Monday, March 23, 2015

The Legacy Of Great Leaders

When Indonesia's former dictator Suharto finally gave up the ghost on 27 January 2008, it was 3 long weeks after being admitted to Pertamina Hospital in South Jakarta. Despite the gallant efforts of dozens of Indonesia's best doctors, he was done in by anemia and low blood pressure due to heart, lung and kidney problems.

And as he lay in hospital, kept alive by the scientific marvel of a life support machine, victims of his repressive regime fumed at the failure to prosecute him for mass murder of at least half a million killed during his 32 years in power. During the mid-1960s, Suharto supervised a purge of suspected Communists that saw between 500,000 and a million lives snuffed out in cold blood. Until the world learnt of the Khmer Rouge's atrocities in Cambodia a decade later, it was the bloodiest event in the region since the Second World War.

However, his children and business cronies waxed lyrical about his qualities, having reaped the bountiful fruits of his inglorious reign. Transparency International, the anti-corruption pressure group, estimated that Suharto amassed a personal fortune of between $15bn and $35bn, much of it through bribes and kickbacks. His wife was nicknamed "Ibu Ten Percent" for obvious reasons. Suharto also learnt to make effective use of lawyers, he won a $106m lawsuit against Time magazine after it suggested his family stashed away $15bn of state funds.

Quite naturally, not too many world leaders made a beeline to his bedside. The notable few who did: Malaysia's ex-president Mahathir Mohamad, Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, and the then Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. They lauded Suharto for promoting regional unity. Lee's cogent contribution spoke volumes about their shared values:
“Yes, there was corruption. Yes, he gave favors to his family and his friends. But there was real growth, real progress… What is a few billion dollars lost in bad excesses? He built hundreds of billions of dollars worth of assets. I think the people of Indonesia are lucky. They had a general in charge, had a team of competent administrators including a very good team of economists.”

Lee Kuan Yew died at 3.18am today at the Singapore General Hospital. He was 91.
Digital art created with AndreaMosaic



    "Between being loved and being feared, I have always believed Machiavelli was right. If nobody is afraid of me, I'm meaningless."

    For a man who wants to be feared, and were feared, so why do people bothered to give him love too? Food for thought.

  2. Dang.

    His knuckle duster & hatchet was not enough to debate with the 4 horsemen... no parliamentarians, police, CCC, AG, was around to threaten.

    Too soon... should have dragged on.. but then it would clash with Easter... reserved already.

  3. People die everyday.

  4. “Yes, there was corruption. Yes, he gave favors to his family and his friends. But there was real growth, real progress…"
    Real growth. Real Progress.
    For who?

  5. Birds of the Same Feather

    shall flock together.


  6. I am only curious who is he going to will off his accumulated wealth ? Will it ever be made public ?

    1. He's the Father of Singapore right?
      So he will will off all his wealth to Singaporeans lah.

      Family is who you fight for. And who fights for you.
      In Alien Singapore, PAP and LKY got fight for Singaporeans or not?

  7. One week national mourning during which normal TV and radio programmes are scrapped and replaced with solemn music and attributes to the great man.
    What a boring one week!

  8. The legacy he left behind, elitelism,nepotism,double standard,bankruptcy lawsuit, inshort he a conman when he wining,a dictator when he is amount of earthly money and power can help him to face his final judgement.

  9. A boring week with no public holiday at all!!!

  10. Long queues of minions stand and wait in line to bow, sniff and bawl their eyes out under the guise of paying their respect.

    Has amnesia robbed them off the memory of the other "queue" few months ago when they also bawled out to be given their CPF savings back.

    Singaporeans seem to be a forgetful forgiving lot.

    1. Kuan Yew ruled Singapore because no other group would have responded positively to his intimidation and seduction the way in which the average Sporean did. A massive countries like Msia n Indonesia would have never succumbed to LKY. Never...

  11. Just a thought...
    If the Tunku, instead of agreeing to separation had allowed LKY to make use of UMNO to ascend to the Malaysian Premiership, would UMNO be decimated by detention without trial into extinction?
    Would he have made Malaysia the largest economy in the world in less than 50 years and a permanent member of the UN Security Council?
    Or would Malaysia have descended into chaos by his power grab?

  12. I heard over the BBC that he was called "A combination of Washington and Churchill". It appears many have gone over the moon in their adulation, forgetting the reality that he died at age 91 of sickness, and not for the country. He may have done a lot of good for Singapore, but he has done a lot of bad too, and extracted a lot out of it, for his personal gain and power.

    Junior praised him for his struggle for independence. Isn't this the opposite of the truth? He forced us into Malaysia, and we were kicked out because of his personal ambition. It is sad that he has died, just as it is sad that anybody dies, but it seems many are carried away by this, and have clouded their judgement.

  13. Well, when you are flooded and force fed by the media 24 hrs a day with nothing but news and articles about the old man, some of it gets rubbed onto you. Singaporeans seem very vulnerable to such herd mentality.

    1. Cannot blame them...remember the education system is created to create workers and prevent too many independent original thinking human beings, so much waste of human potential just to keep the few on top...which is nuts...there are past precendents when this is done, a civilization/country starts to decline...seems higher education is somehow reserve ONLY for the papies and parasites clinging on to them. It is really sad.