take a zero tolerance approach to corruption in Indonesia. We will hold the government, at all levels, accountable to the people. We will improve the conditions and welfare of civil servants, military, and veterans. We will focus on increasing the participation of women in leadership roles in government to a minimum of 30% of ministerial or ministerial-level positions.
We must stop the cancerous spread of corruption. Without success, we believe Indonesia is in danger of becoming a 'failed state'. Stopping the Indonesia's endemic corruption problem will be a paramount priority of the Gerindra party and Prabowo.

Income Inequality: A fundamental imbalance of priorities in our economy means that it is not fair or competitive. Today just 1% of our people control 41% of our GDP. With 60% of cash flow circulating in Jakarta alone and 30% in other major urban centers, that leaves just 10% of all the money in Indonesia for trade in rural areas. Over 60% of the Indonesian population still resides outside of big cities and more than 40% of our entire population lives under or barely above the poverty line. This is unacceptable given the economic growth we have enjoyed since holding our first democratic elections in 1999.
Such income inequality and imbalance of wealth is a formula for upheaval. History has taught us this lesson many times. No political system in the history of humankind will tolerate such disparity or inequality.

To implement an economy of the people and for the people, Gerindra will increase budget allocations for agriculture, forestry, fishery and small-medium enterprises and industries. We will incentivize national banks to lend to this critical of group of entrepreneurs and workers, which make up the backbone of our economy, culture, and history. We will invest in infrastructure modernization and expand our electrical grid to include greater rural coverage and greater economic participation. And we will finally realize a fair balance of national investment into rural health care and education so our poorer communities have equal opportunities to participate in Indonesia's growth.

Growing Religious Intolerance: Finally, a frightening dynamic gathering momentum is the increase in religious intolerance. Indonesia has a long history of religious and ethnic acceptance, moderation, and harmony. Sadly, we see highly concerning trends of erosion of these long held principles and values.
Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims in the world - no Arab country even comes close to Indonesia. Thus, whatever happens in the Middle East will sooner or later affect the Muslims of in our country. Note that our traditional practice has been a moderate variety of Islam; however, with the number of young people who have gone to school in Arab countries, they have been exposed to certain teachings and attitudes that are not in line with our exercise of Islam in Indonesia.

Continual injustice, inequality and corruption is resulting in a loss of confidence and trust in the nation's leaders, institutions, and the government as a whole. This breach of trust and confidence is opening the door for extremists. It is a real and present danger we face and to address it we need clean governance and an inclusive economy. We must have a clean government to establish a united front against this assault on our values, principles and way of life in Indonesia. And we must have an economy that doesn't leave anyone behind.

What Prabowo has proposed, what Gerindra Party has offered in its platform, is a "mixed economy." We must create an environment of fairness so that everyone has the opportunity for greater economic participation and a more equitable sharing of resources. We can learn from Western Europe, which champions free enterprise while still providing opportunities, protection, and shared resources for all citizens.

That is the position of Prabowo; that is the position of Gerindra. That is our struggle

 

 

 

 

Prabowo Calls Out Megawati for Breaking Political Pact
By Jakarta Globe on 05:52 pm Mar 17, 2014

Jakarta. Prabowo Subianto has accused Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri of violating a 2009 political agreement — dubbed the Batu Tulis Pact — that included a point where the PDI-P pledged support for Prabowo’s presidential bid in 2014.
“If you’re a human being and on my side, what would you do?” Prabowo, who is the leader of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party, said on Sunday. “I don’t know what my mistake was. I respect her.”

Prabowo sought to emphasize that he would move on from the PDI-P’s decision to back out of the pact and instead nominate Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo as its candidate. He said, however, that he hoped that the party would have informed him in person, according to the state-run Antara news agency.
“I respect Bu Mega,” he said. “I want a united Indonesia, that’s what I want… I don’t understand what kind of [political] dynamic is happening here.”

Megawati and Prabowo had previously ran a losing campaign together in the 2009 presidential election. Later, in 2012, they linked up again, as their two parties formed a coalition that helped Joko secure the Jakarta governorship — a move many believed foreshadowed another political partnership for the 2014 presidential race.
The political ties between Prabowo and Megawati soured soon after, however, after Megawati expressed anger with him for supposedly taking credit for Joko’s victory in the capital.

Members of the PDI-P, meanwhile, have steadfastly denied Prabowo’s stance, saying that the agreement was void after their 2009 loss.
“The pact was made on the assumption that the pair would win the 2009 race,” Tubagus Hasanuddin, the head of the PDI-P’s chapter in West Java, said on Monday. “Since they lost, the agreement was automatically canceled.”
Hasanuddin also urged Prabowo to put the dispute to bed.
“We, cadres of the PDI-P, will not budge,” he said. “We are now focusing on convincing the people to be more understanding and selective in choosing their leaders.”

PDI-P lawmaker Eva Sundari echoed the sentiment, saying that political shifts over time were unavoidable.
“Anywhere in the world, no coalition is permanent, since elections are uncontrollable and full of surprises,” she said.
She added that Gerindra should now concentrate on winning the legislative and presidential polls rather than dwell on a broken agreement.

The PDI-P decision to nominate Joko is a profound blow to Prabowo’s campaign to win the presidency, which various polls showed was the most likely outcome if he ran in a field that did not include the fiercely popular Jakarta governor.

 

 

 

 

 


Prabowo’s March to Presidency Gets Boost

By Ezra Sihite on 11:15 am December 26, 2013.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono greets presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto
at the State Palace on Dec. 24, 2013. (Rumgapres Photo/Abror Rizki)


A rare meeting this week between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prabowo Subianto, one of the front-runners
to replace him next year, has rekindled long-running speculation about a possible coalition between the two former Army generals’ parties.

The meeting took place behind closed doors on Tuesday morning at the State Palace, with Prabowo, the founder and chief patron of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), telling reporters afterward that he and the president had seen eye-to-eye on many of the economic and social issues affecting the country.
“I told him that Gerindra wishes to nurture close ties with all stakeholders in the best interests of the people and the country, and he was very welcoming of Gerindra’s stance and my stance,” he said.

He stopped short of saying whether they had discussed the possibility of a tie-up between Gerindra and Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party — the determining factor in whether Prabowo gets a presidential ticket in next July’s election — but hinted the president was amenable to the idea.
“He has expressed his desire to step down gracefully and wants to set a good example for the transition [to the next president] in a friendly manner,” he said.

The meeting between the two men, who served in the Army during the same period and rose to the rank of general before retiring in contrasting fashion — Prabowo was discharged following an investigation into the abduction of student activists, while Yudhoyono went on to join the reform-era cabinet — comes at a critical moment in the months before the 2014 legislative and presidential elections.

Opinion polls have long ranked Prabowo as one of the front-runners to win the presidency, behind only Jakarta Governor
Joko Widodo. However, the latter has publicly denied any presidential ambitions, and his party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), has suggested in recent weeks that it may in fact nominate its chairwoman, Megawati Soekarnoputri — who lost two elections to Yudhoyono, the former chief security minister in her cabinet.
While this may favor Prabowo, the main hurdle in his path is the low number of votes that his party is expected to garner in April’s legislative election.

Under the electoral law, only parties or coalitions that win 25 percent of votes in the legislative election or have 20 percent of seats at the House of Representatives may nominate a candidate for the presidential election.
Gerindra’s traditional partner, the PDI-P, has made it clear that no matter which party it joins forces with, its own candidate will get the presidential slot — much to the chagrin of Gerindra officials who say the PDI-P owes Prabowo the ticket for agreeing to run with Megawati in 2009.

With the Golkar Party determined that its chairman, Aburizal Bakrie, will be its candidate in 2014, that has left Gerindra with just the option of the Democrats — who have no strong figureheads to take Yudhoyono’s place — as the last major party to help boost its vote count.

The prospect of a Gerindra-Democrat coalition has come as little surprise, both to party insiders as well as outside analysts.
Sutan Bhatoegana, a Democrat legislator and member of the party’s central executive board, said on Tuesday that it was not out of the question.
“The Democrats are very open to embracing anyone. From the very beginning Yudhoyono has made it clear that there’s no way the Democrats can manage the country alone,” he said as quoted by Detik.com.
He emphasized that while a coalition was possible, it would have to be based on shared ideologies and platforms.
“I need to remind any party that wants to form a coalition with us that they need to be on the same page as us in terms of thinking about the country,” Sutan said.

The question of the presidential candidate to be nominated by such a coalition, he said, should be determined by which party in the bloc draws the most votes in the legislative election.
“If we get more votes [than the coalition partner], then the candidate should be one of ours, and vice versa,” he said.

Muhammad Qodari, the executive director of Indo Barometer, a polling agency, said on Wednesday that a Gerindra-Democrat coalition was “the most logical” combination out there.
“I believe Yudhoyono can already see the possibility of a coalition with Gerindra,” he said as quoted by Republika, noting that poor poll results indicated the Democrats, unlike Golkar and the PDI-P, would not get enough votes in April to be able to nominate their own candidate in July.

The polls also show Prabowo to be a far stronger potential candidate than any of the 11 people currently vying for the Democrats’ nod in that party’s much-hyped “presidential convention.”
The convention has been written off by some analysts as mere window dressing, with Pramono Edhie Wibowo, one of the contestants and Yudhoyono’s brother-in-law, expected to be handed the nomination regardless of the results.

Qodari said partnering up with Gerindra would give Yudhoyono a pretext to cut short the convention process and appoint Pramono, the former Army chief of staff, as Prabowo’s running mate. While a ticket featuring an ex-general is common, and almost considered de rigueur in Indonesian politics, the prospect of two former Army top brass on the same ticket is unprecedented — something that Qodari said could play to the pair’s advantage.
“Prabowo and Pramono both have a military background, and that’s what makes them unique. What they need to do is embellish their credentials as strong leaders who don’t do things by half measures,” he said.

However, he noted that even if all these possibilities played out, the success of the Prabowo-Pramono ticket at the polls would still depend to a large extent on who the PDI-P chose to nominate. If Joko gets the nod, Qodari said, then the race is effectively over.
“All of the surveys that we’ve conducted show Joko ahead of all the other presidential contenders,” he said.

Another possible running mate for Prabowo, should the Gerindra-Democrat coalition take shape, is Hatta Rajasa, the coordinating minister for the economy and also chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Democrats’ closest partner in the current six-party coalition.
Hatta, whose daughter is married to Yudhoyono’s youngest son, is considered one of the president’s closest advisers, and was believed to have been instrumental in bringing about the meeting with Prabowo, with whom he held coalition talks earlier this year.
Viva Yoga Mauladi, the head of the PAN’s 2014 election team, said Hatta and Prabowo had “good chemistry and would complement one another.
“Hatta and Prabowo share the same political and economic visions. Indonesia really needs this pair” in 2014, he said.

 

 

 

CHOOSING THE NEXT PRESIDENT; MOSSAD, THE CIA AND THE SAUDIS
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stanley Weiss is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
And he's a member of the American Ditchley Foundation, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Royal Institute in the UK.

Weiss tells us who is going to be the next president.

 

Prabowo. Prabowo, a fan of Ataturk, has business interests in many countries, including Canada. Prabowo's ties to the U.S. military are the closest of any among the U.S.-trained officer corps. He attended the Advanced Infantry Officers Course at Fort Benning, Ga., in 1985 and the Army Special Forces Training Course at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1980. Washingtonpost.com: Indonesia Report
The world's fourth largest country, in terms of population, will soon be getting a new president.

Weiss is backing General Prabowo Subianto.
On 18 September 2013, Weiss writes: Prabowo could be Indonesia's Lee Kuan Yew.
Prabowo, a former Suharto general, is reported to be a war criminal and an asset of the CIA.

PRABOWO AND THE CIA

Weiss has had a private meeting with Prabowo Subianto.

Weiss reports the words of Prabowo:

 

 

 

 

 

 Lt General (Ret)
Prabowo Subianto Djojohadikusumo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prabowo: What guarantees do people want from me?
Wednesday, 30 October, 2013

At the foot of Hambalang Hill in Bogor, West Java is Prabowo Subianto's home, which, at a glance, resembles an army post. The outer gates are guarded by four uniformed men standing at attention when they are not checking visitors coming to visit the chairman of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) party. From the entrance, the visitor drives up a winding uphill road, rows of hot chili bushes adorning both sides.

The second gate, 200 meters away, is guarded by a pair of uniformed men, standing ready to usher cars in. They salute very crisply when the visitor's car passes by. The road to the main building passes a helipad on one side and a plot of grassland, where horses graze contentedly, on the other side. In the background is a vista of hills, partly covered by clouds.

Prabowo, a former Special Forces (Kopassus) commander, purchased the 34 hectares of land located just 30 minutes from the Sentul tollgate in 2001, three years after he was dismissed from the military on charges of having ordered the kidnapping of activists. He built his 'hideaway' a bit later, in 2004. Inside the house is a prominently placed library and outside is a swimming pool, a pendopo or pavilion made of teakwood and a stable for more than a dozen horses.

"I'm like a knight who goes into a retreat when he is not needed," said Prabowo, welcoming the Tempo team for a special interview, last week. "And knights usually head to the hills like this place for solitude." With Prabowo are a number of young men whom he calls the "Jedi Knights", a take from the epic film Star Wars. "These young men are all smart, graduates from overseas schools," he explained.

Earlier, on October 9, Prabowo had visited the Tempo editorial office. At first he appeared stiff and uncomfortable, bringing with him his own coffee beverage and an assortment of snacks. His aide laid a damp hand towel on a small dish on the table, within reach of Prabowo, so he could wipe his face from time to time. During the first 30 minutes he aired his misgivings over the media's treatment of him, which he saw as always trying to corner him. However, after three hours of dialogue, lightened by some humorous comments, he became more relaxed.

At the second meeting in his home Prabowo was more articulate in responding to sensitive questions, like the abductions of activists in the 1997-98 period, his commitment to democracy, his well-known bursts of temper and rumors of impending wedding bells. Back in 1998, he and his then-wife Siti Hediati Hariyadi, a daughter of the late Suharto, divorced not long after the New Order president was ousted from power. The following interview is extracted from the two meetings

 

Why do you feel you are fit to be president?
After 68 years of independence, 32 years under the New Order and 16 years of reformasi, Indonesia seems to be stuck in the wrong system. We have not become a productive nation, but a consumptive one. In fact, we have been neglecting the farmers, who have contributed most to Indonesia. They have been made unwilling to produce. We import our onions, cassava, salted fish, salt, even though two-thirds of our territory covers the sea. This is an insult, shameful. And I want to change this.

Could this system be attributed to the SBY government?
Oh, no. It was already like that during the middle of the New Order. This is the mistake of all of us. But the New Order, which many consider to be bad, banned the export of logs. After the onset of reforms and a free market system, logs were allowed to be exported. Before, all exports of rattan were banned, as well as their processing. All natural resources are now controlled by the elite and foreigners.

You yourself own timber and coal companies.
Yes, that's right. That's because if I'm not involved, all of it will be taken over by foreigners. If I take some over, they will be owned by an Indonesian.

Are you anti-foreigner?
I am not against foreigners. I am a product of a foreign [system] but what I accept from the West is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If white people can own such values why not Indonesians? Why can't we have clean water? Why are people's savings in the banks being channeled out for loans to build malls? And everybody keeps quiet about it. I am not against foreigners. I always tell my staff to learn from foreigners. When I was still active [in the military], I was the only officer who sent many of his staff [to study] overseas.

If you were to become president, what would you do?
The amended Constitution has given the executive branch immense powers. So, if there are cases of taking sides, we must correct that. Take, for example, [the case of] fertilizer. The factories are built with state money, people's money. But each year, the APBN (State Budget) subsidizes fertilizer and its production. But who distributes fertilizer? The private sector. Is that fair? Does that make sense? Those subsidies don't reach the farmers. This is unjust and this applies to all commodities. This is state robbery which benefits only a few people. I think the problem is this neoliberal system, comprising deregulation and privatization.

So, how do you see the role of the private sector?
I'm a practical person. Why can't we emulate those who have succeeded, like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, China and Taiwan? Why aren't we copying Korea Inc, Singapore Inc, Japan Inc? We shouldn't have the private sector, state-owned enterprises and cooperatives compete against each other. We must synergize, but not sacrifice our own strengths.

At the start of the New Order, it was like that. Bung Karno was like that. But the West doesn't like government rule and dominant state-owned companies. In China, who are in front? State-owned enterprises.

How long will it take us to reach that stage?
The fertilizer problem should just be a matter of paperwork by the Trade Minister, right? All products must be channeled through cooperatives. So, that's the kind of taking sides we need. Today, small and medium businesses need bank loans but they must go through the same criteria as the tycoons. How can people who have nothing get credit?

What are your views on corruption?
Corruption is a disease that can destroy the nation. A regime that cannot control corruption will become a failed state. We must cure the source of the problem. By my calculation, Indonesia has 50,000 to 60,000 government officials from the president to the vice president, 35 ministers and deputy ministers, five directors-general, legislators, district chiefs and down to subdistrict chiefs. If their cost of living was to be guaranteed, I am quite optimistic corruption will decline.

Yet a Constitutional Court judge earning a monthly salary of Rp200 million was found accepting bribes.
My meaning is to have a systemic approach. If the bureaucrat's quality of life is raised, violations will become taboo.

