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Jenderal Besar TNI (Purn.) H.
Muhammad Suharto
President Suharto, 1993.jpg
Suharto in 1993
2nd President of Indonesia
In office
27 March 1968 21 May 1998
Acting 12 March 1967 27 March 1968
Vice President Hamengkubuwana IX
Adam Malik
Umar Wirahadikusumah
Try Sutrisno
B. J. Habibie
Preceded by Sukarno
Succeeded by B. J. Habibie
16th Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement
In office
7 September 1992 20 October 1995
Preceded by Dobrica Cosic
Succeeded by Ernesto Samper Pizano
4th Indonesian Armed Forces Commander
In office
Preceded by Abdul Haris Nasution
Succeeded by Maraden Panggabean
8th Indonesian Army Chief of Staff
In office
Preceded by Pranoto Reksosamudro
Succeeded by Maraden Panggabean
14th Minister of Defence and Security of Indonesia
In office
March 1966 September 1971
President Sukarno
Preceded by M. Sarbini
Succeeded by Maraden Panggabean
1st Armed Force and Strategic Reserve (KOSTRAD) Commander
In office
Preceded by Position created
Succeeded by Umar Wirahadikusumah
Personal details
Born 8 June 1921
Kemusuk, Dutch East Indies
Died 27 January 2008 (aged 86)
Jakarta, Indonesia
Nationality Indonesian
Political party Golkar
Spouse(s) Siti Hartinah (m. 19471996; her death)
Children Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana (Tutut)[1]
Sigit Harjojudanto
Bambang Trihatmodjo
Siti Hediati Hariyadi (Titiek)
Hutomo Mandala Putra (Tommy)
Siti Hutami Endang Adiningsih
Military service
Allegiance Indonesian National Armed Forces
Servicebranch Lambang TNI AD.png Indonesian Army
Rank Jenderal besar pdh ad.png General of the Army
This article contains letters from the Javanese script. Without proper
rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of
Javanese characters.
General of the Army Hajji Suharto (also spelled Soeharto; About this sound
pronunciation (helpinfo), or Muhammad Soeharto; Javanese ????????????? ; 8 June
1921 27 January 2008) was the second President of Indonesia, holding the office
for 31 years from the ousting of Sukarno in 1967 until his resignation in 1998.

Suharto was born in a small village, Kemusuk, in the Godean area near the city of
Yogyakarta, during the Dutch colonial era.[2] He grew up in humble circumstances.
[3] His Javanese Muslim parents divorced not long after his birth, and he was
passed between foster parents for much of his childhood. During the Japanese
occupation of Indonesia, Suharto served in Japanese-organised Indonesian security
forces. Indonesia's independence struggle saw his joining the newly formed
Indonesian army. Suharto rose to the rank of major general following Indonesian
independence. An attempted coup on 30 September 1965 allegedly backed by the
Indonesian Communist Party was countered by Suharto-led troops.[4] The army
subsequently led an anti-communist purge which the CIA described as one of the
worst mass murders of the 20th century[5] and Suharto wrested power from
Indonesia's founding president, Sukarno. He was appointed acting president in 1967,
replacing Sukarno, and elected President the following year. He then mounted a
social campaign known as De-Soekarnoization in an effort to reduce the former
President's influence. Support for Suharto's presidency was strong throughout the
1970s and 1980s. By the 1990s, the New Order's authoritarianism and widespread
corruption[6] were a source of discontent and, following a severe financial crisis,
led to widespread unrest and his resignation in May 1998. Suharto died in 2008 and
was given a state funeral.

