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Jakarta Post

Habibie’s legacy of democracy

  • Fachry Ali

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PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Thu, September 12, 2019   /  11:35 am
Habibie’s legacy of democracy Then president BJ Habibie announces his Reform/Development Cabinet, which comprised 20 members of the previous lineup and 16 newcomers. Habibie vowed to build a clean and independent government when he announced the new cabinet at Merdeka Palace on May 22, 1998. (JP/Alex Lumi)

In today’s intensifying political tension that seems to split Indonesian society, where could we find a mirror to reflect our democratic experience? One of the answers could be found in the experience of Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, the Indonesian president from 1998 to 1999, in cementing the country’s democratic foundation. This experience unfolds in his interview by the authors of Democratic Transitions: Conversation with World Leaders, edited by Sergio Bitar and Abraham F. Lowenthal ( 2015 ). Apart from Habibie, the authors interviewed other leaders of democratic transition countries. In the case of Indonesia, none else is recognized by the world as a democratic pioneer other than Habibie. Although having a radically brief time in government, Habibie’s leadership was crucial on the fate of Indonesian democracy. Why? As stated by Bahtiar Effendy and Mutiara P...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.