What about human rights?
That is very important. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should be, in my view, the principal. The top [priority] should be the right to live. We must look at human rights in a holistic way, not just the way it's interpreted by the West. The most basic right is that every child must have a tenable life, able to eat. Whoever governs, must guarantee that right.

If you become president, will you prioritize solving Munir's murder?
Why only Munir? I think we should improve our legal system and let the law solve the case.

What do you mean?
It must be resolved through legal channels. But how can you raise the Munir case without resolving other cases like Mesuji? Have you taken up the case of farmers who were evicted from their lands?
We have. Tempo has written extensively on the Mesuji case.
Well, that's good.

What is your commitment towards democracy, for example in facing a noisy opposition, a free media and activists?
I find your question quite strange. My commitment to what? What guarantees do people want from me? I have proven my commitment to the UUD (Constitution). If you recall that in 1968, I led 34 battalions. Physically, I was the strongest in Indonesia. I was accused of planning a coup, so I was fired by the President, but I obeyed him without protest. That meant I proved my commitment to the UUD. For me, it's an oath.

So, you will not muzzle the opposition?
Activists and those who regarded me as part of the New Order regime said I was militaristic, fascist, blah blah blah. Today, pro-democracy activists are members of Gerindra, holding significant positions. They are chairmen, candidates [for office] in strategic regions. The son of an OPM (Free Papua Movement) member is part of Gerindra, as well as the son of [late rebel] Kartosoewirjo.

You are firm but your temper is legendary. Is it true you used to smash handphones when you were mad?
In the biographies of CEOs and generals, don't they ever get angry?
Are you saying, it's typical of you?

Look, I used to lead combat units. I called my troops tigers. We trained them to be predators. Imagine if I had been weak. There's a saying: 1,000 tigers led by a goat would all be bleating. (Prabowo repeated his reply during the interview at his home, saying it in an effeminate way that caused his staff to burst out laughing.)

So you are ferocious not because of your military background?
Being a military leader is both easy and hard. The men have weapons. If I misled them, what would happen to them in the jungle? How many leaders lost their subordinates? [That happened] with the Americans in Vietnam. So, in leading an army, we must really lead from the front. In the TNI (Indonesian Military), the troops hate commanders who steal, who are corrupt or who are cowards.

Prabowo also addressed to rumors that he held Habibie hostage during the 1998 incident, spoke about being "banned" from entering the United States and shared his view on Joko Widodo's overtaking his popularity at the polls.

The complete interview can be found on the printed edition of this week's Tempo English magazine.

 

 

Prabowo: I am Like Nelson Mandela
Monday, 23 September, 2013


TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Prabowo Subianto, Presidential candidate from the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), compares himself to a famous South African figure Nelson Mandela during the interview with international television station Al Jazeera.
Prabowo mentioned Nelson Mandela when Al Jazeera reporter Veronica Pedrosa asked him about his past records, which made him one of the individuals blacklisted by the United States.

"
Nelson Mandela was also blacklisted from the United States at one time, am I not in good company?"
Prabowo said, which was immediately interrupted by Pedrosa. "But you're not Nelson Mandela."

"Yes, but Nelson Mandela was also blacklisted by the US," Prabowo said repeating his statement.
He also insisted that the United States knows that he is not involved in any crimes he was accused for committing in the past.


Prabowo and four other army generals were known to be banned from entering the US only after they were banned from joining the Indonesian President's visit to the US in 2010.

 

 


Prabowo's Political Stance Raises Criticism
Monday, 28 October, 2013 | 11:42 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Prabowo Subianto's confession about his political orientation, which partly adopts Western values, has raised criticism. In an interview with Tempo, Prabowo claimed that Indonesia must embrace certain Western values in order to make progress.

"I was shocked by Prabowo's blunt confession about his political goal," General Secretary of the Alumni Association of the Indonesian National Student Movement Ahmad Basarah, said on Monday, October 28, 2013.

Basarah claimed that he was shocked because previously, Prabowo often praises Bung Karno's nationalism aspiration, which focuses on political sovereignty, economic self-sufficiency, and cultural independence. He argued that Prabowo's views are in contradiction Soekarno's political ideas.

"Western countries always use developing countries as objects of economic and political exploitation," Basarah said.

Basarah later added that Soekarno was very critical towards capitalism, which is considered to be the root of imperialism. He argued that capitalism and liberalism values will not fit with Indonesia's ideology of Pancasila.

 

 


Prabowo Subianto: 'The people are fed up'


The Indonesian presidential candidate talks about his concerns, ambitions and plans for the future of his country.


Talk to Al Jazeera Last updated: 17 Nov 2013

 

 

Two hours away from Jakarta, in a secluded hillside estate behind armed guards, is the man who wants to be the next
leader of the 250 million Indonesian people.
The former general, Prabowo Subianto, is well known here. But to many people outside this country - the fourth most populous nation in the world - he remains an enigma.

Once the feared head of Indonesia’s notorious Special Forces, known as Kopasses, Prabowo puts those days firmly
behind him. For the third time next year, he will run for the presidency on populist policies.

Surveys show that if elections were held now he would become president of Indonesia, the nation with the biggest Muslim population in the world.
Democracy in Indonesia, he says, is threatened by the country's "elite".
"Democracy in Indonesia can fail because of the weakness of our legal system, or our enforcement system, the massive cheating; it is a very sensitive period. How wise will the Indonesian elite be? Or will the Indonesian elite want to continue business as usual, continue the current state where everything is up for sale?"

Although his military career made him into the man he is today, his controversial past may also prove to be his greatest challenge.
The US government, for example, has banned him from entering the country because he is accused of overseeing the

\forced disappearances of activists and the torture of pro-independence fighters in East Timor.
"When you serve as a soldier in the highest echelons, you will always be subject to accusations, charges, defamation of character; that's the risk of your profession," he says.
"This is my third general election; I have been competing in politics for 15 years, in business.
So every time my support goes up accusations start coming but the Indonesian people they are not that stupid, you know, that's why I am getting strong support.”

But in the rough and tumble of Indonesia politics he has also made some powerful enemies.
On this episode of Talk to Al Jazeera, we speak with Prabowo Subianto about what he wants for his country, and how he responds to allegations of wrongdoing in his past.

 

 


Prabowo Plans for Indonesia's Future


Semarang - Monday, 11 November, 2013

Chief patron of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party, Prabowo Subianto, has already envisioned his plans for Indonesia’s future if he is elected as the nation’s next leader from 2014 to 2019.
He announced that one of the first things he will do is cut off the budget for fuel subsidy as he deems the Rp300 trillion per year allocated for this a waste of national funds. He said the fuel subsidy should only be applied in sectors that desperately need it.
Instead, Prabowo intends to allocate the Rp300 trillion to sectors with more actual results, such as the procurement of mass transport, allocating Rp1 billion per village, developing the infrastructure for Indonesia’s railways (3,000 kilometers), and building a 10-lane highway as long as 3,000 kilometers.

Prabowo also said that he believes Indonesia has four main issues to overcome. First, the depletion of Indonesia’s energy resources due to the fact that the nation consumes approximately 500 barrels of oil per year, which increases by 10 million barrels per year, he said.

Second, the rapidly growing population as "each year, there are five million new mouths to feed, said Prabowo.
The third main problem is the weak government that is inefficient and corrupt. And finally, the fourth problem is the imbalance of the nation’s economic structure. Prabowo said that 60 percent of Indonesia’s funds circulate in Jakarta alone.
Prabowo claimed that the Gerindra Party is the only party that has prepared a national development concept for Indonesia.

ROFIUDDIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prabowo could be Indonesia’s Lee Kuan Yew
Stanley A. Weiss, Ubud, Bali
September 18 2013, 9:59 AM


If public graft were a symphony, Djoko Susilo might be its Mozart. On a salary of US$1,000 a month, the former head of
Indonesia’s police academy managed to amass a fortune of $18 million.
Earlier this month, Djoko was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Jakarta Corruption Court for accepting a $2.9 million bribe for a contract that eventually lost the state $10 million.

On the same day Djoko was found guilty, a former Health Ministry official was sentenced to five years in prison for embezzling $1 million. Last month, the country’s top oil and gas regulator — revered as a “clean man in a corrupt industry” — was charged with taking $700,000 in bribes from an oil-trading company. All told, more than 360 Indonesian officials have been jailed on corruption charges since 2002, including cabinet officers, governors, members of parliament and judges.

At a time when every Islamic nation in the Middle East seems to be on fire, Indonesia — which has more Muslims than Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt combined — appears to be a relative oasis of diversity and democracy.
On track to become one of the world’s 10 largest economies, this Southeast Asian nation is also set to witness the third consecutive direct election of its president next year after five decades of dictatorship.

But in a country where more than half of the population lives on less than $2 a day, Indonesia’s deepening corruption
at the highest levels isn’t just a threat to economic growth — it’s a ticking time bomb whose detonation could send shock waves across Asia, destabilize America’s China strategy and make the violence in Egypt and Syria pale by comparison.


“If Indonesia continues along the path it is currently taking — with high levels of inequality, high levels of corruption and poor governance — it will eventually lead to chaos and revolt,”
Prabowo Subianto, the former commander of Indonesia’s special forces
and a leading candidate for president, tells
me in a private meeting.


“What has happened in the
Middle East
over the past 24 months could happen in Indonesia, unless we change course
towards fairness, equality and transparency
iin government.

 

 

The toxic combination of graft and poverty has also fueled a sharp increase in religious-based violence, with 264 attacks reported last year. Among the potential presidential candidates, Prabowo has spoken most forcefully about the dangers of endemic graft and rising intolerance. He is also the person that many observers believe represents the country’s best hope for curbing corruption and Islamic extremism before it leads to violence.

Talking privately with Western ambassadors and business leaders, it is striking how often somebody mentions that Prabowo could become the Indonesian version of Lee Kuan Yew — the revered founder of modern-day Singapore, who took a corruption-ridden nation in the 1950s and transformed it into one of the least corrupt economies in the world.
Prabowo wasn’t always seen in such a positive light. When Indonesia’s longtime authoritarian president Soeharto fell in 1998, the former three-star general — then Soeharto’s son-in-law — was accused of leading deadly crackdowns against democracy activists.
Although never charged with wrongdoing, he was found guilty of “exceeding orders” by a military commission and dismissed from the army.

But in a nation where millions yearn for a greater measure of the strength and order that defined the Soeharto years, time has brought to the fore the qualities for which Prabowo is best known — what the popular former defense msinister, Juwono Sudarsono, defines as his “fierce loyalty to Indonesia, leadership, decisiveness — and toughness”
And like Lee Kuan Yew — who governed by the credo, “If nobody is afraid of me, I’m meaningless” — Prabowo strikes fear in the hearts of still-corrupt Soeharto-era cronies because, as one journalist tells me, “He is the only one they respect.”

As 2014 approaches, Prabowo has other advantages working in his favor. His campaign is being financed by his wealthy brother, Hashim Djojohadikusumo. In a nation with a history of Muslim-Christian violence, Probowo’s brother is a devout Christian, which is reassuring to many who fear a fundamentalist takeover in Jakarta.
At a time when elites pay scant attention to Indonesian’s poor, Prabowo’s Gerinda party — taking a page from the successful playbook of Thailand’s former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra — is strongly positioned as the voice of poor farmers, with a growing base beyond urban centers.

There is also a potential running mate who would ideally complement Prabowo’s discipline with a proven ability to achieve tangible, transformative results on the ground: Ibu Risma, mayor of Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city.
Recognized nationally as a reformer, praised by popular Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo for her relentless dedication to improving the lives of average Indonesians, the woman known as “Mother Risma” also has a strong anticorruption record. She was the driving force in establishing Surabaya as the first city in Indonesia to implement a transparent e-government online system that reduced both costs and graft.

There isn’t another public figure in Indonesia, including Joko, who has a more sparkling record of achievement than the deeply humble Ibu Risma. With her on the ticket, it would prove that Prabowo is serious about cutting corruption with a partner who knows how to implement a clean and transparent government system.
Still, Prabowo’s path to the ballot box remains unclear. Under Indonesia’s election laws, any candidate for president must be supported by a party or coalition earning at least 20 percent of the popular vote in next April’s legislative elections. In the last national election, in 2009, Prabowo’s party won just 4.5 percent.

But he may have a number of potential coalition partners. Rumor has it that on his deathbed in December of 2009, revered former President Abdurrahman Wahid, known as Gus Dur, urged members of his Nahdlatul Ulama party — the nation’s largest Islamic organization, with 40 million moderate Muslim members — to strongly support Prabowo for president.
Maybe Gus Dur knew the same thing that Juwono believes, when he says, “Prabowo is the only candidate with the grit to become president.” With corruption increasingly drawing the ire of Indonesia’s citizens, by 2014, he might just have the votes to become president, too.


The writer, a global mining executive and founder of Washington-based Business Executives for National Security,
has been widely published on domestic and international issues for four decades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old soldiers: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right)
meets with chief patron of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), Prabowo Subianto,
at his office in Jakarta on Monday.
The two former generals discussed the current political situation and a possible coalition.
(Antara/Prasetyo Utomo)

 

Prabowo, SBY deal looking more likely

Bagus BT Saragih, The Jakarta Post, March 13 2013, 4:23 PM

The widely publicized meeting between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and chief patron of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Lt. Gen. (ret.) Prabowo Subianto has led to speculation that the two have struck a deal for a political alliance ahead of the 2014 presidential election.
The meeting between Yudhoyono and Prabowo appeared to have been stage-managed to get the widest media coverage possible, with the schedule for the meeting being distributed hours before the meeting took place.

Prabowo, who is a former commander of the Special Forces Command (Kopassus) and a friend of Yudhoyono from his military college days, was accompanied by Fadli Zon, his party’s deputy chairman.

According to Fadli, the two discussed “substantial matters” which included Yudhoyono’s latest trip to Europe and some domestic political and economic issues.
Fadli however declined to give more details of the meeting, especially on the issue of Prabowo’s presidential bid in 2014, saying that he was asked to leave the room when Yudhoyono and Prabowo had a 20-minute closed-door private meeting.

Prior to the meeting, Prabowo did not rule out the possibility that he and Yudhoyono could talk about a potential alliance ahead of the 2014 election. “Politics is dynamic. We’ll see,” he said.
After the meeting, Prabowo also was tight-lipped over his presidential bid. He only confirmed that he would run in 2014 but did not respond when asked about forging an alliance with Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party. “The President said in the meeting that anyone planning to run for president must be down-to-earth and listen to the people’s wishes,” he said.

Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said the media had read too much into the meeting. “Both men are old friends. They have met numerous times in the past,” Julian said.

Analysts, however, suspect that the meeting was part of Yudhoyono’s “political survival” and “exit strategy”. Because the Constitution prevents Yudhoyono from running for a third term, it would be necessary for him to ensure that all scandals implicating him or his family are swept under the rug when his tenure ends in 2014.
And as his Democratic Party has not picked a presidential candidate, the possibility of backing Prabowo’s candidacy is now greater with his electability rating continuing to rise.

“SBY may see Prabowo as the most prospective ‘safe house’ after 2014,” Freedom Institute political analyst Yudi Latif said.

Several politicians have been reportedly endorsed by Yudhoyono for the 2014 presidential election. They include State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan and Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto, all of whom are regularly overshadowed by Prabowo in opinion polls.
Another politician who is also believed to have been endorsed by Yudhoyono is Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa, who is chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN). But Hatta’s overtures to the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura) chairman and former chief of the Indonesian Military (TNI) Gen. (ret.) Wiranto has led many to speculate that the two could prepare a presidential ticket for 2014.

The possible alliance between Yudhoyono and Prabowo has concerned human rights activists, who have long campaigned against Prabowo’s presidential bid.
Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) coordinator Haris Azhar said Yudhoyono could have offered not to endorse efforts to investigate the May 1998 human rights violation, which could implicate the former Kopassus chief, as an incentive to Prabowo.

“It is impossible for Yudhoyono not to be aware of Prabowo’s past record. In politics, the calculation is easy; what will I get in return and what I will give to you? In this sense, we are really concerned that enforcement of human rights is being used as a political commodity,” he said.
Opposition to a Yudhoyono-Prabowo pact also came from within Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party.

Young politicians within the party including former rights activist Rachland Nashidik and Ulil Abshar Abdalla said that part of the mission of the party was to prevent Prabowo from becoming the country’s next president.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Indonesia Facing The Future: Challenge for the Next 20 Years”
By Prabowo Subianto -
1 August 2012
Marina Mandarin Hotel

 

 

 

Lecture by Bapak Prabowo Subianto
(Chief Patron of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra))

 

 

 


Lecture by Bapak Prabowo Subianto
(Chief Patron of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra))


Script of Speech
(pdf)

 

 

 

 Indonesia Facing the Future: Challenges for the Next 20 Years
- Prabowo Subianto -

Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Indonesia Facing The Future: Challenge for the Next 20 Years

Prabowo Subianto Speech at RSIS 
S. Rajaratnam School of International
Studies

SINGAPORE, Aug 1, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding the Call for Indonesian Nationalism
Farish A. Noor - Straits Times |
August 22, 2012

During his recent public lecture in Singapore on
August 1, Indonesian presidential candidate
Prabowo Subianto highlighted the need for his country to remain nationalist in its outlook and to adopt a nationalist stand on issues of national interest, such as natural resources and food security.

