Kemal Taruc Interview Transcript: Part 2

Episode Two:

Matt: Welcome to Breaking History, a production of the Northeastern University History Graduate Student Association. This is an independent, three-part episode, featuring a special guest who went through the massacres, repression, assassinations and government upheaval of Indonesia during the tumultuous political period following independence from the Dutch, about which many Americans have not heard. It is our intention that this episode conserves as an oral history source to document these events. This recording was made on April 28th, 2017 with Kemal Teruc, James Robinson, Bridget Keown, Jamie Parker, Matt Bowser and Professor Heather Streets-Salter.

This is Episode II. In this episode, Kemal talks about being a young man being brought up during Sukarno’s overthrow and the resulting military dictatorship under Suharto. He traces his years as a student, his involvement in the resistance movement, and his memories of his comrades. Most notably, he tells the untold story of the political assassination of the Minister of Public Works, who supported his resistance.

Jamie: So Kemal, you talked about how the government started infiltrating student campuses in the Sixties and Seventies-

Kemal: Ah! Mhmm

Jamie: -so I was wondering whether you wanted to talk about how that affected you and how you got into student organizing and activism at that time.

Kemal: Ok, thank you for that question. So, I mentioned I entered the college in ’71 and started being active. In ’73 we started with the kind of the protests by the famous play writers and the poets, we are doing that. And during those years we just played like, like a student kind-of, you know, protesting against the government. The Command- I put in the English word, but it is a very long word- the Command for the Restoration of Security and Order issued a new declaration that students, youngsters, should not have long hair! {laughs} Because, it made the students look like a hippie, lazy… so, they put the army on the street, look at the students on the sidewalk, if you kept your long hair like this they would just grab it, and measure it- this is too long. They have the scissors and the bucket, and guns. This is the army! You see, people were scared, everybody tries to cut their hair. Everybody wanted to have this, this- we call it Yankee, we call it Yankee because there’s a-

Bridget: Ahh, yeah…

Kemal: Like this.

Jamie: Mmm.

Kemal: So, we cannot wear these jeans or pants, which is fairly short and tight like this, so they bring in bear bottles… if you cannot insert the bottle inside here, it’s too tight! So they come in, this army, with scissors and beer bottles! And chasing anybody in the street. The students, that’s okay. They cut, this hem.

Bridget: They cut the bottom hem of your jeans? They cut open?

Kemal: Yes.

Matt: Ha, wow…

Kemal: This is crazy, they cut open… let’s do some protest, let’s say something about this crazy thing by the Command for the Restoration of Order and Security… what’s going on in this-

James: But- what year-

Kemal: ’73.

James: ’73. Okay. And you had entered school-

Kemal: Already in the college.

James: Okay.

Kemal: So we staged the picture. And then, because the Sumetro, the general was kind of, you know, a big guy- had a big tummy like this- so I created a poem, a satirical one, I called it big, the fatty, Water Buffalo! {laughter} Water buffalo in Indonesian means the stupid guy, its kind of the buffalo thing. And this is the fatty water buffalo, so it means the stupid, fatty guy. So people know what I’m aiming at. Oh, I forgot that kind of- the fatty buffalo do this, {recites from poem} hahaha! This is my opening and it got attention and people from the mastodon and condor and naturally a satirical play against the evictions of the village so it is more serious than this stuff. By then we have that space, and after that I mobilize the whole protest according to the parliament this is what {Not sure 05:20-30} the army officers, a series of activities and suddenly we get the positive response from students from Jakarta: Oh, we joined Bandung. Okay, lets join. And other universities from West Java- {names universities}- we joined. So we had this kind of series; ones in this campus and in that campus… but I remember there is a student leadership training camp- not a camp, sessions, a kind of seminar. I was kind of a third-year student; my senior was seven years more senior than me- at the time we were still in the Dutch Model so you can stay in school for six year before you graduated so a lot of the old students were still there, a time of transition. Then, they had the discussion and I came up to listen to all of this discussion. They were monitoring me, because one of the seniors stayed in my uncle’s house so I met him when I was a third-year student, I showed my intellect on this political analysis. These Jakarta students have some way, try to collaborate with the army, actually, with this Sometro, with this fatty general, against the other group of Suharto’s general, this competing between the two groups of army.

