By Greg Barton
In humiliating situations, Indonesia's fourth president, Abdurrahman Wahid used to be compelled from workplace in August 2001 after lower than years within the task. Wahid, nearly blind and bodily susceptible after a couple of strokes, used to be largely misunderstood within the West, even being noticeable as a slightly comical determine. yet in Indonesia the Muslim pupil affectionately referred to as Gus Dur to thousands of individuals had lengthy been respected via lots of his countrymen and hugely revered via the country's elites. His existence were certainly one of nice public provider to his fellow voters, his faith and his trust in liberal democracy. during this authorized biography, a lot of it in accordance with certain first-hand commentary, Greg Barton introduces us to either the guy and his international and makes an attempt to make feel of his arguable public occupation and presidency. Barton has identified Wahid seeing that 1989, while he begun gaining knowledge of the impact of Islamic liberalism in Indonesia, and has as a result spend many months together with his topic, together with seven months in the course of Wahid's 21-month presidency, either in Indonesia and traveling with him in another country. an individual who's in any respect attracted to the drama of recent Indonesia will locate this view from the interior to be a vital learn.
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Extra resources for Abdurrahman Wahid, Muslim Democrat, Indonesian President: A View from the Inside
It is equally clear, however, that he is in many respects a remarkable leader and a deep and complex individual. There is much more here than meets the eye. &'() • Wahid text 2/6/02 1:29 PM Page 36 This page intentionally left blank • Wahid text 2/6/02 1:29 PM Page 37 /(. "#$%&'"% /%+:+(, It is unlikely that the crowd of friends and family who joined Abdurrahman to celebrate his sixtieth birthday at the Bogor Palace on Friday, 4 August 2000, realised that he was not, in fact, born on 4 August, even though he always celebrated his birthday on that date.
After all, in the June general elections, Megawati’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan — PDI-P) party had won more than one-third of the votes. Abdurrahman’s own party National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa — PKB) had gained less than 13 per cent, scarcely more than half that gained by Habibie’s Golkar. Moreover, Abdurrahman was virtually blind, appeared decidedly ungainly on his feet, and had only recently recovered from the stroke that had almost killed him the previous year.
Their issue of 22 December that year ran fifteen pages about Abdurrahman. The subheading on the cover read ‘The year of Islam’s stirring in Indonesia’. The heading on the lead story read ‘A mosaic whose name is Abdurrahman Wahid’; the subheading was ‘Gus Dur, man of the year 1990, often controversial and not afraid to be independent’. This was a special issue of Editor, but it was hardly the first time that Abdurrahman’s face had graced the cover. By now Abdurrahman was already well known and his visage, usually laughing, frequently appeared on the covers of Indonesian news magazines such as Editor and Tempo.