The former Special Forces (Kopassus) commander and current businessman also spoke about the need for Indonesian leaders to take a pragmatic approach to the country's issues and problems. He cautioned that whoever might take over leadership of the country will have a short window period of two decades "to get things right" and to ensure Indonesia will not flounder in the future.

 

 

Prabowo cited statistics that seemed alarming to some observers, noting that 60 percent of Indonesia's monetary wealth
was concentrated in Jakarta while 60 percent of the country's population remained rural and dependent upon agriculture.

He warned that in 12 years' time Indonesia's oil reserves would be used up, and in 34 years so would the country's gas reserves.
While Indonesia's presidential elections are still two years away, most of the presidential contenders have already begun their campaigns and Prabowo was the first to project himself beyond Indonesia's borders.

Lest Indonesia-watchers become alarmed by Prabowo's calls for nationalism, it has to be understood that Indonesian nationalism is, and has always been, complex. With the exception of the brief Confrontation with Malaysia between 1963 and 1965, Indonesia has largely avoided conflict with its regional neighbors.

Historians will note that far from being a belligerent state, Indonesia has had in fact to grapple with several instances of internal revolt that jeopardized the country's nation-building process from the beginning. In the 1950s, the fledgling republic had to contain the centrifugal tendencies of numerous rebellions across Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi.

The Indonesian army, which was put together from elements of the former Dutch colonial army and Indonesian nationalist, Islamist and communist militias, underwent a long process of internal consolidation before it became one of the country's more stable institutions that has been crucial to its nation-building.

Since the fall of president Suharto in 1998, however, the Indonesian state has been under considerable pressure from local power centers across the country that have demanded more autonomy and local power.

Compounding this trend has been the rise of local governors and bupatis (regency heads), and the proliferation of local ordinances and laws (Peraturan Daerah) introduced at the local level. Some of these have challenged the spirit of the republican Constitution of Indonesia.

In Tasikmalaya, West Java, for instance, the local authorities have introduced a law that makes it compulsory for all women — including non-Muslims and tourists — to cover their heads with scarves. - Recently, conservative Muslim scholars in Indonesia have even gone as far as stating that Muslim Indonesians must not salute the country's flag or sing the national anthem, for these were seen as "un-Islamic" acts.

It is in the context of these mounting internal challenges against the unitary spirit of the Indonesian Constitution that one can understand why some leaders such as Prabowo are drawn to nationalism.

Being a former military commander himself, Prabowo is more than likely to be infused with the ethos of republicanism, and may regard sectarian demands from religious or ethnic groups as potentially damaging to the country. In the first half of the 2000s, Indonesia's international image was tarnished somewhat by news reports of religious and ethnic conflict across the country. Indonesia surely cannot face another round of sectarian conflict today.

In the lead-up to the next elections, more talk of nationalism among the presidential hopefuls can be expected. Such utterances have to be understood in their context, with some understanding of the challenges that the country faces today and some recognition of the fact that a vast country like Indonesia will need some emotive and symbolic force to keep it together.

No country in the region, however, poses an existential threat to Indonesia, and vice versa.
But as long as Indonesia's leaders do not find a means to contain the growing demands of the local elite and power centers across that vast country, Indonesia runs the risk of further centrifugal forces pulling it apart. In the face of these new ethnic and religious demands, nationalism — as long as it is inclusive and not bellicose — may well be the glue that keeps the country together.

Dr Farish A. Noor, who has been researching Indonesia for over 10 years, is a senior fellow with the Contemporary Islam Programme at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.

Reprinted courtesy of The Straits Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

Career Soldier

Prabowo Subianto's background

Oct. 17, 1951: Born in Jakarta
1996: Became commander of Indonesia's
Army Special Forces
998: Discharged from military service
2009: Ran for vice president on ticket with Megawati Sukarnoputri
2012: Tops early polls for 2014 presidential race

Indonesians Turn Gaze to Suharto-Era General
BY ERIC BELLMAN
August 2, 2012

BOGOR, Indonesia—In the 1990s, Prabowo Subianto was a feared military commander, the son-in-law of Indonesian strongman Suharto and the alleged force behind the ruler's heavy handed crackdowns against democracy activists.

Today, he is the front-runner to become Indonesia's next president.

 

 

Recent polls put the controversial but charismatic leader of one of Indonesia's smallest parties at the front of the race to succeed President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Though the president's second and final five-year term won't end until 2014, dissatisfaction with his government after a series of corruption scandals and abandoned reforms already is spurring many Indonesians to focus on who will replace him. The outcome could help determine whether Southeast Asia's largest economy continues to be a source of stability and prosperity in the region, or reverts to the chronic instability that scared off investors for years after the Asian financial crisis.

Early election fever has complicated matters for President Yudhoyono, who has been unable to rally support to push through unpopular changes such as a cut in fuel subsidies—which parliament rejected earlier this year—that analysts said was needed to fund infrastructure and other priorities.

The rising support for Mr. Prabowo, despite his associations with a more tumultuous period of Indonesia's past, underscores the frustration of many Indonesians even as their country's economy grows rapidly.

President Yudhoyono is widely credited with stabilizing the vast archipelago nation after the Asian financial crisis. But Indonesia now suffers from massive transportation bottlenecks, power shortages and corruption imbroglios that have left many voters eager for a strong hand.
"People are becoming despondent and also disillusioned," Mr. Prabowo said in an interview in his expansive hilltop homestead overlooking valleys of corn and cassava about 90 minutes outside of the capital. "There is a loss of confidence in the leadership and the institutions, which is very dangerous."

Some human-rights activists say Mr. Prabowo isn't fit to head the country because of his alleged associations with violent crackdowns during the Suharto era.

When Suharto's 32-year reign came to an end in a frenzy of national protest and riots in 1998, members of an Indonesian Special Forces unit that Mr. Prabowo commanded were accused by activists of kidnapping democracy advocates, among other crimes. When Suharto stepped down, the military forced out Gen. Prabowo.

"In the 1990s, Subianto was instrumental in forcefully defending the Suharto regime from perceived threats, and he was therefore diametrically opposed to the reformist elements that gave rise Indonesia's democratization," said Kevin O'Rourke, the Jakarta-based author of "Reformasi," a book on Indonesia's transition to a democracy in the late 1990s. "His high ranking in recent presidential preference polls reflects disenchantment with other aspiring nominees."

Mr. Prabowo was never charged with any wrongdoing. He said in the interview he hasn't been involved in any human-rights abuses and that political rivals have spread false rumors about him. "This is the risk of being a military leader. When you serve a government and serve your country, then when politics change, we have to face the risk of allegations," he said.

His military record may be his strongest suit, supporters and some analysts say.
"He is known for being able to make decisions under pressure," said Sabam Rajagukguk, 32, a supporter and member of Mr. Prabowo's Gerindra political party. "Look at Singapore or look at [South] Korea: All the Asian countries that are doing well have had leaders who could make decisive decisions and are not afraid to be unpopular."

In a May survey by the Indonesian Survey Institute, Mr. Prabowo was tied for first with former president Megawati Sukarnoputri, whom President Yudhoyono beat in 2004 and 2009—the second time with Mr. Prabowo as running mate—and who could legally run again. At least one other recent survey by another institution puts Mr. Prabowo alone at the top, with the support of 26% of the voters surveyed.
It isn't yet clear who will lead the Democrat Party of Mr. Yudhoyono, who has insisted he remains focused on tasks such as rooting out corruption and expanding infrastructure. Other expected candidates, most of whom are undeclared, include former vice president and businessman Jusuf Kalla and Aburizal Bakrie, one of Indonesia's wealthiest tycoons with interests in coal, property and other businesses.

Mr. Prabowo says it is his military background that helps differentiate him. A career solder from a wealthy family, he married Suharto's daughter and became one of the country's youngest generals. After Suharto's ouster, Mr. Prabowo divorced the daughter, although the date of the split isn't publicly known and Mr. Prabowo declined to discuss it.
His family's wealth has grown with investments in oil, coal and palm oil. His brother Hashim Djojohadikusumo is worth more than $700 million, according to the most recent Forbes survey. Mr. Prabowo has climbed to the top of political parties, first within Golkar, Suharto's old party, and then with his own party, the Great Indonesian Movement party, or Gerindra.

He promises to use military-style efficiency to push through chronically delayed infrastructure projects, as well as to create jobs in the archipelago's backwaters by improving agricultural productivity. He proposes to spend more on new farming equipment and wants to reclaim five million hectares of damaged forest land for farmers.
He shares his massive home base in the hills with hundreds of goats, which he is breeding, he says, to improve the stock in Indonesia. His herd of milking cows, he says, is being developed to boost milk production in the country. He has 13 thoroughbred Portuguese horses he rides regularly to practice dressage, an equestrian sport, as well as a giant German shepherd, Baron, and a falcon named Elly.

Mr. Prabowo says his party has a relatively clean record on corruption, long considered a serious problem in Indonesia. Only around six of the 600 national and local politicians in office from his party have ever been implicated in corruption scandals, he says, and those six were sacked.
Another pillar to Mr. Prabowo's platform is that he is solidly secular, and his party plans to protect the rights of minority religious groups in the Muslim-majority country. As if to underline his party's secular roots, more than 100 of its young male and female party workers on Mr. Prabowo's property recently practiced the cha-cha on his arena grounds.

His inner circle of party workers is also peppered with former military people. Saluting is common in his home. His library is packed with military books and a collection of swords and tradit ional knives. His walls, and his Facebook page, are full of photos and paintings of him in uniform. While he jokes that he is now a farmer, he more often refers to himself as a soldier.
"My military training has taught me to concentrate," he said. "You cannot win on five fronts—you must select one or two."

President Yudhoyono was also a soldier, and when the president asked Mr. Prabowo to join him for a private chat at an event in Bali recently, many political commentators speculated the president was crowning a favored successor.
No such overtures were made, Mr. Prabowo said.
"There was no deal. There were no serious discussions in Bali," he said. "As a national leader it only makes sense that he would want good relations with all possible successors."

 

 

 


Once reviled, Indonesia's Prabowo may become next president

By Raju Gopalakrishnan
SINGAPORE Wed Aug 1

(Reuters) - Just over 14 years ago, Prabowo Subianto was one of Indonesia's most reviled men, accused of kidnapping, human rights abuses and a coup attempt.
Now, the former general has emerged as the most popular candidate for president. If elected, he says he will not roll back the democratic reforms that Indonesia embraced after his then father-in-law Suharto was ousted from over three decades of autocratic rule.
"I think the people want strong, decisive leadership," Prabowo told Reuters in an interview in Singapore.
But he added: "I don't think it is feasible to turn back the clock. Whatever I would like to do, I don't think it is feasible. I think we have to work harder to create consensus, work harder to get a mandate from the people."

Suharto was thrown out of office in May, 1998 as the country sank into an abyss of rioting and economic upheaval. Prabowo, a general from one of Indonesia's most prominent families, was accused of instigating the violence.
Incoming president B.J. Habibie said the second night after he was sworn in, Prabowo showed up at the presidential palace, armed and with a squad of special forces soldiers, and tried to stage a coup.

Dismissed from the army soon after, shunned by the Jakarta elite and in self-exile in Jordan for some years, Prabowo has in just over a decade managed a striking transformation.
While Indonesia has rebounded from the near-chaos of the late 1990s to be one of the world's fastest-growing economies, Prabowo is now a successful businessman and the popular head of a political party.

Opinion polls show him as the leading candidate for the 2014 presidential election, although he himself says a lot can happen before then.
Analysts say his often blunt views on the need for strong leadership and pro-poor and pro-farmer policies have gone down well with the people, for whom the events of 1998 do not matter that much anymore.
"I was a soldier," Prabowo said, describing that period.
"As a soldier, one does not think too much about politics or political correctness or human communications. Maybe my communication was not good enough."

A 60-year-old with the square build of the special forces commander he once was, Prabowo said he is still refused a U.S. visa because of the allegations he was involved in violence at that time. He is now divorced from Suharto's daughter, with whom he has a 28-year-old son.
Asked about the coup charges leveled by Habibie, who took over as Indonesia's president after Suharto, Prabowo said: "That is part of political jockeying, disinformation. I was just a straight soldier.
"I proved by my actions. Did I take over? Did I carry out a coup d'etat? History speaks for itself."
Asked if could have taken power if he wished, he said: "Yes of course. Why not?"

Prabowo, in Singapore to deliver a lecture on the future of Indonesia, separately told reporters: "Despite controlling nearly one half of Indonesia's combat units, I stepped down after being asked to step down by the political power.
"Because I am a constitutionalist. As an officer and a soldier, I swore an oath to serve the Republic of Indonesia. I kept my honor, I kept my oath."

AN INSULAR INDONESIA?
With the no-nonsense style of a former general, Prabowo's possible ascent to power is being looked on nervously from several quarters. Investors worry he will bring in protectionist policies and political analysts say his past shows he can easily slip into strong-arm autocratic rule.
"If he won, concerns would arise about the durability of democratization," says Kevin O'Rourke, a Jakarta-based analyst. "He also advocates an economic agenda that calls for banning rice imports and banning gas exports. He is antagonistic towards investment and market forces."

Prabowo, the son of one of Indonesia's most respected economic planners, has said he is not against foreign investment.
"We want foreign investment, but it must be win-win," he said. "It must be rational, it must be cognizant of local and environmental needs and it must be on a fair and level playing field."
In his speech, he said the country needed to avoid depletion of its energy and other resources, control population growth, improve governance and bring in structural changes in the economy to benefit the poor and the farmers, who form the majority of Indonesia's 240 million people.

The country was once Asia's only member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) but left the group and is now a net importer, although it has vast natural gas reserves and has some of the world's largest coal deposits.
Prabowo's focus was, however, on agriculture, and he advocated using bio-fuels to back up fossil fuel reserves.
"Sixty percent of our population live on agriculture and are allocated three percent of the national budget in 2012," he said.
"This is not viable. This is not wise, this a formula for misery, for unrest. This will degrade social harmony. This is what we have to have the courage to address."

Prabowo is also feared by some of Indonesia's ethnic Chinese minority, who control much of the country's $1 trillion economy and were targeted in the 1998 mayhem that was orchestrated by thugs believed to be organized by special forces soldiers.
"I am very committed to a united Indonesia regardless of race, religion and background," he said in response to a question on his policy towards the ethnic Chinese.
"My political party has a lot of members from many, many backgrounds and races. We have a lot of Chinese members but of course most of them are middle class and poor Chinese. We don't think about race in our party."

NOT A SOCIALIST
But Prabowo said government should re-focus spending away from the cities and the elite.
He said he did not wish to criticize President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, with whom he graduated from Indonesia's military academy, but added that economic managers had blindly adopted Western economic policies in his tenure. Yudhoyono has served two terms as president and cannot run again.

Prabowo, who contested the vice-presidency in 2009 but was defeated by Yudhoyono and his running mate, said he was not a socialist but added that government could not take a hands-off stand.
"In Indonesia, we cannot have a laissez faire approach to our problems. I am of the conviction that a government must intervene to protect the very poor and the very weak, to stimulate growth.
"In sectors where the private sector is very strong, let the private sector carry on."

Ultimately, Prabowo said, what was needed was a strong government.
"There are always leaders and people who will look for reasons not to try anything new. But the Indonesian leadership must have the will, the toughness, the character, the courage, to think and try to look for creative solutions.
"I was brought up with the motto 'who dares, wins' and I think it is time for the Indonesian elite to dare."

(Additional reporting by Jonathan Thatcher and Olivia Rondonuwu in JAKARTA; Editing by Robert Birsel)

 

 

Prabowo Subianto: Promoting a pragmatic approach for Indonesia
Lise Provost Posted September 26, 2012
Freelance journalist based in Paris.
My writings focus on international politics.

In Indonesia, the next presidential election is set to be held in 2014. While the current president is constitutionally barred from running for office a third consecutive time, Prabowo Subianto has already started his campaign, and is rapidly gaining the population’s support.
As a former commander of Indonesia’s special forces, Prabowo Subianto is the current front-runner to be the next president of Indonesia. The ballot will take place in 2014; however, Subianto has already started his campaign. A survey conducted last month by The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) indicates that Subianto is the most popular candidate in the race so far. He is projected to gain 20% of votes, compared to 15.3% of votes that Megawati Sukarnoputri is estimated to gain, his main challenger.

Even though Subianto is remarkably confident about the future of Indonesia, he is quite aware of the country’s vast gap between the rich and poor populations.
According to Stanley Weiss, in The Huffington Post, “Indonesia is a young country, rich in resources with a seemingly unlimited future. It is among the fastest growing economies in the world. But it is also a nation of massive traffic jams, power shortages and high-profile corruption.”

Ready to address the many challenges that Indonesia has to overcome, Subianto is strengthening his position of leadership within the political landscape of the country. The first weeks of his electoral campaign have revealed a candidate who has embodied the kind of strength that Indonesia needs, going forward.

Subianto is thus promoting a pragmatic approach to face Indonesia’s problems. “Prabowo Subianto leads the pack because he projects grit, firm leadership, and decisiveness – all of which are seen to be lacking in our current leadership,” former Minister of Defence Juwono Sudarsono stated. This is exactly the kind of political message that the population expects, which in turn, has fuelled the growing popularity of Subianto.

