By Greg Barton
In humiliating situations, Indonesia's fourth president, Abdurrahman Wahid used to be pressured from workplace in August 2001 after under years within the task. Wahid, nearly blind and bodily vulnerable after a couple of strokes, used to be largely misunderstood within the West, even being noticeable as a a bit of comical determine. yet in Indonesia the Muslim student affectionately often called Gus Dur to hundreds of thousands of individuals had lengthy been respected by means of lots of his countrymen and hugely revered by means of the country's elites. His existence have been one in all nice public provider to his fellow voters, his faith and his trust in liberal democracy. during this accepted biography, a lot of it according to particular first-hand commentary, Greg Barton introduces us to either the guy and his global and makes an attempt to make feel of his arguable public profession and presidency. Barton has identified Wahid seeing that 1989, while he begun studying the impression of Islamic liberalism in Indonesia, and has consequently spend many months together with his topic, together with seven months in the course of Wahid's 21-month presidency, either in Indonesia and vacationing with him overseas. a person who's in any respect attracted to the drama of contemporary Indonesia will locate this view from the interior to be a necessary learn.
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Extra resources for Abdurrahman Wahid, Muslim Democrat, Indonesian President: A View from the Inside
Nevertheless, when one reviews his career in public life, including the first year of his presidency, it seems that he does have a long-term vision about what he wants to achieve. What sort of visionary is he? Given the complexity of his personality, it is not surprising that observers frequently differ widely in their assessment of his behaviour and capability. Whereas in the late 1990s some saw him as a leader in decline, a man who was once great but was now living on past glories, others saw him as one of Indonesia’s most powerful leaders.
The MPR was to elect the Speaker of the Assembly. The proceedings ran over time, as they often did, and I had to go to the airport before the decision came through. From the airport I phoned Munib, only to learn that Amien Rais had been successful in winning the position. I was crestfallen. (1 explained Munib. ‘That is what he wanted. ’ ‘But why? ’ I asked. The answer should have been obvious enough. When next I met with Abdurrahman it was 16 October, just four days before the presidential election.
I thank the photographers at the Presidential Palace, Antara news agency, Kompas newspaper and the Wahid family for the use of some of their photographs. I also thank the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald for allowing me to use in the epilogue material that I earlier wrote for publication in their pages on 28 July 2001. Similarly, I am also thankful to Carfax Publishing for allowing me to use a revised version of an article I wrote for Pacifica Review (Vol. 13, No. 3, October 2001) in the conclusion of this book.
Abdurrahman Wahid, Muslim Democrat, Indonesian President: A View from the Inside by Greg Barton