So I didn’t agree with the way they managed the campus, too harsh with the kind of hardline approach, so I want to topple and I work with the local universities. So then they USE OUR, MY, joking protest and I got into more serious, in the more political struggle. So we listened at once, I remember, my friend said at this stage, we have to stop. We don’t want to play in the power politics, we couldn’t get anything, we don’t have any interest in this game, we should just stop. I said, we have just started with the whole thing and people are starting to get enthusiastic and doing all the stuff- no come on. You have to know where is the line, you have to stop and don’t go through. This is important, otherwise you will be taken by all those powers- I think this is a very important lesson he gave to me.

And then the next session, we went to Jakarta. At the time, there was the new opening of the economy. They had the Japanese investors come in… In World War II the Japanese had invaded Indonesia, they lost during the war, now they win it through this kind of democratic policy- this is wrong, this is neo-colonialism! Ha! This is the kind of the thing we protest, we protest against the Japanese. We went to the Japanese embassy. So I remember this, the same building that I told you when I got my visa to my Japanese trip. But then at the campus they burned the effigy of the Japanese Prime Minister, so then my senior said “we don’t join them. We stop here.” Okay! Just, like, the very obedient young students in the group- okay, I understand, just… And one of the students joined in to the group and make a joined statement, so I did be also belong to the group, and sign it and then we agreed that no one join, so then come on, you just make a press release to say that I didn’t belong to that group. We kill him, and he already sign it! He broke this, our commitment. So, this is, have to be done, to save the whole campus.

So, this is how I learned, this is the toughness of doing, even in the campus politics, you have to, you really have to draw the line to make clear. We have to say to whole campus, we are also part of the group- I don’t want to be in that position. So I just, I went, signed it. So the next day, this guy, our friend, was so mad. “You killed me”, he said, “they are not representing our campus.” So the illegal one is on his own! So, he lost all his amenities and everything, and became enemy under the order, he died. So a lifetime enemy, because he feels betrayed by our friend, but I have witnessed, he betrayed the commitment because he didn’t go to it. But, big learning for me, how to manage the campus activities in the ’73.

So ’74 is broke and to pick open Jakarta the kind of conflicts, the burning of the street and this-this student loss. Yeah, because the other generals are quite ready to do this kind of game, and the students of Jakarta got into prison, some were reprimanded- just temporarily! They were given pardon and recruited! {laughs} “Just don’t go with the guys, go over with me!} They became more and more friendly with the regime. Up to know, they are still in power, so they are successful politicians… so the way that the regime did to the students, Suharto style, they don’t really kill them. You kill the real people, the helpless people, but the one with the brain? You just take him to the side and recruit him. It strengthens his power. So some of them really crossed the street and joined the… you know, I mentioned, you’re sent to training school. “That’s the standard we want” and you get your masters, PhD for the program, or you be in the political party as a junior minister and then next you become the full minister, and then the president-commissioner of a big corporation in Jakarta… so the whole track is easy to see, you can easily trace it, where they are from as students and know where they are up to. So then that’s in ’74, I learned the hard way, then I finished my other classes.

In ’76 I run as the president of the member of this council, at the time I was not a member, just a junior member of this whole council, then I run as the president of this council, in ’76. So, I changed my strategy, because we cannot beat them, the army. We lost, the students in Jakarta already lost. So, we had to work out, somehow, we had to be smart way and creative. So, then I started the- at the time, there was a new legal aid, because we opened into the more democratic sound, right? Because there were abuses of power, so some of the legal scholars started the legal aid to fight against the government through the legal process, rather than fighting politically.

