I dreamed last night about Tun Abdullah and Gus Dur. The memory of trauma due to sudden petrol hike during Abdullah’s administration still flashing back to some people’s mind. At the same time, images of Gus Dur came to my mind. Since these two personalities suddenly poped-up, I need to understand why.
I guess Tun Abdullah and Gus Dur (nearly forgotten his real name is Abdul Rahman Wahid) live during transition time – the earlier after Tun Mahathir and the latter after Suharto’s era. Therefore, they have unique role in democracy i.e. tranforming immutable rules and processes into more humane and socialize way.
Tun Abdullah was seen dependent on a ‘single person’ and he didn’t get full back up from his political party (refer to appointment of MBs, the Zaid factor etc.) and Gus Dur was not fully backed up by military and even the civil society (or reformasi movement) which criticize him over his inefficiency and imperfection as president.
Both have strong belief toward democracy and Islam. They have never complaint about others who interfere with their administrations and both are willing to accept fate or ‘taqdir’ as they firmly held strong religious conviction in their lives. Gus Dur has never complain about his blindness and Abdullah seemed not to be bothered from his somnolence which could arise from ENT problem, reported been operated in Australia.
Both are known as light-hearted, family men to the extend that Abdullah seems to be suffered from berievement after losing his beloved wife, Tun Indon Mahmood. Gus Dur was frequently seen accompanied by his much adored daughter, Yenni Wahid.
At the end of both administrations, some cabinet members turned their back against both of them. They were criticized and had to resign due to immense political pressure.
Finally, I believe both are the Renaissance men. As ‘a historian’, at times, may I pray both of them a fulfilling and happier life. Amin.