The Jakarta Post
The 17th Achmad Bakrie Awards has recognized four prominent figures deemed to have been inspirational and exemplary in their accomplishments in their fields of journalism, literature, health and science.
The Achmad Bakrie Foundation, in collaboration with the Freedom Institute and Viva Group, presented the awards on Wednesday.
Among the award recipients is Jakob Oetama – co-founder of the country’s largest media and publishing company, Kompas Gramedia – for his notable contribution to journalism.
“His visionary ideas have contributed to Kompas’ long life as the fourth pillar of democracy,” said award committee chairman Ardiansyah Bakrie during the award ceremony, as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.
Ashadi Siregar, author of famous novel trilogy Cintaku di Kampus Biru (My Love at the Blue Campus), was also awarded for his contribution to popular literature.
Health activist Anna Alisjahbana, who developed a device that measures children’s growth, and scientist Anawati, who improved the quality of drinking water in Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara, each received a Bakrie Award for their contributions to health and science, respectively.
Several high-profile intellectuals had turned down the awards in past years, like Catholic priest and renowned philosopher Franz Magniz-Suseno, who declined the award in 2007 on the grounds of Bakrie’s connection to a mudflow disaster in Sidoarjo, East Java.
Other figures who turned down and returned the award included social scientist Daoed Joesoef, poet and journalist Goenawan Mohamad, poet Sitor Situmorang and literary figure Seno Gumira Ajidarma.
Achmad Bakrie was the father of businessman and Golkar party politician Aburizal Bakrie.
Scientists have blamed the mudflow that broke in Sidoarjo 13 years ago on PT Lapindo Brantas, a company affiliated to the Bakrie Group, controlled by Aburizal’s family. (rfa)