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Jakarta Post

Habibie’s legacy of democracy

  • Fachry Ali

Jakarta   /   Thu, September 12 2019   /  01:19 am

JP/R. Berto WedhatamaIn today’s intensifying political tension that seems to split Indonesian society, where could we find a mirror to reflect our democratic experience?One of the answers could be found in the experience of Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, the Indonesian president from 1998 to 1999, in cementing the country’s democratic foundation. This experience unfolds in his interview by the authors of Democratic Transitions: Conversation with World Leaders, edited by Sergio Bitar and Abraham F. Lowenthal ( 2015 ). Apart from Habibie, the authors interviewed other leaders of democratic transition countries. In the case of Indonesia, none else is recognized by the world as a democratic pioneer other than Habibie. Although having a radically brief time in government, Habibie’s leadership was crucial on the fate of Indonesian democracy. Why? As stated by Bahtiar Effendy and Mutiara Pert...