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Asian press bid Suharto farewell

Suharto's funeral
Suharto ruled Indonesia for more than three decades

A day after his death, newspapers in Asia give their verdicts on former Indonesian President Suharto. There is much praise for his economic achievements, but strong criticism over human rights abuses committed under his rule.

EDITORIAL IN INDONESIA'S SUARA MERDEKA

The death of Suharto has left various inseparable realities: he was the face of development in this country but also the face feared by those longing for democracy... We certainly appreciate and admit Suharto's role in the history of this republic.

FRANSISCA RIA SUSANTI INDONESIA'S SINAR HARAPAN

A post-Suharto Indonesia has brought about a generation facing hard times while searching for self-identity... As former President Sukarno feared, we have become a coolie nation both figuratively and literally. This is the debt which Suharto failed to pay until his death.

RENNE KAWILARANG IN INDONESIA'S SINAR HARAPAN

During his 32-year rule in Indonesia, Suharto exerted significant influence on the development of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean). Suharto's role in Asean cannot be ignored, considering that he and other senior leaders like former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, former Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdulrahman Putra and former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos succeeded in creating political stability and security in South East Asia through Asean.

EDITORIAL IN INDONESIA'S KOMPAS

Many said if only Suharto had given up his presidency earlier, he would certainly have been remembered as a president who left a great history... Unfortunately, history must be written differently... Suharto leaves a black historical record of his life.

TAO DUANFANG IN CHINA'S ZHONGGUO WANG

The Suharto family, military groups and elite class controlled the political and economic lifeline of Indonesia for 32 years, which created a monopoly on political and economic managerial talent. This has not only created difficulty for Indonesia's transition, but has also presented considerable problems for Indonesian party politics in the post-Suharto era, and all of this will not automatically be resolved with the disappearance of the Suharto era or Suharto himself.

EDITORIAL IN HONG KONG'S SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Suharto's biggest achievement was holding together a nation of diverse ethnic and religious groups. Where there had been poverty, he built economic growth, markedly improving lives... But a lack of transparency, poor rule of law and corruption still hamper development... Until they are properly dealt with, economic and social growth will remain stunted... The heart of the problem is laying to rest the ghosts of the Suharto era.

EDITORIAL IN THE AUSTRALIAN

President Suharto can be rightfully regarded as the man who rescued Indonesia from despair, turned back the tide of communism and put his country on the uncertain road to democracy... Suharto was an authentic giant of South East Asian history and a big figure even in global terms.

DEVI ASMARANI IN SINGAPORE'S THE STRAITS TIMES

A more positive assessment is given by former attorney-general Marzuki Darusman, a member of the Golkar Party which Mr Suharto founded... While acknowledging the corruption and lack of human rights under the former strongman, he feels that, with time, Indonesia would come to recognise his achievements.

AMY CHEW IN MALAYSIA'S THE NEW STRAITS TIMES

Suharto's autocratic rule, over more than three decades, was marked by rampant corruption, cronyism and widespread human abuses... But ethnic blood-letting, a ruined economy and weak government in the years after Suharto's fall led some Indonesians to yearn for a return to his tough style of leadership.

EDITORIAL IN THE PHILIPPINE STAR

Indonesia is leaving behind Suharto's violent legacy, though his death without answering for the abuses of his regime will slow down the process... But despite his human rights record and the corruption that hounded him in his twilight years, Suharto is also remembered for strengthening ties between his country and the world.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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Former president Suharto's funeral



SEE ALSO
In pictures: Suharto funeral
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What is ex-President Suharto's legacy?
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Life in pictures: Indonesia's Suharto
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