National

Habibie announces twin
additions to family


JAKARTA (JP): President B.J. Habibie chose to sing first before making a surprise announcement to the south of the capital at the Bogor PresidentialOffice on Saturday.

The Presidential announcement was made after he sang the kroncong song Terkenang-kenang (Always in My Memory) in front of 1,000 elderly people.

The President proudly told the audience that his family just increased with the arrival of twin grandchildren from his youngest son Thareq Kemal Habibie. He has two grandchildren in addition from his eldest son Ilham Akbar Habibie.

""Thareq's first child is a girl, who was followed one minute later by hisson,"" the cheerful Habibie told guests with First Lady Hasri Ainun at his side.

Habibie did not disclose when his grandchildren were born. He only praised his son's efficiency by having two children simultaneously.

""I think it is an efficient cost,"" he said.

Thareq married Widya Leksmanawati in August 1997. Widya is the daughter of Vice Admiral (ret) Sudibjo Lahardjo.

His son Ilham and wife Insana gave Habibie two grandchildren, Nadia, 8, and Pasha, 3.

The President met the senior citizens to commemorate Senior Citizen's Day. The ceremony was also attended by Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Haryono Suyono and Minister of Social Service Justika Baharsjah and West Java Governor Nuriana.

When singer Henny Purwonegoro persuaded Habibie to entertain the senior citizens, Habibie replied: ""As I do not have enough opportunities to practice (singing), I will be a little bit haphazard"".

Sixty-five-year-old rocker, Leila Sari, then amused the First Family. Thetoothless singer energetically sang ""I Can't Stop Loving You"".

Habibie and his wife came to the stage and hugged the rocker.

""You are great,"" Habibie told the flirtatious artist. (prb)

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