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Jakarta Post

The irrepressible and intimate Mochtar Lubis

  • Warief Djajanto Basorie


Jakarta   /   Sun, September 21 2008   /  09:49 am

The late Mochtar Lubis is arguably Indonesia's best known, internationally acclaimed newspaperman and veteran political prisoner of two presidents. He attests that some political prisoners rceived better treatment, depending what what they were allegedly inside for. Lubis revealed this in his diary, published May 2008, describing his time in 1975 at Nirbaya, the detention facility in East Jakarta for those who politically crossed Soeharto, Indonesia's top dog from 1966 to 1998. "Food rations at Nirbaya are no better than during the Old Order. The rations for the Gestapu/PKI detainees are worse. Hariman and I still get one piece of scrambled egg for lunch, and once in a while a perkedel (potato-based dumpling) in the morning or in the evening, with some cooked vegetables. "But the Gestapu/PKI prisoners get only one piece of tempeh (fermented soybean cake)...