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Prabowo reflects on advice from Suharto before military operation in East Timor

CNN Indonesia - June 13, 2023

Jakarta – Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Chairperson and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has reminisced about the birthday of Indonesia's 2nd president Suharto, who he considers to have been a hard worker, very disciplined and thorough.

"The other day, June 8, was the birthday of the great now retired general of the TNI (Indonesian military) H.M. Suharto, the 2nd President of the Republic of Indonesia. For me he represents a figure who worked hard, was very disciplined and thorough", wrote Prabowo on his Facebook account on Tuesday June 13.

In the posting Prabowo also recalled the time when he led a Battalion 328 operation in East Timor.

In the past, East Timor was part of the territory of Indonesia. The province was in turmoil because its desire to separate from Indonesia. The TNI fought the pro-independence East Timorese groups.

Before carrying out the operation, Prabowo claimed he was summoned by Suharto to his residence in Cendana, Central Jakarta.

"I also related this to my officers, that I had been summoned by the president, and they were happy. Because of a tradition among us, if we're summoned by the supreme commander before carrying out our duties, we'll be given a travel allowance, provisions", Prabowo wrote.

He thought he would be given provisions, but it turned out that upon arriving at the Cendana, Prabowo was only given advice.

"Then Pak [Mr] Harto said, I only want to give you three things, Bowo. Ojo lali, ojo dumeh, ojo ngoyo. Understand, you understand!", said Prabowo recalling Suharto's advice.

Prabowo claimed to have felt disappointed because he was only given advice and not provisions. But after contemplating on it, it turned out that the advice had deep meaning.

The first piece of advice, ojo lali, said Prabowo, means not forgetting all the lessons that one has received. Starting from lessons from parents, religion, primary school to military lessons.

Then, ojo dumeh, which means not to be arrogant. "Arrogant people usually underestimate the enemy, are often careless, usually not thorough because they're too confident", he wrote.

Finally, ojo ngoyo, which means don't force yourself. It was a reminder that everyone has limit to their ability. "We must not be eager in carrying out military operations", he said.

Prabowo even claimed he wrote down Suharto's three pieces of advice on a map at the coordinating post every time he carried out a military operation.

"Praise be to Allah, Battalion 328 got a very good result and received an award from the operational commander", he said. (mnf/wis)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Prabowo Kenang 3 Pesan Penting dari Soeharto Sebelum ke Medan Perang".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20230613173823-32-961360/prabowo-kenang-3-pesan-penting-dari-soeharto-sebelum-ke-medan-peran