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Wiyogo, the anti ‘becak’
governor

Last tribute: A detachment of soldiers escort the remains of former Jakarta governor Lt. Gen. (ret) Wiyogo Atmodarminto to his final resting place at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta, on Saturday. A veteran of the historic March 1, 1949, attack on Yogyakarta, Wiyogo served as governor from 1987 to 1992. He was 85. (JP/P.J. Leo)
Last tribute: A detachment of soldiers escort the remains of former Jakarta governor Lt. Gen. (ret) Wiyogo Atmodarminto to his final resting place at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta, on Saturday. A veteran of the historic March 1, 1949, attack on Yogyakarta, Wiyogo served as governor from 1987 to 1992. He was 85. (JP/P.J. Leo)

Jakarta waved an eternal goodbye to its former governor Lt. Gen. (ret.) Wiyogo Atmodarminto, who ruled the capital between 1987 and 1992. Wiyogo passed away on Friday at the age of 85.

According to his daughter, Ike Wiyogo Atmodarminto, the former governor collapsed after performing the maghrib (dusk) prayer at home and was rushed to the Metropolitan Medical Center Hospital on Jl. Rasuna Said, South Jakarta, but he died at 8:25 p.m.

Wiyogo is survived by his wife, three children, seven grandchildren and a great grandchild.

His remains were brought to his home on Jl. Banyumas in Menteng, Central Jakarta, and to comply with Muslim funeral procedures were later taken to the nearby Sunda Kelapa mosque for prayers on Saturday.

The newly elected governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo attended Saturday’s prayers and later presided over the funeral at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta, where Wiyogo was buried with military honors. Army Strategic Reserves (Kostrad) Commander Lt. Gen. Munir led the burial ceremony.

Other figures attending the funeral included Vice President Boediono, Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, former Jakarta governor Sutiyoso and Golkar politicians Akbar Tandjung and Aburizal Bakrie.

Wiyogo, popularly known as Bang Wi, rose to the capital’s No. 1 position succeeding then governor R. Soeprapto.

As a governor, Wiyogo had been known for his concept of “Jakarta BMW” which stood for bersih, manusiawi and berwibawa (clean, humane and respectable), which Jokowi said would be readopted during his own term of office.

“Those [BMW] are what we should achieve,” said Jokowi, who had hoped to receive advice from Wiyogo.

Wiyogo was also known as a firm and disciplinarian governor. His most well-known policy was to ban and get rid of the becak (three-wheeled pedicab) from Jakarta, saying the vehicle exploited humans and led to deterioration in the capital’s order. He ordered the pedicabs to be dumped in the sea for fish to nest in and lay eggs.

Born in Yogyakarta on Nov. 22, 1926, Wiyogo studied at the Yogyakarta Military Academy from 1945-1948.

After retiring as governor, succeeded by Soerjadi Soedirdja, Wiyogo focused on developing small and medium enterprises.

Hours before he passed away, he held a meeting at his house with members of one of the organizations he worked with to plan training for peasants in Karanganyar, Central Java, said his son Bambang Wiyogo.

Bambang said his father carefully monitored the recent Jakarta gubernatorial election process.

“He had faith that we would see a better Jakarta,” he said. (aml)

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