Special Report: President Soekarno’s wax work unveiled to boost Indonesian tourist growth


The Tourism Authority of Thailand, in partnership with Madame Tussauds Bangkok, on Monday unveiled a wax figure of Indonesia’s founding father President Soekarno at the museum at Siam Discovery Center. 

The wax figure’s historically important launch was presided over by Indonesia’s fifth president and daughter of President Soekarno, Megawati Soekarnoputri. Other family members also attended the launch, which is aimed at attracting more Indonesian tourists to Bangkok and introducing Indonesian history to a wider range of audience.

To add a sense of authenticity to the figure, Mrs Megawati has also donated her father’s personal items to the wax work.

Mrs Megawati said the wax work of the late president symbolizes the struggles for emancipation in Asia and elsewhere in the world. Born in 1901 in Surabaya, Indonesia, President Soekarno proclaimed his country’s independence in 1945 and served as its first president until 1996. His death in 2005 left a monumental legacy of global peace support and modern Indonesia’s success.

Mrs Megawati added that the launch will also strengthen the long-standing relations between Thailand and Indonesia, and will further promote Thailand’s tourism sector.

Phanom Kaributra, TAT’s executive director for Asean, South Asia and the South Pacific, said over 230,000 Indonesian tourist have visited Thailand since the beginning of this year, a growth of 15% over 2010’s number.

According to the former president, Indonesia is hoping to launch a Madame Tussauds museum in their country and to produce and unveil wax figures of Their Majesties the King and Queen there ,so that the two countries can engage in many forms of friendly exchanges.

President Soekarno’s wax figure will be featured in the popular History and Leaders section on the 6th floor of Siam Discovery Centre.

The wax figure museum of Madame Tussauds in Bangkok features several famous figures from Asia, including former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Muhammad, former president of China Mao Tse Tung, and South Korean president Lee Myung-bak; however, there has been no wax models representing Indonesia so far.