So, with that institution being established, I kept on thinking- if the lawyers had the legal aid, why did the engineers not have the technical aid? {laughter} So, we started the technical assistance unit to promote ideas of technology. We thought, we can do this technology thing, it doesn’t have to be so advanced, and can help the rural people. So, we start the unit. And the really help throughout the campus, not in the direct political power confrontations, but by doing a little more subversive way. So we can discuss with the people what’s really going on here. So, I’m thinking I can learn more from this kind of modern educated something, more political education around this building, so this can… So, this institution, that I made, I need support for this kind of new thing with the student, we don’t have money, this is just a student organized something.

We don’t have support from the university itself, because the state institution is controlled by the military, so “lets find the minister of public works.” Sutami was an alumni of our school, we heard that he was good, so we went to his office. Sutami was a young minister during the Sukarno time. He was a very bright engineer, so when Suharto took over, he kept this guy- because he was good, young, didn’t really look like a real threat and kept his office. So I came up with the idea that he could supply some support, some logistics or whatever.

He said: “this is exactly what we should do. I support the idea. People should know what is going on in the country. Do you know what happened? In this cabinet? I just came out from the cabinet meeting- these are my notes. Do you know what this guy said? A Berkeley trained economist?” I don’t know what he said, he just sat there, kept talking to himself like, sharing this kind of emotion. “He put this kind of index, whatever, numbers. This is not even a real plan! This is a kind of fantasy.” Ok, in the field we work in, this talk of engineers, this is the classic engineers, economist-

James: So he was criticizing-

Kemal: Yeah, yeah. {continues Sutami’s speech} We are talking about the numbers, index whatever- if the country was run in this way, we wouldn’t get anywhere, that’s the real, the reality. We are engineers. We know what is going on, what to do things. So, do it! Your program is good, I will support you”. And then he called us up- this is the first meeting remember- and said: “the next tour, my field tour in Indonesia, keep these three students with me. Now, come on, get your students ready. You come over and join my tour. I will take you to see the country, what is going on in a different part of Indonesia, you should know that. Otherwise, you should stay in the campus. You should know, this is a big country, you should know, come with me.”

So, then suddenly, I have become like a real partner with this minister. And then, during my term, there is a change of director; the new director is the son of a famous writer, who belongs to a group of thinkers. So, his son is a German-trained electrical engineer, sounds like he has a kind of {unclear, 18:10}, so when I was in my position on the council, I wrote my position paper and shared for everyone to read it, and somehow, he got my position paper. So, he called me, come to his house. “I read your paper. I am interested in your idea of the technology, how to use in people’s lives and these things. So, I would like to support your program.” Okay! I already have the support of the minister. So, I think you need to collaborate with my minister! {laughs}

And naturally, he established, what we call, among the core faculty members of engineers, they have the development technology centers. So, it is the progressive engineers at the time trying the pumping. Its not really, this appropriate technology is different kind. So, they have their center, we students have our center as well. So, at one time the director invited the minister in silent agreement, to give a space for us, an office in the campus, for us to run our technical assistance unit. In the campus, there is some lab, belonging to the ministry office, but put in the campus, so the properties belong to the minister but in campus land. So, we got approval from the minister, and the director agrees, and we the students get a space. So, I have a space, I have an office! {laughs} An office, in the campus, and the minister provided me with some equipment. We got a car, a pickup, a jeep, with a public works government plate. The jeep was an electric, an automatic one. We could print out pamphlets, any things from the printer- we were well equipped, with a typewriter and everything. We studied our program, so we did several other things while going off with the minister to different places.

So, then I have a special connection with this minister. Then this is where the story started I think! Sutami had a residence house in Bandung, kind of a big house for him, so big. Whenever he came to Bandung it was near my house, not far, you know one mile. It’s a system, I would get a knock on my door, “the minister’s here. We want you to come over and tell you something, you need to listen.” Okay, I’ll grab my equipment, and just sit until night. I lie in until late, “I want to tell you a story of this country, how this country came about. It’s ruined by all these technocrats, going around our capital city, doing there own thing.” This is like, I don’t really listen because this is like nine and I have to sit like this, but he keeps going on.

