SEPTEMBER 29, 2000
Indonesians come... and Indonesians go
Tommy Suharto, the son of former Indonesian President General Raden Suharto, was once at the forefront of a plan to host a Grand Prix in Indonesia. He was head of the country's national sporting authority and a part-owner of the Sentul track. Today he is facing a jail sentence for corruption charges relating to an $11m land deal. Suharto was originally cleared of the charge by a Jakarta court but that decision has now been overturned by the Indonesian Supreme Court as Indonesian government efforts continue to recoup some of the money which the Suharto Family made during the Suharto's period in power.
At the same time there continue to be whispers of a new group of investors if F1 from Indonesia. This group is understood to have links with the Sukarno Family. President Sukarno was the first leader of independent Indonesia buit was overthrown by Suharto in 1967. Sukarno's daughter Megawati Sukarnoputri is now the country's vice president. Formula 3000 driver Ananda Mikola is a relative of one of Sukarno's ministers from the 1960s and there is talk of a plan to hold a Grand Prix on a government-funded racing circuit on the island of Bali.