ABC video clips sourced for the Australian curriculum in partnership with Education Services Australia
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- Sukarno Report [2:05]
- ABc News
- 4th February 1967
- Indonesian president Sukarno responds to political tensions,1967
- Download Clip [7.24 MB]
- Learning Area
- Historical knowledge and understanding
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Phillip Koch's report illustrated the political tensions present in Indonesia during 1967, as Sukarno's visit to a Jakarta hospital is surrounded by heavy security. Featuring in order of appearance: Phillip Koch (ABC reporter);Sukarno (former president, Republic of Indonesia).
This ABC news report is a valuable primary source for historical studies of a turbulent time in 20th-century Indonesian history - the period of transition from the 'old order' of president Sukarno to the 'new order' of General Suharto. A political struggle between the two had been underway since the failed coup of 1965 and the military-led destruction of the Indonesian Communist Party that followed. Violent student protests against the president and his policies had continued throughout 1966 and into 1967.
Reporter Phillip Koch's eyewitness account illustrates the unpredictability of Sukarno's actions at the time, his search for political advantage, and the level of support he still had among sections of the population. The report reveals the level of protection the president required. It also indirectly suggests that Sukarno could no longer control whether or not he would receive protection and who would provide it.
Within weeks of this report Sukarno had been stripped of his presidential powers and Suharto had become acting president, but Koch's questions at the end of his report serve as an important reminder for the student of history. With hindsight, the events of February 1967 were the last-gasp struggles of a leader about to be ousted. The questions reveal that this outcome was not so certain to observers at the time.
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