Former Indonesian Military (TNI) commander and coordinating political and security minister Gen. (ret.) Feisal Tanjung died on Monday morning at the Siloam Hospital in Jakarta, having been ill with pancreatic cancer. He was 73.
Feisal is survived by his wife, Masrowida Lubis, and three children.
Later on Monday, Vice President Boediono officiated the military burial of Feisal’s remains at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in Kalibata, South Jakarta.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono paid his last respects to Feisal earlier in the day.
The President and First Lady Ani Yudhoyono visited Feisal’s home in Kuningan, South Jakarta, where his body had been laid out, at 10:30 a.m.
Yudhoyono said that the country had lost one of its best soldiers.
The President, who himself served in the TNI for 10 years under Feisal’s leadership, said the native of Tarutung, North Sumatra, had always strived to improve professionalism within the armed forces.
TNI commander Adm. Agus Suhartono also paid his last respects at Feisal’s home, TNI spokesman Rear Admiral Iskandar Sitompul said.
Feisal served in his roles as military chief and minister during the New Order era under former president Soeharto.
He served as the TNI commander in the last months of the New Order regime before being replaced by Gen. Wiranto, now retired.
Born in Tarutung on June 17, 1939, Feisal was one of Indonesia’s top military figures who enjoyed a bright military career under the Soeharto regime.
He served as TNI commander for five years between 1993 and 1998.
Feisal, who was also known for his temper, made international headlines after being appointed by the late president to head the military honorary council set up to investigate the mass killing of demonstrators in Santa Cruz, East Timor (now Timor Leste), in 1991.
Under his leadership, the council recommended the dismissals of a number of senior-ranking military officers, including Maj. Gen. Sintong Panjaitan and Brig. Gen. Rudolf Warouw.
He served as coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister in the administration of Soeharto’s successor, president BJ Habibie.
In 2001, Feisal was among several former top military officials summoned by the House of Representatives over their alleged roles in the student killings at Trisakti University and Semanggi in Jakarta in 1998.
The generals denied any role in the killings, maintaining that they had never adopted any policy or issued any order authorizing security forces to shoot student demonstrators.