However, as it is still very early in the election process- two years before the actual election- Subianto is the only presidential contender who has already begun his campaign by putting forward his election proposals. Is this his first step on the road to becoming Indonesia’s next president?

 

 

 

Jokowi - Prabowo - Ahok

The Jakarta 2012 gubernatorial elections

23 SEPTEMBER 2012

 

 

 

 

Prabowo impresses Huffington Post’s Weiss as presidential candidate for Indonesia
By unspun September 13, 2012

If the Huffington Post‘s Stanley Weiss is right, and Prabowo is leading the pack among Indonesia’s presidential candidates, the implication is that SBY is Prabowo’s biggest electoral asset.

Why? Because SBY’s namby-pamby, make-no-tough-decisions style is driving Indonesians to the level of frustration that Prabowo starts to look very good in contrast. In politics and logic this is called occupying the extremes. One someone else occupies an extreme position, you start to look good relative to that person.

So well done as Prabowo’s most effective campaigner, SBY!

 

 

The Courage to Jump in Indonesia

Stanley Weiss
Founding Chairman, Business Executives for National Security

JAKARTA–Five years ago, one of the most respected soldiers in U.S. history died too soon.
Wayne Downing was a West Point graduate and four-star general who served two tours in Vietnam and came out of retirement after 9/11 to serve as anti-terrorism advisor to President George W. Bush. Known as the father of the modern Rangers , Downing commanded America’s elite counter-terrorism teams in the 1990s and spent decades training foreign soldiers who came to Fort Bragg to learn about democracy. Not long before he died, I had lunch with General Downing at the White House. He told me that of all the foreign soldiers he ever trained, two stood out. One was Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein , the reigning King of Jordan. The other was Prabowo Subianto , the former commander of Indonesia’s special forces, and the current front-runner to be Indonesia’s next president in 2014.

Meeting with Prabowo , now a successful businessman, and his wealthy brother Hashim Djojohadikusumo here in this capital city, it’s not hard to see what General Downing saw. Prabowo is strategic and insightful, remarkably idealistic about his country and confident about its future. The scion of one of Indonesia’s most prestigious families, he grows passionate when he speaks about the nation’s income inequalities. He embodies a strength that is later captured well by Juwono Sudarsono , the respected former Minister of Defense, who tells me, “Prabowo leads the pack because he projects grit,
firm leadership and decisiveness–which are seen to be lacking in our current leadership.”

That Prabowo is part of the conversation at all here is a testament to both his survival skills and the growing pains felt by
this archipelago nation in its second decade of democracy. In some ways, he is the last person Westerners expected
to be in a position of leadership–which has some wondering what his ascension means for Indonesia, and the future of
Asia’s democracies.

Fourteen years ago, the former general was one of the most detested men in Indonesia . The then-son-in-law of former dictator Suharto, Prabowo was accused of leading deadly crackdowns against democracy activists in Suharto’s waning days, inciting riots that led to Suharto’s ouster and leading a coup attempt against his replacement.
Although never charged with wrongdoing, Prabowo was found guilty of “exceeding orders ” by a military ethics committee
and dismissed by the army . For his alleged role in the riots, he was the first person in U.S. history to be denied a visa for violating the United Nations Convention Against Torture. He is anathema to human rights organizations in the West- -but Indonesia may be willing to look past that history.

"Ruthlessness may disqualify you to be President in the West, but not for Indonesians," says a well-known Western Ambassador. "He was a soldier and son-in-law that had done everything to keep Indonesia united.
Many here feel that he was doing as a soldier what he had to do to keep the country together."

A popular local artist agrees, saying that "Indonesians may be willing to forgive and forget. He seems to embody the kind
of strength the country needs going forward."

As the world's largest Muslim-majority country and its third-largest democracy, Indonesia is a young country rich in resources with a seemingly unlimited future. It is among the fastest-growing economies in the world. But it is also a nation
of massive traffic jams, power shortages and high-profile corruption that, as journalist Eric Bellman says, "has voters reaching for a sure hand," to move beyond what former Indonesian Coordinating Economic Minister Rizal Ramli describes
as Indonesia's "vicious cycle of false hope espoused by jaded elites that are long on talk of democracy, but fall remarkably short of action once they enter office."

While President Susilio Bambang Yudhoyono is credited with stabilizing the economy after the Asian financial crisis, he
has been, as one venture capitalist calls him, "a ditherer," who is helpless against Suharto-era cronies who still dominate key sectors of the economy.
At a time when many Indonesians "yearn for a decisive figure akin to Suharto, Prabowo is seen as a return to a stronger, more straightforward Indonesia," says a former high-ranking official in Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission.
Or, as a well-known photojournalist puts it, Prabowo is seen as "a leader who isn't going to sell us out--who will return
our pride."


Both Prabowo and SBY, as he's known here, entered the military academy at the same time and became three-star generals within a month of each other. But while SBY commanded airborne teams, Prabowo commanded the nation's most elite soldiers and was considered its most able soldier. It makes Prabowo much more credible when he says, as he does to me, "If you break the law in Indonesia today, you make a deal and get out of it--under me, you're not going to be able to do that."

But some also fear, as Juwono tells me, that "Probowo will become a Putin." Indeed, as young democracies across
Asia struggle to root out corruption in societies with little history of rule of law, some wonder if democracy is the answer.
Lee Kuan Yew, the revered father of modern Singapore who Prabowo admires, famously believes that Western notions of democracy and civil liberties are out of step with the needs of Asian societies. For 52 years, Lee followed a simple philosophy: "If nobody is afraid of me, I'm meaningless." He wielded that belief with a soft authoritarianism to turn
Singapore into the least-corrupt, most orderly nation on the planet.

The question for nascent democracies here is whether those same ends can be achieved through democratic means. Prabowo is visceral in his defense of democracy, insisting that he will not roll back the democratic reforms that Indonesia embraced after Suharto. "The problem isn't the democratic system," he tells me, "It's the corruption.
I'm still confident that we can get effective government through elections because the alternative is the worst."

Also working in his favor is that Prabowo, who chairs the Indonesian Farmers Union in addition to running his popular Gerindra political party, has positioned himself as the voice of poor farmers. He argues that "sixty percent of our population live on agriculture and are allocated just three percent of the national budget"-- arguing that the government should re-focus spending away from the cities and the elite. He promises to use "military-style efficiency" to get delayed infrastructure projects back on track. And, he has deep pockets: his brother is not just a near-billionaire who is financing his campaign,
he is also a devout Christian--which is reassuring for some who fear an extremist Islamic takeover in Jakarta.

"People look to strong leaders despite their checkered past, provided they deliver," says Juwono.
"Think Ariel Sharon in Israel, who was elected despite leading abuses in Lebanon, (and then evacuated Israeli troops from Gaza); or Narendra Modi in India, who was responsible for the massacre of Muslims in 2002, but now delivers education
and health services, in part to Muslims. When you are able to deliver, your past has no bearing on legitimacy."

In 1995, Wayne Downing visited Prabowo in Indonesia. An old paratrooper, he wanted to do a high-altitude free-fall into Indonesia, which is rare for generals to do. Prabowo tried to convince him not to jump, but when Downing insisted,
he jumped with him. "Sometimes," he told me, "you just have to have the courage to jump."
Time will tell if Indonesians are so inclined.

Stanley A. Weiss is Founding Chairman of Business Executives for National Security,
a nonpartisan organization based in Washington. The views expressed are his own.

 

 

 


Kebangkitan Kembali Prabowo

oleh Eric Bellman
August 3, 2012,


Tahun 1990-an, Prabowo Subianto adalah seorang jenderal yang ditakuti, menantu mantan presiden Suharto, dan diduga berada di balik aksi penindasan para aktivis demokrasi. Kini, ia menjadi salah satu calon kuat presiden Indonesia berikutnya.

Beberapa survei menempatkan sosok kontroversial tapi karismatis ini sebagai unggulan untuk menggantikan Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Hasil pemilu presiden 2014 akan menentukan apakah Indonesia akan tetap menjadi poros kemakmuran dan stabilitas di Asia Tenggara, atau malah terjerumus kembali ke dalam kesemrawutan pasca-krisis moneter 1998.

SBY memang banyak dipuji karena berhasil mengembalikan kestabilan setelah krisis keuangan itu. Namun bukan berarti Indonesia bebas masalah. Tersendatnya pembangunan dan penyediaan infrastruktur serta korupsi akut masih menjadi isu sentral masalah ekonomi Indonesia.

Sebagian rakyat menginginkan sosok pemimpin yang lebih tegas untuk mengurai masalah itu. “Rakyat sudah kecewa dan nyaris putus asa,” kata Prabowo dalam wawancara khusus bersama Wall Street Journal di rumahnya yang luas di pinggiran kota Jakarta, dengan ladang jagung dan singkong yang menghampar. “Orang mulai hilang kepercayaan terhadap pemimpin dan lembaga pemerintah. Ini sangat berbahaya.”

Beberapa aktivis hak asasi manusia (HAM) menganggap Prabowo tidak layak memimpin negara ini, karena ia diduga terlibat dalam aksi kekerasan dan penindasan di era Suharto. Di akhir rezim Orde Baru tahun 1998, anggota Kopassus—yang saat itu dipimpin Prabowo—dituduh menculik beberapa aktivis demokrasi.

“Tahun 1990-an, Prabowo berperan penting dalam melindungi rezim Suharto dari potensi ancaman, dan itu menempatkannya di posisi yang sama sekali bertolak belakang dengan elemen-elemen reformasi,” kata Kevin O’Rourke, pengamat politik. “Jika Prabowo unggul dalam survei-survei calon presiden, itu mencerminkan ketidakpuasan rakyat akan calon-calon yang lain.”

Prabowo belum pernah didakwa secara resmi atas tuduhan itu. Dalam wawancara, ia menyatakan tidak pernah terlibat dalam pelanggaran HAM apapun. Menurutnya, lawan-lawan politiknya menyebar kabar yang tidak benar tentang dirinya. “Itulah risikonya menjadi jenderal. Kita mengabdi kepada negara dan pemerintah, lalu situasi politik berubah dan kita harus menghadapi risiko dituduh macam-macam,” ujarnya.

Tapi menurut beberapa pengamat dan para pendukungnya, pengalaman militer itu malah menjadi keunggulannya.

“Ia dikenal bisa mengambil keputusan di bawah tekanan,” kata Sabam Rajagukguk, 32 tahun, anggota Partai Gerindra yang dipimpin Prabowo. “Lihat Singapura atau Korea Selatan. Negara Asia yang sukses memiliki pemimpin yang tegas dan tidak mengkhawatirkan popularitas.”

Prabowo mengakui latar belakang tentaranya bisa membedakannya dengan kandidat presiden lain. Sebagai anak dari keluarga kaya, ia berkarier di militer, menikahi Titiek—putri Suharto—dan kemudian menjadi salah satu jenderal termuda Indonesia saat itu. Prabowo bercerai dengan Titiek setelah Suharto lengser, walaupun ia tidak mau berkomentar tentang pernikahannya saat diwawancarai.

 

 

Kekayaan keluarga Prabowo datang dari bisnis perminyakan, batu bara, dan kelapa sawit. Adiknya, Hashim Djojohadikusumo, adalah salah satu orang terkaya Indonesia berdasarkan perhitungan Forbes, dengan kekayaan lebih dari $700 juta atau Rp 6,6 triliun. Kiprah politik Prabowo berawal dari Partai Golkar, dan kemudian ia mendirikan partainya sendiri, Gerakan Indonesia Raya atau Gerindra.

Prabowo berjanji akan memakai efisiensi gaya militer untuk memuluskan proyek-proyek infrastruktur yang terhambat, serta untuk membuka lapangan kerja di daerah tertinggal dengan meningkatkan produktivitas pertanian.
Ia juga menyatakan partainya relatif bersih dari korupsi. Menurutnya, dari sekitar 600 politisi asal partainya yang pernah dan sedang memegang jabatan, hanya enam orang yang pernah diduga terlibat korupsi, dan enam orang itu telah dipecat dari partai.

Hal lain yang membedakan Prabowo di bursa calon presiden adalah sikap sekuler yang tegas. Partainya berjanji akan melindungi hak-hak kelompok agama minoritas di negara mayoritas Islam ini.
Di Gerindra, Prabowo masih dikelilingi oleh orang-orang militer. Perpustakaan pribadinya dipenuhi buku-buku militer dan dihiasi koleksi senjata tajam tradisional. Dinding rumahnya pun menampung foto-foto dan lukisan Prabowo berseragam militer. Sambil bercanda, Prabowo berkata ia sekarang adalah petani, walaupun ia masih sering memandang dirinya sebagai seorang tentara.

“Di militer, saya dilatih untuk berkonsentrasi,” ujarnya.
“Kita tak bisa menang di lima front—harus fokus di satu atau dua saja.”

 

 

 

Once reviled, Indonesia's Prabowo may become next president
By Raju Gopalakrishnan
SINGAPORE | Wed Aug 1, 2012 6:43pm EDT

(Reuters) - Just over 14 years ago, Prabowo Subianto was one of Indonesia's most reviled men, accused of kidnapping, human rights abuses and a coup attempt.
Now, the former general has emerged as the most popular candidate for president. If elected, he says he will not roll back the democratic reforms that Indonesia embraced after his then father-in-law Suharto was ousted from over three decades of autocratic rule.

 

 

"I think the people want strong, decisive leadership," Prabowo told Reuters in an interview in Singapore.
But he added: "I don't think it is feasible to turn back the clock. Whatever I would like to do, I don't think it is feasible. I think we have to work harder to create consensus, work harder to get a mandate from the people."

Suharto was thrown out of office in May, 1998 as the country sank into an abyss of rioting and economic upheaval. Prabowo, a general from one of Indonesia's most prominent families, was accused of instigating the violence.
Incoming president B.J. Habibie said the second night after he was sworn in, Prabowo showed up at the presidential palace, armed and with a squad of special forces soldiers, and tried to stage a coup.

Dismissed from the army soon after, shunned by the Jakarta elite and in self-exile in Jordan for some years, Prabowo has in just over a decade managed a striking transformation.
While Indonesia has rebounded from the near-chaos of the late 1990s to be one of the world's fastest-growing economies, Prabowo is now a successful businessman and the popular head of a political party.
Opinion polls show him as the leading candidate for the 2014 presidential election, although he himself says a lot can happen before then.

Analysts say his often blunt views on the need for strong leadership and pro-poor and pro-farmer policies have gone down well with the people, for whom the events of 1998 do not matter that much anymore.
"I was a soldier," Prabowo said, describing that period.
"As a soldier, one does not think too much about politics or political correctness or human communications. Maybe my communication was not good enough."

A 60-year-old with the square build of the special forces commander he once was, Prabowo said he is still refused a U.S. visa because of the allegations he was involved in violence at that time. He is now divorced from Suharto's daughter, with whom he has a 28-year-old son.
Asked about the coup charges leveled by Habibie, who took over as Indonesia's president after Suharto, Prabowo said:
"That is part of political jockeying, disinformation. I was just a straight soldier.
"I proved by my actions. Did I take over? Did I carry out a coup d'etat? History speaks for itself."
Asked if could have taken power if he wished, he said: "Yes of course. Why not?"

Prabowo, in Singapore to deliver a lecture on the future of Indonesia, separately told reporters: "Despite controlling nearly one half of Indonesia's combat units, I stepped down after being asked to step down by the political power.
"Because I am a constitutionalist. As an officer and a soldier, I swore an oath to serve the Republic of Indonesia. I kept my honor, I kept my oath."

AN INSULAR INDONESIA?
With the no-nonsense style of a former general, Prabowo's possible ascent to power is being looked on nervously from several quarters. Investors worry he will bring in protectionist policies and political analysts say his past shows he can easily slip into strong-arm autocratic rule.

"If he won, concerns would arise about the durability of democratization," says Kevin O'Rourke, a Jakarta-based analyst. "He also advocates an economic agenda that calls for banning rice imports and banning gas exports. He is antagonistic towards investment and market forces."

Prabowo, the son of one of Indonesia's most respected economic planners, has said he is not against foreign investment.
"We want foreign investment, but it must be win-win," he said. "It must be rational, it must be cognizant of local and environmental needs and it must be on a fair and level playing field."
In his speech, he said the country needed to avoid depletion of its energy and other resources, control population growth, improve governance and bring in structural changes in the economy to benefit the poor and the farmers, who form the majority of Indonesia's 240 million people.

The country was once Asia's only member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) but left the group and is now a net importer, although it has vast natural gas reserves and has some of the world's largest coal deposits.
Prabowo's focus was, however, on agriculture, and he advocated using bio-fuels to back up fossil fuel reserves.
"Sixty percent of our population live on agriculture and are allocated three percent of the national budget in 2012," he said.
"This is not viable. This is not wise, this a formula for misery, for unrest. This will degrade social harmony. This is what we have to have the courage to address."

Prabowo is also feared by some of Indonesia's ethnic Chinese minority, who control much of the country's $1 trillion economy and were targeted in the 1998 mayhem that was orchestrated by thugs believed to be organized by special forces soldiers.
"I am very committed to a united Indonesia regardless of race, religion and background," he said in response to a question on his policy towards the ethnic Chinese.

"My political party has a lot of members from many, many backgrounds and races. We have a lot of Chinese members but of course most of them are middle class and poor Chinese. We don't think about race in our party."

