Letter to the Editor, in response to Wimar Witoelar, 
"Megawati's speech draws a fine line" in JP 6-Aug-99

Bravo Wimar! May I add two points which are not just significant, but perhaps decisive: (a) Megawati's speech stopped the traffic; and (b) her speech raised the stock exchange index. No other pretendent to the presidency has achieved anything near to this so far.

This means that (a) the population's acceptance of her as leader of the nation is far beyond the reach of any competitor, and that gives her the necessary authority to set through direly needed reforms. And (b) she embodies the hopes and trust of business needed to secure economic revival. What would one want more?

Everything else is indeed nitpicking, and anyone indulging in it should first be asked, whether he or she would have considered Ronald Reagan capable of becoming President of the United States. It would then perhaps be worth recalling, that it was during Reagan's presidency that the Soviet empire collapsed, and the Berlin Wall was pulled down.

Megawati displays much more intelligence than her critics would credit her. Their mistake: they want her to be an intelligent man. She is better than that: she is an intelligent woman. She's not around for displaying macho authority and slick politicking. The population wants a mother of the nation who will household shrewdly and thriftily with the means that are available, so the children will always have something to eat and to wear, and peace prevails at last in the house.

Men, let's at least demonstrate that we know how to be gentlemen.


Waruno Mahdi 
August 6, 1999


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