Megawati Sukarnoputri has always been ambiguous, showing contradictory impulses to be president, queen, housewife and patron. At a time, as now, when the world looks for her response to the grotesque tragedy inflicted on Bali, questions about her capacity for leadership are to the fore. To Megawati watchers, she was unusually dynamic in the first 24 hours after the bombs exploded. She spoke to the nation, in vague generalities, and made a lightning visit to the scene. A cabinet meeting the next day decided to forced new anti-terrorism legislation. But Ms Megawati has said nothing of any note in the 10 days since the bombings and now leaves the country on yet another begging mission for foreign funds, this time in Mexico, while police efforts to question a radical cleric falter and diplomats fume. Confidantes report she dislikes working more than four hours a day, and prefers eating and shopping to running the government. She prefers to consult her buried father in East Java rather than living advisers, they say, and enjoys ceremonials over substance. Part of the debate around Ms Megawati's alleged weaknesses as a leader reflects a larger debate in Indonesia about a president's role: Is it to set a tone of dignified stocism leaving details to her ministers, or should she be grieving with the Balinese, initiating talks with diplomats and encouraging her staff to act? Some diplomats have noted, with wry amusement, that in some respects she has stayed true to her upbringing as the daughter of Indonesia's founding President Sukarno, a man fixated about national independence and non-alignment. Whether she is even aware of the pressure to perform is doubted by friends, even as her husband and his cronies prepare the financial and security groundwork for her to wander into another term.