Suharto's legacy disputed

tags: NYT, Suharto, Indonesia



JAKARTA, Indonesia — Tree-lined Cendana street in an upscale neighborhood in central Jakarta has not changed much in recent decades, save for the demolition of a few Dutch colonial homes in favor of modernist villas. Yet the former resident whose home once took up the entire middle of the block initiated dramatic changes in his country, and 15 years after he disappeared from Indonesia’s political scene, debate still rages about whether they were for better or worse.

Cendana is synonymous with Suharto, the army general-turned-president who ruled Indonesia for 32 years while residing in the houses at Nos. 6, 8 and 10, which were renovated and connected. After his death in 2008, an Indonesian Web portal dedicated to paranormal activity published an account by an elderly servant who said that Mr. Suharto’s ghost was still there and occasionally pinched and poked him.

Perhaps. But more certain is that Mr. Suharto’s spirit continues to loom over modern-day Indonesia....




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