Until one day, I think it might be months, he gives me a report. This is the report I got, from the cabinet meeting, before it was sent to whatever flaming office to be cooked as a good report of the government. But this is the real facts. “I want you to have it. So that you know what is really going on in this country, because all of the reports made by the government all fake and manufactured, but this is the real one. I just got it in the cabinet meeting, and I want to hand it to you. {laughter, possibly at a facial expression}. Oh, okay! “I hand it to you, it is my duty to give you the real facts, so you understand.”

Then, I collect my friends, my team, my council team, and I say I have new information, so we are meeting in my house. Ah, we can make a report! And then we come up with- I forget, who had that one, maybe me? And we make a report about Indonesia’s development status. Ahh, a report! And then, who is the writer, I don’t know, I have no time and I am left with three developers- that one, one to type and then we print it out on the printing machine, we print out like a hundred, I forgot. Physically then, we distribute to friends. We distribute it to different places. So then, this becomes a big thing. Because of a white book, from ITT campus, shows a completely different picture of what the government shows!

I forgot whether we opened this closed source, I don’t think so, but then from the very source we now get it- its always, I now realize, that it was impossible that the intelligence didn’t know who gave the document. So wonder we wait for him after his tour from West Java, back to Jakarta, he passed through our city, so oh yeah, we wait for him to stop by and see us, and see our office, what we are doing. And then we got the news that he got sick and had to be rushed to the hospital back to Jakarta. Okay, I ask my friend, go to Jakarta and see what’s going on with him. When they met, in this hospital or something, he said, “I got food poisoning. When I went to eat lunch with the local officials, somebody”- I remember this story, “somebody come in, and put in a small plate, a kind of a what, a steamed fish, with a blueish color.” I remember, he said, “it’s a very strange look” and they said, “this is the special dish, local dish, minister, you should try because this is a very special one, local one”. He said, “I was hesitant to take it because it looked ugly, and didn’t look right, but just to be polite I put in a very little.” So, he picked up the fish, put it in his mouth, and suddenly, he got very sick. So he went to Jakarta, and some people said, he did not just get sick, but there is some kind of magic voodoo spell on him. He said “so, I don’t believe it, let the doctor take care of my disease. I will continue to have the treatment.”

So we wait. In the coming days, we heard the news in the paper: Sutami was sick because of a lack of nutrition! Lack of nutrition? He is under treatment by the government’s doctors, for his {sarcastic tone} lack of nutrition. What is going on here? Didn’t he get poisoned? Nutrition? At the time, the standard for the government officers was to get the best medical treatment, to stay a while at the army hospital, because that is the best hospital in all those things. So, he is under the army hospital. Then, the government said the news that they were sending him overseas, to get a better treatment. I don’t remember which country, and to which hospital he went. So, he’s gone for several months in a foreign country, in a foreign hospital. We lost him {laughs} but, things are still moving on.

After, I forgot, after the real calendar date, it was several weeks or months, he returned, and we had a new story that he’d come back, and he was still in a military hospital. Let’s go visit, and see how his condition is. And I went there, with him on the bed, very pale and thin, with one or two friends. He said: “oh, thanks for coming, they would not tell me. I said to my doctor, I am not a stupid person, doctor, please tell me whatever they are doing to me. Because whenever I get back from any treatment, I know that my body is getting worse. So please be honest, tell me for the sake of my peace, I won’t protest or claim to anybody, this is just for me and my family. I will accept whatever happens to my life, it is given to God, I don’t worry about what is to happen to me.” Suddenly the doctor, with all apologies, said to him, “whenever the routine kind of check”, he told him, this is the doctor, that whenever they check, he was asked by the hospital to leave, that he was never around when he was treated. “It is the other team of doctors! So a thousand apologies, I cannot do anything else, I am in the military”, this kind of comment, “there is another team of doctors, you are treated actually not by me.” “No wonder, then, I am getting worse and worse by treatment.”

