The Jakarta Post
Although the national heroes have been recognized for their contributions to the country, the names may not ring a bell for many Indonesians. (Shutterstock/File)
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced four new national heroes on Thursday, namely Muhammad Zainudin Abdul Madjid, admiral Malahayati, sultan Mahmud Riayat Syah, and Lafran Pane.
Although the national heroes have been recognized for their contributions to the country, the names may not ring a bell for many Indonesians.
For those wanting to know more about them, The Jakarta Post has compiled the backgrounds of the newly named national heroes.
Muhammad Zainudin Abdul Madjid
As stated on the Education Ministry's Twitter account, Zainuddin was a nationalist freedom fighter.
Penganugerahan gelar pahlawan nasional ini diputuskan melalui Keputusan Presiden RI No 115/TK/tahun 2017 tentang Penganugerahan Gelar Pahlawan. Keputusan ini diambil setelah sebelumnya Dewan Gelar, Tanda Jasa, dan Tanda Kehormatan bersidang pada Oktober lalu. pic.twitter.com/ti7uoFs2SL— Kemendikbud (@Kemdikbud_RI) November 10, 2017
Born in West Nusa Tenggara on April 19, 1908, he was also recognized as a da’i (Muslim propagator), ulama (Muslim scholar), writer and politician.
In 1936, Zainudin founded Nahdhatul Wathan Diniyah Islamiyah (NWDI), the biggest Muslim organization in Lombok, which focused on education and religion. Following the establishment of the NWDI, Zainudin also founded the first madrasah (Islamic school) for females called Nahdhatul Banat Diniyah Islamiyah (NBDI) in 1943.
Malahayati was the first female admiral from Aceh. Malahayati was the great granddaughter of sultan Salahudin Syah.
After her husband Laksamana Zainal Abidin died in the Teluk Haru war, Malahayati formed the Inong Balee, a unit consisting of widows of Aceh soldiers. In 1559, she led a fleet that managed to kill Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman.
Furthermore, under her leadership and Darmawangsa Tun Pangkat (later known as sultan Iskandar Muda), the Achehnese fleet defeated the Portuguese navy.
Read also: Expect no heroes from Java this year
Sultan Mahmud Riayat Syah
Born in Riau-Lingga Sultanate in Hulu Riau, Mahmud Riayat Syah became a sultan at the tender age of two, after his father died.
During his lifetime, he fought the Dutch continuously by refusing to settle for a peace agreement and leading a guerrilla war to destroy Dutch trade in the Malacca strait and Riau Islands.
Mahmud Riayat Syah also managed to make the British and Dutch acknowledge the sovereignty of the Riau-Lingga-Johor-Pahang Sultanate.
Born in Sipirok, Padang Sidempuan in North Sumatra, Lafran Pane was the founder of the Islamic Students Association (HMI).
Founded in February 5, 1974, the HMI is recognized for its contribution to uniting university students to defend the country's independence.
In 1965, Lafran was among the prominent figures who refused to change the country’s ideology from Pancasila to communism.
In addition to HMI, Lafran is also known as the founder of the Association of Indonesian Muslim Scholars (ISMI) and Gajah Mada University’s school of education. (kes)