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Jakarta Post

In Memoriam: ‘Pak’ Soedjati: A beacon of light on dark truths

  • Iman Mahditama and Ati Nurbaiti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 11 2013   /  01:06 pm

(JP/P.J. Leo)When a beacon in the dark dies out, one hopes that its light will soon be replaced. This was the hope when we heard of the passing of our loyal columnist Johannes Baptista Soedjati Djiwandono on Wednesday at around 5:30 p.m. He passed away following complications from various ailments at the age of 79 at the St. Carolus Hospital in Central Jakarta, leaving his wife Vonny Djiwandono, two children and three grandchildren.

Pak Soedjati, as he was called, was a lone voice during the New Order. To our pride, he once said that only The Jakarta Post had dared to publish his views under then president Soeharto’s rule. But although the nation is now well past that authoritarian era, we still need many figures like Pak Soedjati, who so eloquently and passionately aired his views. His was a voice that spoke of what it took for Indonesia to become a democratic nation, if it cla...