101 East discusses the legacy of Suharto, the former Indonesian president and one of Asia's most controversial and longest-serving leaders.

Suharto was rushed to hospital in critical condition last week [ REUTERS]

For decades he was viewed as a crucial Western ally in the Cold War. He came to power initiating a bloodthirsty purge of Indonesia's communists and in later years was given the green light by the US to invade the former Portuguese colony, East Timor.

While he succeeded in bringing economic development and national unity to Indonesia's diverse archipelago his regime was marked by rampart corruption and widespread human rights abuse.

Did Indonesia's progress justify Suharto's iron fist approach?

Joining Teymoor Nabili to discuss Suharto's legacy are Wimar Witoelar, a political commentator, Mr Mugiyanto, a political activist, and via satellite, Dr Emil Salim, a former minister in Suharto's cabinet and his economic advisor.

Watch part one of this episode of 101 East on YouTube

Watch part two of this episode of 101 East on YouTube

This episode of 101 East aired on Thursday, January 17, 2008

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