I remember Ecky’s questioned in her post last year. She asked about the hardest statement to say, was it I love you or I am sorry.
Both of the statement start were the subject are ourselves. But what if the statement has to come from the object ?
By looking into Soeharto’s polemic, for sure the hardest thing to say is I forgive you.
Has been in the list of the richest man in the world, Soeharto also has been known for all the decisions he made to protect his family and his business entourage. Besides his political maneuvering to legalize him as an Indonesian second President for more than three decades. Rule his government with military as his back up. Use the communist sentiment to legalize his decisions to stifle the demonstration of his opponent. Planted the seed of corruption in all social stratums.
No one forgot the history of his conduct to Indonesian Founding Father, Sukarno, during his illness. The way Soeharto treated Sukarno was not a treatment given to former president. The same unbelievable treatment like he use for his opponent, especially during the beginning of his downfall.
No one can easily forget his huge mistakes. No one; especially for the victim whose being punished or for the family which lost the member of his family just because of different political value.
No one could forget the damage that he had heritage to Indonesian people, where democracy suddenly became a stranger when he surrendered his power.
Therefore, by looking into all the in-appropriate things that happened lately. Every body took the opportunity of Soeharto’s dying by bring out the idea of forgiving, by write off all the long list of Soeharto’s black book.
While actually they have forgotten that the idea of forgiving and write off is not something in common. The idea of forgiving and write-off are totally different. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that we can easily write off the mistake, it depends on the mistake that we made. And that is the reason why we need a court to value the mistakes, to decide the weight of the mistakes, to give punishment to the defendant.
So, should we forgiving Soeharto ? Or should we write off Soeharto’s mistake ?
As a human being we should forgive Soeharto. As a human being we should not discuss the possibility of bring him to court when he was dying. As a human being we should understand that a mistake is still a mistake, there's right or wrong, and we should let the court to judge it.
There’s always a good side of in every human being. So is Soeharto, he's not bad at all. We have to acknowledge that during his more than three decades President Role, he also stabilized the economy, he brought Indonesia as one of Asian economic giant before India and China.
Therefore, as a nation, we should respect Soeharto as our former president but as a nation we also have to learn to separate forgiving and write-off.
* the picture were taken from here