NOT A SOCIALIST
But Prabowo said government should re-focus spending away from the cities and the elite.
He said he did not wish to criticize President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, with whom he graduated from Indonesia's military academy, but added that economic managers had blindly adopted Western economic policies in his tenure. Yudhoyono has served two terms as president and cannot run again.

Prabowo, who contested the vice-presidency in 2009 but was defeated by Yudhoyono and his running mate, said he was not a socialist but added that government could not take a hands-off stand.
"In Indonesia, we cannot have a laissez faire approach to our problems. I am of the conviction that a government must intervene to protect the very poor and the very weak, to stimulate growth.
"In sectors where the private sector is very strong, let the private sector carry on."

Ultimately, Prabowo said, what was needed was a strong government.
"There are always leaders and people who will look for reasons not to try anything new. But the Indonesian leadership must have the will, the toughness, the character, the courage, to think and try to look for creative solutions.
"I was brought up with the motto 'who dares, wins' and I think it is time for the Indonesian elite to dare."

(Additional reporting by Jonathan Thatcher and Olivia Rondonuwu in JAKARTA; Editing by Robert Birsel)

 

 

 

 

 

Prabowo Subianto paling banyak dipilih menurut survei
Rabu, 6 Juni 2012 20:01 WIB | 1569 Views

25,8 persen dari mereka menginginkan Prabowo Subianto
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Hasil survei Soegeng Sarjadi Syndicate (SSS) menunjukkan Prabowo Subianto paling banyak dipilih sebagai calon presiden 2014 dan diyakini dapat mewujudkan kepemimpinan yang baik.
"Ketika ditanya siapa capres untuk mewujudkan kepemimpinan yang baik, ternyata 565 responden atau 25,8 persen dari mereka menginginkan Prabowo Subianto," kata Koordinator Survei Pemetaan Capres 2014, Muhammad Dahlan saat memaparkan hasil surveinya, Rabu.

 

 

Prabowo yang menjabat sebagai Ketua Dewan Pembina Partai Gerindra ini berada di posisi terantas, sementara di urutan kedua yakni Ketua Umum PDIP Megawati Soekarnoputri, dan disusul mantan Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla.

Megawati Soekarnoputri dipilih oleh 490 responden atau 22,4 persen, dan Jusuf Kalla mendapat suara dari 320 responden atau 14,9 persen.
Selanjutnya terdapat Ketum Partai Golkar Aburizal Bakrie yang dipilih oleh 232 responden atau 10,6 persen, kemudian 114 responden atau 5,2 persen memilih Surya Paloh, dan Wiranto mendapat 4,5 persen suara.

Selain itu, sejumlah nama yang dipilih oleh responden sebagai capres yakni Sultan Hamengku Buwono X (3,7 persen), Hatta Rajasa (2,1 persen), Sri Mulyani (2,1 persen), Hidayat Nurwahid (1,8 persen ), Ani Yudhoyono (1,8 persen), Akbar Tanjung (1,3 persen), Djoko Suyanto (1 persen), dan Kepala Staf TNI Angkatan Darat Jenderal TNI Pramono Edhie Wibowo (0,9 persen).

Dahlan menjelaskan alasan responden memilih bakal capres tersebut karena tegas sebesar 22,1 persen, prorakyat sebanyak 14,3 persen, jujur 14,1 persen, kemampuan memimpin 13,6 persen, dan cerdas sebanyak 12,2 persen.
Sementara untuk bakal calon wakil presiden, Jusuf Kalla dinilai sebagai calon yang cocok untuk menjabat dalam pemerintahan 2014-2019. Jusuf Kalla dipilih oleh 410 responden atau 18,7 persen dari 2.192 responden.

“We need fresh and young figures to shoulder today’s more challenging world issues,” he said.

He also asked the survey institutes to include young figures in their surveys. “I am sure that if they include young people in the polls, the respondents would pick them,” said.

There have some younger candidates whose names have been mentioned as potential candidates. They include former Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum, Megawati’s daughter, Puan Maharani, and Paramadina University rector Anies Baswedan.

However, discourse on them has fizzled of late, with Anas busy facing graft allegations and Mulyani publicly rejecting the possibility of her candidacy.

Meanwhile, Anies has little support from political parties, while Puan is polling far behind her mother.

Maruarar Sirait, a legislator from Megawati’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said Megawati still had what it took to become president.

Fachry, however, said Megawati was losing ground.

“Support for Prabowo is getting real while Megawati is still supported only by those who backed her in 2009,” he said.

 

 

 


New Candidates Few and Far Between for Indonesian Presidential Election

Ezra Sihite, SP/Robertus Wardi & Markus Junianto Sihaloho |
June 09, 2012

Surveys are finding that old faces will dominate the upcoming presidential campaign, with the latest poll placing general Prabowo Subianto atop the list of potential candidates for 2014.

A survey conducted by Soegeng Sarjadi Syndicate put Prabowo, a retired Army general and founder of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), ahead of former President Megawati Sukarnoputri, former Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie.

Prabowo was chosen by 25.8 percent of the 2,192 people surveyed, followed by Megawati with 22.4 percent, Kalla with 14.9 percent and Aburizal with 10.6 percent.

“They are the only possible presidential candidates because they have invested the time and money since at least 2004,” said Fachry Ali, a political expert from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).
“It’s hard for newcomers to emerge.”

Other figures mentioned in the survey include Surya Paloh (5.2 percent) and Wiranto (4.5 percent).

All those featured are in their 60s or 70s, and have been in politics since the New Order Era, which ended with the downfall of Suharto in 1998.

Political observer Ray Rangkuti said he was worried about the lack of quality young figures on the political scene.

 

 

 

 



Prabowo-JK most favorite presidential candidate pair: Survey

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Wed, June 06 2012, 4:42 PM


Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) chief Prabowo Subianto and Golkar politician Jusuf Kalla topped a list of 12 hypothetical tickets for the 2014 presidential election, a survey says.

A Prabowo-Kalla ticket was chosen by 14.6 percent of respondents to a Soegeng Sarjadi Syndicate (SSS) released on Wednesday.

Close behind was the hypothetical ticket of former president and Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri and Kalla, himself a former vice president.

Another popular ticket was Prabowo and Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD, which was backed by 12.4 percent of respondents, the survey said.

Prabowo, a retired three-star general and former commander of the Indonesian Military’s Special Forces (Kopassus), was the most popular potential candidate for president in 2014, backed by 25.8 percent of respondents.

"Most respondents said that a firm leader is what the country needs, which was the reason they gave for backing Prabowo," survey coordinator Muhammad Dahlan said.

Others favorite candidates for president were Megawati, backed by 22.4 percent of responden

 

 


Latest Presidential Survey Has Prabowo Out in Front

Ezra Sihite, Ismira Lutfia &Markus Junianto Sihaloho |
June 08, 2012

Retired Army general Prabowo Subianto has topped a list of likely presidential candidates in a recent study by the Soegeng Sarjadi Syndicate, beating former President Megawati Sukarnoputri and former Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
Prabowo got the vote from 25.8 percent of the 2,192 people surveyed in the study, released by SSS on Wednesday, while Megawati got 22.4 percent.
“This shows that people want change, a new leader and a new direction,” Fadli Zon, deputy chairman of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), which Prabowo co-founded, said on Wednesday.
“This boosts our confidence in stepping into the future.”

Kalla came in third with 14.9 percent, defeating fellow Golkar Party politician and chairman Aburizal Bakrie, who garnered just 10.6 percent.
Golkar is set to nominate Aburizal as its presidential candidate, despite opposition from other Golkar leaders who support Kalla.
Golkar legislator Rully Chairul Azwar, said the party would not reconsider Aburizal’s bid, as people’s perceptions about the business tycoon could still change.
“The rational voters are still undecided, so this [survey] cannot serve as a benchmark,” he said.
“[Kalla and Bakrie] have an equal shot. It all comes down to who makes the better preparations to gather public support.”

The SSS survey showed media mogul Surya Paloh in a distant fifth place with just 5.3 percent, while retired general Wiranto, chairman of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), got 4.5 percent.
The survey also found that voters were drawn more toward nationalist parties than religious ones.
“Ideology and party platforms are not the dominant factors for choosing parties,” SSS survey coordinator Muhammad Dahlan said.

Fifty-six percent of the people surveyed said they would choose nationalists, while religious parties attracted just 11.5 percent of respondents.
The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Indonesia’s biggest Islam-based party, got only 6.9 percent of the vote, while the other three Islamic-based parties, the National Mandate Party (PAN), the United Development Party (PPP) and the National Awakening Party (PKB), scored less than 3.5 percent each.

Most popular was the nationalist Golkar, which drew 23 percent. The ruling Democratic Party scored 10.7 percent, behind the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) with 19.6 percent.
The survey indicated that only six parties would gain seats at the House of Representatives under the new election law, which requires parties to win 3.5 percent votes for a House seat. The fledgling National Democrat (NasDem) Party was predicted to be one of those meeting the threshold, with 4.8 percent of the vote.

PPP lawmaker Arwani Thomafi questioned the outcome of the study. “We are sure the PPP will get far more votes in 2014 than what the survey suggests,” he said.
Political observer and Indonesian Civic Network (LIMA) director Ray Rangkuti said the survey showed that the presidential race was still dominated by “old players.”
“We need new figures, not the recycled ones,” he said. “Old figures should refrain from running for president or vice president in 2014.”

 

 

 

 

 


POLITIK - PARPOL

Prabowo Ingatkan Kembali Cita-cita Bung Karno
Rabu, 27 Juni 2012 , 11:26:00


JAKARTA -- Ketua Dewan Pembina Partai Gerindra, Prabowo Subianto, merasa terhormat bila berbicara tentang Proklamator RI, Bung Karno karena ia lahir dari keluarga yang merupakan lawan politik Soekarno saat itu. Menurut dia, kendati orang tuanya berseberangan dengan Bung Karno, bahkan pernah memberontak, namun selalu mengajarkan kepada anak-anaknya bahwa ayah Megawati Soekarnoputri itulah yang menyatukan bangsa Indonesia.

Hal itu diungkapkan Prabowo pada sarasehan yang digelar "Megawati Institute" dalam rangka kegiatan bulan Juni sebagai Bulan Bung Karno yang dibuka Ketua DPP PDI Perjuangan Puan Maharani, Rabu (27/6), di Jakarta.

"Kendati berbeda pandangan politik, tapi tidak boleh lupa siapa yang mendirikan bangsa. Dari kecil saya diajarkan orang tua saya bahwa Bung Karno adalah pendiri bangsa," kata Prabowo.

Dia juga mengingat pesan sang ayah bahwa Bung Karno selain pendiri bangsa juga sebagai takdir sejarah. Sebab, kalau tidak ada Bung Karno, mungkin sejarah Indonesia bisa lain. Betapa tidak, Indonesia merupakan negeri yang terdiri dari berbeda-beda suku, ras, agama. "Sangat sulit dalam sejarah peradaban manusia ada negara yang berhasil dengan seperti itu. Bung Karno-lah yang memersatukan bangsa di tengah 300 tahun dijajah bangsa lain," kata Prabowo.

Lebih jauh dia mengatakan, yang lebih menarik sekarang ini adalah apa relevansi Bung Karno buat bangsa ini sekarang. Dia mengingatkan, Bung Karno jangan hanya dijadikan ikon yang diagung-agungkan saja. "Jangan Bung Karno hanya jadi ikon yang kita agung-agungkan saja, tapi seperti kata pak Amien Rais (yang memberi testimoni sebelumnya, ajaran, filosofi dan contoh tidak kita ambil dan terapkan," ingat Prabowo.

Dia juga mengingatkan, Indonesia menuju negara gagal sekarang ini karena bertentangan langsung dengan cita-cita pendiri bangsa. Apa yang dihadapi di bidang ekonomi, menurut dia, sesungguhnya sudah diwarning Bung Karno puluhan tahun lalu. "Dengan segala kelebihan dan kekurangan Bung Karno, harus diakui visi ke depan beliau luar biasa," tegasnya.

Dia juga heran banyak ahli ekonomi mengucapkan angka. Misalnya angka pertumbuhan yang bagus, angka kemiskinan menurun dan lainnya. Tapi, satu hakekat dalam pronsip ekonomi tidak mau dibahas, yaitu bahwa kondisi yang dikatakan Bung Karno 1930 yang menjadi dorongan Indonesia merdeka kekayaan negara diambil ratusan tahun oleh Eropa.

"Ternyata setelah merdeka, kekayaan kita masih terus mengalir ke luar negeri. Ini sudah puluhan tahun, saya sudah buktikan dengan angka," katanya.

Angka yang dimaksudkannya adalah bahwa kekayaan negeri ini ke luar negeri bocor 25 miliar dollar setiap tahun. "Ini sudah terjadi selama 15 tahun," tegasnya.

Nah, lanjut Prabowo, sekarang ada tokoh yang berpidato bangga bahwa devisa Indonesia lumayan sudah 115 miliar dollar.
"Yang saya persoalkan adalah kemana 260 miliar dollar yang harusnya ada? (Hitungannya) 25 miliar dollar dikali 15 tahun berarti sekitar 375 miliar dollar. Berarti masih ada kebocoran 260 miliar dollar. Ini yang tidak mau dibahas elit ekonomi dan politik kita," kata dia.

Prabowo menegaskan, bangsa Indonesia sebetulnya pada posisi terjajah kembali secara ekonomi. "Kekayaan tidak dinikmati rakyat. Yang ditinggal hanya UMR, untungnya dibawa ke luar negeri," katanya.

Lebih jauh dia mengatakan, yang lebih menarik sekarang ini adalah apa relevansi Bung Karno buat bangsa ini sekarang. Dia mengingatkan, Bung Karno jangan hanya dijadikan ikon yang diagung-agungkan saja. "Jangan Bung Karno hanya jadi ikon yang kita agung-agungkan saja, tapi seperti kata pak Amien Rais (yang memberi testimoni sebelumnya, ajaran, filosofi dan contoh tidak kita ambil dan terapkan," ingat Prabowo.

Dia juga mengingatkan, Indonesia menuju negara gagal sekarang ini karena bertentangan langsung dengan cita-cita pendiri bangsa. Apa yang dihadapi di bidang ekonomi, menurut dia, sesungguhnya sudah diwarning Bung Karno puluhan tahun lalu. "Dengan segala kelebihan dan kekurangan Bung Karno, harus diakui visi ke depan beliau luar biasa," tegasnya.

Dia juga heran banyak ahli ekonomi mengucapkan angka. Misalnya angka pertumbuhan yang bagus, angka kemiskinan menurun dan lainnya. Tapi, satu hakekat dalam pronsip ekonomi tidak mau dibahas, yaitu bahwa kondisi yang dikatakan Bung Karno 1930 yang menjadi dorongan Indonesia merdeka kekayaan negara diambil ratusan tahun oleh Eropa.

"Ternyata setelah merdeka, kekayaan kita masih terus mengalir ke luar negeri. Ini sudah puluhan tahun, saya sudah buktikan dengan angka," katanya.

Angka yang dimaksudkannya adalah bahwa kekayaan negeri ini ke luar negeri bocor 25 miliar dollar setiap tahun. "Ini sudah terjadi selama 15 tahun," tegasnya.

Nah, lanjut Prabowo, sekarang ada tokoh yang berpidato bangga bahwa devisa Indonesia lumayan sudah 115 miliar dollar.
"Yang saya persoalkan adalah kemana 260 miliar dollar yang harusnya ada? (Hitungannya) 25 miliar dollar dikali 15 tahun berarti sekitar 375 miliar dollar. Berarti masih ada kebocoran 260 miliar dollar. Ini yang tidak mau dibahas elit ekonomi dan politik kita," kata dia.

Prabowo menegaskan, bangsa Indonesia sebetulnya pada posisi terjajah kembali secara ekonomi. "Kekayaan tidak dinikmati rakyat. Yang ditinggal hanya UMR, untungnya dibawa ke luar negeri," katanya.

 

 

 

 

 


Prabowo Runs for President
Jimmy Hitipeuw | Selasa, 22 November 2011

BANJARMASIN, KOMPAS.com -

Retired army general-turned-politician Prabowo Subianto affirmed here on Monday he intends to run for president in 2014.

"Yes, God willing, I will again join the presidential race," he said before dedicating the secretariat of the
South Kalimantan regional chapter of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party here on Monday evening.
He took part in the 2009 presidential election as Megawati Soekarnoputri’s running mate.

The former chief of the Army’s Special Force (Kopassus) said he had decided to run for president because he believed
there was growing support from Gerindra and other parties for him to do so.
"In the 2009 general elections, Gerindra emerged as one of the big nine political parties in Indonesia, yet it was then
only a newcomer," he said.

Another reason for his decision, he said, was that people now increasingly craved prosperity and self-reliance while
Gerindra had in the past 3.5 years always remained consistent with its commitment to improve the people’s welfare.
The retired three-star general said he was optimistic that endowed with enormous natural resources, Indonesia would be
able to make rapid progress and raise its welfare standards without having to remain the servants of other nations.
Therefore, he said, he would call on the people to vote for candidates who would really fight for their welfare.

