JAKARTA: Indonesia's former president Suharto turned 82 yesterday, in a day marked by flowers from friends and supporters, and a simple family gathering scheduled for the evening.
Security around the residence of the former dictator was minimal but guards kept journalists in check as they tried to inspect the dozens of flower bouquets that began arriving early in the day.
There was no immediate information of the condition of Suharto, who spent most of his days at home since retiring from power under mounting public pressure in May 1998.
His last public appearance was on May 5 when he made a brief second visit to his son Hutomo “Tommy” Mandala Putra, serving a 15-year jail sentence at an island prison off the southern coast of Central Java.
He was seen walking with the assistance of another son.
Tommy had been in jail since August.
He was serving time for ordering the murder of a supreme court judge and for evading arrest following a graft charge.
Suharto's health had recently deteriorated, suffering several minor strokes and other health problems that had forced him to remain hospitalised for days.
Among his rare trips outside the capital was a visit to his wife's tomb at Solo in Central Java last year.
Attempts to try Suharto for corruption failed after the court ruled he was not well enough to stand trial. – AFP