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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

NOVEMBER 5, 1999 VOL. 25 NO. 44

Call 'Em Wahidisms
The world according to Gus Dur
Abdurrahman Wahid is hard to pin down. Over the years, Indonesia's new president has made pronouncements on everything from religion to economics - and in the process displayed wisdom and complexity. Below is a selection of Wahidisms, gleaned from public statements, the Indonesian press and Asiaweek:

    ALSO IN ASIAWEEK
Indonesia: Unity in Diversity?
Maybe the all-inclusive new government will work. It had better
Call 'Em Wahidisms Quotations: The world according to Gus Dur
Is He Strong Enough? Wahid's health raises concerns
The Fight for Megawati Behind the scenes of the V.P. election
'East Timor Is a Tough Job' Australia's Downer on relations with Asia

ASEAN: An Indochinese Caucus After a conclave in Vientiane, fears of a split

Malaysia: Now, the Sinatra Principle 'We all did it our own way,' croons Mahathir
The Maps to Power Voting districts lay a confusing quilt
Trial by Dirt Anwar's claims fill the court and the media

The Philippines: 'My Ratings Are Down!' Estrada is moving into damage control

Viewpoint: Beyond Groundhog Day Is this Pyongyang's last chance to end the false starts?

  RELATED STORIES
Asiaweek
Cover: Maneuvering to the Top
In a dramatic twist, Abdurrahman Wahid becomes Indonesia's leader. Can he rule?

Indonesia: The Road To Rejection The events surrounding Habibie's fall

Battle For Balance Wahid's mediation allowed the Big Three to bridge basic differences

East Timor: 'This Was Systematic' In East Timor, a trail of death and destruction

CNN
Breaking news from Southeast Asia

On Megawati Sukarnoputri
"Privately, I still support Mega." (Kompas, July 1999)

On political Islam
"The Islamic movement should detach itself from involvement in politics. Islam is a moral force, a way to promote morality." (Asiaweek, January 1999)

On religious Islam
"For me, an Islamic society in Indonesia is treason against the Constitution because it will make non-Muslims second-class citizens. But an Indonesian society for Muslims that is strong - and strong means functioning well - I think that is good." (1995)

On nationalism
"In the entire Islamic world, the relationship between nationalism and Islam has become an issue - nationalism is considered a form of secularism. People don't understand that nationalism as practiced in Indonesia is not secular, but respects highly the role of religion." (Speech to the Nahdlatul Ulama, Mar. 1, 1992)

On the ethnic Chinese
"Become a good Indonesian and work as an Indonesian. Please come back here." (Republika, June 1998, after many ethnic Chinese fled when they were targeted in riots)

"If we want to make Indonesia a strong nation, the expressions pri (indigenous) and non-pri have to be forgotten. The differences that exist must be eliminated. In the long run, there has to be a process of integration." (Republika)

"I don't agree with a Chinese party. This party is sectarian. My sentiment toward the election is that I will support nationalist parties that promote national unity." (Republika)

On the military
"If it does not want to be out of step with the times, it has to take democratic measures. It has to understand a situation in which the society is this open, the press no longer needs licenses and there is no longer a single labor organization." (Republika, June 1998)

On the economy
"One principle is profit motive. Without profit motive there's nothing. Then free trade. Otherwise we will be like North Korea. So the basics will not change. Suharto just tried to satisfy his cronies, his friends. We have to build an economy with the will of the majority. Suharto tried to rob this country by allowing conglomerates and cronies to control the economy. The majority of people live at the subsistence level. We will give them subsidies, not the conglomerates." (Asiaweek, June 1999)

On Suharto
"When I met him, I expected to find him fighting everybody. But no, when I went there, I was surprised to find he had already buckled. He was so defeated." (Asiaweek, May 1998, when Suharto stepped down)

"Pak Harto cannot be comfortable anymore. He must accept the situation that has happened. And this means he must sympathize with democracy." (Republika, June 1998)

This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home

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