The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo bestowed the title of national hero posthumously on six prominent figures on Friday in recognition of their contribution to the country during the fight for independence.
The titles were presented to their heirs in an official ceremony at the State Palace on Friday, in an event that was part of the National Heroes Day commemoration, which falls on Nov. 10.
The figures include Ruhana Kuddus from West Sumatra, who was Indonesia’s first female journalist; Sultan Himayatuddin Muhammad Saidi, the king of Buton Sultanate in 1750s and the first figure from Southeast Sulawesi to receive a national hero title; and Sardjito, the first rector of Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University (UGM).
The remaining three were Alexander Andries Maramis, Abdul Kahar Muzakkir and KH Masjkur, all of whom were members of the Agency for the Preparatory Work for Indonesian Independence (BPUPKI) none of whom were previously named as national heroes.
Title, Order of Merit and Honors Council deputy chairman Jimly Assidique said prior to the ceremony that the titles were awarded in recognition of the valuable services provided by the late heroes to the country.
"Sardjito did enormous service in education. Meanwhile, Ruhana was a prominent figure in journalism," Jimly said.
Apart from being an UGM founder, Sardjito was also known for his role in the establishment of a number of universities across the country, including Airlangga University, Brawijaya University and the Indonesian Islamic University (UII), among others.
Ruhana, meanwhile, was born in Koto Gadang, Agam regency in North Sumatra on Dec. 20, 1884. In 1911, she established a school called Kerajinan Amai Setia (KAS) in Koto Gadang.
Throughout her life, she actively wrote for a local women’s newspaper Poetri Hindia. She later established her own newspaper Soenting Melajoe in the 1970s. Ruhana died in Jakarta on Aug. 17, 1972, at the age of 87. (dpk)