TIME TO CROSS OVER
By Loreen Neville
11th January 2008
One foot already in the grave, early January 2008, has seen Soeharto’s determination to hang onto his life with the moral, financial medical support of his family especially his children. His health condition has been critically unstable, improving slightly on one day and worsening the next. Soeharto was readmitted to Hospital Pertamina or Rumah Sakit Pusat Pertamina on January the fourth 2008, in a critical health state suffering from anemia, with his blood pressure count measuring 130/70 millimeter Hg on that day. Soeharto according to his team of doctors and specialists said that the latter, is suffering from heart, lung, kidney, brain failure and had to be placed on a ventilator and since then Soeharto has been heavily sedated. Soeharto is perhaps only days away from his final earthly departure to face his maker, so to speak.
SOEHARTO’S HEALTH CHART ADMISSIONS
|4th January 2008||Multiply chronic diseases or Multiply organs malfunction|
|4th May 2006||Bleeding in Digestion|
|5th May2005||Intestine infection|
|29th April 2004||Bleeding in Digestion|
|7th January 2004||Declared had permanent psychology disability|
|29th April 2003||Bleeding in digestion and pervade to heart|
|15th March 2002||Intestine bleeding and have to be infuse|
|17th December 2001||Critical cough and hard to breath|
|13th June 2001||Cardio resynchronization therapy|
|24th February 2001||Intestine infection surgery|
|14th February 2000||Have difficulty in verbal communication|
|14th August 1999||Have bleeding in his intestine|
|20th July 1999||Light Stroke|
Preparations for Soeharto’s burial underway
Meanwhile preparations for Soeharto’s funeral and thus burial is already on the way (although some would not admit it) the domestic airport coordinator in Solo, Central Jawa has said that they plan to open the airport for 24hours especially for the VIPs and guests.
The Giribangun Cemetery or Astana Giribangun is where Soeharto’s wife the late Mrs. Tien Suhartoe or Siti Hartinah was buried in 1996, alongside her parents (KRMTH and KRay Sumoharyomo) and her Mrs. Tien’s oldest sister with a Javanese title Kanjeng Raden Ayu or KRAy-Siti Hartini Odang, has been closed to public since Thursday, 10 January 2008. According to some village people there, cleaning and activities have already begun. Astana Giribangun is a family grave site for the Mangkunegaran (Mrs. Tien Soeharto’s family), located in Karang Bangun village, Matesih, Karanganyar, about 30-40 kilometre eastern Solo. It was formally opened to the public in the 1976.
The late Mrs. Tien Soeharto’s tomb is in the east section and next to it, is the empty space reserved for Soeharto.
Majority of the people have said, Soeharto has done a much better job at governing Indonesia, but there are the scores who insists that Soeharto should be indicted for the crimes of genocide, nepotism and corruption, he had allegedly committed during his reign. However, according to law a person must be of sound mind and health to stand trial. Soeharto’s ailing health since his ouster had saved him from jail predicament. The current president of Indonesia Dr.H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono commonly known as “SBY”, also a Javanese, has asked the nation to forgive and to pray for the ailing-dying Soeharto. It can be predicted that thousands if not millions of people will visit his tomb.
Haji Mohammad Soeharto, born in June 8, 1921 now 86 years 7months old, a former five star General, was considered by the masses to have ruled Indonesia with an iron-fist from 1967 to 1998, coming to power in 1965. Soeharto seized power from his predecessor, the first president of Indonesia Sukarno, through force and political maneuvering according to the early version of Soeharto's history. At last, in May 1998, Soeharto was forced to step down after 32 years of dictatorship following mass demonstrations ending his three decade of the new order regime-government. Except for the GOLKAR Party that Soeharto created, pratically the entire nation celebrated throwing fists in the air.
From public pressures, the Indonesian government then on August 3, 2000, formally charged him with graft. His first trial was held by the South Jakarta district court in August 31, 2000. He was accused of having unlawfully collected Rp 1.3 trillion and US$ 419 million through seven foundations he had led while he was president. The courts however, had delayed Soeharto`s trial because of his “unfavorable health condition”. The delays came about from the Attorney General’s Office, team of doctors who had issued a recommendation, “that Soeharto was not fit physically and mentally to sit in the court room for trial because of a permanent brain damage.”
How historians would accurately write Soeharto’s final chapters on Indonesia’s development under him then and within the context of law and crime of what he has allegedly committed and can he be still charge in absentia?, will depend on the law enforcements in Indonesia. This is important because Soeharto is part of Indonesia’s history and the future younger generation will learn or read about Soeharto, good or wicked. I, personally like Soeharto's story and found his character to be interestingly intriguing, a person to read and write about, but at last I can also comprehend the feelings of those who had suffered under his wrath and leadership.Nonetheless, and in many ways, Soeharto has done tremendously well for himself, his cronies and for Indonesia - which was his duty to do so. In addition, the people were much more discipline then and the streets cleaner. Perhaps out of kindness and compassion from Soeharto’s fellow successors, at least the once upon a time strongman-Soeharto did not suffer the same fate as the late Saddam Hussein who was sentenced to the gallows or like the late former President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos who died in exile in Hawaii.