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Jakarta Post

Memories of ‘Eyang' Habibie

Fri, September 20, 2019   /   08:42 pm
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    President Soeharto reads a statement of resignation at Merdeka Palace, while Vice President B.J. Habibie (second left) listens carefully. Soeharto officially transferred his post to Habibie on Thursday May 21. 1998, before Chief Justice Sarwata, journalists and several cabinet ministers, including his eldest daughter Siti Hardijanti Rukmana (right), who is the minister of social services, Minister of Security and Defense/Armed Forces Commander Gen. Wiranto (second right), Minister of Justice Muladi (third right) and Minister/State Secretary Saadilah Mursjid (fourth right). JP/Alex Rumi

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    President B.J Habibie announces his Reform/Development Cabinet, which comprises 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 Friday, May 22. 1998. JP/Alex Rumi

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    Indonesian President B. J. Habibie (R) gestures as he answers a question while Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad looks on, during a press conference at the latter's office in Putrajaya 25 August 1999. Habibie, who is on a short visit to Malaysia, told reporters that he was anxious to know the outcome of the investigations into the Bank of Bali scandal. AFP/Jimin Lai

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    (FILES) This file photo dated 08 April 1999 shows then Indonesian President B.J. Habibie (L) greeting Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusumah military air base where the two leaders held some 30 minutes of closed talks during Arafat's brief stopover in Jakarta on his way to Vietnam and China. It was announced 11 November 2004 that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has died at a hospital in France at the age of 75 after a prolonged illness. AFP/FILES

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    Hasri Ainun Habibie and her husband, Indonesian President B.J.Habibie (C), examine garlic at a cheap market set up in the National Monument Park in Jakarta, 09 January. Food and other basic needs are being offered at discount prices during the three-day event, which was opened by Hasri on Saturday. AFP/Kompas

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    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. The 700 members of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) and 500 member's of the People's Representative Council (DPR) were sworn in amid tight security and heavy pressure from opposition parties to shrink six-week timetable and move swiftly to the selection of a successor to President B.J. Habibie. AFP/Str

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    Teenagers wait for a film screening near the poster of Habibie & Ainun at the CGV Cinema - Teraskota in South Tangerang, Banten, on January 19, 2012. JP/ R. Berto Wedhatama

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    President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo welcomes former president BJ Habibie at the State Palace in Jakarta on October. 13, 2015. JP/ Wienda Parwitasari

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    Indonesia's third president BJ Habibie signs a picture of a younger version of himself during the launch of the Habibie Series book at the Habibie and Ainun Library in Jakarta on June 23, 2016. The launch was in conjunction with BJ Habibie's 80th anniversary. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo takes a picture together with former presidents Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and BJ Habibie and the leaders of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) when attending the inauguration of the KPK's new building in Jakarta on December 29, 2015. The launch was in conjunction with the KPK's 12th anniversary. JP/Wienda Parwitasari

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    The eldest son of Indonesia's third president BJ Habibie, Ilham Akbar Habibie, coordinates with his brother Thareq Kemal Habibie while accompanying their father's coffin as it is taken from Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Jakarta on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    The hearse bearing the remains of the late BJ Habibie exits Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Jakarta on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    The public pay their last respects as the funeral cortege of former president BJ Habibie passes along Jl. Gatot Subroto in Jakarta on Thursday, September 12, 2019 JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    The funeral procession of Indonesia’s third president BJ Habibie at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta on Thursday, September 12, 2019 JP/Seto Wardhana

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    President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo puts soil into the grave of late former president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie during the funeral procession at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta on Thursday, September 12, 2019. Habibie died the day before at the age of 83 after suffering from heart failure. JP/Seto Wardhana

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    The public pay their respects to Indonesia's third president BJ Habibie at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta on Thursday, September 12, 2019. JP/Rafaela Chandra

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    Timor Leste's first president Xanana Gusmao visits the grave of Indonesia's third president BJ Habibie at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta on Sunday, September 15, 2019. JP/Narabeto Korohama

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    The prototype of the N250 Gatotkaca aircraft, which was produced under the supervision of PT Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara president director BJ Habibie, is stored at PT Dirgantara Indonesia's hangar on Thursday, September 12, 2019. JP/Arya Dipa

The extended family of Indonesia's third president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie marked the seven-day commemoration of his death by holding a tahlilan (prayer gathering) at his house in Patra Kuningan, South Jakarta, on Wednesday, September 18, 2019.

The late BJ Habibie passed away at the age of 83 at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Central Jakarta on Sept. 11, after undergoing treatment for 10 days. Members of the public are continuing to visit his grave at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta to pay their respects.

Read Also:http://https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/11/danke-mr-president.html

The prominent engineer, born on June 25, 1936, served as research and technology minister under Soeharto for 20 years, before being thrust into the role vice president during the dying days of the New Order regime in March 1998.

Renowned for his intelligence and known as “the golden son” of Soeharto for his close relationship with the country’s longest-serving president, he became the first, and shortest-serving, president of the Reform Era, assuming the office after Soeharto’s resignation in May 1998 and relinquishing it after fresh legislative elections held in October 1999.

Habibie is known for leading the country to embrace a democratic and open era after Soeharto’s authoritarian rule. Before the 1999 general election, he oversaw a bevy of democratic reforms, the release of political prisoners and a revision of the Press Law that abolished the requirement for press organizations to obtain a government-issued publishing license (SIUPP).

He passed two laws for decentralization, thereby paving the way for regional autonomy in the country and putting an end to the centralized governance of Soeharto’s New Order regime.

He also allowed then-Indonesian province of East Timor to hold a referendum and choose between special autonomy and independence in August 1999.

Only last month, the government of Timor-Leste commemorated the 20th anniversary of the referendum by inaugurating a new bridge named after Habibie in the country’s capital of Dili.

Besides his political career, Habibie is known for his engineering prowess as well as his deep love for his wife Hasri Ainun Besari.

The Sulawesi native left Indonesia to study engineering at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany in 1955, obtaining an engineer’s degree in 1960 and a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 1965.

In 1962, Habibie returned to Indonesia on sick leave, during which he became reacquainted with high-school classmate Ainun, whom he married in May 1962. The two left for Germany shortly afterward. The couple had two sons, Ilham Akbar Habibie and Thareq Kemal Habibie.

After concluding his doctoral studies, Habibie accepted a position with German aerospace manufacturer Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm in Hamburg, where he worked until 1974.

He returned to Indonesia in 1974 after being recruited by then-president Soeharto to take part in the government’s development drive and was made chief executive officer of the new state-owned aerospace manufacturer PT Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara (IPTN), now known as PT Dirgantara Indonesia. He was appointed to the Cabinet in 1978.

Ainun’s death in 2010 was a heavy blow for the former president, and he is set to be buried beside her at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta on Thursday.

Two movies have recently been made about Habibie’s youth and relationship with Ainun: Habibie and Ainun in 2012 and Rudy Habibie in 2016.