REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said Indonesia’s third president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie was a figure who became a savior of the nation during 1998 crisis in the country. She said Habibie is a figure who gave a very strong foundation towards the reform era.
“I can’t imagine that reform went smoothly, if the president was not Mr Habibie at that time,” said Sri Mulyani in a statement on Thursday (Sept 12).
Habibie passed away on Wednesday (Sept 11) at 6.05 pm after being in intensive care at Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) since Sunday (Sept 1). He led the country from May 1998 to October 1999 and known as a genius who created Indonesia’s first self-made aircraft.
However, in Sri Mulyani’s perspective, Habibie was also a figure who can ease the anger of Indonesian people during his leadership. At that time, people was angry to the previous government, which known as the New Order era and Habibie was providing many breakthrough and improvements in many sectors.
Sri Mulyani said with the innovation and big steps that taken by Habibie, made many kinds of freedoms that previously could not be felt by the people. Started from the freedom of the press, political parties, human rights, and others.
She also emphasized Habibie’s role in economy sector, which was difficult during his leadership transition. Habibie was able to make the situation relatively stable, only in the short period when his government lasted for one year.
"He became president in a difficult economic situation, with the approach and very professionally team. The worse situation could be reversed,” Sri added.
Sri said Habibie is not only a stateman but also, a father of the nation. Habibie paved the way for Indonesia to become a democratic country like nowadays.
"Previously, of course, Mr. Soekarno laid the foundation of an independent Indonesia, Mr. Soeharto fostered development, and Mr. Habibie became the father who prepared Indonesia to become a democratic country like we are experiencing today," said Sri Mulyani.