"So, beware of the so-called ’dawn attacks’, namely offers of Rp100,000 cash handouts ahead of voting day.
Do not allow yourselves to suffer over the next five years in exchange for a mere Rp100,000 cash handout," he warned.
Prabowo who is chief patron of Gerindra Party came to South Kalimantan along with Gerindra chairman Prof Dr. Ir Suhardi Msc to install the executive board of the party’s provincial chapter led by H Abidin H.H.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prabowo Subianto
Gerindra

  

Prabowo ranked highest as presidential candidate
Jakarta (ANTARA News)
Prabowo Subianto, chairman of the Advisory Board of Gerindra
is ranked highest as a presidential candidate,
according to survey results released here on Wednesday.

Wed, October 26 2011

 

 


Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Prabowo Subianto, chairman of the Advisory Board of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), is ranked the highest as a presidential candidate, according to survey results released here on Wednesday.
The results of the survey by the Soegeng Sarjadi Syndicate from October 3-8, 2011 in 33 provinces in the country involving 1,318 respondents showed 28 percent of respondents chose Prabowo as presidential candidate while 10.6 percent chose Constitutional Court chairman Mahfud MD.

Other candidates included former economic minister Sri Mulyani (7.4 percent), Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie (6.8 percent), Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic organization chief Said Akil Siradj (6.0 percent), Muhammadiyah Islamic leader Din Syamsuddin (5.2 percent), army chief of staff General Pramono Edhie Wibowo (4.2 percent), former vice president Jusuf Kalla (4.0 percent), chief security minister Djoko Suyanto (3.2 percent), chief economic minister Hatta Rajasa (2.8 percent) and businessman Surya Paloh (2.5 percent).

Soegeng Saryadi Syndicate executive director Toto Sugiarto said most respondents had chosen a military figure to be the country`s next president because they missed a strict leader and therefore 65 percent had chosen Prabwowo.
"33.8 percent of respondents still believe a military figure is fit to be elected president in 2014," he said.

Second in the ranking was an academic collecting 17.2 votes, followed by religious figure (12.1 percent), businessman (9.7 percent) and political party figure (8.9 percent).
The results of the survey done based on a stratified random sampling indicated that the military-civilian dichotomy has not yet completely vanished.
The choice of a military figure correlates with public desire for the government to focus on corruption eradication.

A total of 40.5 percent of respondents urged the government to immediately settle the corruption and bribery problems.
Other problems needing urgent settlements were poverty according to 29.8 percent of respondents, unemployment (16 percent), mafia operations in all sectors (10.4 percent) and sovereignty (3.1 percent).


About a vice president, most respondents choose an honest and smart person.
The two qualities were represented in Constitutional Court figure Mahfud MD who won 15.6 percent of votes.
Following him were Sri Mulyani Indrawati (8.0 percent), Pramono Edhie Wibowo (7.1 percent), Din Syamsuddin (6.8 percent), KH Said Aqil Siradj (6.3 percent), Djoko Suyanto (3.9 percent) and Puan Maharani, the daughter of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri (3.0 percent).

Earlier, the Reform Institute issued survey results showing Aburizal Bakrie to be the most popular figure as a candidate for the 2014 presidential elections. He obtained 13.58 percent votes of 2,010 respondents involved in the survey.
In the survey Prabowo Subianto was ranked second with 8.46 percent of the votes.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
COPYRIGHT © 2011

 

 


Prabowo Ranked Highest As Presidential Candidate
Antara News
Wednesday, October 26, 2011


(Prabowo Subianto, chairman of the Advisory Board of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), is ranked the highest as a presidential candidate, according to survey results released here on Wednesday.)
The results of the survey by the Soegeng Sarjadi Syndicate from October 3-8, 2011 in 33 provinces in the country involving 1,318 respondents showed 28 percent of respondents chose Prabowo as presidential candidate while 10.6 percent chose Constitutional Court chairman Mahfud MD.

Other candidates included former economic minister Sri Mulyani (7.4 percent), Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie (6.8 percent), Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic organization chief Said Akil Siradj (6.0 percent), Muhammadiyah Islamic leader Din Syamsuddin (5.2 percent), army chief of staff General Pramono Edhie Wibowo (4.2 percent), former vice president Jusuf Kalla (4.0 percent), chief security minister Djoko Suyanto (3.2 percent), chief economic minister Hatta Rajasa (2.8 percent) and businessman Surya Paloh (2.5 percent).

Soegeng Saryadi Syndicate executive director Toto Sugiarto said most respondents had chosen a military figure to be the country`s next president because they missed a strict leader and therefore 65 percent had chosen Prabwowo.
"33.8 percent of respondents still believe a military figure is fit to be elected president in 2014," he said.
Second in the ranking was an academic collecting 17.2 votes, followed by religious figure (12.1 percent), businessman (9.7 percent) and political party figure (8.9 percent).
The results of the survey done based on a stratified random sampling indicated that the military-civilian dichotomy has not yet completely vanished.

The choice of a military figure correlates with public desire for the government to focus on corruption eradication.

A total of 40.5 percent of respondents urged the government to immediately settle the corruption and bribery problems.
Other problems needing urgent settlements were poverty according to 29.8 percent of respondents, unemployment (16 percent), mafia operations in all sectors (10.4 percent) and sovereignty (3.1 percent).

About a vice president, most respondents choose an honest and smart person. The two qualities were represented in Constitutional Court figure Mahfud MD who won 15.6 percent of votes.
Following him were Sri Mulyani Indrawati (8.0 percent), Pramono Edhie Wibowo (7.1 percent), Din Syamsuddin (6.8 percent), KH Said Aqil Siradj (6.3 percent), Djoko Suyanto (3.9 percent) and Puan Maharani, the daughter of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri (3.0 percent).

Earlier, the Reform Institute issued survey results showing Aburizal Bakrie to be the most popular figure as a candidate for the 2014 presidential elections. He obtained 13.58 percent votes of 2,010 respondents involved in the survey.

 

 

 

 

Lt General Prabowo Subianto

 

 

 

I Never Betrayed My Country

Prabowo Subianto is blamed for the violence
surrounding the fall of Indonesia’s Suharto.
Now the former general tells his story”

 

 

By JOSE MANUEL TESORO.
Articles and Photos courtesy of Asiaweek Magazine

At night on May 21, 1998, the story goes, dozens of soldiers took up positions around Jakarta’s Merdeka palace and the suburban home of B.J. Habibie, who less than 24 hours before had become the third president of Indonesia. The commander of this force was the brutal Lt.-Gen. Prabowo Subianto. A week before, he had marshaled the dark forces at his call – special forces operatives, inner-city gangsters, Muslim radicals – to murder, burn, rape, loot and sow ethnic hatred in the heart of Jakarta. His aim: to undermine his rival, armed forces chief Gen. Wiranto, and force his father-in-law, Suharto, to make him leader of the armed forces – a step closer, in a time of turmoil, to Prabowo himself becoming president.

Suharto’s premature resignation as president frustrated Prabowo’s ambitions. So he turned his wrath on Habibie. Disaster for Indonesia – and a nightmare for Southeast Asia – might have followed, if not for an order from Wiranto relieving the dangerously out-of-control general of his command position. Enraged, Prabowo brought his troops to the palace grounds and tried to burst, armed, into Habibie’s chambers. But he was eventually outmaneuvered. His attempted coup d’etat was the climax to the 10-day drama surrounding the fall of Suharto, Indonesia’s leader for three decades.

The problem is that not all of it is true. Maybe even none of it is.

The first to say that is Prabowo. “I never threatened Habibie,” he says. Did Prabowo plan the May unrest against Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese to bring down Wiranto or Suharto? “I was not behind the riots. That is a great lie,” he responds firmly. “I never betrayed Pak Harto. I never betrayed Habibie. I never betrayed my country.”

Prabowo, 48, is no saint. For 24 years, he belonged to the Indonesian military, which loyally followed the president’s orders. He built up its elite special forces, Kopassus, to combat insurgency and internal terrorism. Prabowo was also married to Suharto’s second daughter and enjoyed the wealth, power and freedom from accountability the First Family afforded. He admits to abducting in early 1998 nine activists, some of whom underwent torture. About a dozen others believed kidnapped in the same operation remain missing.

But is Prabowo a demon? In August 1998, a military honor court found him guilty of misinterpreting orders and recommended sanctions or a court-martial. Prabowo was later discharged. In its October 1998 report, the government Joint Fact-Finding Team (TGPF by its Indonesian initials) on the May riots asked that he be investigated for the unrest. Indonesian and foreign media have since linked his name with words such as “scheming,” “ruthless and reckless,” “power-hungry fanatic.” Wrote one Asian paper: “He is said to hate the Chinese.” The belief that he started the riots and failed to contain them has already found its way into history books. “I’m the monster behind everything,” Prabowo says with undisguised irony.

Yet nearly two years after Suharto’s resignation, no evidence has surfaced connecting him to the riots that triggered it. The complete picture of those days remains obscured by conflicting accounts and unnamed sources. In September 1998, Marzuki Darusman, then TGPF chair and today attorney-general, mused to reporters: “I think there’s more to it than just Prabowo. I say he’s a keeper of secrets. And he might be predisposed to reveal a few if forced to.” Prabowo had been tried by public opinion and found guilty. But he had never had the chance to give his testimony. He now spends all his time abroad, though local papers say he did make a brief, discreet trip home in January, the first time in 15 months. (His wife remains in Indonesia, while their son is studying in the U.S.)

Now, many thinking Indonesians are acknowledging that Prabowo was perhaps the easy but not necessarily right target. Says veteran journalist Aristedes Katoppo: “He was made the fall guy for a lot of mistakes not of his making. He may have demanded things. But launching a coup? That is wrong. It’s disinformation.” Prabowo himself believes that his persecution has a reason: “There was a certain group that wanted to make me a scapegoat, maybe to hide their involvement.”

What emerges from Prabowo’s own account, coupled with this magazine’s independent inquiry, is a far different, more nuanced tale than the accepted assessment that Suharto’s fall stemmed from a battle between good and evil – and that Prabowo was the villain. This story is a report from and about the highest reaches of Indonesian politics, a revelation of its treacherously shifting nature and the complexities of its actors. It challenges what many accept about the country: its military, its former ruling family, its history. Whatever verdict you draw, it is impossible to look at the fall of Suharto in the past – or the personalities and conflicts of the present – in the same way again.

THE RUN-UP
Many tales circulate in Jakarta about Prabowo. In the popular narrative of Suharto’s fall, the former special forces officer is often cast as its author: an evil genius who, if he cared to explain, could show how the entire arc of events he designed made up one clever yet suicidally flawed conspiracy. But at the end of Suharto’s rule, he was not the only figure. There were many actors, thus many motives and maneuvers. Amid social unrest and economic collapse, it had become clear long before May 1998 to Jakarta’s elite that the question was not if the president would step down, but when. Most important to them was to survive or even benefit. That meant playing a difficult game: stay – or at least seem to stay – unwaveringly loyal to Suharto yet at the same time move into the best position for a future without him.

The students and the popular oppositionists, despite their high profile, were the least powerful of the players. The real decisions were made around the aging president. There were Suharto’s six children. There was his vice president, Habibie. There were Suharto’s ministers and the chiefs of his parliament. And there were his armed forces, and its two top generals, Wiranto and Prabowo.

In the run-up to May, Prabowo was snug in the center. In March 1998, he had been promoted from chief of the special forces, Kopassus, to head the army’s key strategic reserve, Kostrad. The new job made him a three-star general. His Kopassus classmate Maj.-Gen. Syafrie Syamsuddin had taken command of the Jakarta garrison in September 1997. Prabowo’s former Kopassus superior, Gen. Subagyo Hadisiswoyo, was army chief of staff. Other allies included new Kopassus boss Maj.-Gen. Muchdi Purwopranjono.

The one general Prabowo did not get along with was his superior, Wiranto. “There was not good chemistry between us,” says Prabowo. “We never served in the same units. We came from different backgrounds.” Wiranto grew up in traditional Central Java. Prabowo grew up abroad in European and Asian capitals. Where Prabowo’s postings were field and combat assignments, Wiranto spent time in staff jobs and provincial commands. After four years as Suharto’s adjutant, Wiranto rose quickly from Jakarta garrison commander to Kostrad chief. In 1997, he became army chief of staff. In March 1998, Suharto made him both the armed forces chief and the defense minister. (Asiaweek sent Wiranto Prabowo’s claims and comments as well as questions appearing in this story. Wiranto’s aide replied that the general had chosen to respond to Asiaweek in a later issue.)

Wiranto and Prabowo were equally balanced. But in March, when the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) re-elected Suharto and appointed Habibie vice president, Prabowo seemed to move a notch higher. He was a longtime friend of Habibie. They shared Western temperaments and an optimistic idealism. “I liked his vision of high technology,” Prabowo says. “That captured my heart. There was always this: We’ll show [that] Indonesia can be great.” They met often. To fellow generals, Prabowo was Habibie’s most ardent defender.

Given the shaky state of Suharto’s health – he had had a mild stroke in December 1997 – Habibie’s chances of succeeding him were better than those of any previous vice president. For Prabowo, Habibie’s ascension meant a shot at becoming the military’s boss: “Several times he mentioned: If I become president, you’ll be armed forces chief, you’ll be four-star.”

That is, if there were an orderly succession. The collapse of the rupiah, which began in October 1997, had sent waves of social unrest throughout the archipelago. The following January, a bomb exploded in a Jakarta apartment occupied by members of the banned leftist People’s Democratic Party (PRD). The military struggled to face strident student demonstrations. Some activists mysteriously went missing. On April 27, Pius Lustrilanang testified to his kidnapping and two-month imprisonment – the first of many accounts by abducted activists. During his interrogation, Lustrilanang said, he had received electric shocks and been held under water. Despite Wiranto’s denials that kidnapping was policy, popular suspicion fell on the military, and especially on Kopassus, still identified with Prabowo though he was no longer with the unit.

While he had a reputation for absolute loyalty to Suharto, Prabowo also maintained friendships with critics of the president’s “New Order” regime. These ranged from Suharto’s disenchanted contemporary Gen. Nasution to Adnan Buyung Nasution, a lawyer who helped found the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, which defended and fostered anti-Suharto activists. Prabowo built relations with Muslim figures, who perceived themselves as both victimized by a Christian-influenced military and government as well as isolated in an ethnic Chinese-dominated economy. Among these: Amien Rais, a Jogjakarta professor whose attacks on Christian power and Chinese capital were turning into open criticism of Suharto. Prabowo’s unconventional contacts, and closeness to Habibie, set him apart from others around the president.

THE RIOTS
The drama began on Tuesday, May 12, when Prabowo received a phone call. Some students had been shot during a demonstration at Trisakti University. Prabowo’s first instinct was to blame ill-disciplined security forces: “Sometimes our police and soldiers are so unprofessional. You get some of these units – oh my God, this is stupid. That was my first reaction.”

Sensing an impending emergency, he went to his headquarters on Merdeka Square, just beside the Jakarta garrison. As chief of the strategic reserve, Prabowo’s job was to supply men and materiel. “I alerted my troops, to rush them in,” he says. “These troops are always under operational control of the garrison commander. That’s our system. I was basically in an advising capacity. I did not have command.”

He returned home well after midnight, but was back at Kostrad HQ early the next morning, May 13. As marauding mobs began looting and burning buildings, Prabowo spent the day figuring out how to move in and barrack his battalions. Another worry: Wiranto had been scheduled to preside over an army ceremony the next morning, in Malang, East Java – over 650 km from the troubled capital. Throughout the 13th, Prabowo says he tried to persuade Wiranto to cancel his appearance. “I suggested that we call off the ceremony in Malang,” he says. “The result: no, the ceremony was on. [I] phoned back. It went back and forth . . . Eight times I phoned his office. Eight times I was told that the show must go on.”

So at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday the 14th, Prabowo arrived at Halim air base in East Jakarta. He says he was surprised, given the tense situation, to see most of the military’s senior command there. During the flight and the ceremony, he says, Wiranto and he did not say much to each other. They arrived back in the capital after noon. Prabowo returned to Kostrad HQ, where he bumped into Syafrie. The Jakarta garrison commander was heading off to survey the western part of the city by helicopter. Prabowo accepted Syafrie’s invitation to join him. As they watched the second day of rioting from the smoky sky, Prabowo remembers wondering to himself: “Why are there so few troops around?”

At around 3:30 p.m., Prabowo left Kostrad to see Habibie. The president had been away in Cairo since May 9 to attend a summit. The vice president and Prabowo talked about the possibility of a succession. Under the Constitution, Prabowo pointed out, Habibie was next in line. The subject of the future chief of the military came up. “I should have noticed the shift,” says Prabowo. “He said: ‘If your name comes up, I will approve.’ There’s a big difference there.”

On the way back to Kostrad HQ, Prabowo noticed that Jakarta’s main business artery seemed unguarded. He saw the garrison commander: “I said: Syafrie, on Thamrin there are no troops. He was convinced there were enough. He asked me to come along, and we saw!” Prabowo suggested taking half of the 16 armored personnel carriers guarding the defense ministry and sending them instead to Thamrin. This did take place.

As night fell, Prabowo got a call from his secretary. Buyung Nasution and a motley collection of figures from various groups wanted to see him. (This May 14 meeting would become central to the later investigation into the riots.) “When I arrived at headquarters, they were there,” Prabowo says. “I did not call them. They were asking: What’s happening?” Buyung Nasution demanded to know if there was any truth to the spreading rumors that Prabowo had planned the riots, the Trisakti shootings, as well as the abductions. He also asked if there was rivalry between him and Wiranto. Prabowo denied everything. “How can there be rivalry?” he explains now. “He’s a four-star. I’m a three-star. I was trying to step in line. But after him I would be a good candidate, wouldn’t I?”

