Senin, 18 Oktober 2010

FINALLY, NATION TALKS ABOUT HERO NOMINATION FOR SOEHARTO by Fardah

        Jakarta, Oct 18, 2010 (ANTARA) - Prayers to observe the 1000 days of the demise of former President Soeharto will be organized in five different places on October 22, 2010.
       By accident, Soeharto has been frequently mentioned in the media following a proposal on rewarding the national hero status to ten people including Soeharto.
       Since his death on January 27, 2008, there have been rarely any news proposing him to receive national hero tittle, as the nation is quite divided in seeing Soeharto.
       Some look at him a hero, as no doubt he had fought for the nation during the colonialism era, and he had been successful in developing the country during his about 30-year administration.
       But some others accuse him as a corrupter, or at least putting blind eyes on corruption cases involving his relatives, especially his children.
        Responding to controversy on the Seoharto nomination, Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al-Jufri said proposals to award the national hero title to certain people had not come from the government but from the people.
       "The proposals do not come from the government but from the grass roots. Every citizen has the right to propose somebody for official recognition as a national hero," the minister said here Monday.
      He said his ministry had already selected 10 names from among many more proposed by the people for recognition as national hero, and submitted them to the Council of Titles, Decorations and Orders of Merit.

The ten names are Ali Sadikin (former Jakarta Governor, from West Java), Habib Sayid Al Jufrie (from Central Sulawesi), HM Soeharto (former president, from Central Java), Abdurrahman Wahid (from East Java), Andi Depu (from West Sulawesi), Johanes Leimena (from Maluku), Abraham Dimara (from Papua), Andi Makkasau (from South Sulawesi), Pakubuwono X (from Central Java), and Sanusi (from West Java).

On the controversy regarding Soeharto, the minister said in the present democratic era, it was normal for people to have different opinions about something.

To be considered for the national hero title, the person nominated by anybody must meet certain criteria set forth in Law No. 20/2009 on the awarding of special distinctions by the state.

Among the criteria were that he or she is an Indonesian national, has struggled against colonialism, or for education and political purposes in the territory now called Indonesia.

Besides, they must also be morally untainted and never have been jailed, and to have always fought in the interest of the Indonesian Republic.

Another requirement was they must be proposed by the people, districts, and governors. At gubernatorial level, there was a team called regional title study and research.

The proposed persons must first be studied, researched and seen whether they have met the requirements. Then seminars should be organized about them, and later their names should be submitted to the social affairs ministry.

After being discussed for about four months, the selected ones will be submitted to the Council of Titles, Decorations and Order of Merit chaired by the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs.

"It`s quite a long process, not one or two days, and it has to start from the bottom level, so let us just wait for the results," the minister said.

Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam also confirmed that the former president was proposed by the people, not by the government, to be given a national hero title.

The Team will later present its verification results to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono .

"Later, it is the President who will decide who deserve the national hero titles," Dipo Alam said.

The National Alliance of Patriotic Volunteer Soeharotist for the Republic of Indonesia Development (ASPPRI) has expressed its support for naming Soeharto as a national hero.

"We support the effort to name the late Great General HM Soeharto as as national hero, for his contributions as `The Father of Indonesian Development` who has been acknowledged by the history and the people," ASPPPRI Coordinator Jantje Worotitjan said here recently.

ASPPPRI has organized discussions and dialogs in Jakarta and other cities on proposing Soeharto to receive national hero status.

"Every one has agreed that Mr Harto deserves the honorary title of national hero. He has significantly contributed to making g Indonesia one of the `Asian tigers`," Jantje Worotitjan said.

He claimed that ASPPPRI had receives letters of support from Java, Sumatra, and Sulawesi as well as Papua to make Soeharto a national hero.

Former Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Chief Hasyim Muzadi said former president Soeharto deserves to be given the national hero title by the state.

"Soeharto deserves to be awarded the national hero title," Hasyim, currently secretary general of the International Conference of Islamic Scholars (ICIS), said here Monday.

He made the statement to comment on the inclusion of Soeharto as one of 10 prominent figures proposed by the people to as national heroes.

"Soeharto deserves to be named a national hero although he was not free of mistakes. Every era has its outstanding figure, and every such figure was meritorious in a particular era," he said.

Soeharto`s services to the nation could not be judged based on the values or norms prevailing in Indonesia today, he said.

"Soeharto came to power in a revolutionary situation. Without Soeharto, Indonesia could have become a communist country, been deprived of its state ideology Pancasila, its 1945 Constitution and of religion," he stated.

At the time, Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) revolutionary councils had been set up everywhere, from Jakarta to rural areas, and they were poised to take over power as soon as their rebellion had succeeded, Hasyim said.

In the first 15 years of Soeharto`s administration, Indonesia was successful in developing its economy, but the second 15 year period, corruption was rampant in the country, he said.

"It was because there was hardly any control on the power of the military and the bureaucracy," he said.

He said Indonesia needed to conduct a drive for national reconciliation to free itself of a legacy of revenge-seeking tendencies .

Hutomo Mandala Putra (known as Tommy), the youngest son of Soeharto, said in Karanganyar, Central Java, recently that his family would not ask the government for the hero title for his father.

"The awarding of the national hero status to former president Soeharto is just a matter of time, given his extraordinary services to the nation. Every one knows that," Hutomo Mandala Putra said. ***1***

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(T.F001/A/F001/A/O001) 18-10-2010 17:15:43

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