ad info




TIME Asia
TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Entertainment
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia

TIME.com
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Asiaweek
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

 ASIAWEEK.COM
 CNN.COM
  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia
  australasia
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 SHOWBIZ
 ASIA WEATHER
 ASIA TRAVEL


Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest
FORTUNE.com
FORTUNE China
MONEY.com

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME Asia Asiaweek Asia Now TIME Asia story

FEATURES HOME

WEB-ONLY EXCLUSIVE
'The President Named a Few People Close to Suharto'
Exclusive Web-only interview with Indonesian Defense Minister Mohamad Mahfud Mahmudin
By JASON TEDJASUKMANA

September 15, 2000
Web posted at 9:00 p.m. Hong Kong time, 9:00 a.m. EDT


A former professor of constitutional law, Mohamad Mahfud Mahmudin took up the post of Defense Minister just two weeks ago. In his first interview with the foreign media, he spoke with Time East Asia correspondent Terry McCarthy and reporter Jason Tedjasukmana on Sept. 14 just after an emergency cabinet meeting called to discuss the stock exchange bombing:

  MORE INTERVIEWS
Conversations: 'A Separate State for Sri Lanka's Tamils is the Only Solution'
Interview with Indian politician Vaiko Gopalasamy

'Never Did I Imagine I Would Be Doing Something Like This'
Web-only interview with Jonas Anderson, the Swedish-born, Thai singing sensation

Let The Games Begin
Exclusive Web-only interview with Sydney Olympics Minister Michael Knight

'I Needed a Sophisticated and Charming Woman'
Director Gordon Chan on his latest film, leading ladies and why he hates Jim Carrey

'Suppression is Not Going to Save China'
Outspoken Shenzhen-based journalist He Qinglian speaks out

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
'Speaking Mandarin Was Like Speaking Shakespeare'
Chow Yun-fat on martial arts, Hollywood and mastering another language
'I Thought I Was Going to Have a Stroke': Exclusive Web-only interview with Crouching Tiger director Ang Lee
'It's Emotional and Dramatic': Michelle Yeoh is no stranger to action-packed films, but the going was tough in Ang Lee's surefire hit
'I Felt Like a Mouse and Ang Lee was a Lion': Zhang Ziyi on acting, stardom and Richard Gere

And The Winner Is ...
Q&A with Wong Kar-wai, director of In the Mood for Love
TIME: What can be done about the Timor crisis?
Mahfud:
[President Wahid] agrees with me that in the case of West Timor there is no need to send a U.N. mission. We already have the necessary laws to handle human rights violations. We have asked for the militia to be disarmed. Maybe they hid some weapons in the jungle, but we are trying to break up the militias.

Now we have to handle the refugees. We will repatriate those who want to go to East Timor, as long as there is a guarantee for their safety. For those who want to stay [in Indonesia] there is a resettlement program. We have set aside land on Wetar Island off the coast of West Timor. We have prepared money for that.

Intelligence sources have told me there are foreign groups involved who want to cause trouble for Indonesia. They don't like the fact that there is still no functional government in East Timor and they want to use Indonesia as a scapegoat for that. We suspect there is an intelligence operation aimed to make Indonesia appear to be in the wrong.

TIME: Whose foreign intelligence service are you suggesting--Australia's?
Mahfud:
I don't need to say who, but the international community knows who it is. Even you know and you asked because you have the same hunch.

TIME: Was Suharto behind the latest bombing at the Jakarta stock exchange?
Mahfud:
The President [Abdurrahman Wahid] didn't say that directly, but I think he suspects that it was. The President named a few people close to Suharto at the cabinet meeting this morning. I can't say who they were.

TIME: Were they civilians or military?
Mahfud:
Civilians. But he suspects the military have also been involved in the other bombings up to now.

TIME: Is former army chief General Wiranto involved in destabilizing the government?
Mahfud:
No. I believe once a military man has lost his position, then his access to power is not as strong as before. It is people who are still in power who are the problem.

TIME: Are politicians a bigger problem than the military?
Mahfud:
There are problems from all sides--members of the old government, military who are involving themselves in politics and regular politicians. There is never a sole reason for the disturbances, it is always complex.

TIME: With all the problems in Maluku, Aceh, Papua, West Timor--is it possible that Indonesia could break up?
Mahfud:
We still believe things can be brought under control. But we have a problem. We want to exercise our sovereignty, but the international community is singling us out as violators of human rights. In the last three years the international community has been dictating to us a lot. We must keep our sovereignty.

Features Home | TIME Asia home

AsiaNow


Quick Scroll: More stories from TIME, Asiaweek and CNN

   LATEST HEADLINES:

WASHINGTON
U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

MANILA
Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

ALLAHABAD
Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

COLOMBO
Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

TOKYO
Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

BANGKOK
Thai party announces first coalition partner



TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state



ASIAWEEK:

COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN
 Search

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.