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Jakarta Post

The kindness of BJ Habibie

  • RE Elson


Brisbane   /   Mon, September 30, 2019   /  09:04 am
The kindness of BJ Habibie Indonesian President B.J. Habibie and his wife, Hasri Ainun wave to journalists outside the Parliament building in Jakarta 01 October 1999 shortly after attending a swearing in ceremony for new members of Parliament. (AFP/Str)

I first laid eyes upon Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie at a function to which I had been invited by Dewi Fortuna Anwar; the professor was planning to use the opportunity to introduce me to the great man, who passed away on Sept. 11. As expected, the planned short exhortatory address of the former Indonesian president went on and on, and I was forced to leave the occasion, Habibie unmet, as unobtrusively as possible to keep a later appointment on the other side of Jakarta. When I finally met Habibie a little time later at his Munich residence, Habibie took impish delight in telling me that he had indeed noticed my abrupt and departure from the function at the Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI). He teased me further when he began our interview by launching into a 30-minute disquisition on the problem of airframe stress cracking, and how he had solved the problem mathematica...

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