The Indonesian Army Chief, Lieutenant-General Suharto, advocated diplomacy rather than armed force in the confrontation of Malaysia when he addressed Parliament on Wednesday.
PARLIAMENT BUILDING, GENERAL SUHARTO AND FOREIGN MINISTER MALIK, GENERAL SUHARTO SPEAKING.
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Background: The Indonesian Army Chief, Lieutenant-General Suharto, advocated diplomacy rather than armed force in the confrontation of Malaysia when he addressed Parliament on Wednesday.
He also commented in his speech on Wednesday, on the question of the powers of President Sukarno - an issue which has since flared into a major political controversy.
On the confrontation of Malaysia, General Suharto said that diplomacy might be a better policy than force, although this did not necessarily mean the relaxation of confrontation, which could proceed with political flexibility.
General Suharto, who holds executive power in Indonesia, said the state should be based on lawful and constitutional authority, and not on absolute and unlimited power. He said that home affairs should have priority over foreign affairs, and carrying out President Sukarno's order to crush Malaysia should not mask his twin command to raise the vitality of the revolution.
On the same day Foreign Minister Adam Malik told reporters in Djakarta that Indonesia wanted a quick and peaceful settlement of her confrontation with Malaysia. Mr. Malik was returning after talks with Philippines' Foreign Secretary Narciso Ramos. The Philippines had been making mediation proposals in the quarrel.
Two days later heavy patrols of troops were out in the streets of Djakarta, alert for trouble over the moves to define the powers of the President. In the face of a possible political crisis, General Suharto postponed the meeting planned for next week, of the provisional People's Consultative Congress, the supreme legislative body.
This follows recent demands that the congress, now purged of Communists, should consider President Sukarno's powers, his lifelong tenure of the Presidency, and the decrees he has passed on his own authority.