National

Jusuf Kalla celebrates
71st birthday

The house of Indonesian Red Cross chairman Jusuf Kalla filled with prominent guests as the host celebrated his 71st birthday today.

Among the visitors were Public Housing Minister Djan Faridz, chairman of the NasDem Party Surya Paloh, Askes president director Fahmi Idris, and MPR Deputy Speaker Hajriyanto Tohari.

“The kids and I prepared meals for bapak’s best friends,” said wife Mufida Jusuf Kalla, as quoted by Tribunnews.com

Kebuli seasoned rice with lamb meat, nyuknyang meatballs and Padang satay were among the items
served in the feast in Kalla’s backyard and dining room.

Phones were constantly ringing with messages of congratulations from friends and acquaintances.

Jusuf Kalla, who is a former vice president, was born in Watampone, Bone, South Sulawesi on May 15 1942. Jusuf, known also as JK, is the second of seventeen children of Hadji Kalla.

Besides the high offices of state he has held, Jusuf Kalla is also known for his distinguished role in mediating bloody conflicts in Aceh and during the Poso riots.

To date, Jusuf Kalla remains a popular national figure who is considered a favorite to run in next year’s presidential election.(asw/dic)

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