This set Unspun thinking about power, the maintenance of power, its mystique and ultimate dissipation.
It has been a decade since Suharto was ousted from power, yet he and his family have remained powerful. No longer in the limelight they nonetheless were, excepting Tommy who was so prominent he had to be put away for a while, almost untouchable.
Seemingly out of power and ill the old man still commanded respect or fear. Some business deals had to have his blessings still or it was a no go.
Now that Suharto is virtually in his deathbed it is interesting to ponder what it was that retained his power even after he had been ousted. Was it the careful use of all those fables richess that he and his family was supposed to have stowed away? Was it the residual mystique of the man? Or did his supporters remained loyal? Or a combination of all these?
Whatever it was his family remained protected. With Suharto’s inevitable passing it is perhaps time to ponder what will happen to them once the old man is gone. Will all the facade of power they have come crumbling down like a pack of cards, or will they still remain influential among Indonesia’s elite?