Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Goodbye, Sjahrir (2)

Never forgot his trademark remarks during the "Perekonomian Indonesia" class, "So what are you student doing? You are clearly not studying, but you are not protesting either..." It was in 1997. A year after the 27 July riot, and a year before the 1998 movement. (Aco and Ujang were his TAs when I took that class).

Then, in 2003, I attended his birthday ceremony in which he officially declared his presidential campaign. In his speech, Rocky Gerung announced that "next year, we will be celebrating Ciil's birthday in the Merdeka Palace backyard." The campaign turned disastrous, nevertheless. His party finished second from the bottom, with only 0.3% votes gathered (to which I contributed one vote). And Sjahrir never even mentioned in the presidential election.

Yes, in politics, Sjahrir is unfortunate, said Rosihan Anwar. But he's still a big man -- both literally, as well as metaphorically. May you rest in peace, Bang.

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