Indonesia’s former dictator, Soeharto lies near death but an honest story concerning how he ruled has yet to be told young people. At the National History Museum, which he founded, Soeharto is portrayed as a symbol of strength and benevolence during the nation’s early yers for survival. No mention is made in presenting information about the past such as the bloody so-called “rebelion” of 1965 which led to the death of between 500,000 to 21 million people based on which source is providing the data. Soeharto cracked down severely on an alleged “communist” coup which also resulted in the death of seven generals. There is no mention of student protests in 1966 or 1974, 1978 or 1998.
Many Indonesian educators would like to see new textbooks which present a more balanced view of the Soeharto era, but that entire episode, at present, remains hidden in the murky waters of political correctness. In essence, Indonesia prefers history taught from the top down in which leaders are glorified and the average person is ignorec as well as those who oppose top leadership.