Anwar Khumaini, Jakarta – Newly appointed Deputy Minister of Defence Lieutenant General Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin has already once been refused entry into the United States. He does not however feel there will be any difficulties in performing his duties in the superpower country.
“There are many roads to Rome,” joked Sjamsoeddin after being appointed as deputy defense minister at the State Place on Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara in Central Jakarta on Wednesday January 6.
According to the former general secretary of the Defense Department, the previous rejection of his visa by the US will not disrupt his duties as deputy defense minister. On the contrary, this has provided an impetus to opening up communications with the US and other countries.
When asked why his visa was held back by the US, Sjamsoeddin said he did not know. “I don’t know why the visa was held back”, he said evasively.
With regard to the support and opposition to his selection as the number two person at the defense department, Sjamsoeddin specifically expressed his thanks. He views the discourse that has developed among the public as being extremely positive for his future duties.
“It is precisely this that has motivated me to be more introspective and attentive in carrying out [my] duties,” said the former Jakarta military commander during the May 1998 riots. (irw/nrl)
[Translated by James Balowski.]