After a command briefing chaired by Wiranto which ended late, Prabowo arrived at his next appointment at nearly 1:00 a.m. Two close friends from Abdurrahman Wahid’s mass Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) had suggested Prabowo see the cleric, who was already asleep when the general arrived. Wahid, a.k.a. Gus Dur, still received Prabowo and asked about the chaotic situation. “I said, we can get it under control tomorrow,” says Prabowo.

After a change of clothes, he headed for Halim airbase, where Suharto was due to arrive before dawn on May 15, Friday. Prabowo waited in his jeep while Wiranto met Suharto. Then the three, with most of the senior command, drove to Suharto’s home on Cendana Street in central Jakarta. Prabowo says Suharto appeared cold toward him. By now, Prabowo believes, Suharto thought his son-in-law was plotting against him. Says Prabowo: “It came out in the papers that Gen. Nasution, who everyone knew was fond of me, said that Amien Rais should talk to Gen. Prabowo [about] taking care of the situation. This must have been sent to Pak Harto.”

At the end of his rule, Suharto had become as dependent on the ministers, generals and children who surrounded him as they were on him. He was their leader, but, in a sense, he was also their prisoner. “There’s a thousand-year-old art of palace intrigue,” says Prabowo. “You whisper something very delicately, and poison someone’s mind. I tried to give information, but I was considered as meddling. There were people poisoning his mind: that his son-in-law’s there only to grab power.” This, Prabowo now believes, contributed to his downfall.

 

 

 

 

Gerindra ‘rational’ over Prabowo 2014 bid
The Jakarta Post | Thu, 10/27/2011 7:19 AM

JAKARTA: The Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) is focusing on gaining more support rather than prematurely campaigning for party patron Prabowo Subianto as its presidential hopeful, despite Prabowo’s growing popularity, a politician says.

“The party is facing a dilemma. While Pak Prabowo’s popularity is high, public support for the party is considered relatively low,” Desmond Junaidi Mahesa, House of Representatives legal commission lawmaker from Gerindra, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

He said that the party would focus its efforts on reaching 20 percent of the population, the minimum percentage a party must secure to nominate a presidential candidate for the upcoming 2014 general elections.

“But we want to be rational as well. Should the party fail to achieve the 20 percent target, then we must be ready to name Pak Prabowo a vice presidential candidate,” he said.

 

 

Prabowo Maneuvering for 2014 Elections
JG Analysis | February 28, 2011

Controversial former general Prabowo Subianto
is luring smaller parties to side with his Gerindra party
as he prepares for a run on the presidency in 2014.
(JG Photo)

With four more small parties set to join the Great Indonesia Movement Party and the ruling coalition warming to it, party chairman Prabowo Subianto’s road to the presidency in 2014 is looking a lot smoother.
The party, also known as Gerindra, has worked over the past few months to create an alliance of 10 small political parties to consolidate its power base ahead of the 2014 general elections.

Gerindra’s target is to win at least 13 percent of the 560 seats at the House of Representatives in 2014 — compared to
the 4.5 percent the party now holds.
It has also been touted as a possible replacement for the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) in the ruling coalition after Gerindra backed the president’s Democrats in opposing a proposed inquiry into corruption at the tax office.

The PKS and the Golkar Party, both coalition members, broke ranks when they supported the inquiry, which ultimately
failed in a plenary session where Gerindra’s votes proved decisive.
Marzuki Alie, the House speaker and deputy chairman of the Democratic Party’s advisory board, said on Friday that Gerindra could prove to be a valuable coalition partner.
Gerindra also hinted on Sunday that it was open to the possibility of joining the ruling coalition.
The party’s deputy chairman, Fadli, told the Jakarta Globe that “nothing is impossible in politics.”
But the party will also keep its eye on winning the presidency in 2014, when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
will not be eligible to run for a third term.

Political observers say that by voting in line with the Democrats on recent issues, Gerindra is sending a friendly signal
and in return expects the ruling party — which has not named a candidate to replace Yudhoyono — not to block
Prabowo’s presidential bid.
One political insider says that while there is no shortage of ammunition against Prabowo, the Gerindra chairman hopes
to avoid mudslinging from the ruling Democratic Party.
Prabowo, a retired Army general, was widely accused of controlling paramilitary squads used by the Kopassus special forces to kidnap, torture and kill East Timorese dissidents while it was still an Indonesian province.
He is also accused of being behind the rioting in Jakarta in May 1998, leading up to the downfall of President Suharto,
as well as the kidnapping, torture and murder of antigovernment activists.
He would later be found guilty by a military ethics tribunal of “exceeding orders” in the 1998 kidnappings, but was not jailed.
But the political insider said the Democrats also want something in return for allowing Prabowo to run unimpeded.

Playing ball with Gerindra, according to the source, helps the Democratic Party by driving a wedge between Gerindra and
the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), tacitly acknowledging Prabowo’s growing strength.
In other words, t he payoff for Yudhoyono’s Democrats is to keep Gerindra from getting too close to the PDI-P, especially since the ticket of PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri and Prabowo came second to Yudhoyono in 2009.

But Marzuki denied that ties between the Democrats and Gerindra were based on “pragmatic and transactional” politics.
“I know Gerindra is very critical of certain issues, but when it deals with any political move to counter government policies, I’m sure they’ll never support it,” the House speaker said.
Fadli, Gerindra’s deputy chairman, said the party did not regard itself as a friend or enemy of the ruling coalition.
He also said Prabowo had never discussed any specific “possibilities” with the Democrats or other coalition members.
“Of course, we’re never going to beg [the Democratic Party to let us join the coalition], but if the offer comes, we’ll certainly discuss it with the party’s leaders,” Fadli said. JG Analysis

 

 

 

 

LtGen (ret) Prabowo Subianto Djojohadikusumo
Former commander, Kopassus and Kostrad

 

Retired LtGen Prabowo is not a suspect in the 1999 violence in East Timor. He is mentioned here only as background, because so many of the suspects were connected with him earlier in their careers.

Although a major influence on Indonesian counter-insurgency tactics in East Timor beginning in 1989/90, he was out of the country throughout 1999. Having been dismissed from his Kostrad command in May 1998, and from the military entirely in August 1998, Prabowo had no TNI position in 1999. Instead he was in self-imposed exile in Jordan, doing business with his wealthy brother. The many rumours, all of them unproven, that he was still in Indonesia anyway, and directing clandestine operations in East Timor, indicate the power he once held.

Among the many 1999 militia leaders who were Prabowo's proteges were Eurico Guterres, Lafaek Saburai, Martinho Fernandes, and Joni Marquez. Governor Abilio Soares owed his career largely to Prabowo's support. Many of the soldiers (especially in Kopassus) who directed the militias in 1999 had been Prabowo's subordinates at some stage. Among them were: MajGen Adam Damiri, MajGen Mahidin Simbolon, BrigGen Amirul Isnaeni, Col Gerhan Lentara, and LtCol Wioyotomo Nugroho. Others had been his colleagues: Gen Subagyo H S, MajGen Zacky Anwar Makarim, MajGen Sjafrie Syamsuddin, MajGen Kiki Syahnakri, LtGen Johny Lumintang, and Col Pramono Edhie Wibowo.

Background
Prabowo was born on 17 October 1951 in Jakarta, the son of noted economist (and dissident politician) Professor Sumitro Djojohadikusumo. While his father was on the run for supporting a failed regional revolt in 1957, Prabowo grew up in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Britain. He graduated from the military academy in 1974.

In 1976 he went to East Timor as part of Tim Nanggala X, a special forces unit that belonged to Kopassandha, later called Kopassus. He undertook anti-terrorist training in the US (Fort Bragg, 1980; Fort Benning, 1985), and in West Germany (GSG-9, about 1981), scoring 'top graduate' each time. In 1983 he married the daughter of President Suharto, Siti Hediati Harijadi (Titiek). In 1983, sent to East Timor as a major in charge of Kopassus Detachment 81 (D81), he established the Tim Alfa militia in Lospalos. He was involved in the Kraras massacre of September 1983.[1] In 1988-89 he was in East Timor again, in command of the Kostrad combat Battalion 328. He turned it into such a highly trained unit that it was chosen as the best battalion in East Timor.[2]

After eight years in Kostrad he returned to Kopassus in 1993 as commander of its Group 3, a special forces training unit in Batujajar, West Java, that also played a role training militia leaders. He rose to Deputy Commander of Kopassus in 1994-95, and to Kopassus Commander in 1995-98. In March 1998 he was moved back to Kostrad, becoming Kostrad Commander.

However, with Suharto gone his fortunes quickly declined. He was exposed as having organised the kidnapping of anti-Suharto activists early in 1998, and was finally dismissed from the armed forces in August 1998 after an internal inquiry (DKP).

 

 

 

 

 

 


Prabowo Subianto Speaks
Sep 29th, 2006

Conspiracy theories and paranoia from former military commander Prabowo Subianto.
Lieutenant General (retired) Prabowo Subianto, former head of Kopassus, the army special forces unit, from 1995 until the fall of Suharto in 1998, complains that Indonesia, its government and people, is constantly subject to foreign attempts to weaken it.

There are certain world powers who openly say that Indonesia will split up, that there will be civil war, and so on.
The fact that the Indonesian archipelago is located near several important sea lanes and that it has great amounts of natural wealth and resources means that some countries will always seek to weaken it, he says. They fear that if Indonesia has large deposits of uranium then the country will one day seek to build a nuclear industry.

The monetary crisis of 1997-98 had been planned by foreigners as one way of weakening Indonesia.
He named Michael Camdesus of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as one of the conspirators.
He added that both Camdesus and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher both wrote in their memoirs that they had wished to see the reign of General Soeharto come to an end.
Therefore they schemed to create a monetary crisis in Indonesia to bring about their wishes.
He didn't make any mention of Jews however.

 

 

 

 

 

Lieutenant General (ret.) Prabowo Subianto
After Years of Solitude in Jordan
Former Commander of the Indonesian Army Strategic Reserve Command runs for President.

Rabu, 19 November 2008, 10:34 WIB
VIVAnews – He spoke in front of hundreds of administrators of Gerindra Party (Great Indonesia Movement Party). In short, he stated that he is joining Gerindra's struggle in the next General Elections. In response, they cheered, “Long live Prabowo! Long live Gerindra!!”

Their cheering was referred to Prabowo Subianto, formerly the Commander of the Indonesian Army Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad), who was attending a party held to celebrate Gerindra's success in entering the 2009 elections, at Mount Putri, Bogor, 12 July 2008. At the same time, Prabowo declared his resignation from Golkar (the Functional Group Party).

From then on, Prabowo no longer hesitated in reaffirming his stance on running for President in the 2009 elections. Previously, he was considered to be a bit reluctant to go forward. He was still calculating, afraid that he would not have significant support. “If there are responses and real support, then every citizen has a duty to go forward. But if there are no support or response, then I would have to be realistic,” he said.

Together with Gerindra, Prabowo prioritizes the people's economic welfare. This is in accordance with his current position as head of a nationwide farmers’ organization, the Indonesian Farmers Association (HKTI). Prabowo is also the head of the Association of Indonesian Market Traders (APPSI). That is why in his television advertisements Prabowo puts himself up as someone close to farmers, fishermen and laborers of the nation.

Prabowo's Journey
Born in Jakarta on 17 October 1951, Prabowo Subianto Djojohadikusumo is the third child of Sumitro Djojohadikusuma and Dora Sigar. Prabowo spent his childhood and part of his teenage years on the run. His father fled from Indonesia due to a difference of opinion with then President Soekarno.

For a period of about ten years Prabowo spent his childhood in Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, Switzerland and England. The experience molded his character to become independent, adaptive, and hardworking.

Since early on, his father, Sumitro, had planted the principles of the will to struggle in Prabowo. Sumitro deliberately immortalize his brother's name, Subianto, who died fighting the Japanese, in his son's middle name. His hope was that Prabowo would later become a fighter like his Banyumas-born uncle, who, according to him, inherited a tradition of opposition.

At 16, in 1967, Prabowo completed high school in London. He was admitted to three universities in the United States: Colorado, George Washington, and Rhode Island. But his father put a hold on Prabowo's college life, for fear of possible psychological impact on going to college at too young of an age.
His father brought him back to Indonesia, so that he would get to know the country he was from. This is what made Prabowo, an admirer of the Commander General Sudirman, choose to go to Magelang, Central Java, and enter the National Military Academy. This is where important career episodes for Prabowo started.

Prabowo was the academy's valedictorian of 1974. Two years later, Prabowo became the platoon commander of the Para Commando first group of the Sandy Yudha Command Force (Kopassandha) to be assigned to East Timor as part of the Naggala team. In 1977, Prabowo was the Company Commander of the Para Commando first group Kopassandha, with the rank of First Lieutenant.
After three years, he was assigned to participate in an anti-terrorist training in Fort Braggs, United States of America. In 1981, Prabowo carved an outstanding achievement as the best graduate on the GSG-9 Anti Terrorist training in West Germany. 1983, Prabowo was Vice Commander of the 81st Detachment of Indonesian Military Special Force (KOPASSUS).

In that same year, he married Siti Hediati Harijadi, the daughter of former President Soeharto. Not long after the wedding, he was again sent on an operation to East Timor. There, Prabowo and his troops were missing in action for 12 hours when they were ambushed by the enemy. Fortunately, he survived.
After that, he obtained various military achievements. In 1995, he was trusted to become the General of the Indonesian Military Special Force (KOPASSUS). It was then that Prabowo was accused of being responsible for the kidnappings and disappearance of several activists, which was done by a team called “Tim Mawar” (the “Rose Team”). To this day, the victims are still nowhere to be found.

In 1998, Prabowo was appointed the Commander of the Indonesian Army Strategic Reserve Command. He didn't hold this position for long because of the May 1998 incident. The May incident is believed to be a scenario of political power, a controversy, involving an internal military dispute between Prabowo and the Indonesian Military Commander Wiranto.
As a result, Prabowo was transferred. He became Commander of Indonesian General Staff and Command College. Through the Honorary Board of Military Officers (DKP), Wiranto discharged Lieutenant General Prabowo from military service.

From the Market to the Palace
After being discharged from the military, Prabowo went to Jordan. He obtained citizenship status there and was treated well by the King of Jordan, a friend of his during military training. In Jordan he entered the business world. Three years later, he returned to Indonesia.

Upon his return, Prabowo founded the Nusantara Energy, together with Johan Teguh Sugianto and Widjono Hardjanto. As stated in his personal website, www.prabowosubianto.net, Nusantara Energy consolidates many companies in the pulp insdustry, forestry, agriculture, mining, commercial fishery and professional services. PT Kiani Kertas, PT Kiani Lestari, PT Nusantara Berau Coal, are three of his many subsidiaries. The total number of workers in Nusantara Energy amounts to 10,000 people, with total assets amounting to US$10 billion. Nusantara Energy is located in the Bidakara Tower, South Jakarta.

In the political arena, the name Prabowo again emerged during the 2004 Golkar (Funcitonal Group Party) convention for presidential candidate. Prabowo used a media consultant to improve his image. Alex Castinallos, the campaign consultant of the Republican Party of the United States that put Geroge W. Bush in the Oval Office, and an advertisement media consultant, David Axelrod, were signed by Prabowo's campaign team. Prabowo made it to the final round but failed to win the election.

Prabowo's campaign team has devised a strategy for the 2009 elections. “Since 2004, the team has prepared a strategy,” a Gerindra leader said to VIVAnews. The team conducted researches on the kind of presidential figure that people are looking for, as well as the organizations that Prabowo would have to approach on his journey to the Presidential Palace.

On the Fourth National Convention of the HKTI, and the fifth Farmers Congress on 5th December 2004, he was elected as Chairman of HKTI for the 2004-2009 period. He replaced Siswono Yudho Husodo, with a vote of 309, defeating HKTI Secretary General Agusdin Pulungan, who only received 15 votes, and one abstain, from a total of 325 votes. Recently, in June, Prabowo was also voted as Chairman of Market Merchants Association of Indonesia (APPSI).

Before leading APPSI, Prabowo secretly assisted in the founding of Gerindra. The initiative for the founding of this party came from some of the leaders of HKTI who are not satisfied with Golkar, as well as some of Prabowo's close friends, including Fadli Zon. “Early 2007, I have proposed for a party of farmers and fishermen, but have yet to receive a response,” said Gerindra chairman Suhandri, during an interview with VIVAnews, September 2008.

Nearing the administrative verification of political parties participating in the General Elections at the Department of Justice and Human rights in mid 2007, Prabowo contacted Suhardi and asked about the proposal for the new party. Prabowo agreed to help, but asked the party to be named Gerindra (Great Indonesia Movement). Suhardi enthusiastically mustered everything he had in order to be ready in two months for verification at the Department of Justice and Human Rights. In the mean time, Prabowo had not officially resigned from Golkar.

Gerindra finally passed the verification process, both from the Department of Justice and Human Rights, and from the General Elections Commission (KPU). Then on 12 July 2008, Prabowo delivered his resignation letter from Golkar to its head chairman, Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Prabowo legally joined Gerindra, the party that he helped all this time behind the scene. His path to the Palace is getting clearer.

