Peter Goodspeed, National Post
January 16, 2008
Reporting on Indonesia’s ex-president Suharto’s death watch, Canada’s National Post writer, Peter Goodspeed, paints a clear picture of how the people of Indonesia became saddled with a legacy of odious debts.
After seizing power in a 1967 coup, Suharto went on to kill or imprison hundreds of thousands of his opponents, says Goodspeed. Suharto, who did not trouble with elections, managed to control every institution in the country and ran a government rooted on personal loyalty, political patronage and institutionalized bribery and graft. He took a bite out of every major business deal in Indonesia, which made Surharto and his family, and a small inner circle of close friends, very wealthy. According to the anti-corruption advocacy group Transparency International, Suharto stole between US$15 billion and US$35 billion during his time in power. When he fell from power in 1998, the International Monetary Fund was trying to keep the Indonesian economy afloat with an injection of US$43 billion.