Young Soeharto Becomes a Victim of Bullying, His Life is Getting Harder


Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Cases of bullying happened to President Soeharto when he was young. This was told directly by him in his autobiography entitled My Thoughts, Sayings and Actions (1989).

It should be noted that Suharto's life when he was young was inversely proportional to his condition in old age: far from glory and wealth. In fact, this state of misery has occurred since Suharto was a baby. If a child his age was enveloped in parental love, Soeharto had to swallow the bitter pill that his parents, Kertosudiro and Sukirah, decided to divorce.

Not long after divorcing, both of them remarried to new partners. Practically, Soeharto had a father-mother-half-sister. Luckily, after the divorce, Suharto received care from his uncle, Prawirowihardjo.


Suharto became a victim of bullying because he was poor

Photo: Reuters
Suharto on May 20 1998 (Reuters doc.)

While being raised by his uncle, Suharto admitted that he received good care. His uncle considered him his own child. However, his life is still not so smooth. He was trapped in poverty, and was often bullied.

Once upon a time, Suharto's great-grandfather sewed clothes. He, who often wears shabby clothes, certainly enjoys seeing his great-grandfather sewing clothes. He thought the clothes would be his. In fact, there was no mention that the new clothes were given to Suharto.

With self-confidence, Suharto, who was still small and innocent, immediately wore the clothes with great joy. However, the joy disappeared because the clothes were not for him. The great-grandson asked Suharto to take off the clothes to give to his other grandchildren.

“I felt humiliated. I was devastated, very sad,” said Soeharto, recalling the incident.

Another treatment that made his childhood life even harder when he often received it bully from his friends. When playing, he was often called “Den good dunghill”. “Mabul feces” means dry feces. Meanwhile, “Den” is a joke because the great-grandfather who raised him had ties to the palace.

“I always refuse to be called that. However, they keep annoying me. How is this, are they mocking me or are they just joking by calling me “Den”?” said Soeharto.

In his autobiography, Suharto admitted that he was saddened by such treatment. The bullying made the burden of his life, which at that time was impoverished, even heavier. It was only when he grew up that the suffering began to disappear one by one.

Even though he lived without parental love and was full of difficulties, Suharto, who was known as a quiet figure, was lucky to be sent to school by his foster parents. In RE Elson's notes in Suharto: A Political Biography (2005), it is recorded that he had attended school, although only up to Middle School (Shackel School).

After graduating from school, Soeharto immediately looked for work when he was in his teens. Unfortunately this is also not smooth. He used to work at the village bank, but because it wasn't passionhe didn't feel at home and decided resign.

After that, he became unemployed and lived a lonely life. During this time, he was a mosque administrator. Only then did his life start to get really good when he became a KNIL soldier or the Royal Dutch East Indies Army.

Becoming a soldier changed Suharto's life immediately. Every month he received a salary of 60 guilders. With that money, he can buy new clothes and support himself and his family. In short, he was able to rise from poverty.

Later, working as a soldier would also be the entry point for him to follow the path of success. Suharto, who once lived a difficult life and became a victim bullylater known as the 2nd President of Indonesia.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

(mfa/mfa)