So his body deteriorated, his liver and those things, were so damaged, he said: “I am already damaged inside. It is just a matter of time until nature, I will die anyway, so just let me home, stay with my family, and if I have to die, then I die in my bed, with my family.” So, they release him. We waited for several weeks, until the doctor called us, Sutami had come into the hospital where he collapsed and then he passed away. As the doctor told me this story, I didn’t quite hear what I remember, because my father’s friend is still continuing an army career and he finished his medical degree and they have a major-general in the army with a medical degree. He worked at the hospital, a former chief medical unit in the army, and he said: “we did this kind of”- what you call, the political murder? – “through the medical mistreatment.” This conversation with this doctor, and I don’t want to make a claim so his family didn’t want to open this issue as well. We still have a good connection with this, my friend is very close to this, he works at the technical assistance unit, I asked him to give me the release of his daughter, when they got married, I did do the manage ceremony, all these things I did do, we still, we didn’t want to talk about this issue. Nobody wants to talk about this issue- but I said, this is not fair, this is not good! {laughs}

But if I open it in relation, it will hurt the family, it broke the promise of that family to whomever they promised, but then I was like, should I open this one, but I broke the promise, and hurt the family, but if I don’t there is something important. The doctor, the political murders are happening in that military hospital and the minister has been killed through the whole process. Treated for lack of nutrition and then suddenly… we could not really help him in this attack. This is the story that all the three of us knew, we went next to him and he told us: “they are gonna kill me. But I accept my fate.”

James: So nobody knows about this till now?

Kemal: Until now. Because we did not want to talk, because we did not want to hurt the family. We told his daughter that we are really sorry that her father is really sick, that he died, we never wanted her to worry that somebody murdered my father, it would change somebody’s life if they knew that the hero, the former minister, that was used for the big dam in this part of Indonesia… so all these good things, and then he was murdered! {laughs} For me, this is a kind of what ethical, moral kind of conflict. You should protect, on one side, but you surely have obligations to open this problem up. So, again, this is at the core of my request to enter, to give my oral history here, to provide this piece of information, therefore, somebody who wants to know about Indonesian history with some additional information about the whole killing and everything!

This one is another piece that even the minister himself- I forgot to put in this writing, I also get a call from another minister of education, another friend of my uncle. The same student army trained group that became a minister. So, then they call my uncle, in the same group, and then they call me, when I was still in university: “you come to the minister. The minister called me, he needs someone to come to his house, he wants to share some stories.” Okay, so what should I do? “Come, just sit and listen. Bring another guy with you, just come along. So that there is another witness that something happened.” Okay. So, I went with my other friend. When I arrived, the minister said: “sit down. I want to tell this story before I die.” Why? At the time, there was the new university, founded by Suharto under his supervision.

Bridget: When was this?

Kemal: It was in 1977.

Bridget: Okay.

Kemal: So, and then the rector was shot, I saw the pictures in the paper-

James: Shot?

Kemal: Shot. But the shooter was caught, but the rector was dying. The rector’s name is Paramanto, I remember the name- er, I don’t know what is going on in this university under Suharto’s foundation. But this guy, this minister friend of mine, says: “I’m gonna be Paramanto-zized.” {laughs} So, I didn’t even know what is going on, I just stay there quiet and listen. “So I want you to know before they shoot me, that I witnessed some of Suharto’s crimes.” This was a minister, a member of the political bureau, and the only civilian remaining. This rest is the military, because it has belonged since the very beginning as the New Order of Suharto in that ways, one by one they are gone, so this is the last one in the group. Because there is one story I remember. Remember when Marcos came in here? Yeah, then I said an agreement that for each cubic meter of the forest, we share one dollar. Suharto said, one dollar.

James: Marcos is Philippines.

