National Heroes: Gus Dur vs Soeharto

Oct 20th, 2010, in Featured, News, by

The ten names which have been put forward for consideration to be awarded a National Hero status this year:

  • Soeharto (Central Java, former president)
  • Abdurrahman Wahid (East Java, former president)
  • Ali Sadikin (West Java, governor of Jakarta 1966-77)
  • Habib Sayid Al Jufrie (Central Sulawesi, religious leader)
  • Andi Depu (West Sulawesi, nationalist fighter)
  • Johanes Leimena (Maluku, deputy prime minister 1957-66)
  • Abraham Dimara (Papua, pro-integrationist fighter)
  • Andi Makkasau (South Sulawesi)
  • Pakubuwono X (Central Java, sultan of Solo, 1893-39)
  • Sanusi (West Java, governor of West Java 1951-57)

A 13 member selection panel is responsible for sorting through the names, and selecting those they see suitable for recommendation to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. It is rumoured that 11 of the 13 members approved of Suharto’s inclusion, among the other names on the list.

national heroes

After the president makes his selection based on these recommendations, the names are submitted for review to the Honorary Title and Order-of-Merit Council, which is made up of: Marshall Djoko Suyanto, Haryono Suyono, TB Silalalahi, Juwono Sudarsono, Quraish Shihab, Edi Sedyawati and Jimly Assiddhiqie, most of whom are Suharto era figures and/or government ministers.

The nomination of Soeharto was originally made by Rina Iriani, regent of Karanganyar, who said: jakartaglobe

Yes, I proposed Suharto as a national hero. He made a large contribution to the country. He built Indonesia during the 32 years of his presidency. His achievements were recognized nationally and internationally

Superhero Gus Dur

While a critic of Soeharto’s nominaton, Islamic Students’ Association/Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam (HMI) chairman Chozin Amirullah said:

Suharto doesn’t deserve to be a national hero, he committed gross violations of democratic principles and crimes against humanity, and was one of the world’s biggest corruptors.

Meanwhile another commentator, chairman of Partai Demokrat, Didi Irawadi Syamsuddin, avoided the question of Soeharto, but instead recommended another former president Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), as well as two human rights campaigners, Munir Said Thalib and Yap Thiam Hien. detik

22 Comments on “National Heroes: Gus Dur vs Soeharto”

  1. Ross says:

    Yes, I didn’t think I’d be the first to suggest Munir, but his widow is equally deserving.
    Or do you have to be dead to be a hero?

    If so, then – seriously – how about Fifi, the little hooker who was driven into a Tangerang river by raiders from Satpol PP. who then reportedly threw stones at her to stop her regaining dry land.

    A harmless woman hounded to her death by agents of a bigoted Islamist local authority would be a much better heroic example than some of the other candidates.

  2. abdullah says:

    the title (gus dur vs soeharto) -for me- isn’t good, because “vs” used to opposite different thing that the winner isn’t clear yet. in this case, gus dus is very clear that he is a hero, whether given the title by the government or not.

  3. Aprianti says:

    Not quite sure if someone who struggles for her own life like Fifi deserves a national hero status. But talking about people who live a marginal life, Marsinah, an Indonesian worker who was kidnapped and murdered by the army and becomes a symbol and inspiration for the workers’ struggle deserves this title much better.

  4. madrotter says:

    marsinah for sure but fifi represents a huge part of the population these days too

  5. madrotter says:

    and Ross I think it’s GREAT that you keep reminding people about the fate of this poor girl at the hands of those scumbag swine

  6. Ross says:

    It’s hard to find out all the details, but apparently she was in her 40s, and there were 4 satpol named in the case, but I can’t track down what, if anything, happened to them. Probably demotion, at best, for bringing the corps into (further) disrepute!

    There was just something so UNNECCESSARY about it, madrotter.

    All these girls and women expect razias as part of their daily struggle, and a spell in Kedoya is apparently tolerable.

