BJ Habibie was a statesman that all should look up to as a role model for the nation.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) led the state funeral procession of Indonesia's third president Bacharuddin Jusuf (BJ) Habibie at Kalibata Heroes' Cemetery in Jakarta on Thursday in a ceremony attended by two ex-presidents and ex-vice presidents.
Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla, cabinet ministers, Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and foreign diplomats were among others present at the ceremony, beginning at 1 p.m. local time and concluding at around 2:40 p.m. local time.
President Jokowi remembered former president BJ Habibie as a statesman that all should look up to and emulate as a role model for the nation.
Indonesia's fifth president Megawati Soekarnoputri; sixth president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; ex-vice presidents Try Sutrisno, Hamzah Haz, and Boediono; Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan; as well as First lady Iriana Jokowi, were also present at the ceremony.
The remains of BJ Habibie were buried next to those of his wife, Hasri Ainun Besari, who had breathed her last in 2010 at a hospital in Germany. Their romance captured the hearts of several Indonesians, especially after it was featured in the movie titled "Habibie and Ainun."
Indonesia's seventh vice president and former research and technology minister is the first former president buried at the Kalibata Heroes' Cemetery. Other Indonesian former presidents, who had passed away, were buried in their family cemeteries.
BJ Habibie, also known as Rudy, was born in Pare Pare, South Sulawesi, on June 25, 1936, and led the country from May 1998 to October 1999.
Habibie is survived by his two sons: Ilham Akbar and Thareq Kemal.
BJ Habibie became president in May 1998 to succeed the then president Soeharto, who stepped down following violent protests in Jakarta.
His presidency was quite brief, from May 21, 1998, to October 20, 1999, or a mere 512 days, though a transformative period during which he amended laws to pave the way for full democracy and press freedom in Indonesia.
Source: ANTARA News