For many who know Sukanto Tanoto would not feel surprised when they will see this post by his sister in law complaining about the injustice he did to us. It took a lot of time for me to come forward and talk about the things that he did to his own late brother’s family. He betrayed my husband, Polar Yanto Tanoto after he died in air crash 19 years ago. How can I forget that Sukanto kicked me off just after my husband’s death from the Singapore’s office.
It was not even few days after my husband’s funeral that Sukanto sent his agent to me. That agent asked me to sign a paper that was about the power of attorney. It was to give him the access of the rights my children and I had in the company. That agent tried to convince me and made it sound too necessary to sign which I could not understand. Was it so necessary just after my husband passed away. I lucidly told that agent about my decision. I was not ready to give up on my rights and did not want anyone to represent me.
After my answer to the document, Sukanto started making it difficult for me at every step of my life. Sukanto and his wife, Tinah stopped my finances and made us suffer. He even restrained us from using the company cars and gave some bizarre security explanation that did not make any sense. Tinah even tried to take away the house that we were staying in. She claimed that it belonged to the company and we had no right to stay there. We were a part of the company business and how come suddenly we were not allowed to use anything that belonged to the company. She told that they were planning to convert these houses into employee dormitory. I think Sukanto thinks that he is above all the law and he can turn anyone down without paying for it. I denied doing so as I signed the document when we got that house and it belonged to us.
Many tried to convince me for talking directly to Sukanto that comprises our old staff and relatives. They thought this could be resolved if we two talked directly. I also wanted an answer as my husband and his biological brother trusted him by all means. I was surprised how he was doing all this to us.
Three months passed away and it was December 1997 when I finally got a chance to schedule a meeting with Sukanto. The meeting was scheduled in the Singapore office. Sukanto had been avoiding this meeting from a long time and wanted me to sign the power of attorney if I wanted to meet him. It was not easy for mre to convince him for this meeting.
I reached The Octagon on 105 Cecil Street and all my memories came in front of me. I used to visit this street almost every day when my husband sat here. It was the busiest business districts in Singapore. After my husband was gone and with all the pain that Sukanto and his wife had created, it had taken a toll on me and I had lost 25 pounds. My mother had accomplanied me as she knew that this meeting was not going to be easy for me. I was already abandoned by many and she wanted to be there for me.
The receptionist took me to the 15th floor where the meeting room was located. Sukanto with Valerie who was the company’s senior legal advisor were already waiting for me to arrive. His expression was self-explanatory and I knew that he was not going to get along. He had come with all the preparation to take whatever was left with me.
Just after I sat across the chair, Sukanto was sitting, he started bursting. He told me that I did not belong to the family and was not the Tonato. He told me that I am a bad luck and a reason for his brother’s death. He also told me that I was nothing more than a nanny to the four children who were Tonato. He did not stop yelling even after watching me cry. How could he be so heartless only to snatch everything that belonged to me.
I still can’t believe my ears when I think about that day. Nothing was sorted out. He is a man with no spine. He cannot stand up for his family. His greed is above all relationship. Polar would have felt so bad if he was there watching him behaving like that.
Until now, there is nothing that has changed. My children and I have not been able to get the rights we own. We are regulary stalked by strangers to harass us so that we give up. I have tried everything but he made it tougher every time.
Sukanto is not loyal to his business, family and his country. His passion is governed by his greed. He took away everything from me and made us weep. My husband did everything for the companies that he calls his. He built Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper, APRIL and PT Toba Pulp Lestari. These are among the most profitable companies even after the death of my husband.
But, the way he is handling these companies shows their disaster in coming years. My husband had never wanted this. Sukanto and his wife have gone far beyond in taking what my husband left for me and I wish they get what they deserve soon.
They are not human by heart as real people feel for even strangers and they betrayed their own family for the money that was enough for all of us. I feel pity for him and the generation whom he would guide. I do not want any more Sukanto in future. It will only create a world of hatred.