    But the image of those evil brutes in their pathetic uniforms, pretending to serve the community, while tormenting a drowning woman when they could have helped…it’s Fifi’s sheer obscurity that keeps me on the case, an otherwise so easily forgettable lady who must not be forgotten.

    Of course she will never be a heroine in the sense that other candidates might be, though she may have been, to some kids or siblings who depended on her meagre earnings.

  7. madrotter says:

    i talk to some of the girls in a bar here sometimes and the stories they tell, oh man. the get picked up often, three choices, blow and fxck a whole bunch of cops, pay a sum that’s just impossible or get send to one of those “re-education” concentration camps up in cirebon, you can guess what they’re forced to choose….

  8. diego says:

    Link to the story in Ross’s comments:

  9. retarders says:

    I nominate Manohara for National Heroin…

  10. retarders says:

    I meant Heroine ….

  11. Ross says:

    Thanks, diego, I had pursued the story up till that part, but cannot find if those court proceedings had a useful result.
    Are the culprits behind bars, or still strutting about, or retired to other forms of anti-social activity?

  12. David says:

    The state court of Tangerang acquitted them on 17th March this year, with the reason that they were only doing their duty, if imperfectly, as laid out by the law. The prosecution had asked for one year sentences, but it was thrown out. The report says the prosecutor was unhappy and would appeal to the High Court.

    The name of the girl is given as Vivih Afrianti.

  13. Goodfellow says:

    There are not enough new streets that can be named after more heroes added to the list. Why become a hero, your name will become a street address, ran over by vehicles, polluted, holes dig for electrical cables, flooded and endless miseries.

  14. Hans says:

    Pakubuwono X He get the GC North Star of Sweden 1932, it says it all abt this ruling Susuhanan *he to whom homage is paid* of Surakarta earlier Mahajapat Empire.
    Sunda people probably not like it but Javanese take it as a tribute and SBY is Javanes?
    and do not forget to Homer J Simpson is not a Catholic! Simpson actually goes to a Presbyterian-Lutheran Church

  15. zerobeat says:

    vote gusdur to be hero

  16. Ross says:

    Thx for the update, David, but whatever happened to the case thereafter?

  17. David says:

    If I’d found out anything more recent I would have put it here Ross.

    …. The Facebook comments on this post, so far… Pak Harto is winning, narrowly

    Om Bradley

    Almh Pak Hartoe

    October 20 at 9:55pm via Facebook Mobile · LikeUnlike ·
    Ati Sulastri

    Gus dur is great person but i will vote for Alm. H.M.Soeharto as National heroes

    October 20 at 10:14pm via Facebook Mobile · LikeUnlike ·
    Wangsit Abah

    gw pilih pak harto aja

    Thursday at 2:02am · LikeUnlike ·
    Noy Yanuarita

    i’ll choose no one.Gus Dur such great, i love his idealism,his brain,but he is not a hero,n suharto..perhaps he gave 25% his best for Indonesia,but he gave 101% his worst to Indonesia..

    22 hours ago · LikeUnlike ·
    Salim Aziz


    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike ·
    Ananda Idris

    if we want to honor him for what he has done right, he also has to pay for what he has done wrong ….now it’s too late he is not there anymore, so why bother.

    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike ·

  18. Zoef says:

    I vote for Nasution who didn’t want to be a president! Who wanted to stop Soekarno but lost a lot to save the nation. A real man who stayed firm in his track.
    Indeed a real hero.

  19. Multibrand says:

    Thank God, Soeharto was not chosen

  20. Patrick says:

    I remember while I was living in Jakarta, sometime around 2004, that Gus Dur openly confronted Islamist extremist which were blocking handicapped children from attending a Christian school in their neighorhood. He single handedly re-opened the school when no other political figure lifted a finger to help. Bravo!

  21. madrotter says:

    if gus dur was alive today his troops would now be protecting the ahmadya

  22. ET says:

    Gus Dur was a fine human being but in the eyes of many a bad Muslim.

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