Kemal: Yeah. The former Philippines dictator. The minister said he gave a concession to a Philippines company, for cutting this forest, and from one cubic meter of the logs, the timber product, Suharto gets one dollar. And this minister told me that, I’m sorry. So I read these kind of things, and this is the only one I remember, because for me forestry is a fairly interesting industry, with the politics and the army were taking over, they are put up signs, this kind of thing. So, was it just for this, they are gonna kill you? I don’t really think so! {laughs} But there was a paranoid kind of mood. Because one has already been killed, and they will be Paramanto-zized.

Okay, so I finished at almost midnight and I called my uncle. Okay, we are done, okay. And I just wait and wait until the minister is gonna get killed! {laughs} And, he didn’t get killed. There was just so much paranoia, somehow his story is not really that important, I think. {general laughter} But during those years, these kinds of things happened, almost, on these ministers. So when it happened to a minister, for me is not a big surprise, this kind of internal paranoia of Suharto’s time.

Bridget: So just- just thinking about the kind of stress that everyone was under, how do you personally cope with that? How do you deal with living in that environment?

Kemal: I- I don’t know, really, I’m not thinking to much! {laughter} So, I kind of think of the stories of my families, my grandpas, they were kind of hero, things, fighting against any regimes that we take it as this is how our family stands. Against the powers. We’re so proud of that. So, this is how I get over that. You know, I was in my twenties, twenty-five, six, so you know, you are in a very, kind of, youthful spirit. I put a poster over my bed, this poster was of Angela Davies, from Newsweek! And this was kind of, my ideal woman at the time! In Newsweek; I’ve got the Newsweek, I put it right here. So you know, this kind of the youthful, the heroic things in the Seventies, the things that influenced us. So we read this book, The Theater of the Oppressed, this is kind of the must-read book. The ordinary way of doing education was mass-indoctrination through the university. So this kind of thing. And then the standard Club of Rome and Small is Beautiful, so these things influenced me. And then, my mom is still in the parliament, so I feel as though if she is still there, if she is still safe, it is kind of my indicator that our whole family is not really under target. So…

James: So, do you think that that helped you survive? Your mom in the parliament, and you trying to walk that tightrope?

Kemal: No, I do all these things on my own, she did her own, but she’s still there right? So that means she didn’t get touched by all of the political target, so I felt we are not under the threat.

James: You were the president of the student organisation-

Kemal: Yeah

James: – it sounds like you were-

Kemal: Yeah, by then all my friends, all my colleagues who have been called by the military have put their writing here. One by one they have gone, just wait, you will be next. The next person, the person- and they didn’t call. They didn’t call me. I wonder why, I don’t know. I really don’t know. But perhaps my uncle worked out, somehow… I don’t know but perhaps. Some students, my colleagues, were put into prisons, but these were fake kind of prisons- at night they were released. They went to the movie, etc.- in the morning you went back to your cell. {laughter}

My friends make an agreement with the West Java divisions of the army. In ’78 I would use this movement, this rebellion, and now the ’74 model is being used again, with the West Java military division. So I said, it wont work, I have been through this process in ’74, you haven’t yet in this school. So, trust me, I don’t agree with you. So we have a long debate, and we- I don’t want to sacrifice my campus, my mentoring, teaching, this is borderline, this has to stop because you are sacrificing the whole campus, it shouldn’t be like that. So, I don’t want to sacrifice my fellow students, they want to finish school, to get a job. But the other students are in full agreement to protest, to make a strike. I said, now you are in charge, so its up to you. But this is my opinion- you will fail!

They didn’t get my support, but they needed me because I was asked “what is your position” and I didn’t support, but if you want to join, then please join, its up to you. So it was important to get me on board, in my role in this technical assistant unit. They call a meeting, I think it is my friend who invites me. So I made my long argument, based on power and this initial… so my friend now running the student council, does not have any more ammunition to kill my argument. So at the end, he says, “Kemal stop. I already talked with the general in the West Java divisions. They will support us. So we don’t have to worry about your sceptical analysis.” He stopped me there. We got into a real big argument. Stopped me there. Forget about my long argument, your last statement is the most important argument. I don’t want to go into the army as part of the political power struggle. No. Its up to you guys whether to join, I’m off.

