English Corner

The New Order Story [8] According to Soeharto, Gus Dur and Megawati Must Be Paralyzed

Jumat, 5 Maret 2021, 18:30 WIB
Dibaca 115
The New Order Story [8] According to Soeharto, Gus Dur and Megawati Must Be Paralyzed
Gus Dur dan Megawati (Foto: Reuters)

Pepih Nugraha

Penulis senior

Gradually people have to acknowledge the sharp political sense of Soeharto, the former ruler of the New Order who ruled for 32 years in the Republic. With this sharp instinct, Soeharto was able to look far ahead which figure could potentially replace him. For that they must be paralyzed, whoever they are.

These two names, namely Abdurrahman Wahid and Megawati Soekarnoputri, were included on Soeharto's radar or instinct for Soeharto's power which one day would replace his position as President of the Republic of Indonesia. That was the key, both of them must be paralyzed immediately. In what way? In the way Soeharto had. Very typical way.

If the context is a constitution that clearly regulates the presidency of the President, actually Suharto's fear does not need to exist, nor is it grounded. This is because constitutionally the leader changes within a certain period through the election mechanism. The national leader will definitely change.

But Soeharto interpreted the Constitution by himself, the 1945 Constitution, that "the President may be re-elected". This means that the President can be re-elected (by the MPR) at the end of every five years. And so on ... and it was done by Suharto. Through the constitution, he wants to be President for life.

That is why Soeharto made Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution sacred with a terrifying narrative that will be remembered in the dark history of Indonesian politics. That, whoever brings up the constitution and Pancasila, will face the absolute power of the state. ABRI also submits to being able to share this terrifying narrative.

Soeharto placed the constitution as a "holy book", which could not be changed at all through amendments to the MPR. Changing the constitution might tamper with the magic sentence "after that (the President) can be re-elected".

Soeharto didn't want that to happen. Especially when there are elements of society who want him to "step down", he threatens with the most memorable words until now, "I'll beat up".

Regarding the very sharp political smell earlier, this is another side of Suharto's greatness. Admittedly that!

Just try it, the two figures who were predicted to replace him really happened; Megawati became President of the Republic of Indonesia, even Gus Dur first, in exactly the same order in which the two had to be overthrown.

First Gus Dur. Soeharto saw that this charismatic figure who was very intelligent would become President of the Republic of Indonesia someday, a presidential candidate who had the potential to replace him.

Soeharto pushed Gus Dur to a higher level starting with the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Congress in 1994 in Cipasung, Tasikmalaya.

Suharto, through his political machines, divided NU like the Dutch colonial "divide et impera". He tried to overthrow Gus Dur by staging a rival NU congress. The "puppet" that Soeharto staged at the time was Abu Hasan, the rival who was defeated by Gus Dur in the Cipasung Congress.

But Gus Dur was a champion, he was still re-elected as Chairman of the PBNU. Third time!

Apart from "seeing" the future that Gus Dur has the potential to replace himself as President, Suharto actually had his own annoyance when Adam Schwarz in his book A Nation In Waiting: Indonesia in The 1900 called Suharto "stupid" quoting his interview with Gus Dur. .

The exact sentence is this; "That is the stupidity of Soeharto that he did not follow my advice" (That is Suharto's stupidity in not following my advice). The annoyance peaked especially when Gus Dur supported the activists against the Soeharto government. In Soeharto's eyes, Gus Dur must be knocked out.

Second, this was also the case with Megawati Sukarnoputri, who was clearly Soekarno's biological son.

Soeharto shared the view that Bung Karno's daughter would one day become the first woman President of the Republic of Indonesia. Mega was also paralyzed through the PDI Extraordinary National Conference which Suharto staged after Megawati was elected. The doll that was presented was Soerjadi.

This was the real beginning of Suharto's downfall; fell after bringing down Megawati!

Borrowing a social media analogy, Megawati has become a trending topic in every conversation. He became a figure of a little boy who was oppressed by the authorities. Soeharto was unable to stem this simple, viral word of mouth narrative. Megawati was unstoppable. He became big.

History records that Mega became President of the Republic of Indonesia replacing Gus Dur, who was an open secret, was forced to overthrow by Amien Rais and his friends. Gus Dur and Megawati are like sharing half of the President of the Republic of Indonesia.

In the eyes of "daripada" Soeharto, Gus Dur and Megawati have the potential to replace him as President. Because of this, both must be paralyzed, because it was proven that Gus Dur and Megawati could replace their positions at a later date.

A political view as well as a sharp power "daripada" Soeharto.

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