Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Berkeley Mafia, Boediono, & Liddle's lost of translation?

The Indonesianist from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, US, started the article with question (or accusation?) whether the reshuffled cabinet of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is a reincarnation of the famous Berkeley Mafia?
His answer was yes. Both Professor Widjojo Nitisastro from University of Indonesia, once the capo of Berkeley Mafia and Professor Widjojo adalah mahluk Orde Baru yang otoriter...The sentence could be interpreted as follows: Widjojo is an authoritarian creature. It is true that Widjojo was key economist in the New Order regime. It is also true that New Order was an authoritarian regime. But I'm not sure if Widjojo is an authoritarian.
Another fatal statement is...Audiens Widjojo adalah Soeharto, literally means Widjojo's audience was Soeharto. It is true that Soeharto was authoritarian president. But I'm not sure if Widjojo's advise was to serve Soeharto's interest only.
Unfortunately, I have no chance to meet both Widjojo and Boediono to ask their comments. But I'm sure Liddle's article was based merely on his political perspectives without in-depth analysis and observations. Besides, Liddle should spend more time to learn Indonesian bahasa (language).

Some noted members of The Berkeley Mafia are:
1) Those who got PhD from the University of California at Berkeley:
- Professor Widjojo Nitisastro (Berkeley 1961)
- Professor Emil Salim (Berkeley 1964)
- Professor Ali Wardana (Berkeley 1962)
- Professor JB Sumarlin (Berkeley
- Professor Barli Halim (Berkeley 1959)
- Professor Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-jakti

2) Non-Berkeley alumni:
- Professor M. Sadli (MIT)
- Professor Boediono (Pennsylvania)
- Professor Subroto (Harvard)


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