Review: Halaman Terakhir by Yudhi Herwibowo


Finally! I just finished reading a book titled "Halaman Terakhir" by Yudhi Herwibowo. The story is about Hoegeng's, Chief of Indonesian National Police, last days of service.

*taken from here

Hoegeng was born in Pekalongan, Central Java. His full name was Hoegeng Iman Santoso. But, he was always known by Hoegeng. After finished Senior High School, he decided to study Law in Jakarta, but then he moved to Yogyakarta for Police Course. That was when he started his police career. Yes, being a policeman was always his dream since teenager.

The book tells about two big cases on Hoegeng's last days of service. Two cases that he couldn't finished until his dismissal. The first case came from Sumaryah, a 16 year old egg seller girl in Yogyakarta, who was raped by four men in a red Volkswagen Kombi car. The case was blown up by a news written by a journalist named Djaba Kresna. Sumaryah said that when she was walking home alone at dusk, a red Kombi stopped by in front of her and one of the passengers pulled her into the car. She remembered there were four men in the car, one looked like an Arabian, one like a Chinese, one had long hair, and the other one she could not see clearly. She was sedated an raped in that car. At about midnight she was pushed from car on a country road. 

According to the news and investigation written and done alone by Djaba Kresna, the red Kombi belonged to a dentist whose car was borrowed by his son-in-law on the accident day. His son-in-law known to have face like an Arabian and was the son of an army general. He also known to have three close friends and it was possible on that day they were together. 

The case twisted as the investigation continued. The results reported to Hoegeng by Yogyakarta Police Department way different. So, he asked his subordinates to go to Yogyakarta and do their own investigation. They came back to Jakarta with a good report about the investigation. But, sadly, suddenly the case was diverted by the president to be finished by other institution.

The second one was about luxurious car smuggling done by Soni Cahaya and his two brothers. After doing some investigation, Hoegeng's subordinates successully caught them and brought them to the prisoner. But, not so long after that, they were freed with warranty from unknown person. 

There were rumours about the smugglers' closeness to president's family. Journalists kept asking Hoegeng about this, but he always answered that the investigation should be done first before came out with the conclusion. One day, when Hoegeng and his subordinates came to president's residence, he saw a luxurious black car that was belong to Soni Cahaya. He felt that it confirmed about the rumour. He changed his mind and went back home with a broken heart.

Not so long after that, a letter from president came. He was no longer the Chief of Indonesian National Police, he was then an Ambassador for Belgium Kingdom. He refused to be an ambassador and chose to retire instead.


I heard about Hoegeng some time ago. My dad said he was the best policeman in Indonesia. He was not like any other policeman. He was honest, firm, and modest. And it was all captured well in this book. 

The book gave the image of Orde Baru regime which was known for its dictatorship. Bans, pemberedelan, was some kind of popular term in that era. It's what happened when you criticize government through the media. Collusion was also another Orde Baru's sin that was captured in this book.

Nowadays, rarely we found public officials as modest as Hoegeng. He lived simply with his own idealism. He was not wavered by the threat of losing his position, it was never important to him. I also believe, that was not because of himself alone, his wife and family who always supported him, made him that kind of person. Remember the words: behind every great man is a great woman. Luckily, he got a wife who was not only modest, but also unpretentious and trust on his man. That was a lot of support.


Sebuah jalanan yang dirawat dengan baik akan selalu menumbuhkan bunga-bunga wangi di sepanjang jalannya - Hoegeng

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