The legacy of Suharto's 31-year rule is debated both in Indonesia and abroad. Under
his New Order administration, Suharto constructed a strong, centralised and
military-dominated government. An ability to maintain stability over a sprawling
and diverse Indonesia and an avowedly anti-Communist stance won him the economic
and diplomatic support of the West during the Cold War. For most of his presidency,
Indonesia experienced significant economic growth and industrialisation,[7]
dramatically improving health, education and living standards.[8]

Plans to bestow Suharto with a National Hero title are currently being considered
by the Indonesian government and has been highly debated in Indonesia. [9]
According to Transparency International, Suharto is the most corrupt leader in
modern history, having embezzled an alleged $1535 billion during his rule.[10]

Contents [hide]
1 Early life
2 Military career
2.1 World War II and Japanese occupation
2.2 Indonesian National Revolution
2.3 Post-Independence military career
3 Overthrow of Sukarno (1965)
3.1 Background
3.2 Abortive coup and anti-communist purge
3.3 Power struggle
4 The New Order (19671998)
4.1 Ideology
4.2 Consolidation of power
4.3 Domestic politics and security
4.4 Economy
4.5 Foreign policy
4.6 Political Islam
4.7 Socio-economic progress and growing corruption
4.8 The New Order in the 1980s and 1990s
4.9 Economic crisis and resignation
5 Post-presidency
5.1 Health crises
5.2 Death
6 See also
7 References
7.1 Sources
8 Bibliography
9 External links
Early life[edit]
Main article Early life and career of Suharto
Suharto was born on 8 June 1921 during the Dutch East Indies era, in a plaited
bamboo walled house in the hamlet of Kemusuk, a part of the larger village of
Godean. The village is 15 kilometres (9 mi) west of Yogyakarta, the cultural
heartland of the Javanese.[8][11] Born to ethnic Javanese parents, he was the only
child of his father's second marriage. His father, Kertosudiro, had two children
from his previous marriage, and was a village irrigation official. His mother,
Sukirah, a local woman, was distantly related to Sultan Hamengkubuwono V by his
first concubine.[12]

Official portrait of Suharto and First Lady Siti Hartinah.

Five weeks after Suharto's birth, his mother suffered a nervous breakdown and he
was placed in the care of his paternal great-aunt, Kromodirjo.[13] Kertosudiro and
Sukirah divorced early in Suharto's life and both later remarried. At the age of
three, Suharto was returned to his mother, who had married a local farmer whom
Suharto helped in the rice paddies.[13] In 1929, Suharto's father took him to live
with his sister, who was married to an agricultural supervisor, Prawirowihardjo, in
the town of Wuryantoro in a poor and low-yielding farming area near Wonogiri. Over
the following two years, he was taken back to his mother in Kemusuk by his
stepfather and then back again to Wuryantoro by his father.[14]

Prawirowihardjo took to raising the boy as his own, which provided Suharto a
father-figure and a stable home in Wuryantoro. In 1931, he moved to the town of
Wonogiri to attend the primary school, living first with Prawirohardjo's son
Sulardi, and later with his father's relative Hardjowijono. While living with
Hardjowijono, Suharto became acquinted with Darjatmo, a dukun (shaman) of Javanese
mystical arts and faith healing. The experience deeply affected him and later, as
president, Suharto surrounded himself with powerful symbolic language.[8]
Difficulties in paying the fees for his education in Wonogiri resulted in another
move back to his father in Kemusuk, where he continued studying at a lower-fee
Muhammadiyah middle school in the city of Yogyakarta until 1939.[14][15]

Like many Javanese, Suharto had only one name.[16] In religious contexts in recent
years he has sometimes been called Haji or el-Haj Mohammed Suharto but these names
were not part of his formal name or generally used. The spelling Suharto reflects
modern Indonesian spelling, although the general approach in Indonesia is to rely
on the spelling preferred by the person concerned. At the time of his birth, the
standard transcription was Soeharto and he preferred the original spelling. The
international English-language press generally uses the spelling 'Suharto' while
the Indonesian government and media use 'Soeharto'.[17]

Suharto's upbringing contrasts with that of leading Indonesian nationalists such as

Sukarno in that he is believed to have had little interest in anti-colonialism, or
political concerns beyond his immediate surroundings. Unlike Sukarno and his
circle, Suharto had little or no contact with European colonizers. Consequently, he
did not learn to speak Dutch or other European languages in his youth. He learned
to speak Dutch after his induction into the Dutch military in 1940.