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Jakarta Post

Insight: The President’s politically incorrect gesture

  • Todung Mulya Lubis

Jakarta   /   Sat, July 21 2012   /  01:04 pm

Former foreign minister Hassan Wirayuda recently launched a quarterly journal called Strategic Review. There was nothing wrong about either the launch or the journal, but I found it distasteful to see a notoriously famous guest attending the event, sitting as a “very important person” next to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The person I am referring to is Thaksin Shinawatra, once a strong man in Thailand, who served as prime minister, but was ousted as a corrupt politician. He is now a convict and living in exile.

President Yudhoyono from day one in office, and even during his campaign ahead of the 2004 presidential election, said he would concentrate on the fight against corruption because he considered corruption the number one enemy of the state. And he did a good job until he finished his first term in office. Never in our contemporary history have we seen so m...