So then finally, they decided to continue with the strike. And so the army comes in, into the campus- I was still on campus at the time- and these guys are gone! They are not around! Where is the leader of this strike? “I don’t know, let time hide, if they are caught by the army we will not have any leaders.” So, they hide, and let us be beaten by the army. I said don’t fight with the army, just let them slowly, let them occupy our campus. So, slowly one by one, we go back, and the army come in, as we go out. Like the evacuation during the fire drill {laughter}, but now with the full army coming in like this, okay. I was so mad with my- where were you when this happened? I told you this would- and now they start questioning, and suddenly when they start questioning, where is he? He’s disappeared. He is now flying- to the US! Then I found this book as I was moving house: Introduction to Microeconomics. I don’t remember having that kind of book. I opened my first page and saw the signature: Evergreen College, Olympia, Washington. Until April ’78 we never knew that he was so close, we lived together, we stayed together, we slept together, but we never knew that he enrolled in a community college in Olympia, Washington! So he dropped out because of this strike, so where is he now, he’s in the US now. So, come on we show sympathy with him, he dropped out because of this, he’s just an orphan- I said to my friends, put this on the list of his problems. I will put on the list of my problems- lets see which one is the longer list! {laughter}

So my friend is in the US after the ’78, so when I was in Cornell, I call him, so after the Evergreen, he transferred to Boston U, so I think he is doing his masters and PhD. So I said hey, I was thinking this is a drop out student from Indonesia getting his PhD from Boston U, whilst I’m struggling and stuck in the middle of my whole educational program because it is not that easy to get away. But then he came back, after the degree formation, and we met in the union of the students, and then he becomes the next minister, after this jumble he’s become the minister, portraying himself as a progressive, radical minister. So this kind of thing does happen, in the seventies. Its like, ah, man, am I that stupid? This kind of thing. Or is he that smart? He outsmarted everybody.

So, there is another story of another dropout. My junior, at my training school, he is gone after that incident, and people told me that he is in the US. He comes back to the mechanical engineers with his PhD degree. I don’t know from where. And then he met our former friend, because he just wanted to update the new situation after the update in 1999, then he gone out. My friend, the woman, who told me: “I’m so scared” now wants to recruit me to help him to connect with the other students’ democratic activities, that kind of movement which sprung up in this era. He travelled me around, and he showed me, he showed me- this is what my friend told me- he showed me, he drove me through the campus with a CD12 license plate. You know CD12? This is the US embassy. He drove in that plate, and then took her to the center of, to stop in the business district and tried to convince my friend to join him. He needs a trusty friend to join him and help him in this kind of operation. His family is staying in Singapore so he needs a friend to do this thing. Just stay here, this is why she told me this story and that she is scared about him. Okay, sitting in the CD12 car, with all the radio, kind of, equipment. “Why are we stopping?” “Wait for, five minutes.” And then- boom! – there’s a bomb in the parking space next to the world bank office.

She said, this is what I did. “So please help me, because you are a trusty worthy person and I need you. I cannot do with somebody else”. He’s become a scary monster! And then finally, “if you want, let me with your parents”- because they are very close friends, the parents, in the college, and “I think this is my last time to meet you, I’m going to say goodbye so you are my good friend, so, you are gone”. Yeah, my friend, she said: “I was so scared somebody was going to kill me! Shoot me!” She said that she could only tell this story to me, and that I couldn’t tell this to anybody else. Even if I did, no one would believe it. This guy is still around, in the Facebook, I still follow him all on the Facebook, any time, there are student meetings, political meetings… so he is around. He is posting all these comments about the new democratic opening, democracy. So, I don’t know, things happen, like that. Its hard to really tell what’s going on. The only thing I learned, you need to tell about three or four layers before you can come to a conclusion about any event. Always look behind, and then behind the behind, and perhaps that’s the only real, the only core truth of the issues.”

Advertisements