President Megawati Sukarnoputri came to prominence as leader of the opposition to President Suharto’s regime. The daughter of popular former President Sukarno, she has a special hold on people’s affection. But her leadership is now criticised by many for failing to meet expectations, which is widely believed to be growing rampantly in government bureaucracy, parliament and even legal institutions.
In February, parliament speaker Akbar Tandjung won a Supreme Court appeal against conviction for embezzlement of state funds. Tandjung is also chairman of the Golkar party, the main supporter of Suharto’s dictatorship for more than thirty years. His was the most prominent corruption trial and there is pessimism about the prospect of law enforcement as a result. Even though many have promised to respect the verdict, legal experts are examining it.