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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

SUHARTO INCORPORATED

The ruling family is moving assets offshore


PRESIDENT SUHARTO IS RARELY accused of gaining personally from his position - but rather of providing a nourishing business climate for kin and cronies. Having started life as a poor farm boy, the president spoiled his children by handing out lucrative business concessions. His largess carried a heavy price; it created market distortions that weakened the economy and helped precipitate his decline. However, the kids apparently prepared early for the president's possible fall. Since 1996, when opposition figure Megawati Sukarnoputri was ousted from her political party, sparking riots in Jakarta, Suharto-linked firms have intensified efforts to move billions off-shore - especially in China and Southeast Asia. Estimates of the clan's worth range from $8 billion to four times that. But given the rupiah's collapse and the clan's complex web of companies, no one really knows for sure. A breakdown of the First Family's known holdings:

SITI HARDIYANTI RUKMANA (TUTUT), 49

Of the Suharto children, Tutut is perhaps the most ambitious - in business and politics. She is involved in 100-plus companies, the main one being Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada, a trading company turned conglomerate, and holds a 17.5% stake in Bank Central Asia, the largest lender in the country. Other interests include television broadcasting, a pulp and paper mill and toll road projects (in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar and China). Tutut also holds the Indonesian license to sell General Dynamics aircraft parts to Garuda and Merpati airlines and owns 25% of the local arm of telecom firm Lucent Technologies.

ESTIMATED NET WORTH: $2 BILLION

BAMBANG TRIHATMODJO, 44

Although he wins deals thanks mainly to his father's position, Bambang probably brings the most professionalism of any Suharto offspring to his business affairs. He controls Bimantara Citra, a diversified conglomerate with interests in petrochemicals, cars (a joint-venture with Hyundai), banking, telecommunications (Satelindo, a long-distance carrier and cellular phone service), broadcasting (a pay-TV network and RCTI, the largest private television station). His overseas activities include water and power projects in the Philippines and China, plus gold-mining in Vietnam, Myanmar and Kazakstan. He is the biggest shareholder in Singapore-based Osprey Maritime, a shipping firm with oil and gas tanker fleets that operate as far as South Korea, Taiwan and the Middle East.

ESTIMATED NET WORTH: $4.5 BILLION

HUTOMO MANDALA PUTRA (TOMMY), 35

Suharto's favorite son, Tommy wins deals by dropping dad's name. But doing business with him is a risky prospect, getting paid a perennial headache. Tommy owns 60% of Humpuss Group, a 70-plus-firm consortium with interests in airlines (Sempati Air), telecommunications, agribusiness, toll roads, oil and gas (an exclusive shipping contract with Pertamina, the state gas and oil company), timber and property (he owns resorts in Bali). BPPC, his clove monopoly, was scrapped under the IMF agreement, but re-emerged with a new name and disguised as a cooperative. His national Timor car project, which enjoyed tax breaks and subsidies, was supposed to be scrapped under pressure from the IMF.

ESTIMATED NET WORTH: $600 MILLION

SIGIT HARJOJUDANTO, 46

As a businessman, he is lower profile than his siblings. But he was the first to use dad's position, establishing an air freight company, PT Bayu Air. It started life airlifting cattle from Suharto's family ranch in west Java to the farflung provinces, using air force planes; the Bayu Air logo was pasted over the military markings. Now he is involved in some 20 companies, active in petrochemicals and banking. He helped found brother Tommy's Humpuss Group, of which he holds a 40% share.

ESTIMATED NET WORTH: $450 MILLION

SITI HEDIATI HARIJADI (TITIEK), 38

Married to Lt.-Gen. Prabowo, the commander of the strategic reserve, Titiek's business interests have been growing. Her conglomerate, Maharani Paramita, has interests in property, telecoms, finance and forestry.

ESTIMATED NET WORTH: $200 MILLION

SITI HUTAMI ENDANG ADININGSIH, 34

She owns companies involved in oil palm plantations, warehousing, transport and a land-reclamation project in North Jakarta. She is also director of the sprawling Mekarsari Fruit Garden in west Java.

ESTIMATED NET WORTH: $100 MILLION

ARI HARYO WIBOWO SIGIT, 27

This Suharto grandson (son of Sigit) is famous for his business monopolies. He heads 10 companies, informally known as Arha Group, that sell fertilizer, beer, commodities, telecoms, as well as manufacture glass fiber and public phone boxes. Ari is also the sole importer of Chinese medicine and controls the domestic birds' nest trade. Since 1996, his grandfather has spiked two of his most lucrative perks - a levy on beer and alcohol sales in Bali and the right to supply shoes to millions of school children.

ESTIMATED NET WORTH: $5O0 MILLION

- Reported by Yenni Kwok

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