Prabowo's seriousness in running for President can be seen in the amount of money he has spent for commercials. Gerindra's vice secretary, Abdul Haris Bobihoe, disclosed that more than Rp 1 trillion (about US$100 million) has been prepared for advertisements. No less than 10 television advertising concepts with 30-60 seconds duration have been made with various approaches. It will be divided in 3 phases: first, introduction; second, a public figure in a political party; and third, persuasion.

“All of this is being conceptualized by the same consultant team as it was in 2004,” Haris said. So it can be assured that Prabowo's media consultant team is still Alex Castinallos and David Axelrod, the two people responsible for getting George W. Bush back in the White House for the second time.

What has been the result of Prabowo's and Gerindra's campaign? In the 3 months of rigorous advertisements, Gerindra has managed to become the most known new party, overcoming the popularity of even Hanura (The People's Conscience Party) which is older. In a survey conducted by the National Survey Department in September 2008, 65.4% of 400 respondents knew Gerindra. While only 51.9% knew Hanura.

Now, Prabowo's name is more familiar in the ears of the people and he would perhaps have a chance as Indonesia’s president, not just a president of farmers. That said, Prabowo's new saying is, “I am Prabowo Subianto, for the new Indonesia!”


Translated by: Archie Ardian, Ramona Sofianne Dewi
• VIVAnews

 

 

 

 

 

Prabowo Subianto

Prabowo Subianto (born October 17, 1951) was an Indonesian career soldier and currently a businessman and a politician. Married to former President Suharto's daughter, Siti Hediati Hariyadi (Titiek Soeharto), he was influential under the New Order administration.

The 1998 Revolution cut short his career, and he was accused of involvement in various "riots, plunderings, rapes and murders".[1] Similar accusations were made by various NGOs of his efforts to preserve Indonesian rule in East Timor. The controversial special forces unit Kopassus, which he commanded between 1995 and 1998, was implicated in these alleged crimes.

The Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) nominated Prabowo for the presidency in the run-up to the 2009 Indonesian presidential election, however he eventually agreed to run for the vice-presidency alongside presidential candidate Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Pre-1998 career

Prabowo is the son of former finance minister, one of Indonesia's most respected economist, Sumitro Djojohadikusumo. His brother, Hashim Djojohadikusumo, was the controller of one of Indonesia's larger conglomerates, the Tirtamas Group, until it went bankrupt during the 1997-98 economic crisis.[citation needed] He graduated from the Indonesian Military Academy in 1974 together with others who would gain senior positions such as Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who would later become a prominent reform-minded general and be elected President of Indonesia in 2004.[citation needed]

As a Lieutenant-General in command of the special forces unit, Kopassus, between December 1995 and March 1998, Prabowo returned to East Timor, where according to Prof. Ronald Palmer of George Washington University, former US Ambassador to Malaysia, "[Prabowo] turned East Timor into a personal fief and a training ground for Special Forces black operations. He extended his protection to the notorious East Timor 'Ninja' criminals and used them in extra-legal operations involving torture, extortion, murder, kidnapping, etc. in other regions of the nation, before and after he become Special Forces commander in 1995"[2]
Outside Indonesia he was considered a likely heir presumptive, underlined by the fact that he was said to be "lionized by his American counterparts as a future national leader".[3]

"Terror Squads" in East Timor
The Australia-based East Timor International Support Center demanded that Prabowo be prosecuted at the International War Crimes Tribunal "for the atrocities committed in East Timor by Kopassus under his command". Specifically, the human rights group charged that[4]
Prabowo has been implicated in the control of 'ninja squads', operated by the paramilitary groups in East Timor, which have been used by Kopassus and other elements of the military to terrorise and torture East Timorese suspected of supporting the pro-independence resistance.

According to the group, "leaked documents on actual ABRI troop numbers in East Timor indicate the existence of 13 paramilitary squads and contradicts ABRI's long-time claims of having no links with paramilitary groups in East Timor". Further, "the documents name groups like Team Alpha and Team Saka, which are known terror squads in the Indonesian-occupied territory, and support claims that [these groups] were supported by Kopassus, which was then under the command of Prabowo.
The numerous kidnappings, disappearances, torture and killings by instruments of the state, to keep Suharto in power and to consolidate ABRI's presence and control over East Timor, can be traced back to Prabowo.

Allegation of orchestrating May 1998 riot
A senior US official told The Sunday Times that a major reason for that decision - "taken after considerable deliberations" - was "a reasonable belief that Prabowo was involved in the riots which devastated Jakarta in 1998" and that "witnesses had testified to his involvement in torture and the organizing of rapes during the May riots, both being crimes covered under the [UN] convention".[5]

In Indonesian political debate, attention centered more on the accusations linking Prabowo with acts committed in the heart of Indonesia itself during the final year of the Suharto regime and especially in during the Jakarta Riots of May 1998, and targeting groups - such as the followers of Megawati Sukarnoputri - which came to prominence following 1998.
Prabowo was accused of involvement in "the kidnappings, tortures, abuses, and murders" of anti-Suharto intellectuals and activists.[citation needed] In their testimonies, former detainees told of being tortured for days in an unidentified location, allegedly a military camp where most of their time was spent blindfolded, while being forced to answer repeated questions, mainly concerning their political activities. According to the testimonies, they were kicked, punched, terrorised physically and mentally, and given electric shocks.[6]
Prabowo is believed to have used Kopassus - and the army in general - as the instrument to trigger chaos - during 1997
and 1998 mostly targeted the Indonesian-Chinese minority.[citation needed]

Allegation of attempted coup and Fall from grace
The fall of Suharto and his replacement by the Vice-President Habibie deprived Prabowo of his most important power source, though for a short time he and his associates still retained their positions in the army.[citation needed] In his published memoires, Habibie discloses that during his early days in power, there were wild movements of Army units around the Presidential Palace, organized by Prabowo.[7]

As described by Palmer, the fall of Prabowo was essentially accomplished in the space of three days:[8] "On May 21 Prabowo met Habibie and demanded that Wiranto be replaced by his own man Gen. Subagiyo; however, Habibie decided instead to appoint Wiranto Minister of Defense and Security, as well as TNI commander. Wiranto then fired Prabowo as commander of the Strategic Reserve in the night of May 22.[citation needed] He was summoned by Wiranto on May 23
and reassigned to Bandung".[citation needed]
In August 1998, the Dewan Kehormatan Perwira (Officers Council of Honor) found Prabowo guilty of "exceeding orders" in
the kidnapping of anti-Suharto activists in 1998 but imposed no term of imprisonment.{{Kompas[9]}} He then went into a
kind of "voluntary exile" in Jordan, but was forced to leave and go to Germany and then Bangkok.[citation needed]

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eagle has crash-landed
Monday, 15 June 2009 01:30
Dirk Tomsa
Edition 97: Jul-Sep 2009

Despite an unprecedented media campaign, Prabowo Subianto’s political comeback has fallen flat – for now
Ten years ago it seemed as if Prabowo Subianto’s political career was over before it had really begun. During the twilight days of the New Order, the former commander of the notorious special forces unit Kopassus had lost a power struggle against his arch-rival Wiranto and was subsequently dismissed from the military. Accused of involvement in the abduction of student activists and the instigation of the anti-Chinese riots in Jakarta in May 1998, the former son-in-law of ousted president Suharto considered it safer to leave the country and go into temporary hiding. In self-imposed exile in Jordan he turned his attention to business, making a fortune on the international oil and gas market and through a number of high-stake deals aided by his billionaire brother, business tycoon Hashim Djojohadikusumo.

In the meantime, Prabowo’s arch-rival from his days in the army, Wiranto, enjoyed a brief moment in the sun. Having outmaneuvered Prabowo during the turbulent days of the transition, the former adjutant of Suharto was instrumental in helping Abdurrahman Wahid to an unexpected stint at the presidency in 1999. But to Wiranto’s disappointment, his support for Wahid did not bring the desired recompense. Instead of being rewarded with the vice-presidency, he had to make do with a ministerial post. Shortly afterwards, Wahid added insult to injury when he sacked Wiranto from the cabinet. Thus, merely two years after the fall of Suharto it seemed, for a short time at least, as if there was no place for either Wiranto or Prabowo in Indonesia’s new democracy.

Two years after the fall of Suharto it seemed there was no place for either Wiranto or Prabowo in Indonesia’s new democracy
It did not take long for the two to attempt political comebacks. In 2004, Wiranto and Prabowo were both candidates in Golkar’s national convention to select a presidential candidate. Wiranto in particular invested huge amounts of money at the convention in order to secure a place in Indonesia’s first-ever direct presidential election. In the end the former commander-in-chief of the armed forces did manage to win the convention, but he failed to make it all the way to the palace, finishing third in the presidential poll. Undeterred by the defeat, Wiranto then moved on to found his own party (Hanura) and soon began preparing for the next elections in 2009.

His old foe Prabowo, meanwhile, was not just sitting idly by. In fact, it seemed as if defeat at the Golkar convention had only whetted his appetite for politics. Watching Wiranto’s activities carefully, Prabowo too began to get ready for the next elections. In contrast to his half-hearted campaign in 2004, however, this time he meant business. Assisted by a high-profile media consultancy firm from the United States, Prabowo crafted an elaborate strategy which he hoped would eventually elevate him to the highest office. The strategy consisted of three main pillars: first, mobilisation of support for his bid; second, enhancing name recognition for his organisational vehicle; and third, finding a niche in the political spectrum that he could use to distinguish himself from other candidates.
Finding the right vehicle

Prabowo’s first step was to assume control over one of Indonesia’s biggest mass organisations, the national farmers’ association HKTI (Himpunan Kerukunan Tani Indonesia). Created during the New Order as a corporatist tool for Suharto to monitor Indonesia’s millions of peasants, this organisation had descended into political oblivion after 1998, but its vague affiliation with the rural masses made it an ideal vehicle for Prabowo because it provided him with an opportunity to begin his image-building campaign by presenting himself as a champion of the poor. In December 2004 he was elected HKTI chairman with 309 out of 325 votes – never mind that he was not even a member of the association at that time.

The HKTI position provided Prabowo with valuable access to an organisational base, but with a view to the 2009 elections he needed more than the chairmanship of a mass organisation. Indonesia’s electoral rules dictate that only candidates who are nominated by political parties are allowed to contest a presidential election, so in order to avoid dependence on the goodwill of an already existing party, he decided to emulate what various other retired generals had done before him: he created a new party of his own. And so Gerindra (Movement for a Great Indonesia) was born, a party with a fierce-looking Garuda eagle on its logo (the Garuda is the centrepiece of Indonesia’s national coat of arms). From the day of its formation in February 2008, Gerindra dedicated itself almost exclusively to promoting the presidential ambitions of Prabowo Subianto.

At first sight, Gerindra appeared to be not much different from the various other parties that had been established by retired generals in recent years. Just like Edi Sudradjat’s PKPI, Hartono’s PKPB and more recently Wiranto’s Hanura, Gerindra too seemed to stand for little more than conservative nationalism imbued with a touch of New Order nostalgia. And yet, many observers were much more concerned about Gerindra than the other parties formed by retired officers. A closer look at the composition of its leadership board and its advisory council reveals why. Formally led by a largely unknown forestry professor called Suhardi, Gerindra provides a political home for a number of controversial former generals who continue to be dogged by persistent allegations of gross human rights violations. Amongst the most prominent are Gleny Kairupan, a former intelligence officer with a dubious track record in East Timor, Muchdi Purwopranyoto, who despite his exoneration by a Jakarta court is widely believed to have masterminded the murder of human rights activist Munir in September 2004, and of course Prabowo himself, whose list of alleged crimes includes abduction, torture, and instigation of large-scale anti-Chinese riots. For this reason, Gerindra and Prabowo caused particular alarm among human rights advocates, many of whom protested openly against his presidential campaign this year.

In order to dispel this image, Prabowo pursued an ingenious plan. To the disbelief of those human rights activists who now opposed his candidature, Prabowo approached some of his former victims and persuaded them to join his party. Why exactly former student activists like Desmond Mahesa or Pius Lustrilanang, and Haryanto Taslam, a former leader of Megawati Soekarnoputri’s PDI-P, all three of whom were kidnapped by Prabowo’s troops in 1998, agreed to support the presidential ambitions of their former tormentor has been the subject of much speculation. Some observers have argued that they were simply bought off while others claim they may suffer from Stockholm syndrome (a psychological condition in which victims of abductions become emotionally attached to their hostage-taker). The three men themselves have rejected all such speculation and simply maintained that after Prabowo had apologised to them, it was time to move on.
An unprecedented media campaign

For Prabowo, people like Haryano, Desmond and Pius represented important human capital that could be used in his bid for the presidency. But the real weapon in Prabowo Subianto’s struggle to polish his image was an unprecedented media offensive which in mid-2008 ushered in the second phase of his presidential campaign. While other parties were still in the planning stage, Prabowo began to inundate the Indonesian public with an unparalleled bombardment of political advertisements.

Buoyed by a self-confidence bordering on hubris, Prabowo used these advertisements to liken himself to statesmen ranging from Napoleon and Sukarno to Barack Obama

Buoyed by a self-confidence bordering on hubris, Prabowo used these advertisements to liken himself to an array of past and present statesmen, ranging from Napoleon and Sukarno to Barack Obama. All television advertisements featured the majestic Garuda eagle and consistently highlighted the alleged failure of post-Suharto administrations to realise Indonesia’s huge economic potential. To fund this media onslaught, the soldier-cum-businessman-cum-politician had to dig deep into his pockets (and those of his brother Hashim). According to a Gerindra official, the media campaign alone cost about US$100 million, leaving plenty of room for speculation about just how much more was spent on other campaign activities.

Throughout his media offensive, Prabowo portrayed himself as the only presidential contender capable of liberating Indonesia from the yoke of rural poverty, unemployment and foreign debt. So far, so predictable. What very few observers had predicted, however, was the solution Prabowo proposed for the country’s alleged malaise. Driven by the need to distinguish himself from his rivals, the man who owed his fortune largely to strategic maneuvers on global financial markets and to his connections to some of Indonesia’s most powerful elite families campaigned on a quasi-socialist platform, criticising the government’s privatisation agenda and proposing revisions of existing contracts with foreign companies such as Freeport and Exxon. Given Prabowo’s background, this may sound cynical, but the ‘anti-neoliberal’ label helped him to stand out from his rivals. And in view of the electoral success of other big-spending leftist populists like Hugo Chavez or perhaps Thaksin Shinawatra the strategy made sense, especially in times of a global financial crisis.
Was it all in vain?

So why did it not work? Even though Prabowo had implemented his campaign strategy meticulously from the start, Gerindra got less than five per cent of the vote (Wiranto’s Hanura party fared even worse, achieving only about three per cent). A number of reasons probably account for this poor result, including persistent discomfort amongst many Indonesians about Prabowo’s hardline image and his human rights record, as well as widespread apprehension about his links to the Suharto family. Taken together, these factors apparently provided a substantial deterrent for many voters. Arguably the most important reason, however, is that despite the global financial crisis the overall socio-economic conditions in Indonesia were simply not ripe for the emergence of a populist saviour.

The man who owed his fortune to strategic global financial markets and connections to some of Indonesia’s most powerful elite families campaigned on a quasi-socialist platform

Thanks largely to the government’s three-phase ‘direct cash assistance’ (BLT) program, many poorer Indonesians appear
to be quite satisfied with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s performance. Significantly, the third phase of the BLT program was implemented in late March 2009, which meant that merely two weeks before the election more than 18 million poor families received yet another government-sponsored cash injection of Rp 100,000 per month, to be distributed over a period of two months. In view of these measures taken by the incumbent president, it is hardly surprising that few of the millions of farmers and fisherfolk targeted by Prabowo saw a need for a radical overhaul of the economic system.
Moreover, even those who may actually have seen this need were apparently reluctant to believe that the person to implement it would be, of all people, Prabowo Subianto, who, to put it lightly, is hardly famous for his philanthropy.

Another important reason for Prabowo’s failure to push Gerindra to a better result was that his campaign was essentially regressive. Despite the professional outlook of the advertisements, Gerindra appeared to be preoccupied primarily with romanticising the past rather than outlining the future. This nostalgia was epitomised in a statement by Gerindra’s deputy chairman Fadli Zon who maintained that Gerindra ‘would like to rebuild Indonesia just like how it was in the past when
people gained prosperity from agriculture and fishing’. Clearly, the election result showed that very few Indonesians share
this desire to go back in time. Thus, it could be argued that Prabowo may have revolutionised the style of political
advertising in Indonesia, but he failed to match his impressive style with a convincing message.

So Prabowo will not become Indonesia’s next president, and neither will Wiranto. Does that mean that at long last there really is no place for these two in Indonesia’s democracy? Not quite. Despite the clear verdict at the ballot box and poor approval ratings in most opinion polls, both Prabowo and Wiranto are running as vice-presidential candidates for Megawati and Jusuf Kalla respectively. This may look like a consolation prize only, but it will ensure that the two will continue to have
a place in the system for years to come. And don’t be surprised if they run for president again in 2014. ii

Dirk Tomsa (Dirk.Tomsa@utas.edu.au) is a lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Tasmania.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Indonesia Digest

 

 Global Digest