TO GO FOR PRO-SOEHARTO LEGISLATORS
JAKARTA (JP) Many have asked me whether I was surprised that the House of Representatives (DPR) had failed to summon President B.J. Habibie for questioning, let alone impeach him. I have had to reveal to them that I was not surprised, just plain disappointed. And sad, that even after President . Habibie himself had confirmed the authenticity of the tapes revealing abuse of the Presidential office and obstruction of justice by the President, parliament ruled that there were no grounds to question him.
But what could one really have expected from legislators who had voted to keep President Soeharto in office for yet another term in March 1998? Afterwards he had publicly asked them to go and find out whether the Indonesian people really still wanted him. "Maybe they are afraid, maybe they are too polite," Soeharto had wondered aloud. "No, no, Mr President, all of the Indonesian people love you very very much," the thousand legislators had replied in chorus. Now, you couldn't expect five hundred of the same legislators to prod President Habibie into bringing Soeharto to justice, could you? could they also possess the cold heart or scheming mind of Harmoko, who called for Soeharto's resignation in the middle of the crisis, even after having amassed great fame and fortune as a Soehartd stalwart? No, they could not be as calculating as the accomplished dalang (puppeteer).
Thus, while these "respectable Indonesians" still hold office we cannot expect Soeharto to be brought to trial. Their reluctance to atone for their past misdeeds and mend their ways does not augur well for our efforts to rise from the ashes and build a "New Indonesia".
It is evident that they are not drawing any lessons at all from the crisis.They appear to be in the same league as many of our ministers, who, oblivious to the plight of the millions of impoverished people, have in the past few months been vying with each other to throw the most extravagant wedding party for their beloved children. Soehartoists to the very core, royalty with utter disdain for the masses.
"Surely there must be some good people among them," you would say, "they can't be all that bad."I admit that there could be some, but I am confident that the true patriots among the legjslators would gladly step aside now and consider this small personal sacrifice to be yet another contribution to the republic.
Their staling qualities would stand out even mdre if they were to resign from parliament now, and no doubt they would emerge as forerunners in the 2004 elections. On the other hand, many of the younger pro-Soeharto legislators who plan to dig in are already heaping blame on the previous "system".
They are espousing the argument that it was the system which encouraged such behavior on their part, and that they - as rightfully elected representatives of the people are not to blame. Yet others maintain that they were pressured by their peers to reelect Soeharto against their conscience. But it is exactly these types of individuals that we no longer want.
At this time, the country needs those who will act as true representatives of the people, and dare to follow their consciences irrespective of the personal consequences, even at the risk of losing office.
We hear that half of these old legislators will be running for reelection themselves. Which means that the party officials fielding them are convinced that there has been no fundamental change, that it is business-as-usual, just like in Soeharto's heyday. Back then all they needed to do to assure reelection was to act as faithful courtiers' in Soeharto's kingdom.
The elections were just another party, where billions would be milked from colluding businessmen and corrupt government officials and squandered to woo the voters.
In fact, many of these self-serving party officials are preparing to field their wives as candidates again. Public opinion be damned! They consider the public naive to expect the forthcoming elections to usher in a clean, corruption-free government. These sycophants know they will continue to enjoy the perks of office, ever ready to obsequiously serve whoever comes out on top.
Who cares that so many young, bright, and cheerful lives have been extinguished in the fight for political reform? These legislators must have cold blood running in their veins -like reptiles - to display such heartless indifference.
No wonder that the country is tearing apart that brothers are slaughtering brothers with abandon. With such cold-blooded individuals representing them in parliament, how dare the masses be different ?
They must continue to be the "floating masses", and faithfully emulate the behavior of their elite. When they decry the murder of innocents by marauding mobs, these legislators forget that they, too, have blood on their hands. Tens of millions saw them laughing and congratulating themselves onTV for having legalized the Habibie regime on Nov.13, 1998, while Wiranto's troops were mowing down innocent students on the streets. Students who were trying to gain the attention of these legislators.
Students who were fighting for a more democratic, cleaner Indonesia. To date, these legislators have not done anything at all to push for an investigation into the murder of these students, symbols of our nation's future.
The Indonesian people have had enough of such opportunists. It is time for them to go.
All Indonesians who do not want our student heroes to have died in vain, should galvanize our countrymen to bring pressure to bear upon these heartless legislators. We must marshal support from all quarters to force the political parties not to field these parliamentarians, who have responsible for gross violations of human rights, in the forthcomjng elections. We should leave nd stone unturned in forcing the likes of Gafur and Harmoko out. Now!
We must not let these caildus impostors contaminate our New Indonesia.